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Hemis  

W. A. P. Marr

Buddhist monastery c. 45 km south-east of Leh in Ladakh, India. Founded by King Senge Namgyel in the 17th century, Hemis became the leading monastery in the region of the Tibetan Drukpa sect. Its buildings comprise chortens (stupas), mani walls, monastic dwellings and a large rectangular courtyard used for the annual monastic dance ceremony. This court is surrounded by a balcony with a throne used by the head lama on such occasions; small paintings of saintly figures appear on the rear wall of the balcony. Within the court are four tall poles decked with prayer flags and yak tails. On the right-hand side are two large temples, the Dukhang and the Chökhang; each is two storeys high and preceded by a wooden verandah containing Tibetan-style paintings of protector deities....