The Hemis Monastery: Home of the Legends of Jesus and the Phantoms of the Himalayas

The Hemis Monastery: Home of the Legends of Jesus and the Phantoms of the Himalayas

Mysterious, majestic and elusive, the phantoms of the Himalayas are so shy that many of the local people living in the Himalayas have never seen them. They know about these phantoms only because of the stories and legends told by their ancestors.  The snow leopard gave rise to the legend of phantoms that roamed the Himalayas. In the past, few ever saw the snow leopard due to its wariness, but today sightings are so rare because their numbers have dwindled dramatically. The snow leopard is in danger to became extinct.

Phantom of the Himalayas –This male snow leopard was injured in his eye in a fight (Image: © Willem Daffue)

Phantom of the Himalayas –This male snow leopard was injured in his eye in a fight (Image: © Willem Daffue)

Hemis Monastery and Himalayan Buddhism

The Hemis National Park is located in Ladakh and is globally famous for its snow leopards, as it is believed to have the highest density of these cats in any protected area in the world. This park is named after the Hemis monastery that existed since before the 11th century. The yogi, Naropa, is considered the founding father of the Kagyu-lineage of Himalayan Buddhism.  Because Naropa is connected with this monastery the Hemis monastery or gompa is today the main seat of the Kagyu-lineage of Buddhism.


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