Gotsang Hermitage


Predating Hemis Monastery by several centuries, Gotsang is a hillside hermitage with two attractive main temple buildings. The main shrine is the mountain cave in which Tantric master Gyalwang Gotsang (1189–1258) meditated. Also known as Gotsangapa, he was the enlightened Tibetan lama who first charted the pilgrim path around Mt Kailash and to whom Ladakh's Drukpa Buddhists cast back their lineage (the current Gyalwang Drukpa being his 12th incarnation).

The age-blackened cave is now hidden within the monastic building to the left as you climb up from Hemis Gompa. The entryway is fronted with colourful murals, with the cave behind. A stone above the door is believed to be imprinted with the base of Gotsangapa's begging bowl.

You can hike here from Hemis Gompa (about one hour to hike uphill, 30 minutes back).