Hemis Monastery, tucked in a hidden valley 40 km from Leh, is the most renowned and biggest monastery in Ladakh. Its popularity stems from the major annual festival held here every summer, in honour of the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava.
Guru Padmasambhava is the 8th century Indian guru revered for spreading Buddhism throughout the Himalayas. Hemis has the largest silk embroidered brocade in Ladakh, which is unfurled only once in 12 years, in the year of the Monkey. Built in 1630 during the reign of King Sengey Namgyal by Stakstang Raspa, a student of the 5th Gyalwang Drukpa and the 1st Drukpa Yongdzin Rinpoche, Hemis flourished under the Namgyal dynasty, whose kings and people became the patrons of the Drukpa Order.