The Hemis Monastery at Ladakh is situated at a distance of approximately 47 km from Leh, on the west bank of the Indus River. The monastery stands concealed inside a gorge and belongs to the Dugpa Order. The biggest and the wealthiest monastery of Ladakh, Hemis Monastery was founded by the first incarnation of Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso. One of the major attractions of Hemis Gompa of Leh Ladakh is the annual Hemis festival, commemorating the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhav.
On this day, in certain years, the Thanka (the sacred appliqué-work
tapestry wrought with pearls depicting Padmasambhava) is displayed to
the general public. Also, on 9th and 10th day of the Tibetan 5th month,
sacred musk dance is performed at this monastery. Hemis houses a
copper-gilt statue of the Lord Buddha, various gold and silver stupas,
sacred thankas and numerous other objects. There is also a sacred
hermitage above the Ladakh Hemis Monastery. Founded by Gyalwa Kotsang,
this hermitage still houses his meditation cave and bears his footprint
and handprint on the rock and sacred shrines.