The colourful Hemis Festival commemorates the birth of Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tantric Buddhism in Tibet. The festival is held at Hemi Gompa, an incredible Buddhist monastery which is the most spectacular monastery in Ladakh with links to the Ladakhi Royal Family. Dressed in the dramatic red robes and tunics and blasting out tunes on large horns, the vibrantly-dressed monks make the Hemis Festival an incredible spectacle that each year attracts thousands of devotees from across the region. Another major attraction of the Hemis festival is its colourful fair displaying some of the most exquisite handicrafts of the Ladakh region. However, what takes the cake is the display of the two-story high ” Thanka” of the monastery. This Thanka is beautifully embroidered with pearls and semi-precious stones, and depicts Guru Padmasambhava. It is put on display only once in twelve years.