Hemis is the biggest monastery complex of Ladakh, located 45km south of Leh and belongs to Drukpa Kagyu sect. It was established in 1630 by Lama Tagstang Raspa and built by Palden Sara under the patronage of King Sengge Namgyal. The Gompa is a unique example of a monastic complex of this period which manifests in its structure the geomantic principles which underlie religious constructions of this type. In addition there are also examples of construction techniques and details which are not found elsewhere, including the intrinsic design qualities and rare 17th century murals executed with a variety of pigments and gold paint. The annual two-day Hemis festival is celebrated in splendid style at the monastery with colorful mask dances.