Nestled deep in a narrow valley, the Hemis monastery is the largest and the most important monastic institution in Ladakh. Hemis has more than 200 branch monasteries around the Himalayas and over 1000 monks under its care. It is an important living monument to the heritage of the Himalayas and its people.
The monastery belongs to the Drukpa lineage or the Dragon Order of Mahayana Buddhism. The main driving force behind the creation of this Monastery was a sage called Taktsang Repa (Staktsang Raspa in Ladakhi), popularly known as "Taktsand Sambunath". He setup the monastery in the 1630s under the aegis of King Sengge Namgyal. Taktsang Repa is responsible for popularizing the Drukpa order of Tibetan Buddhism in Ladakh. He and his successive reincarnations became the spiritual gurus of Ladakhi Kings and their people.