Hemis is the biggest monastery in Ladakh and the site of an annual festival commemorating the birth of the Guru Lpadmasambhava. (And if you can say that correctly there’s a prize at the end.)Having brought Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet, Guru Lpadmasambhava was no ordinary guru. Now considered to be the second Buddha, the Guru’s birthday sees Tibetans dress up in their finest traditional garb to celebrate one of the most important events of the year. Masked dancers simulate battle between good and evil spirits while pipes, drums and cymbals provide a cacophonous soundtrack. With the largest Thanka (silk embroidery of Buddha) in Ladakh and the region’s largest monastery as a backdrop, this is the ideal time to immerse yourself in the local culture and get in touch with your spiritual side too.