Leh & Around

Leh Palace The old palace of the king of Ladakh overlooks the town from the south –west slope of the Tsemo. It has eight storeys and was built by King Singe Namgyal in the 16th century, at much the same time as the famed Potala of Lasa – which it resembles. The damage to the palace, one side is gaping open, stems from the Kashmiri invasions of the last century. Like the Shey Palace the Leh Palace still belongs to the Ladakhi royal family. Who now live in their palace in Stock.

Few of the palace wall painting are worth looking at since they have been scratched and smeared over the years. The small Khar Gonpa within the palace is also of little interest. In fact the main reason to make the short, steep climb up to the place is for the superb view from the roof, over which the coloured prayer flags wave in the wind, the lines of which begin on the blue-white-red-green-yellow Tarchok mast. In good weather the Zanskar range, snow covered until early summer, appears close enough to touch although it rises from the other side of the Indus.

Shanti Stupa Japanese Stupas made for world peace. Shanti Stupa is located at Changspa, on the hilltop, and was inaugurated by Dalai Lama in 1985. Its state of the art work attracts a lot of tourists to Ladakh and is spectacular to watch. The Shanti Stupa can be reached by car, or on foot via a steep flight of five hundred steps.

You will enjoy the panoramic view of the chain of mountains and the peaceful little village of Changspa with typical Ladakhi houses built along a gushing stream, and the towering Namgyal Tsemo in the distance.

The Shanti Stupa Society was established to build the Vishwa Shanti Stupa (World Peace Pagoda) in the Indraprastha Park in the heart of the City of Delhi. The purpose of the Shanti Stupa is to provide a “peace haven” for all and to develop programs that promote peace-building efforts all over the world with an emphasis on ahimsa, or nonviolence.

Hall of Fame Hall of Fame near Leh is worth a visit for every citizen. It is a glorious museum constructed by Indian army. You can see the memorabilia, eminent defence personalities with biographies, images and weapons used during Kargil war and belongings of enemy soldiers found at war site. Another section of this building is entirely dedicated to Siachen and its heroes.

On display are attires, multi layered shoes to keep their feet from frost bites, their daily instruments, their day to day food mainly frozen and packed, which is heated by lighting small balls of Hexamycin tablets, as fire is difficult to ignite at a temperature dipping -30 deg to -50 deg centigrade. It is mentioned on a board that 97% of the casualties in Siachen are due to cold and terrain.

Around 14 Kms from Leh, across the Choglamsar bridge. The Stok Palace was built by King Tsespal Tondup Namgyal in 1825. The present Royal family resides at Stok Palace.The Stok Palace Museum has vast collection of thankas, traditional clothing and ornaments from Royal family. The Gurphug monastery is 1 Km from the Palace and this is the branch of Spituk monastery. The festival called "Guru Tsechu" take place on the 9th and 10th days of the first month of Tibetan Lunar Calendar.

Shey Palace Shey, 15 Km south of Leh, was constructed by the first king of Ladakh, Lhachen Palgyigon and of successive kings. Around 12 Ft. Shakyamuni Buddha's statue made by copper guilt is the largest in the region, built by Deldan Namgyal in 1633 is a funerary memorial to his father, king Singee Namgyal. There is another statue of the Buddha three stories in height at dresthang down the castle. Stone carving and many chortens are scattered around the Dresthang Gompa. On the 30th day of the 1st Tibetan month celebrates shey rul-lo and on the 10th day of the 7th Tibetan month the festival of Shey Surb-lo is held.