Palaces in India
Leh Palace information

Leh Palace

Leh Palace is a former royal palace overlooking the Ladakhi Himalayan town of Leh. Modelled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, the palace was built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 17th century. It is nine storeys high; the upper floors accommodated the royal family, while the lower floors held stables and store rooms. Modelled on the basis of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Leh Palace was built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 17th century. The palace is nine storeys high, where the upper floors used to accommodate the royal family, while the lower floors held stables and store rooms. The roof provides panoramic views of Leh and the surrounding areas, as the mountain of Stok Kangri in the Zangskar mountain range is visible across the Indus valley to the south, with the Ladakh mountain range rising behind the palace is visible in the north. This nine-storeyed, dun-coloured palace is Leh's dominant structure and an architectural icon. This beautifully constructed palace was abandoned when the Dogra forces took control of Ladakh in the mid 19th century and forced the royal family to move to Stok Palace. The now ruined palace is being restored by the Archaeological Survey of India. The Palace Museum holds a rich collection of jewellery, ornaments, ceremonial dresses and crowns. Chinese thangka or sooth paintings, which are more than 450 years old, with intricate designs still retain the bright and pleasing colours derived from crushed and powdered gems and stones. Interesting structures situated around the palace's base include the very prominent Namgyal Stupa, the colourfully muralled Chandazik Gompa and the 1430 Chamba Lhakhang, with medieval mural fragments located between the inner and outer walls. The palace was abandoned when Dogra forces took control of Ladakh in the mid 19th century, and the royal family moved to Stok Palace. The palace is open to the public and the roof provides panoramic views of Leh and the surrounding areas. The mountain of Stok Kangri in the Zangskar mountain range is visible across the Indus valley to the south, with the Ladakh mountain range rising behind the palace to the north. By Air - The nearest airport to Leh Palace is the Leh Air Force Base Airport, which is 5 kms away from Leh Palace. At the Leh Airport, being a military airport, the security checks are a little more stringent than usual. By Train - Pathankot and Chandigarh are the closest railway stations to Leh, but are a three-day bus ride away. Hence, travelling via Road/Rail to Leh is one option most travellers avoid. By Road - From the Main Bazaar in the city, Leh Palace can be approached via Jama Masjid or via the Zangsti Road where it takes a turn and goes past the Shii'a Mosque. The construction of the palace on the Tsemo Hill was initiated by Tsewang Namgyal, the founder of the Namgyal dynasty of Ladakh in 1553 and was completed by his nephew Sengge Namgyal.


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