Jammu and Kashmir: Ladakh - Stok Palace, Shey Palace, Sankar Gumpa and Ecological Development Center

 

Stok Palace:
14 kilometers off Leh is is this palace, which has been converted to a museum, Tickets are available for Rs.20 per head. It is a 200 year old palace. The Farka gompa is very close from here.


Shey Palace and Gompa:


This also falls en route to Hemis from Leh, at a distance of about 15 kilometers. It was built in 1685 by Lha – Chen – dPal – Gvi – mGon and served as the summer home for the royal family. The apex of the structure is covered in Gold. The palace is ruins in the hands of time, but the huge, well decorated doors still remind you of the grandeur of the past. The Biggest Buddha idol of Ladakh is also here and measures upto 12 meters. It is made of copper and covered in 5 kgs of Gold. The temple also boasts of decorations with precious stones and metals. The palace is generally closed, but the Gompa can be viewed with a Rs.10 ticket from 7am to 9am and 5pm to 6pm. It is possible to visit in other times, if the Lamas permit. There are hundreds of stupas and also the mani wall at here. One can also glimpse the Thiksey from here.


Sankar Gompa:


It is only 3 kilometers from the town. Climb up the steps to reach the Dukhang or the prayer hall. The chilef attraction here is the 11 headed, 1000 handed, 1000 eyed and 1000 legged Buddha idol. There are numerous small idols too, most of which is on gold. It has a commendable collection of painting as well. Do not miss the view from its terrace. You can walk down to this Gompha in the evening. Open from 7am to 10am and 5pm to 7pm. Closed on holidays. Tickets are of Rs.10 per head.


Ecological Development Center:


Neighboring the Tsemo hotel, it is trying to preserve the culture, ecology and wealth of Ladakh. Research on Solar Energy is also on. There is a library and restaurant here. A video film,Learning From Ladakh is plyed on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


A cultural program is also organized every evening opposite Hotel Yak Tail by CATS. Tourists should check it out too.

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