History comes alive: Leh Palace, Ladakh
Overlooking the town of Leh, just on the slope of the Tesemo hill is the imposing multi-storey Leh Palace. This palace was built by a king named Tashi Namgyal in the 16th century about the same time as the great Potala Palace in Lhasa Tibet.
The Avalokiteshwara temple, built in the 18th century, lies to the east of the palace. The statue of Avalokiteshwara stands at the head of the assembly hall. The steep climb to the palace is totally worth all the effort as it offers a panoramic view of the town below.
Leh palace has an entry fee and proceeds are used for the redevelopment of the palace. The government is working on rebuilding thepalace using natural methods to restore its past glory. The palace hall is now turned into a museum with displaced paintings and art work from yesteryears.
Many of the paintings are of the king and his family, while the antiques are mostly unique, the cutlery is in the form of stone pots or plates. All of these are on display in the hall along with a short description of the above.
Leh palace was constructed in such a way that there is no need for artificial lighting, the only lighting the palace has till date is natural. There is also a huge veranda on the first floor of the palace, that gives visitors a splendid view of the town of Leh. This is arguably the best aerial view one can get of the town of Leh.
The palace is open to the public on all seven days of the week and the roof of the palace provides a panoramic view of the town of Leh and the surrounding areas. The mountains of Stok Kangri in the Zanskar mountain range is very clearly visible across the Indus Valley to the south, with the Ladakh mountain range rising behind the palace to the north.
The best time to visit Leh Palace is on the first day when you arrive in Leh since this day is usually a day to get actualized to the conditions in Ladakh, so what better way to get accustomed to the conditions than taking a short hike to the famous Palace of Leh.