Located at an altitude of around 11,204 feet above sea level and on the way to Thikse and Hemis Gompas on the main road leading east along the Indus, Shey Palace and Monastery is only 15 km from the town of Leh. Shey Palace was built in 1665 by the King of Ladakh as his summer retreat house. The Palace and Monastery of Shey are in the vicinity of the village by the same name. Shey used to be the capital of ancient Ladakh. Shey was abandoned after the Dogras of Jammu and Kashmir conquered Ladakh and the Namgyals were removed from the power. Legend has it that there used to be an artificial lake around the Palace, but there is no real evidence of its existence. Located on a hill Shey contains a gold topped victory Stupa. The monastery has a two storied statue of Sakyamuni Buddha wrought with copper and gold. The walls of the Du-Khang are adorned with beautiful frescos. Since the monastery is exclusive, it is preferable to make arrangements to see this monastery with the head Lama before hand. Many chortens can be seen to the east of the Monastery. A traveller should not miss the engraving on a rook-face beside the main road below the monastery which represent five Buddha’s in meditation. Shey Monastery has two seasonal festivals which are held every year. The first festival is held at Shey Palace on the 26th and 27th day of the first month of the Tibetan calendar which is in the month of July or August. This festival is called “Shey Doo Lhoo” it is held to mark the beginning of the sowing season. The two day celebration is marked by special rituals performed by the monks in the main monastery, in addition to several other religious rites. Villagers flock to the monastery in large numbers in a spirit of celebration and hope. During this festival an oracle reader visits Shey Monastery riding a horse and conducts a three day prayer and then goes into a trance. In this state of trance, he is said to give prophesies for the coming year. The second festival in Shey is called the “Shey Rupla” that marks the harvesting season. On this occasion farmers offer the first fruits of the corn at the monastery. A dance called the “Rhupal dance” is performed by two men in tiger costumes. Other forms of folk dances are also performed. Around Shey Palace and Monastery there are a handful of accommodation options in the village. The accommodation is mostly in the form of budget guest houses and home stays. There are also a few eateries in the village in the form of Dhabas. For those who like to shop there is a Souvenir stall at the entrance of the Palace which sells Shey Palace collectibles in the form of mugs, caps, watches and t shirts. The best way of getting to this Palce is by hiring a taxi from the town of Leh, since public transport is not very good. Shey Palce and Monastery is a must visit place while in the town of Leh. Shey is a place which has something to offer for all kinds of travellers. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... 11 Responses Winter Leh-Ladakh backpackers budget road trip in six days | The Land Out There September 9, 2015 […] Early in the morning take a SUV/Tempo traveler and leave for a visit to the famous monasteries of Hemis, Thiksey and Shey. […] Reply Backpackers Road Trip Around Leh-Ladakh via Manali & Srinagar in 10 Days | The Land Out There September 4, 2015 […] the Monasteries of Shey – Thiksay – […] Reply A Trip To The Heavens- Ladakh | The Land Out There August 10, 2015 […] following day was a light one, we woke up leisurely and visited the Shey Palace and the Hemis, Thiksey, Stok Monasteries. These monasteries have a certain calm that fill you with […] Reply Backpackers road trip around Leh-Ladakh in Nine Days via Kashmir | The Land Out There June 14, 2015 […] breakfast, leave for local sight seeing by car to visit Shey– Thiksay – […] Reply Backpackers Winter Road Trip Around Leh-Ladakh in Six Days | The Land Out There April 23, 2015 […] Post breakfast visit the famous monasteries of Hemis, Thiksey and Shey. […] Reply crueltyfreemeaus August 8, 2014 Heading to Ladakh in two weeks. I’m very excited! Very informative post. Reply Mary Young February 8, 2014 Really nice pictures of Shey. Looks really good and seems like a place totally worth visiting. Reply Hemis Monastery: Leh, Ladakh | The Land Out There February 2, 2014 […] it. Hemis is also the place where young Lama’s are trained for the royal monasteries at Leh, Shey and […] Reply Backpacker’s road trip around Ladakh in 14 days | The Land Out There January 23, 2014 […] the Monasteries of Shey- Thiksay- Hemis- stok. […] Reply Backpackers road trip through Ladakh & Zanskar Valley in 18 days | The Land Out There January 23, 2014 […] Spalgiri – 3 Idiot school Sindguard – Shey – Thiksay – […] Reply Town of contrasts in the Trans-Himalayas: Leh, Ladakh | The Land Out There January 22, 2014 […] are situated near the main market from where one can make day trips to various Gompas such as Hemis, Shey, Thikse, Likir, Matho, Stok […] Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.