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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Leh Palace: Rich Ruins that overlook the capital of Ladakh

The Leh Palace that was built in the 17th century by King Sengge Namgyal today exists in a semi dilapidated condition, but exudes the same aura as it looks upon the Himalayan kingdom of Leh. It is one of those places apart from Shanti Stupa and the monastery nearby that offers panoramic views of Leh town.

Leh city from on top of Leh palace
Reaching it is fairly easy. There are 2 options. One is to take a vehicle right up to it, but the one I recommend is to reach the main Leh market and climb the steep slopes to Leh palace. This climb should take you 10-15 minutes and passes through rows of Ladakhi houses and shops. In case you get lost, the locals will be kind enough to help you get back on track.

The climb to Leh Palace
This palace, currently being restored by the Archaeological survey of India, is open to the general public. The best views can be seen from the roof of this palace, wherein you will see the Zanskar range to one side, the Ladakh range to the other and the bustling Leh town right below it.

Ladakhi Building enroute to Leh palace
This palace modeled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet is based on medieval Tibetan architecture. The main features of this style of architecture are massive buttressed walls and overhanging wooden balconies. One can visit the palace museum to see the rich collection of artwork, murals and jewelry that used to exist within the palace in its heydays.

Leh Palace signboard
This is one place you should visit if you are in Leh. For best views go during sunrise or sunset. For a full view of the palace, stop by the main parking lot in the market.



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