All About About Leh Palace Leh Ladakh
Situated at the crowning summit of the Tsemo Hill, Leh Palace is a 17th-century monument that speaks of its past. Boasting its elegance, collection, and triumph over the years- Leh Palace has now become the epicenter of attraction in Leh-Ladakh. Popularly known as Lhachen Palkhar, this beautiful structure was built under the reign of King Sengge Namgyal. Currently, the ancestors of the king live here on one of the floors of this 9-floored palace. The colorful palace houses a prayer room, a museum, and a few more things on different floors. But the most elegant of them all is the sweeping view of the Zanskar Mountains and the view of the Ladakh region and the Stok Kangri surroundings from the rooftop.
There has been a lot of talking about the Leh Palace amongst travelers because the palace looks highly similar to Lhasa’s Potala Palace. Although the Palace is still intriguing, there have been a lot of attacks and invasions born by the monument. It was back in the 19th century when Leh Ladakh was invaded by Kashmiris- since then most part of the palace has turned into ruins. But that hasn’t taken away the importance or charm of the palace because it is still an important tourist destination. While exploring the museums of Leh Palace one can see old utensils used by the royal family, Buddha Relics, paintings, and much more. All of this together makes Leh Palace a wonderful 450 years old place to visit on your trip to Leh-Ladakh.
History of Leh Palace
Those who have visited the Potala Palace of Lhasa; find a lot of similarities between the two palaces. It won’t be wrong to say that the Leh Palace is built on the lines and parameters of the Potala Palace that’s located in Tibet. Although the completion of Leh Palace was done in the 17th century by Sengge Namgyal, the creation started back in 1553 by Tsewang Namgyal, who was a ruler of the Namgyal Dynasty. When the palace was constructed, the king with his family shifted here as the structure was marvelous and so was the view from the roof.
When the palace was built completely, there were 9-storeys making it one of the tallest buildings of that time. The palace was huge and was used for multiple purposes. Where the upper floors were used for accommodation, the lower floors were used for housing stables and some acted as storerooms. The royal family was forced to leave the palace in the mid-19th century when Dogra forces invaded Ladakh. Having seen a lot of things in the past, Leh Palace is now partially in ruins and is now converted into an archeological museum controlled directly by the government. A lot of tourists visit here each year to witness the grand style of living and to see the remains of yesteryears. One can also have a look at the artifacts and remains of the things used by the royal family in the bygone era.
Leh Palace Architecture
As we have already discussed the close resemblance shared by Leh Palace with Potala Palace of Tibet, has always been the highlight of this palace. The Leh Palace of Leh Ladakh is created with expertise having an intriguing design. It took a lot of years to be complete but all of it didn’t go in vain because Leh Palace was one of the grandest and tallest buildings of its time. Leh Palace boasts its Tibetan architecture and 9 storeys. Even though a major portion of the palace is now in ruins, the elegance still attracts a lot of visitors towards itself; not just from India but across the globe. The structure also boasts an antique design that keeps architecture buffs interested throughout the time.
Even though there were and are a lot of other huge palaces in India, the location of Leh Palace makes it a marvelous structure. The walls of the palace are huge buttressed and the balconies are jutted out and made of wood. This is one of the main features of the architecture of Leh Palace. The entire structure stands on a cliff and is made of hard bricks and mud. There are some parts constructed from sand and wood. The details of the palace were well kept in mind during its construction and its unique styling helps in self-illumination during the day. There are different wood-carved figures that intrigue the visitors too often.
The topmost tower of the palace is called Victory Tower as it offers a complete view of the Leh town and Zanskar Range on both sides. One can find multiple stupas and Tibetan structures throughout the monument.
Leh Palace Opening and Closing Timings
Leh Palace being a top-notch tourist destination of Ladakh has a lot of visitors throughout the year. The numbers increase significantly during the peak season. And if you are planning on visiting here during that time; you should be knowing the opening and closing time of the Leh Palace.
|Leh Palace Attraction – Opening and Closing Timings|
|Days||Opening Timing||Closing Timing|
|Monday||8:00 am||5:00 pm|
|Tuesday||8:00 am||5:00 pm|
|Wednesday||8:00 am||5:00 pm|
|Thursday||8:00 am||5:00 pm|
|Friday||8:00 am||5:00 pm|
|Saturday||8:00 am||5:00 pm|
Entry fees of Leh Palace
There is a small entry fee that is required to enter the Leh Palace. The fee is different for Indians and international travelers. Given below is the current price that you will be charged at the Leh Palace entrance.
Entry fee for Indian Traveler per person- INR 15
Entry fee for International Traveler per person- INR 100
How to Reach Leh Palace
Once you reach Leh by either road or flight; you can then take a taxi or a cab to reach the Leh Palace which is approximately 5 km from the Leh main market.
Leh Palace Location: Namgyal Hill, Leh, Ladakh
Leh Palace Height: 4267 meters
Things to do near Leh Palace
Multiple things can be done here around and in Leh palace, and here are some of them. There are several interesting things to do and places to visit near Leh Palace, including:
- Explore the Leh Main Market.
- You can explore the museum of Leh Palace.
- Enjoy visiting the different parts of the palace.
- Enjoy great food near Leh Palace.
- Visit Shanti Stupa and go hiking.
- Take the photography sessions from the roof of the palace.
Places to visit near Leh Palace
Ladakh and all the attractions that you can visit here are quite good. There are multiple amazing attractions around the union territory. Here are some of the top-notch places that you can visit.
Tips to know before visiting Leh Palace
- While you visit Leh Palace, hot and tasty food is served inside.
- The Leh Palace is very well maintained and offers excellent room services.
- The location of the Leh Palace is absolutely amazing and is at a walkable distance from the main Leh market.
- If you are visiting here in your vehicle, make a note that there is less space for parking. You might have to bear a stoppage time due to narrow roads.
- This is also one of the finest places to visit during your acclimatization.
See Also: Places to visit in Leh Ladakh | Nubra Valley