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Stok Palace, Leh Ladakh Overview

Located around 15km from Leh, the Stok Palace is the summer home to the royal family of Ladakh and descendants of King Sengge Namgyal. It was established in 1820 by King Tsepal Namgyal and was opened to the public in 1980 by the Dalai Lama.

The Stok Palace has been converted into a heritage hotel and houses the Stok Palace Museum and Temple. The rustic interiors of the hotel emit royal antique decor alongside some quirkily decorated rooms as well. Besides, the Stok Palace is a well-preserved traditional piece of the Buddhist culture too. The hotel is divided into six units within the Stok Palace and three more divisions in the Chulli Bagh Villa.

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Stok Palace

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Stok Palace Museum

Inside the resplendent palace exists the Stock Palace Museum, which is home to precious artefacts and jewels of King Sengge Namgyal and his descendants which attracts a lot of historians and anthropologists. Ancient coins, royal seals, precious jewellery and photographs can be found preserved in this museum. Here one can also find the royal family’s collection of paintings of the Buddhist Deities which are over 400 years old. They are known as Thangkas and are very popular among the Buddhist community.

There is also a separate room with an assortment of guns, shields, swords, quivers and arrows which belonged to the royal family. The major highlight of the Stok Palace Museum is Yub-Jhur, which is the queen’s crown having 401 lumps of ancient turquoise, coral and golden nuggets along with other ancient jewels. Another ancient artefact is the king’s sword which was bent in a knot by the king’s oracle.

Timings: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM. 

Stok Palace
Inside the Stok Palace
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Stok Palace Heritage Hotel

Constructed as a four-storeyed building, the Stok Palace Heritage Hotel has shaded corridors and courtyards that lead a person into colourful spaces. Being located at the top of a valley, it offers a breathtaking view of the Indus River. The palace is established in such a way that it encloses low doorways and exuberant corridors which offers the simple luxury of a comfortable bed, well-furnished suites and hygienic bathrooms. The suites are located on different levels of the palace. There are 4 Standard Suite Rooms, the Royal Suite and the Queen’s Room. All the rooms in the palace are spacious and exude vibrant artefacts and photographs of the royalty.

Another striking feature of the Stok Palace Heritage Hotel is dining. The menu ranges from traditional cuisines of Ladakhi, Tibetan and Indian. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are prepared in the Royal Old Kitchen of the hotel which acquaints a person with the traditional style of Ladakhi style of dining.

How to Reach Stok Palace

Stok Palace is 15 km away from Leh and can be reached easily via cab service. One can also take a bus from any of the bus terminals operating in Leh. In both the cases, the time taken is 30-45 minutes.

Best Time to Visit

Stok Palace is best visited during June and September. However, it is always recommended that people visit the palace during the festival of Stok Guru Tsechu, a Tibetan festival which is celebrated for two days in the first month of the Tibetan Calendar.

Stok Palace Temple

The Stok Palace Temple is another extension of royal interiors houses within the Stok Palace Heritage Hotel itself. Traditionally known as the Lhakchung, this temple dedicated to Buddha is located on the topmost level of the palace.

Besides regular prayer sessions and rituals, the monk here would also make personalised good luck charms or amulets. These wonderful souvenirs would hold a handwritten wish or a prayer for a loved one and be further designed into a purposeful charm. Visitors could also watch the process of making these amulets by blocking their schedules with the monk. Each amulet would cost at least INR 500 each.

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