The summer home of the royal family of Ladakh, Stok Palace is one of the major attractions in Leh. Built in 1820 by King Tsepal Namgyal, the palaceencapsulates and reflects the rich history and lifestyle of the royal family. It is situated amidst the valley of Singey Sangpo which is popularly known as Indus River. The architecture of Stok Palace is a fine meld of the traditional and the contemporary architectural styles. Comprising of beautiful gardens as well as a library that houses 108 volumes of the Kangyur (collection of teachings of Lord Buddha), the palace is amongst the must visit places in Ladakh.
The museum rooms in the palace also showcase family treasures, including queen’s ancient turquoise-and-gold encrusted crown, which is called Yub-Jhur and a sword that the king’s Oracle managed to bend into a knot known as the Uri Geller–style. Stok palace still remains the summer home for the royal family. Annually a dance-mask festival is celebrated here in which local participate in a large number. The palace has now been turned into a heritage hotel and has six guest rooms and a cafe.
The best time to visit Stok Palace is during the Stok Gruru Tsechu, when one can witness the interesting Cham Masked Dance. Apart from it, the palace can be visited anytime between June and September.
One can book a stay here and have a royal staying experience. Apart from it, those who cannot afford to stay in the palace can visit here to see the beautiful architecture along with the well kept small museum.
The palace is only 15 kms away from Leh City and can be reached by a cab or hired bullet and other vehicle.