Our journey of exploration around Leh continued with a visit to the Sindhu ghat, Shay palace and Stok village.
The Sindhu ghat (Indus bank) is a peaceful riverbank nestled in the surreal landscape of Ladakh. The barren brown mountains, a peaceful river flowing across stones and sand, the autumn colors on trees in the distance make for a picture postcard. Sindhu ghat is quite close to Leh and can be easily combined with a visit to Shey palace and Stok village.
Shay palace and monastery – Compared to Thikshay and Hemis, this monastery is slightly dull. The special attraction of the Shey monastery is the 7.5 meters tall status of the Sakyamuni Buddha which is made of Copper and Brass and is plated with gold. behind the main statue are two smaller statues of Lord Buddha’s chief disciples Sariputra and Maudgalyayana. All over the walls of the main chamber are paintings of the 16 Arhats or the enlightened ones (disciples of Lord Buddha).
King Dalden Namgyal built the palace around 1650AD and the palace has the largest Namgyal Stupa (Victory stupa) in Ladakh. The top of the stupa is made of pure Gold. In front of the lord Buddha, just outside the main chamber a butter lamp is placed which burns perpetually. Each year the butter is replaced and the flame of the lamp never goes off. The lamp is a symbol of divinity and purity of the shrine.
There is a bit of a climb to the top and there isn’t much to see at the palace. What would definitely make things more interesting is an interpretation center at the palace which can tell us the history and the story of the place.
Stok Village – The stok palace has a nice museum with a lot of artifacts from the bygone era. Pity we were not able to enter as the museum had closed by the time we reached there. The view from the stok palace is simply stunning. I guess the views in all of Ladakh are simply stunning. It almost looks as though each little rock, each tree, each little drop of water making up the river has been beautifully and painstakingly hand-crafted.
While in Stok, a drive around the village is a must. Its not a large village and a small drive through the narrow curvy streets is a delight to the senses. Stok Kangri, a favorite destinations for trekkers, over looks the village and almost gives the impression of a protective hand over the village.
Pictures from the day…