After a few hours at the Hemis Festival, Jack took us to see a few more gompas and palaces around Leh:
- First, Thikse Monastery, the largest monastery in central Ladakh. It was supposedly built to look like Potala Palace in Lhasa.
- Next, the Shey Monastery and Shey Palace complex. Shey was the old capital of the upper Ladakh region, but when the Dogras of Jammu invaded Ladakh in 1842, the Namgyals abandoned the palace and fled to Stok. Most of Shey Palace is in ruins, but the monastery has a nice 39 foot tall Shakyamuni Buddha statue.
- Finally, we traveled across the Indus River to Stok Palace. It was here that the Namgyals, rulers of Ladakh, fled to, and it is still used today as a residence by the Ladakhi royalty.