Leh - Shey - Hemis - Stok
You devote this day to essential sites near surroundings of Leh. Depending on the schedule of your visits, have lunch in a local restaurant. The first monastery to be visited is the monastery of Shey which was the palace of the kings of Ladakh until the sixteenth century. Located about fifteen kilometers from Leh, this gompa is built on the sides of a hill. It houses a monumental statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. It measures 12 m in height. On each side of the statue, murals represent 16 illustrious figures who have attained enlightenment. They are considered saints and are called Arhats. The Shey Monastery offers a splendid view of the green valley.
Thereafter, continue your drive to the Hemis Monastery. It was built in the 17th century under the reign of a king named Sengge Namgyal. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is probably the most famous among the gompas in Leh's surroundings. Its conception follows the precepts of the cosmic representation of the universe according to the Buddhist faith. This place also features some architectural details unique to Ladakh, as well as sumptuous religious paintings.
Your day ends with a visit to the Royal Palace of Stok. This edifice was the last residence of the king of Ladakh. Now, it houses a museum that includes a beautiful collection of Perak, a traditional turquoise cap and tangkas. Later, in the evening, return to Leh hotel for overnight stay.