Shey Monastery, Leh

#22 of 77 in Things to do in Leh
The Shey Monastery or Gompa and the Shey Palace complex are structures located on a hillock in Shey, 15km to the south of Leh in Ladakh, northern India on the Leh-Manali road. Shey was the summer capital of Ladakh in the past.The palace, mostly in ruins now, was built first in 1655, near Shey village, by the king of Ladakh, Deldan Namgyal, also known as Lhachen Palgyigon. It was used as a summer retreat by the kings of Ladakh.The Shey Monastery was also built in 1655 on the instructions of Deldon Namgyal, in the memory of his late father, Singay Namgyal, within the palace complex. The monastery is noted for its giant copper with gilded gold statue of a seated Shakyamuni Buddha. Shakyamuni Buddha is so named since Buddha was the sage (muni) of the Sakya people who resided in the Himalayan foothills and their capital was Kapilvastu. It is said to be the second largest such statue in Ladakh.HistoryShey was the old capital of the upper Ladakh region. When the Dogras of Jammu invaded Ladakh in 1842, the Namgyals abandoned the palace and fled to Stok (they made it their permanent residence) on the opposite side of the Indus River. It is conjectured that the fort found in ruins, not dated, above the present palace at Shey, belonged to this period of invasion. Subsequently when the political dictates necessitated shifting of the capital to Leh, even then the importance of Shey continued since it was a mandatory requirement of the Namgyal kings to father their heir apparent here.
See Shey Monastery and all Leh has to offer by arranging your trip with our Leh visit app .
Create an itinerary including Shey Monastery
Places to stay near Shey Monastery
Shey Monastery Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.0
192 reviews
  • The drive itself to Shey is wonderful (in fact, if you pass the monastery, you will see a beautiful field of ancient stupas as you approach the next hilltop monastery). These gorgeous Buddhist sites c...  more »
  • Most of the monastery is in shambles. The temple is well maintained and the scenery is excellent, on your way up and from the top !  more »
  • Interesting and charming, but in I preferred Thiksey for beauty. A little in dis-repair but still worthwhile if you have the time.  more »
  • The climb to Shey palace is a bit steep. It offers a great view of the surroundings. The Palace is in ruined state. There is a monastery adjacent to it having a 3 meter tall statue of Buddha.
  • Place is awesome and feels like one is bound to nature and gives a brief overview of civilisation during the kings era when it was the capital...
  • This is not a monastery. This is a palace. This was the capital of ladakh during the time of king deldan Namgyal dynasty.
  • It's a place of buddhist worship and nice place.
  • The architecture is very beautiful. The Budhha statue mesmerised us.. it cannot be captured in single frame...

Plan your trip to Leh

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Shey Monastery by other users

View more plans