By virtue of being at an altitude of about 11700 feet above sea level, the Leh Palace - a nine storeyed edifice perched on the edge of the Namgyal Hill of Leh city, was once the highest building in the world. The palace dominates the cityscape of Leh as it stands the tallest sprawled all over the hill overlooking the city. Little did King Singge Namgyal know that he was creating a ‘wonder’ when he ordered its construction way back in the 17th Century!
Epitomizing medieval Tibetan architecture, the Leh Palace was modelled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa, which was the chief residence of Dalai Lama till the 14th Dalai Lama. Colossal sloping buttressed walls with protruding wooden balconies typify the architecture to Tibet region. The upper floors housed the royalty while the lower floors were made the storerooms and stables. The flaking murals stand testimony to the erstwhile grandeur would present you a slightly distorted image and ambience of the royal living. View from the palace floors and the rooftop provide panoramic views of Leh city and the snow capped Stok Kangri mountains. The palace is open all day for public. A flashlight is required to navigate through some of the dark rooms and corridors, concealed stairways and holes in the floors.