Shey Monastery Overview

Established in the 17th century, the Shey Monastery, among the most famous monasteries to visit with our leh packages. The Monastery served as the summer residence of the Ladakh royalty. The Monastery is best known to house a statue of Shakyamani Buddha. Owing to its fantastic location and the scenic route that leads the way, it is a popular hiking spot. Shey Monastery also conducts several important Buddhist festivals throughout the year

The Shey Monastery, perched on a hilltop, is one of Leh Ladakh's most prominent monasteries. Built in the year 1655 by the then king of Ladakh, the monastery once served as the summer retreat for royalty. The monastery, also known as Shey Palace or Shey Gompa, is famed for hosting a three-story copper statue of sitting Shakyamuni Buddha that is gilded in gold. The statue is considered Ladakh's second biggest idol.

Shey Gompa is situated in a fantastic location, providing beautiful views of the neighboring towns of Matho, Thiksey, Stok, Stakna, and Leh. In fact, the 4-kilometer-long trek leading up to the Monastery is rather popular among hikers in the area. The palace, which is now almost in ruins, is also home to many butter-lit lamps with a perpetual flame that burns constantly throughout the year. They must be changed every year in order for the flame to continue unhindered. The Monastery is home to only one resident lama, and thus a special permit is required to visit Shey. 

Monastery celebrates two festivals in a year- the Shey Doo Loo festival, performed in the first year of the Tibetan calendar month, celebrates the season of sowing, while the Shey Rupla festival celebrates new harvest. Dances, rituals and processions light up the monastery during this time.

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• Embark on a scenic trek along the cliff sides as you make your way to the monastery perched atop the hill
• Admire the murals and paintings that adorn the walls of the Shey Monastery
• Marvel at the colossal statue of the gilded Shakyamuni Buddha, the biggest highlight among the Monastery structures
• Explore the ancient relics and manuscripts that have been meticulously preserved in the Monastery’s library

How To Reach

Shey Monastery is located on the Leh Manali Highway. The best way to reach Shey from Leh or Manali is to either take a hired car, or hail any of the inter-state buses that run along the highway.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit the Shey Monastery would be during the late afternoon, preferably during the sunset hours. The prime position of the monastery commands excellent views of the horizon during a sunset. The trek to the gates too, appears twice as beautiful during this time.

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Other Essential Information

Festivals in Shey Monastery: 

The Shey Monastery conducts two festivals throughout the year. A two-day affair, the Shey Doo Lhoo festival celebrates the spirit of sowing at the beginning of each Tibetan calendar year. The festival is marked by Cham dances and special rituals performed by the resident lamas. The second festival, Shey Rupla, is the festival of harvest. Visitors from local villages pay tribute to the yearly harvest. A special costumed dance called the Rupla dance is also performed.

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Things to keep in mind before visiting the Shey Monastery

  • Photography and videography is strictly prohibited in the vicinity of the monastery 
  • Visitors are advised to speak softly, as loud noise is prohibited in the monastery premises 
  • Statues and wall paintings in the monastery should not be touched
  • The Museum and Library function on a no touch policy as well
  • A special Inner Line permit is required to visit the monastery

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Day Wise Timings
Open Today
Normal Timings:
08:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Normal Timings:
08:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Normal Timings:
08:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Normal Timings:
08:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Normal Timings:
08:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Normal Timings:
08:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Normal Timings:
08:00 AM to 06:00 PM

Tourism Board Alliances

Shey Monastery FAQs

Are there any places to stay near the Shey Monastery?

While there is no accommodation facility in the exact vicinity of the monastery, there are a number of camps and guesthouses located a short distance away. 

  • Chakshi Guest House: Located opposite the Shey Monastery, Chakshi Guest House features modest, well-equipped rooms with views to the mountains.

Distance: 0.2 km

  • Bikamp at Leh: A paradise for outdoor campers, Bikamp at Leh is a traditional tent-camp nestled on the banks of the river Indus. Apart from its superior tents, the camp also features a restaurant and adventure sports facilities.

Distance: 4.6 km

  • Chamba Camp Thiksey: Chamba Camp is a luxury camp setting in Thiksey, offering private rooms for staying in a charming natural setting. The camp also features an on-site restaurant, a sprawling lawn, and sports facilities. 

Distance: 5.5 km

What are the timings of the Shey Monastery?

The Monastery remains open between 06.00 AM- 01.00 PM and 01.30 PM- 06.00 PM on all days of the week

What is the biggest attraction of the Shey Monastery?

The biggest attraction at the Shey Monastery is the colossal statue of the Shakyamuni Buddha, which is said to be one of the most revered sights in Ladakh.

How good is the mobile network coverage at the Shey Monastery?

The mobile network coverage in the monastery area is fairly poor. Some networks, such as BSNL and Airtel, might provide feeble connection.

What are some Ladakh Tour Packages that also includes Shey Monastery?

Here is the list of some of the Ladakh Packages which also covers Shey Monastery -

1) Cheapest Ladakh Tour Package

2) Leh Ladakh Bike Trip from Delhi

3) Leh Ladakh Bike Trip

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