On a hillock in Shey village, 15 Km south of Leh is the most prominent Buddhist gompa of Jammu and Kashmir that is Shey Monastery. Shey Palace and the monastery are the highlighted attractions on any tour of Ladakh. Earlier, Shey was the summer capital of Ladakh. The huge statue of seated Shakyamuni Buddha made of copper with gilded gold is the favourite sight any visitor gaze at for long time when they come to Shey Monastery.
The monastery was built in 1655 as per the instructions given by Deldon Namgyal in the memory of Singay Namgyal, his father, within the palace complex. Now, mainly the ruins of the palace and the monastery are found here but it acts as the major symbol of tourism of Ladakh.
Structure of the monastery
At an average elevation of 3415 meters is the monastery is located. The statue of Shakyamuni Buddha is 12 meter long covering the three floors of the monastery. The walls on the sides of Buddha display the Arhats, 16 in total. Arhats are the saints who reached the status of Nirvana. The upper floor is magnified by the beautiful wall paintings and the lower floor gives space for a library where the preserved manuscripts can be read.
Location: It is located at a place south of Leh, around 15 km journey from the town.
Timings: It will be open from 06:00 am to 01:00 pm and 01:30 pm to 06:00 pm
Entry fee: INR 30 per person
Highlight: At the monastery, two annual festivals are held. One, to mark the beginning of sowing season and it is called Shey Doo Lhoo. The second one is Shey Rupla to indicate the harvesting season.