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Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh

The Castle of Leh And The Temple Of Namgial Tasemo

Photo of Leh palace, Tsemo

Leh is the capital of Ladakh and there are many temples, castles and stupas here, which were built by the ancestral Dharmaraja. Leh was the Ist of all the capital of King Takspa Bum-lde who rules over the area of Stod, which included Leh from 2400 to 1430. It was he who built the 'Red Chapel' containing the statue of the Buddha Maitreya, three storey in height with the statue of Avalokitesvara & Manjusri on either side, each one storey high. As speech-supports he had the Sungbum Chenmo and many other sacred texts written out in gold & silver. As a mind support he built, the stupa of Ti'u-Tashis Od-phro containing 108 temples inside. He built this stupa on top of the so-called Yellow- Te'u Demon which had been harming the valley of Leh. The ruin of the stupa can be seen to this day and is known to everyone as Tisuru. Thereafter, the temple of Namgail Tsemo was built during the lifetime of King Tashi Namgial who ruled from 1500 to 1532. He founded the village of Chubi.

The Leh Palace, known as "Lhachen Palkhar" was built by Dharmaraja Singey Namgial in 1600. It has 9 storey. The historians say that its completion took three years. Sankar monastery in Leh which the first Skyabsje Bakula Rinpoche founded is a branch monastery of Spituk Monastery.In the town of Leh there is a yellow stupa called the "Mani Sermo" which was built by Rinchen Zangpo, the famous Translator.In the heart of Leh town is the New monastery called Gonpa Soma. The festival of Dosmochey in Leh takes place every year on the 28th & 29th of the Tibetan 12th month. The monks of different monasteries are invited by turn to perform the ceremonies, which ensure health & prosperity. The monks of Takthog monastery come and erect a large thread-cross model (Dosmochey) after which the festival is named. Continuing on the Changspa Lane across the stream, you reach the start of the stiff climb up to the new white peace pagoda "Shanti Stupa" built in 1983.

The architecturally striking Leh Mosque, in the main Bazaar is worth visiting.The Sunni Muslim Mosque is believed to stand on land granted by King Deldan Namgial in the 1660s.