The old capital of Ladakh, Shey is situated in the upper Indus valley in Jammu and Kashmir in north India. It lies on the route between Leh and Hemis Monastery, 15 km from Leh. Shey Palace, the erstwhile royal residence of the Ladakh monarchs, is the main attraction of Shey. The palace was built by King Deldan Namgyal in 1655 AD. Namgyal also made Shey his summer capital. It offers views of a vast expanse of the surrounding valleys. Currently, the palace serves as a center of Buddhism and houses the Shey monastery. It has the largest golden Buddha statue and covers almost three floors of the monastery. Painting on the walls, murals and sculptures of Buddha are worth seeing.
There are no historical records to prove Shey’s antiquity but it is generally believed that Shey was settled by a Tibetan prince Nyima Gon in the 10th century. Several buildings and sculptures built by Nyima have inscriptions that point to this fact. At a short distance from the palace lies the village of Shey which has around 700 houses. The Druk Padma Karpo Institute at the village has become a tourist attraction after the success of the Bollywood movie 3 Idiots. The school was shown as the school run by Aamir Khan’s character Rancho in the movie. After the resounding success of 3 Idiots, the school is known as Rancho’s school.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SHEY
Shey village boasts of luxury as well as mid-range hotels. Since Shey is just 15 km from Leh, tourists also prefer to stay there and visit during the day. Leh offers a range of hotels, guest houses and lodges to stay.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN SHEY
Like in other areas of Ladakh, restaurants in Shey serve Indian, Chinese, Tibetan and Italian cuisines.
BEST TIME TO VISIT SHEY
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Shey is as given below. The best time to visit Shey is also specified.