This arts-media trust occupies an adjoining pair of 17th-century Ladakhi mansions, one of which was the home of the munshi (king's secretary) and thus one of the finest homes of its era. Beautifully restored since 2006, it provides an interesting backdrop to often-fascinating art exhibitions, film screenings and author talks. A series of guided walking tours is being prepared.

Personalised 20-minute guided tours point out features you might otherwise miss, such as the window between the two households used to transfer embers when one's fire went out, a fragment of the now-lost city wall (in the colourful Bukhari room) and the false floor panel that covers a 1.5m-deep granary. In years gone by, a small child would be lowered in on a rope to access stored barley.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Leh attractions

1. Leh Old Town

0.02 MILES

Behind Leh’s central Jamia Masjid, winding alleys and stairways burrow between and beneath a series of old mud-brick Ladakhi houses and eroded chortens…

2. Chamba Lhakhang

0.04 MILES

The early 15th-century Chamba Lhakhang was one of a trio of Maitreya ('future Buddha') temples built in Leh by King Draspa Bum-lde. The obvious…

3. Leh Palace

0.04 MILES

Bearing a passing similarity to the Potala Palace in Lhasa (Tibet), this nine-storey dun-coloured edifice is Leh's dominant structure and architectural…

4. Guru Lhakhang

0.05 MILES

Restored in 2004 but often locked, this 17th-century shrine to Padmasambhava sits on the edge of the Old Town palace ridge, directly below the palace and…

5. Chandazik Gompa

0.07 MILES

Till the 1950s, this temple was Leh's main Buddhist place of public worship. It features internal murals celebrating the pantheon of 1000 Buddhas, of…

6. Jamia Masjid

0.08 MILES

In the heart of Leh's market area, the first mosque on this site was built in 1666–67, sealing a political agreement between Ladakh's then ruler Deldan…

7. Central Asian Museum

0.11 MILES

One of Leh's most remarkable buildings, this tapered four-storey stone tower is a modern construction based on a historic Lhasa mansion and built on the…

8. Chokhang Vihara

0.14 MILES

With its coppiced willows, the large courtyard of this 20th-century temple offers an oasis of relatively meditative calm just steps from the bustle of…