Khamsar Khar

Architecture

in Jispa & Gemur

High above Gemur but accessed on the side lane that winds up via Kolong, Khamsar Khar is an intriguing, unrestored Lahauli palace: 104 dusty, barely lit rooms in five storeys of brooding mud-walls. Highlights are the temple section, the carved wooden pillars of the inner courtyard, and the pitch-black kitchens that were once used as Lahaul's first school. Find the key holder in a house in Khamsar village, around 500m further north facing the big mani wall. The setting is delightful.

The palace belonged to a thakur (landlord) who, locals claim, was infamously cruel and karmically punished by having no male offspring (though apparently his daughter married into the Ladakhi royal family).