Khamsar Khar

Lahaul & Spiti

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).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lahaul & Spiti attractions

1. Gemur Gompa

0.73 MILES

The masterpiece within this outwardly unremarkable 16th-century temple hides in a chamber at the back of the main idols: walk around to the right and…

2. Tayul Gompa

5.31 MILES

Perched high above the hamlet of Stingri, 4km east of Keylong, ancient Tayul Gompa has elegant mural work, a 4m-high statue of Padmasabhava and a…

3. Shashur Gompa


Founded in the 17th century by the Zanskari lama Deva Gyatsho, Shashur's original gompa, featuring 5m-high thangkas, is now encased within a modern…

4. Lahaul-Spiti Tribal Museum

7.01 MILES

At the west end of town, this semi-interesting museum can give context to what you've seen in local villages, ideas of other places to go and potted…

5. Kardang Gompa

7.39 MILES

On concrete stilts facing Keylong across the valley, Kardang Gompa has existed for 900 years, but was refounded in 1912. Maintained by an order of Drukpa…

6. Raja Ghepan Temple


Raja Ghepan, the presiding lord of Lahaul, resides on Ghepan (Gepang) mountain, which towers above Sissu, 4km west of the Rohtang Tunnel's northern…

7. Gondhla Fort

9.53 MILES

In Gondhla, 14km west of Sissu, this six-storey, stone-and-timber tower fort was built about 300 years ago and used to be a local thakur's (lord's)…

8. Rohtang La

17.32 MILES

A logistical nightmare or a scenic highlight depending on your experience, the Rohtang La (3978m) is, at least physically, the high point of a journey…