Tisseru Stupa

Buddhist Monument in Leh

Ladakh's largest stupa is unlike anything else in the region – a giant, bulky mudbrick structure that looks like a half-built ziggurat (stepped pyramid). Were its interior staircases accessible rather than locked behind wooden doors, this 15th-century monument might be one of Leh's bigger attractions, but for now there's nothing to do here beyond clicking a photo in passing.

Tisseru's construction by King Gragspa Bumlde encased a large boulder nicknamed the 'Yellow Mule' crag. This was necessary, legend has it, as the rock had been inhabited by malevolent spirits who had caused Gragspa's queen to fall ill when she gazed upon the stone.

In the 1990s the structure had dissolved to such an extent that it looked little more than a muddy hill. Ongoing restoration now shows the original form much better, with the three lower sections neatly rebuilt while the pointed crown remains a pile of unreconstructed rubble.