Stok Palace


This stately three-storey edifice was built in 1820 by King Tsepal Namgyal – a good investment, it turned out, since 14 years later his larger main palace at Leh was sacked by the invading Dogra army. Well preserved, Stok Palace remains the summer home of the Ladakhi royals, and a handful of rooms display family treasures, including the queen’s ancient turquoise-and-gold yub-jhur (turquoise-encrusted headpiece) and a 16th-century Afghan sword that the king’s oracle managed to bend into a knot, Uri Geller–style.

Look out also for the turban-like crown said to have belonged to 7th century Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. The palace has a pleasant cafe, offering fine terrace views.