‘Lhachen Palkhar’, popularly known as the Leh Palace, was the royal abode of the rulers of the Leh Kingdom. It was built by the Namgyal dynasty over a period of 100 years by various Namgyal rulers. The palace sits atop the Tsemo hill and provides breathtaking views of the mountain ranges of Stok Kangri and Ladakh. The palace stands tall with nine stories, of which the upper floors are said to have been used by the royal family as residence while the lower floors were used mainly for stocking provisions and animals.
The design of the palace is a classic example of ancient Tibetan architecture. The walls of the palace are festooned with murals that retell the splendor of the former days. The monastery within the palace is adorned with a statue of Lord Buddha, while centuries old paintings like the Tibetan thangkas grace the walls of the exhibition chambers. The palace also houses a sterling collection of jewels, royal garments, and crowns. The famous Victory Tower lies above the palace and commemorates the famous conflict between the attacking Balti Kashmiri army and the staunch defense put up by the Ladakhi soldiers in the 16th century. Although marred by time and in ruins, the Leh Palace is now being restored by the Archaeological Survey of India.