Withstanding modernity, tradition, environment and time.
Built entirely by the Ladakhi craftsmen in 1820, the Stok Palace still continues to be a snug abode for the Namgyal dynasty. The Namgyal dynasty traces its origin to its founder –Lhachen Palgygon as early as 10th century. You are entering a historical property and the Palace stands almost 200 years old. The Stok Palace was opened to public in 1980 with blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It encapsulates and reflects the lifestyle and history of royalty set in the midst of the valley of Singey Sangpo which is popularly known as the Indus River.
Architectural significance and features
The construction of palace complex at Stok a significant architectural landmark among the buildings in the Ladakh region built by the rulers of the Namgyal Dynasty. It marks the final phase of the evolution of fortified palace residences characteristic of this region. Although smaller in typological characteristic and elements used, the combined clarity of concept and a remarkably high level of attention to detail and craftsmanship attest to its architectural significance. This building showcases several important features such as the ingenious system of spatial planning with access passages, important rooms including the royal apartments and prayer chamber are arranged around multi-level interlinked courtyards, elevation elements including the large, decorative projected balconies at the upper levels of the otherwise austere five storied main building, support and service space found only in buildings of this type such as three storied grain silos and drainage passages, have resulted in a building which together with the surrounding courtiers’ houses is an outstanding example of the vernacular architecture of this area. It is also unique in that it is the only residential complex in the region which contains murals of very high quality on various themes, both secular and religious.
Spaces such as the entry courtyard and yabkhor (veranda) and Lhakchung (temple) on the upper floor, indicate the pivotal role of the palace in the social and religious activities of the Ladakhis in the past. In addition, the numerous chortens (stupas) and mane walls in the vicinity attest to the cultural significance of the palace.