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Shey Monastery

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The Shey Monastery or Gompa and the Shey Palace complex are structures located on a hillock in Shey, Shey was the summer capital of Ladakh in the past. The Shey Monastery was built in 1655 on the instructions of Deldon Namgyal, in the memory of his late father, Singay Namgyal, within the palace complex. The monastery is noted for its giant copper with gilded gold statue of a seated Shakyamuni Buddha.It is said to be the second largest such statue in Ladakh. Its is 12 metres icon covering three floors of the monastery. The walls on both the sides of Buddha display the 16 Arhats, 8 on each side. The wall behind the statue has the images of the Buddha's two chief .Perched on top of the hill, the monastery commands panoramic view of the surroundings of Thikse, Stakna,Matho, Stok and also Leh.


There are two seasonal festivals held here every year. The first festival is held at Shey Palace on the 26th and 27th day of the first month of the Tibetan calendar corresponding to July or August month of the Gregorian calendar. This festival is called “Shey Doo Lhoo” to mark the beginning of the sowing season. The second festival is called the “Shey Rupla” that marks the harvesting season. On this occasion farmers offer the first fruits of the corn at the monastery. A dance called the “Rhupla dance” is performed by two men in tiger costumes. Other forms of folk dances are also performed. Two soothsayers also visit the festival and give out oracles.




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