Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Ladakh - Day 3 - Stok
Stok is a village on the southern bank of the Indus, overlooked by the Stok (17139 ft) and Stok Kangri (20,088 ft) peaks.
Its famous for its palace that now houses a fascinating museum in one wing. Built by king Tsepal Nyamgal in 1820, the palace became the permanent royal res idence when the invading Dogra army devastated the Leh castle in 1834 and forced the king to abdicate. The erstwhile royals still live in one wing of the 77 room palace while much of the dynasty’s heirlooms are on display at the museum.
The approaching road from the palace
The palace commands superb views; the kind of views that make you feel it was worth coming to this world, for all its pain, for all its miseries...
Here I am, enjoying these views
As we returned
Those of you have read my post about Khirganga would know about Arun Babaji, the mysterios man. A few days after I returned from Leh, he had called up to tell me that he had toured Ladakh recently and stayed in the Stok palace following an invitation from the Queen!
Also, he had visited Bangalore a few months after that to meet a few friends, yours truly being one among them. We met at Lalbagh where I used to go for my morning walk and after a short walk, we went to MTR and had Masale Dose, Idli and Jamoon! WE met again at Pizza hut at Brigade road and ate Tortillas and Pizza! Babaji loves to eat.
During conversation, he showed me Arnold Schwarzenegger’s phone number and told me that when he went to California, he stayed in the governer’s place! Of course, the next day, perhaps regretting having revealed too much about himself, he called to tell me that it was a joke!
Anyway, you get back to pictures of Stok :-)