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Skyline of Shey
Shey is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Location in Jammu and Kashmir, India
Shey is located in India
Shey (India)
Coordinates: 34°04′23″N 77°38′21″E / 34.0731818°N 77.6392939°E / 34.0731818; 77.6392939Coordinates: 34°04′23″N 77°38′21″E / 34.0731818°N 77.6392939°E / 34.0731818; 77.6392939
StateJammu and Kashmir
3,250 m (10,660 ft)
 • Total2,238
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
2011 census code858

Shey is a village in the Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir, India.[1] It is located in the Leh tehsil, 15 km. from Leh towards Hemis.

The old summer Palace of the kings of Ladakh is located here. The palace was built more than 555 years ago by Lhachen Palgyigon, the king of Ladakh. The palace has the largest golden Buddha statue in Ladakh.


Although there are a few indications that the Chinese knew of a trade route through Ladakh to India as early as the Kushan period (1st to 3rd centuries CE),[2] and certainly by Tang dynasty,[3] little is actually known of the history of the region until the formation of the kingdom towards the end of the 10th century by the Tibetan prince, Skyid lde nyima gon (or Nyima gon), a grandson of the anti-Buddhist Tibetan king, Langdarma (r. circa 838 to 841 CE). He conquered Western Tibet although his army originally numbered only 300 men. Several towns and castles are said to have been founded by Nyima gon and apparently ordered the construction of the main sculptures at Shey. "In an inscription he says he had them made for the religious benefit of the Tsanpo (the dynastical name of his father and ancestors), and of all the people of Ngaris (Western Tibet). This shows that already in this generation Langdarma's opposition to Buddhism had disappeared."[4] Shey, just 15 km east of modern Leh, was the ancient seat of the Ladakhi kings.


Shey is located in the upper Indus Valley, just 15 km east of the modern capital of Ladakh, Leh. It has an average elevation of 3,415 metres (11,204 feet).

Every year Sindhu Darshan Festival, is held here at Banks of River Sindhu.


According to the 2011 census of India, Shey has 398 households. The effective literacy rate (i.e. the literacy rate of population excluding children aged 6 and below) is 78.95%.[5]

Demographics (2011 Census)[5]
Total Male Female
Population 2238 1057 1181
Children aged below 6 years 257 146 111
Scheduled caste 0 0 0
Scheduled tribe 1935 931 1004
Literates 1564 750 814
Workers (all) 581 390 191
Main workers (total) 381 245 136
Main workers: Cultivators 9 9 0
Main workers: Agricultural labourers 8 6 2
Main workers: Household industry workers 1 1 0
Main workers: Other 363 229 134
Marginal workers (total) 200 145 55
Marginal workers: Cultivators 79 73 6
Marginal workers: Agricultural labourers 1 1 0
Marginal workers: Household industry workers 5 5 0
Marginal workers: Others 115 66 49
Non-workers 1657 667 990


The Druk White Lotus School, whose patrons include the 14th Dalai Lama and Richard Gere, is also located in Shey.


  1. ^ "Blockwise Village Amenity Directory" (PDF). Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  2. ^ Hill (2009), pp. 200-204.
  3. ^ Francke (1977 edition), pp. 76-78)
  4. ^ Francke (1914), pp. 89-90.
  5. ^ a b "Leh district census". 2011 Census of India. Directorate of Census Operations. Retrieved 23 July 2015.


  • Francke, A. H. (1977). A History of Ladakh. A. H. Francke (Originally published as, A History of Western Tibet, (1907). 1977 Edition with critical introduction and annotations by S. S. Gergan & F. M. Hassnain. Sterling Publishers, New Delhi.
  • Francke, A. H. (1914). Antiquities of Indian Tibet. Two Volumes. Calcutta. 1972 reprint: S. Chand, New Delhi.
  • Hill, John E. (2009). Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, 1st to 2nd Centuries CE. BookSurge, Charleston, South Carolina. ISBN 978-1-4392-2134-1.