A proud sentinel of a millennium of heritage, tangible and intangible with its enduring rituals and traditions, the mural adorned walls reverberating with the chants of our in house monastery.
Himalayan Buddhism is rich in tangible and intangible heritage and rituals. A monastery in house at the Stok Palace with traditional prayers and daily rituals officiated by a monk is a living embodiment of heritage itself.
DAILY MORNINGS AND EVENINGS
The Stok Palace has a buddhist temple on the upper-most floor of the palace. Guests staying at the Stok Palace Heritage Hotel have privileged access to the Lhakchung Temple. The resident monk here performs daily prayers and rituals as part of his duties. Guests are welcome to be quiet observers to enchanting routine.
Each amulet usually contains a hand written prayer on a piece of cloth or paper which is then folded and either sewn into a piece of hand-woven tapestry or bound by different colored sacred threads that bind the paper in a pattern as per the amulet’s purpose.
You may gift an amulet to a loved or respected one for a defined purpose such as a prayer for good health or well being; or a prayer for peace or compassion.
The monastery has a notable library including all 108 volumes of the Kangyur (a collection of the Buddha's own teachings in their Tibetan translation). A ritual masked dance festival is held annually in Febraury/March - the Guru Tsechu Festival. Next to the monastery is the 71 feet (22 m) high seated Gautama Buddha statue and temple, consecrated by the 14th Dalai Lama in 2016.
The picturesque, quaint village of Stok lies nestled at the base of the might Stok range with the Stok Kangri peak (6150 m). The valley, home to Stok Chu river is a very green and fertile area.
Ladakhi houses are built with sun-baked mud bricks and wooden beams of poplar and willow. The bricks are plastered with clay giving a striking whitewash appearance. The houses are surrounded by their own land with a high mud brick wall. Poplar and willow trees are planted around the edge of the fields to provided timber for building and heat.
Irrigation ditches bring water down from the hills and in places there were small metal pumps which, for many, is the only source of water.
A walk through the village will reveal that the locals work with a quiet efficiency and are nearly self-sufficient. Their sustainable approach to living is something we should learn to mimic in our daily lives.
Stok village that brings alive a way of life that has not seen much change over centuries. As one strolls through white-washed Chortens and mud-brick homes strewn across barley fields, adorned by fluttering prayer flags wielded in the wind, carrying good-will and peace to all sentient beings. It could be arranged for guests to visit a village home for a steaming cup of butter tea or Chhaang (local barely beer).
The culinary cosmos of Ladakhi cuisine is as myriad as the stars seen in its clear night sky. From the all popular Momos and Thukpa to the lesser-known Chhurpe, Chhutagi, Skyu and more, Ladakh has as much to offer your tastebuds as it has to offer to your tingling travel legs. The traditional kitchen at Stok Palace has innumerable secret recipes, curated and perfected over a millennium. Come experience the true taste of Ladakh with fresh highland produce of all regions of Ladakh coming together in one magical unison.
STOK PALACE HERITAGE HOTEL LADAKH