The palace is distinguished monument and a historical building. The nine-storeyed palace was built by the 17th century illustrious ruler of Ladakh, Sengge Namgyal. It is an imposing structure, though in ruins now, situated on a hill and commands a grand view of the Leh town. The building in grand Tibetan architecture is said to have inspired the famous potala of Lahasa, built half a century later. Namgyal Tsemo, the peak overlooking the town, are the ruins of the fortbuilt, by the king Tashi namgyal in the 16th century, as a royal residence.