King Deldon Namgyal got the two-story Shey Gompa constructed in the year 1655, in the memory of his father. One of the highlights of the monastery is a two-story high image of the seated Buddha. The image is worked out of copper sheets, gilded with gold, and is the biggest metal statue and the second largest Buddha statue in Ladakh. It also contains sacrificial offerings such as grain, jewels, holy signs and mantras inside it. The upper story of the Shey Gompa is adorned with a number of beautiful wall paintings.
The walls on both the sides of Buddha display the 16 Arhats (Worthy Ones who have achieved Nirvana), 8 on each side. And the wall behind the statue has the images of Buddha’s two chief disciples, Sariputra and Maudgalyayana. Like this, almost every wall around the Buddha statue is painted with some image or the other. In the front of the Buddha is a large bowl of wax with a central flame, symbolic of divinity and purity, which burns for one year before being replaced. The lower story of the Shey Monastery of Leh Ladakh has a large library and is decked with murals of Buddha figures with hand gestures of various types.