The village of Stok is an hour’s drive from Leh city, connected by the ‘zampa’ or bridge at Choglamsar. Stok houses different families, but most remain linked through their lineages. The locals here are well off, and apart from cultivation have their own respectable government jobs, with children working or studying in different parts of India.
In cities we live in vertical buildings remaining ignorant of our next-door neighbors; in a place like Stok people living in houses that are parallel, remain well connected to each other. A strong feature of their social life is how they prevent conflicts - A Sarpanch of the village ensures that basic decisions are taken by the village itself. Also people who happen to be present during a conflict of any type - simply act as arbitrators persuading the two parties to reach an agreement, preventing outer interventions.
There is a single privately funded school in Stok, The Siddhartha High School, and its director Khen Rinpoche has a residence in Stok, apart from Washington in USA, where he lives and lectures.
Stok Palace and Stok Monastary remain places of attractions during the tourist season. In the year 2014, Stok apart from Leh will see a flood of overseas tourism, due to the Kalchakra, which the Dalai Lama will be a part of at Cholglamsar.