Lamayuru is the oldest and the most interesting monastery of Ladakh, situated 125 kilometers from Leh. On the way to Leh from Srinagar, you come to this amazing region of dusty mountains with a bizarre but beautiful texture. Here, Lamayuru village is settled inside a small, bowl-shaped valley formed out of a badland area. A tale accounts that once this valley was filled with a lake, but upon the prayer of a pious Buddhist, the valley was emptied of the water. Geologists have also found signs of there being water in this area a long time ago. It may be due to the presence of water that the land has eroded in a strange way so as to form large and fascinating shapes in the mountain that give Lamayuru its identity.
It is believed that this monastery was founded by Rinchen Zangpo, the founder of the Alchi monastery, which falls on the same route. Zangpo, a great translator and builder, a monk himself, had been given a charge by the kings of Ladakh of building 108 monasteries. Of all the monasteries he founded, Lamayuru is the set in the most unusual and interesting place.
This monastery that once housed hundreds of monks is today the home to hundred and fifty monks. The main gompa here had five buildings originally. However, four of those are mostly in ruined state today. There are some attractive murals in the monastery. The gompa also exhibits statues of bodhisattvas, chortens adorned with jewelry and ancient masks of chaam.
Lamayuru makes a good visit on your way to Leh from Kargil, or opposite. It is a place you should definitely take a halt at. You can plan your visit to the monastery along with your lunch at a fine restaurant nearby the monastery. Lamayuru also offers hotels for the night stay.
The way to Leh from Lamayuru is divided between two options. The new road is quick and less troublesome for the drivers. However, soon after Lamayuru, the old road passes in a snaking formation descending down the hill. This can be a rare and interesting site. The road is famously known as ‘jalebi mod’.
This wonderful and the oldest monastery of Ladakh, a true joy for the photographers, is definitely worthy of your visit if you are on the Leh-Srinagar road trip. Of all the wonderful attractions on this journey, this is certainly one.
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Lamayuru is situated around 125 kilometers away from Leh. It is one of the oldest monasteries of Ladakh. The most astonishing feature of this place is its unique and picturesque view that attracts photographers and tourists alike. It is believed to be founded by Rinchen Zangpo. Lamayuru is the residence of one hundred and fifty monks today. The main gompa has five buildings originally, but four of them are ruined today. This monastery has attractive murals and also exhibits statues of Bodhisattvas, chortens adorned with jewelry and ancient masks of chaam. At Lamayuru, hotels are available for night stay and food is not a problem.
||B (What is this?)
||Leh (125 km)
||Jammu Tawi in Jammu.
|How to reach:
||Well connected by road from Kargil and Leh and almost all the major parts of the state.
|Major Tourist Attraction:
||Lamayuru Monastery, Masked Dance, Wanla Gompa, Yangdrung Kabgyat festival
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