Lamayuru Monastery Ladakh is located between Bodhkharbu and Kha-la-che. Unique like its name, the monastery is standing gloriously on a steep rock mountain. Recognized as one of the oldest monasteries in the region, it allures heritage lovers as well as spirituality seekers. Maintained by Red-Hat sect of Buddhism, the monastery is home to around 150 monks who stay, learn and practice Buddhism here.
Noted for different reasons, Lamayuru Monastery in Ladakh is amongst the must-visit places of the region. Tourists visit the monastery to learn spirituality and to spend some time in the beautiful location in the sacred aura. It is also serving as the meditation centre. Lamayuru Trek takes one to the scenic location and peaceful environment of the monastery which is hypnotic.
Being the oldest monastery in the region, it has a great history. Supported by different legends and beliefs, this is an interesting place to visit. Originally consisted of five buildings, now the monastery is left with one single building. Remains of the four buildings are the evidences of the original construction. Established in the 11th century, the monastery was founded by Mahasiddh Acharya Naropa. In its earlier days, it was serving as home to around 400 monks who used to practice Buddhism here.
Lamayuru monastery is a collection of many shrines. Loaded with thangkas and wall-paintings, the monastery looks amazing. Architecture of the monastery includes the 'Dukhang', which is an assembly hall. Located on the right side, it has colourful depiction of directions about the life. Enlightening the life of a lama, these depictions are the guidelines for the monks. It also has an image of teaching Buddha, which is also known as Vairocana. The temple also has a small cave, which is named as Norpa's cave. It is believed that this was the meditation place of Norpa. Another highlight of the temple is Kanshur, 108 volumes of the teachings by Buddha.
The monastery hosts the 2-day Yuru Kabgyat Festival different festivals, for which monks here start their preparations since a long back. These are also known as the 'Mask Festival'. During these festivals, monks perform sacred mask dances for several hours. Participants from upper as well as lower valley visit the monastery to mark their presence during the festival. Lamas from countries like Tibet, Japan, Korea and China come here to attend this festival.
Best Time to Visit
June to September is the best time to visit Lamayuru. Roads are clear during this time without snow. July is the month for Yuru Kabgyat Festival which is attended by Buddhists from all over the world.
How to Reach
The nearest airport is the Leh airport, about 125 km (4-hour drive) from Lamayuru. Being a mountain state, there is no train station, hence nearest people have to use Jammu Rawi Railhead in Jammuand then take a bus or taxi. Roads in Lamayuru are quite decent and buses/taxis are easily available.
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