The village of Lamayuru is located along the NH1 connecting Srinagar and Leh. The landscape of Lamayuru resembles that of a moon which attracts a large number of visitors to this place, although it is in a very remote location.
The feeling of witnessing the beauty of this landscape, especially during the full moon nights cannot be expressed in words. The major attraction here apart from the landscape is the Lamayuru monastery which is built into the moonscape at a height of 3510 m. The landscape of this place is truly incredible with its odd geological formations, which are very unique to Lamayuru.
PC: a minha menina
The Lamayuru monastery was founded in the 11th century by Mahasiddacharya Naropa. The monastery gives an appearance of being a cave monastery. The credit for this goes to the moonscape of the land. The monastery has five buildings, which are in ruins today.
The monastery is also known as Yung Dung and is home to more than 150 odd monks. The monastery also houses a magnificent collection of artifacts, wall paintings, thangas, statues, carpets and also an image of an 11 headed, 1000 eyed Chenzing.
The Lamayuru monastery dates back to the 10th century, when an Indian scholar Mahasiddhacharya Naropa dried up a lake which was the main water source of the entire region and laid the foundation stone of the Lamayuru monastery.
PC: victor Despons
The monastery is one of the oldest and the largest monasteries in the region of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir and is located approximately 127 km from Leh on a steep mountain between Bodhkharbu and Kha-la-che.
The place is well known for its two annual festivals celebrated on a grand scale, which are Yuru Kab Gyat and Hemis Tse Chu which are celebrated in the second and fifth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar. The festival of Hemis Tse Chu is celebrated for two days and is also the biggest monastic festival in Ladakh.
The festival is celebrated in honour of Guru Padmasambhava, who was the founder of Tantri Buddhism. The festival aims at taming and conversion of the Bon Po gods and demons who are housed in the buddhist temples as guardian deities.
PC: Steve Hicks
The second festival which is celebrated here is the Yuru Kab Gyat which is a two-day celebration of the sacred dances and rituals which are being conducted by the monks who wear colourful masks and represent the various guardian deities of the place.
For one to reach Lamayuru, one needs to travel around 107 km west from Leh. You can opt to take a short bypass from the Srinagar-Leh road and stay put on the trail through the Prikiti La pass which is the gateway to Zanskar valley.
The months from June to September are considered as the best time to visit the place as the roads are cleared after being under the snow for several months.