Placed on hilltops, casting a panoramic view of the valley and surrounded by the spectacular snow peaks, monasteries in Ladakh are magnetically enchanting. One such monastery is Lamayuru Monastery. It is about 127 km from Leh town and on a steep hill between Bodhkharbu and Kha-la-che. Colorful prayer flags fluttering along the mountain edges, and fresh breeze add to its beauty. Often you can spot monks in maroon robes silently climbing their way to the monasteries.There are legends associated with the Lamayuru Monastery. It is believed the Lamayuru was once a lake, and the blessings of a lama made it reach atop the hill.
The monastery is home to 150 monks and follows the Red-Hat sect of Buddhism. Lamayuru Monastery is also known as Yung Drung or Swastika Monastery. It has many shrines and a rich collection of thangkas and wall paintings.
Initially, the monastery had five buildings, but only today's central facility exists. Annual festivals on the fifth month of the Tibetan Lunar calendar are held in Lamayuru Monastery, where masked dances are performed. Monks from the other monasteries also participate in the celebrations.
Everything You Should Know Before Visiting Lamayuru Monastery
History of Lamayuru Monastery
According to the historical records, the king of Ladakh built this Monastery in the 10th century and donated it to Rinchen Zangpo. However, there are also several other historical events associated with Lamayuru Monastery. Another historical record says that during the 16th century, the king of Ladakh expressed his gratitude and offered this monastery. Apart from it, the king also announced this region of Ladakh as a Sanctuary, and no one would be arrested policy was also established here. Hence, this region is also known as The Place of Freedom.
Architecture of Lamayuru Monastery
The beauty of this monastery lies in its simple architectural design. In this Monastery, you will see a Dukhang, an assembly hall. And the wall of this hall is beautifully painted with images of Buddhist deities. But, the major highlight of Lamayuru Monastery is the painting of Gonkhand That is dedicated to Guardians of Buddhism. Moreover, you will also see 3 Chortens at the front of the shrine. And in this shrine, you will find an image of Avalokitesvara (principal patron deity of Tibet) with 1000 arms and 11 heads of Padmasambhava and statues of eight Bodhisattvas. Besides, this monastery has a cave, and it is believed that he meditated there.
Tourist Attractions Near Lamayuru Monastery
There are various tourist attractions around this monastery that you should visit while enjoying your visit here. And the best part is that you will explore the nearby area and get some new travel experiences. In addition, you will get to know about the Tibetan and Buddhist culture by exploring these hotspots. However, you must stay here for hours to get a wholesome experience. Below are some of the best places to visit near Lamayuru Monastery.
Moonland: It is one of the most fantastical lands of the entire Ladakhk that will make you feel like you are on the moon. This is located on Leh-Kargil Road and offers a visual feast to your eyes.
Wanla Gompa: This region's sub-monastery offers shelter to the caretaker monks and facilities for a comfortable stay. Stay in the temple and practice meditation and get an insight into Buddhist and Tibet culture is just something else.
Uleytokpo: It is a western base camp that tourists must visit to get new experiences. This attraction attracts tourists who are going to Lamayuru for a visit.
Festival Celebrated in Lamayuru Monastery
The Festival celebration in Ladakh is unique and fascinating, attracting tourists from all over the world. And if you are willing to know which festival is celebrated in Lamayuru, then be glad because Yuru Kabgyat is the one. It is one of the most famous festivals here, a two-day festival. And the best part is that it has great significance and is considered one of the major festivals of Ladakh. Monks from different parts of the world visit here to attend this festival. During this festival celebration, you will witness musical performances, dances, dramas, and programs depicting Buddha's life and several cultural stories.
Best Time to Visit Lamayuru Monastery
The opening time of Lamayuru Monastery is from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. However, you can stay late here for more exploration. Moreover, the best time to visit Lamayuru Monastery is between April to June. During these months, the climate is pleasant and warm. You can easily explore the nearby attractions and enjoy joyful sightseeing. However, avoiding the winter if you are looking for some adventure is advised, as the trekking route will be closed due to heavy snowfall after November.
How to Reach Lamayuru Monastery
You can easily reach this Monastery from Leh by taxi or state bus. However, during the winter, cabs are better choices than the bus. And you should book a cab or bus to get there and you will also cover major tourist attractions while enjoying your road trip. Lamayuru to Leh distance would be around 114 km that you can cover within 3 hours. The scenic views that you will get will astound you and allure you to click multiple pictures of incredible landscapes.
Road Condition to Reach Lamayuru Monastery
The road condition is quite good to reach Lamayuru, but the winter may give you a challenging vibe. But you can enjoy the road trip in winter along with a combination of experienced drivers and cabs. However, there are better winter options than buses to reach Lamayuru.
Traveling Tips for Lamayuru Monastery
- You will not require any Inner Line Permit to visit. Lamayuru Monastery because it is located on Srinagar-Leh- Highway.
- You are not allowed to click pictures in the prayer hall of this monastery.
- Take permission from monks and locals before clicking their pictures.
- Mobile connectivity at Lamayuru Monastery works for Airtel and BSNL postpaid connection.
- Carry extra woolen clothes as Lamayuru is located at a high altitude.
- Remember to carry essential medicine and give yourself enough time to prevent Acute motion Sickness.
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