Ladakh monasteries, which have held tremendous religious significance for ages, are true reflectors of Buddism and its ageless beliefs. While all monasteries in Ladakh region draw huge crowds from all over the world, Lamayuru Gompa is particularly revered.

Lamayuru Monastery

Lamayuru is an amazing monastery of Ladakh, popular for its amazing beauty and adventurous trekking routes. This popular monastery belonged to the red-hat Buddhism sect and was founded by Mahasiddhacharya Naropa in 11th century. Ancient memories and old-heritage monuments can be seen drastically in this monument as this place is a good hub of ancient Thangkas, wall paintings etc.

This beautiful monastery is perfectly located on a steep mountain region in the mid of Kha-la-che and Bodhkharbu. There used to be 400 monks in this monastery at its peak. However, today there are 50 inmates here.

It is said that Lamayuru was a lake in the past and the monastery was built in its place after the lake dried. However, there is no proof of this statement. It is just a prediction. Naropa, founder of this monastery, found a dead lion over there in the past. For that, he constructed the first temple of Lion Mound (Singhe Ghang). Though he constructed five buildings, only one of them exists here today.

As per other historical studies, it is believed that the king of Ladakh had built Lamayuru buildings in 10th century and later on, he had donated them to Rinchen Zangbo. Yet another historical account states that the king of Ladakh suffered from Leprosy in the 16th century and the Lama had cured his disease. As a result, in order to thank Lama, the king donated these buildings to him. He has also served the Lama tax exemptions and other privileges. Simultaneously, he declared surrounding areas of the monastery as a sanctuary where there will be no prisons and arrests. No one will be arrested in this monastery area and hence the name 'Tharpa ling' for Lamayuru. Tharpa Ling literally means the 'place of freedom'.

Inside the Monastery

This spacious monastery has an assembly hall, temple as well as residential buildings. The assembly hall is called Dukhang and this temple in the monastery is called Gonkhang. There are residential buildings also in this monastery for the monks to live in.

Dukhang- The Assembly Hall

The walls of assembly hall Dukhang are colorfully painted with images of Buddhist deities.

Gonkhang - The Temple

This temple is entirely dedicated to guardians of Buddhism. There are three chortens in front of the temple with images of Avalokitesvara and the statues of Padmasambhava and eight Bodhisattvas residing in the small temple. There is also a cave beside the temple where the king Naropa used to meditate. Hence came the name Naropa's cave.

Yuru Kabgyat Festival

Yuru Kabgyat is an annual festival that is held at the monastery. A mask dance is performed by the Lamas during this time, which is the highlight of the festival. Burning of effigies is another prominent ritual followed by the devotees during this festival, which symbolizes ego destruction in every individual. Lamayuru Monastery is the venue of this sacred mask dance on 18th day of the 5th month of Tibetan Lunar calendar.

Lamayuru Trekking

Besides Buddhist culture and heritage, there are many more interesting things to see and do in Ladakh. Lamayuru is one of the popular trekking routes in Ladakh as it is a hub of some of the highest mountain ranges.

Lamayuru has become a favorite destination for trekkers with the stunning grasslands and equivalent facilities available here. The trekking experience in this region is unparalleled as Ladakh region offers unending trekking opportunities to enthusiasts.

The steep routes in this hilly region not only add beauty to the place but also offers a fabulous area to trek for enthusiasts. Some of the prominent and most preferred trek routes in Ladakh region are Lamayuru to Gompa, Rupshu valley, Likir to Temisgam, Trans Zanskar trek, Spituk to Markha valley and many other. Lamayuru Chilling and Lamayuru Martselang are some of the hot favorite trekking routes for tourists.

Lamayuru-Trans Zanskar route is also one massively flocked route in Ladakh. This route will offer more adventurous activities for trekkers and this is the reason for its massive trekking population. The start point will be at Lamayuru Gompa and the final destination would be Padum. Trekkers are supposed to cross four interesting high passes to reach their destination.

Best time to Trek in Lamayuru

Trekking should be planned carefully because in this activity it is important for the body to adjust to lower levels of oxygen. Generally, May to October is considered the right time to set ready for trekking in Ladakh.

What to carry on a Trekking Trip

Trekking is undoubtedly an adventurous activity with numerous thrilling moments and memories. Though it is thrilling experience, it is dangerous too so it’s important to plan it perfectly. There is a list of things that should be packed first for a trekking trip. Trekking boots, sunglasses, first aid kit, warm-waterproof clothes, sleeping bag and water purification tablets are top in the list to be packed.

How to Reach

By Train

There is no railway station at Lamayuru. However, one can take a train to Jammu, which is 250 km from here. Jammu is well-connected to all parts of the country.

By Air

Leh is the closest airport as it lies 125 km from Lamayuru. Cities such as Delhi, Srinagar and Jammu run regular flights to Leh. From the airport one can conveniently take a bus or car to get to Lamayuru.

By Road

One can reach Lamayuru by road from Leh, which is 250 km from here. Buses also runn to Lamayuru from Kargil and Srinagar. One can also hire a cab to get here independently.

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