Lamayuru Monastery, also known as the Yuru Monastery, is one of the ancient Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries, located at Lamayouro, in the Leh District of Jammu & Kashmir, India. Many times, it is also referred by the name of Yungdrung Tharpaling Monastery.
Time and again, various legends have been associated with this monastery. According to one such legend, it is believed that there is a big lake present in the western direction of the monastery. People say that this lake is there since the time of the great Lord Buddha. The locals also say that this particular lake is home to several Naga Sadhus who have come there to seek liberation from the cycle of birth and death and attain Nirvana.
Talking about this lake, legends also say that once upon a time, Arahat Madhyantika also visited this lake to make offerings to the Nagas present there. For this, he made a crack in the ground of the lake itself; leaking out all the water. He also prophesied that this very place will flourish with the teachings of Sutra and Tantra.
The Lamayuru Monastery is considered the primary seat of Drikung Kagyu tradition. There are 50 monasteries which operate under the spiritual shade of Lamayuru Monastery. And the daily spiritual traditions and practices carried by the 300 monks here will simply win your heart.
The best time to visit Lamayuru Monastery is between July and August, as this is the time when Yuru Kabgyat takes place. Moreover, it is a great time for sightseeing as well. You can also consider travelling here in the months of May to October. During this time, the temperature is very pleasant.
History of Lamayuru Monastery
The famous Biblical scholar named August Hermann Francke stated that with the reference of popular tradition, Lamayuru Monastery was an ancient Bon Monastery in Ladakh. The name stands for Swastika (Eternity) which is a very famous symbol in Bon. According to Drikung history, this place was earlier a valley filled and then also dried up by popular Indian Scholar and a mystic named Naropa. He had done so to establish the Lamayuru Monastery in this region.
Major Attractions in and Around Lamayuru Monastery
It is quite an interesting landscape near Lamayuru situated on the Leh-Kargil Road which is a spellbinding spectacle to treat the eyes. It is believed that the scenic landscapes here resemble the radiance like that of the moon. It was due to this fact that the name of this monastery was kept Moonland.
2. Wanla Gompa
It is the sub-monastery of the Lamayuru which is known for providing shelter along with the necessities to the caretaker monk who is specifically responsible for performing the daily rituals. The main image of the temple features Avalokitesvara in an 11-headed form which is not less than a mystical thing to see and experience in itself.
Uleytokpo is quite popularly called the western base camp for tourists and travellers who are en route to Ladakh. This place is no less than a paradise for people who love travelling.
4. Experience Yuru Kabgyat
Yuru Kabgyat is a two-day festival that is considered as one of the major festivals in Ladakh’s calendar. During Yuru Kabgyat, traditional dance is performed that depicts the essential teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.
How to Reach Lamayuru Monastery
There are not many places which can make you fall in love with their natural abundance. Leh is one of them. Being a place full of renowned spiritual monasteries, a great number of people visit Leh all year round. It is situated at an approximate distance of 1,008, 2,416, 3,179, and 2,526 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata respectively. Here is how you can reach here by the following means of transportation.
Lamayuru doesn’t have an airport of its own. However, the nearest airport is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (IXL) situated at Leh which is located at an approximate distance of 125 km. From there, you will have to hire some means of transportation to reach the Lamayuru Monastery.
Lamayuru is quite well-connected with the overall road network. One can take frequent buses that run on this route from cities like Udhampur, Jammu, Srinagar, and Leh. You can make a reservation in one of these buses to reach Lamayuru Monastery.
This place doesn’t have a railway station of its own. The nearest railway station is Shri Vaishno Devi located at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station and from there you will need to hire a cab or locally available transport to reach your destination.