“Lamayuru, Ladakh, India”

There are many articles that depict the beauty of Ladakh. Every year, there will be someone, whom you know of, to be traveling to this place. It is referred to by many as the mecca for adventure junkies. Although it is located at a distance of 474 km from Manali and 434 km from Srinagar, its location has never been a matter of concern for travelers. A backpacker’s haven, Ladakh has lakes, trekking trails, valleys, monasteries, and beautiful villages.

Let’s get to know about Lamayuru, a small village in Ladakh, midway between Kargil and Leh on the way to Stok Palace, our hotel in Ladakh. The place is often referred to as the “Moonland of Ladakh” because Moonlike landscapes are carved into the Greater Himalayas in this region of Ladakh.

A small village in Ladakh, Lamayuru is an ideal place to take a break in the journey from Kargil to Leh. About 100 km before Leh, right after Fotu la which is the highest pass in the Leh-Srinagar Highway. Locals believe that this place was once a lake that dried up. Remains on top of the Leh tourism charts, this tiny village is the home to one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh.

Lamayuru Monastery:

It is the main attraction in Lamayuru, being one of the oldest and largest monasteries in Ladakh, it has many stories and legends associated with it. Back in the 11th century when a scholar named Mahasiddhacharya Naropa laid the foundation stone of this monastery, it is believed that his prayers caused drying up the lake that provided water to an entire village; and because the water moved away, the place got moonlike craters.

The monastery initially had five buildings, but only the central building survived. Even after losing much of its valor, it still remains worthy for photographers and interested travelers. The monastery is home to150 Buddhist monks, though once there used to be more than 400 monks. Stok Gompa, a subsidiary of Spitok and a part of Stok Palace, our hotel in Ladakh is one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh. Don’t forget to drink the famous butter-brewed Gurgur Tea

Climbing the meditation hills gives the best views of the moonscapes of Lamayuru. Monks of the Lamayuru gompa stay here on the meditation hill. They have a medical laboratory set up where the monks make medicines from the local herbs of the region.

You can enjoy a walk in the village and talk to Ladakhis who are warm people and you can break the ice by simply greeting them. If you want to test the fitness level, you can on a hike on these moon-like craters.

Festivals of Lamayuru:

Two annual festivals, Yuru KabGyat and Hemis Tse Chu both of which are celebrated on a grand scale in the 2nd and 5th month of the Tibetan lunar calendar respectively. Hemis Tse Chu is the biggest monastic festival and lasts for two days. Yuru KabGyat is also a two-day-long festival, with sacred rituals and dances performed by the monks. The masked dances performed stand for the destruction of the ego in every individual.

While staying at Stok Palace, our hotel in Ladakh, the easiest and the most comfortable way to visit Lamayuru is to take a cab which takes you through the beautiful roads of Ladakh as the stretch is exceptional, to say the least. Although Leh is gorgeous, the landscape changes the moment you leave Leh, and believe us you would remain spell-bound throughout the journey.

There are plenty of locations on the Leh Kargil route till Lamayuru where one can stop such as Pathar Sahib Gurudwara, Hall of Fame, Magnetic hill, Likir monastery, Alchi monastery, etc. If you like to trek, there are some amazing trekking routes.

Lamayuru and Moonland have now become synonymous with each other.

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