Lamayuru Monastery is a Tibetan monastery. This located in Kargil district, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India. This monastery is popularly known as Tharpa Ling. Meaning of Tharpa Ling is Place of Freedom. It belongs to Red Hat Sect of Buddhism. In this monastery there are 50 inmates and 400 monks.
What to see in Lamayuru Monastery: Major attractions of this monastery are Scriptures, Murals, Thangkas, Rich wall Paintings, Statues of different forms of Buddha. Along with statues of Buddha several other deities’ statues can also be seen here. It was founded in 11th century by Mahasiddhacharya Naropa. He came to this place for meditation. It is predicated that earlier at this place big lake was situated. After it got dried this monastery was constructed. At the time of lake get dried, Naropa found a dead lion. So he first built a temple of lion whose name was Singhe Ghang. Earlier there were 5 temples at this place. But now only 1 temple exists.
Monastery consist of residential buildings for monks, Gonkhang – the temple, Dukhang – the assembly hall. This assembly hall walls consists of Paintings. These paintings were so colourful. Images of Buddhist deities can be seen in these wall paintings. 3 Chortens are situated in front of the temple. Gonkhang is dedicated to guardians of Buddhism.
Beside the temple, visitors of this place can see a cave. It is believed that in this cave Naropa was meditated. Inside the temple one can see the images of Padmasambhava, Avalokitesvara and statue of 8 Bodhisattvas. Other attraction of this place is Mask dance performed by Lamas. This can be seen during the celebrations of Yuru Kabgyat festival. This place is famous among the trekkers and photographers.
What to see around Lamayuru Monastery:
Leh Palace: In 17th century this was acted as royal residence. Victory on the top of the Namgyal hill is another attraction. This tower was built as a mark of victory over Ballti Kashmir armies.
Nubra Valley: It is high altitude desert which is well known for its beauty. This valley separates Karakoram and Ladakh.
Shanti Stupa: It has white domed monument with backdrop of brown mountains.
Stok: This is famous for its Buddhist Monastery. It also acts as gateway for several trekking activities. This is located 14kms away from Leh.
Magnetic Hill: Due to magnetic force of the hill cars will be pulled upwards. It is 27kms away from Leh.
Mangyu Monastery: Major attractions of this monastery are paintings of mandalas, and rare thangkas.
Rizong Monastery: It looks like fortress. This gompa belongs to Gelukpa order of Buddhism.
War Museum: Other name is wall of fame. This museum showcases the war effort and Sacrifice of the Indian Army in its war against Pakistan.
Sankar Gompa: This place is famous for the statue of Avalokiteshwara Padmahari or Chenresig. This statue has thousands of heads and arms.
Getting to Lamayuru Monastery: Only way to reach this place is through road way. Before reaching this place one has to reach Leh. This place can be reached either from Srinagar or from Manali. Both routes are mountain routes. Sometimes these routes will be blocked due to landslides. From Leh, Jeeps and Taxis are available to reach this monastery. Bus services to this gompa are very limited. Nearest railway station is located at Kalka. Taxis and Buses are available to reach Manali. Then taxis and buses are available to reach Leh from Manali. Nearest airport is located at Leh.
Getting around Lamayuru Monastery: This gompa can be explored on foot. From Leh, visitors can see the surrounding places of this gompa via buses and taxis.
Best time to visit Lamayuru Monastery: Best time to visit this place is between May and September.
Where to stay in Lamayuru Monastery: Limited budget and midrange accommodations are available here.
Where to eat in Lamayuru Monastery: Eateries are limited at this place. Tibetan and Indian food is available here.