Lamayuru Monastery in Kargil offers you a trip to the glorious past of this locale. It is one of the most established and likely, most charming religious communities in Kargil region. The excellence of this spot is heightened by its tranquil environs and breathtaking aura. Let’s take a look at this historic location in the tranquil atmosphere in upper Himalayas.
The Lamayuru Monastery is delightfully set in the lap of never ending view of mountains in the cool desert. The ancient monastery is also known as Yuru Gompa as well and is one of the major component of Kargil tourism.
This Tibetan monastery has space to fit in more than 150 monks and the name means ‘eternity’. Situated at a height of more than 3500 meters above sea level this monastery is built around a small cave. The tranquil atmosphere of Lamayuru is unruffled by the commotion of urban communities. Maybe, this is the reason behind the spot offering such peacefulness to brain and soul. Lamayuru is considered to be one of the oldest religious community in whole of district. It is also said the monastery was initially a Bon Monastery partnered to Yung Drung school of Bon.
Legends say that this religious community was established by incredible Naropa, an Indian researcher.
To construct this monastery, a mammoth sized lake was dried up in the valley. Nowadays elusive structures like these is hard to find anywhere, apart from the old temple called Seng Ge Sgang. The temple structure was built by Rinchen Zangpo during the 10th – 11th. Initially the monastery consisted of some 5 structures, out of which 4 still remains. Lamayuru is an extensive religious community with some interesting elements appealing the guests. The complex has three vast ‘Chortens’ that are perfectly white washed and columns of prayer wheels set underneath.
The Lamayuru Monastery is considered to be one of the best places to visit in Kargil. Inside this religious community, there is a vast courtyard which leads to an eminent prayer hall known as Dukhang. This corridor is flawlessly built with beautiful wall paintings. The lobby areas is decked with silk and thangkas flawlessly hanging from the roofs and also houses a Vajradhara Buddha idol. Also, there is an eleventh century cave which is supposedly the meditation site where Naropa is said to have pondered for long time. This cave has effigies of Naropa sitting with his 2 pupils.
Each year, this monastery hosts two amazing mask festivals. These celebrations are held in the second and fifth months according to the Tibetan calendar. The primary celebration called as Yuru Kabgyat, which lasts for two days and sees the involvement of monks and ministers. Their covers and masks signifies their religious philosophies. Another celebration is called the Hemis Tse Chu, which is also a two days affair and is dedicated to Lord Padmasambhava, who established the framework of tantric Buddhism.
So, if offbeat allures you and you want to explore the realms of Buddhism in India, exploring this fantastic monastery could be a perfect thing to do. The monastery is situated at about 85 km from Kargil city and is almost 15 km away towards the east of Fotu La Pass of Srinagar Leh Highway.