The Surreal landscape of Lamayuru – A Village Near Ladakh

3rd Jun 2017

The charming village of Lamayuru is located along the national highway (NH) 1 connecting Srinagar and Leh.

It is a great place to rest when traveling from Kargil to Leh during your Ladakh holidays. The beautiful landscape of Lamayuru resembles the terrain of the moon which makes it a unique location for travelers.

How to reach Lamayuru

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Traveling via road from Srinagar to Leh will lead you to the pristine village of Lamayuru. I was on a biking Ladakh tour and thus traveling through the national highway where we stopped at Lamayuru mainly to visit the Yung-Drung Monastery.

You may visit Lamayuru when going to Leh from Srinagar or directly from Leh as it is at a distance of around 107 kms from Leh. There is also a bus service which works on this route.

I visited Lamayuru in the month of June and would advise you to do the same as from the months of June to September, it is easier to travel by road because there is no snow.

Places to see and their history

The main attraction is the Lamayuru Monastery. I came to know the story behind this monastery from some locals. The monastery is very old and was formed when the scholar, Mahasiddhacharya Naropa led the lake that fed the entire valley to dry up. He then laid the foundation for the Lamayuru Monastery.

The other attraction to see is the alien looking Moonland, which, as the name suggests, looks like craters of the moon. Apparently, the Lamayuru area was once at the bottom of the deep lake but the waters receded because of prayers by a Buddhist Saint. This receding of water led to the formation of moonlike craters.

My experience

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I already had an idea about the village of Lamayuru and had thus added it to my itinerary. However, I don’t think most Ladakh packages offer this village as a separate destination. If you are traveling from Srinagar, Lamayuru is a place where you may stop for a few minutes and take pictures of the lunar-like landscape.

I also visited the monastery which was one of the most beautiful monasteries I have seen during my trip. It is at the top of the central hill in Lamayuru and many houses are surrounding the monastery. I would say that the monastery had around 130 to 150 monks residing. There were many artifacts and an impressive number of statues and paintings in the monastery. There was an image of an 11-headed Chenzing which also had a thousand eyes.

Tips for visitors

• The Lamayuru village and monastery can easily be covered in one or two hours and so if you are traveling through the national highway it might be a good idea to stop and visit the monastery.

• Among all the things to do in Ladakh, this village is different because of the unique landscape it offers and I would highly recommend visiting the Moonland because it is unlike anything I have seen on my trip.

• There are also a couple of festivals held in Lamayuru which you may enjoy during your trip.

Lamayuru is an offbeat and a quiet location, which is not thronged by many tourists. It is well connected as it is right on the highway and if possible, you should definitely spend some time in this stunning village.