Day 7 - Lamayuru, Magnetic Hill, Shey Palace, Alchi, Confulence of Indus and Zanskar River, Gurudwara Pathar SahibWe were at the last leg of our trip and the the journey to Lamayuru was a pure bliss after the taking the tiring terrains to Nubra and Pangong. The way to Lamayuru is NH1 and its extremely smooth road. We started it at 9:00 in the morning with the following stops:1) Alchi Monastery: Before one can enter the monastery, their is small lane with shops with really pretty handcrafted items which can leave you splurging on the kettles, the lamas, jwellery and lot more. At Alchi Village on the banks of the Indus River, Alchi Gompa monastery was built around 11th century. The main complex has three temples- gTsug-lag-Khang (main temple), 'Jam-dpal lHa-Khang (Manjushri temple) and Dukhang (assembly hall). The walls of the site are adorned with paintings depicting the details of Hinu kings as well as the teaching of Buddhism.2) Lamayuru, the moonland of LadakhLamayuru is a small village in Ladakh with Moonlike landscapes carved into the Greater Himalayas. The view will make you feel in literal senses that you have just landed on moon.Lamayuru Monastery has series of beautiful prayer wheels on the entrance and the temple of Avlokiteshwara Buddha. The view from the monastery is just spectcular and the route while driving would give you infinte points to capture it forever.3) Indus Zanskar Confluence:While most of the route from Leh to Lamayuru is by the Indus river and once experience it all through the journey. At the Indus Zanskar Sangam, we can see both the rivers meeting but still having its distinguished color which makes the view worth it. Although August isnt the right month as the rivers had turned brown so it wouldnt be as beautiful as part of the year.4) Gurudwara Pathar Sahib : On the way back we had visited the Gurudwara, its maintained by Indian Army and has beautifully history and belief behind it. Its extremely calm and peaceful to spend some time there.5) Druk White Lotus School : The famous Rancho's School6) Magnetic Hill and Shey Palace : They were the last stop of our journey and every place mentioned above is worth visiting and experencing.
The Lamayuru Monastery
A senior monk practices his performance for the Lamayuru Festival. The masked dances performed in the monastery during festivals depict stories of compassion, the victory over evil, and are considered as prayers and offering to the gods. These dances are popularly known as 'Cham Dance', where the monks wear traditional outfits with huge painted masks and hats.
The Alchi Monastery is unique, in that it is built on level land near the Indus river. It was founded by the great translator, Rinchen Zangpo and is more of a monastic complex, called as chos-'khor. There are a few temples under the shade of trees. The place is an ideal one for a night halt at one of the many homestays. Hot chocolate at one of the places just outside prepared me for the final leg of our journey to Leh. The sellers of souvenirs are plenty on the thin lane to the complex and you could do better than not buy a few.