What I like about monasteries are their settings, most sit atop hills with great 360 degree views while the villages are built below. This allowed in the ancient times, for them to function as strongholds. Now, much of this is not needed; but means that visiting monasteries is that the views will be jaw-dropping. The Lamayuru monastery is nestled in arms of a mountain and makes a sight to behold! The monastery has a place called Hotel Niranjana which served us hot noodles and fresh apple juice in green glass bottles. The monastery which like the many other that I have visited, gave me a sense of peace and calm. The scented air just seems to make one slow down and live life at one's own pace!
The Lamayuru Monastery
Our next stop was Lamaruyu monastery. Lamayuru is famous for its unusual moonlike landscapes carved into Greater Himalayas, famed as the Moonland. Proceeding to the monastery, Lamayuru is a Tibetan - Buddhist monastery dating back to the 11th century. Lamayuru is one of the largest and oldest monasteries in Ladakh. The monastery like others houses a rich collection of artifacts, wall paintings, statues, thangas, carpets and an impressive 11-headed, 1000 eyed image of Chenzing.
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.