Guide to Lamayuru Monastery in Leh-Ladakh

Lamayuru Monastery: Understanding Ladakh Better


Belonging to the Red Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the historical accounts date the building of the most important monastery to the 10th century. One of the oldest temples is the Seng-ge-sgang close to the Lamayaru Rock and was built under the direction of Rinchen Zangpo during the 10th -11th century. He was given the authority to build 108 monasteries in Spiti, Ladakh and surrounding areas. It is about 15 km from Fatu La and a small village surrounds it.


In July and March, all the lamas gather at the monastery and three days of masked dancing and general prayers are held. The entrance has a vivid painting of Guardians of the Four Direction while another wall has a mural of monk’s way of life. There is the Naropa’s cave close to the main hall or Dukhang that contains a statue of Naropa and Marpa, his disciple.


The wall paintings were done on the walls of the temple in the 11th century and still manage to mesmerize with the innate details and colors. Managed by the brother of Dalai Lama, the monastery has a statue of Lhaso Cho Rinpoche, with a golden crown studded with turquoise and carnelian, which was brought in 1960s from Lhasa. The monastery is the center of the annual masked cham dances at Karsha Gustor, a religious festival that are held from 26th to 29th January every year.

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