Halfway from Leh to Kargil is a small village by the name of Lamayuru. This village can be accessed on the Srinagar-Leh Highway, otherwise known as NH1-D. Going 100 km further away from Leh, you can get to Lamayuru after crossing Fotu La – the highest pass on the Srinagar – Leh highway. Lamayuru has also been called the ‘place of freedom’. It is home to one of the biggest and oldest monasteries in Ladakh – Lamayuru Gompa. For anyone seeking tranquillity, Lamayuru is your place to be at. Although, Lamayuru has a very famous Buddhist monastery for the tourists to visit. It is, however, more famous for the moon-shaped landscapes that can be found carved into its mountains. The carvings are formed by a once large lake that has since dried up. The protrusions of what used to be a lake, give the illusion of the moon. Tourists from various places visit this relatively serene destination to immerse in this scenic beauty.
Lamayuru gets its fame for the moon-shaped landscapes carved into the Himalayas. Getting to the top of the hill is where you get the best view of the landscapes from. You can find monks meditating on these rocks and picking herbs growing there to make medicines. As you climb the meditation hill, you will notice rocks with prayers written on them. Lamayuru can also be visited for the stunning gompas and stupas that it houses.
Festivals in Lamayuru
Yuru Kabgyat and Hemis Tse Chu are two very famous annual Lamayuru festivals. The former is celebrated in the 2nd month of the Tibetan calendar and the latter in the 5th. Yuru Kabgyat usually takes place during July or August. The two-day spectacle is celebrated with great enthusiasm and energy. Tibetan Buddhist Teachings are presented through a traditional dance performed by masked dancers. The aim of this festival extends to protecting the world from natural calamities and by extension establishing peace. The demolition of a statue is the highlight of the festival. It is a symbol of the destruction of evil that resides within us. Colorfully dressed Buddhist Monks are found in every nook and corner of the district during the festival. They can also be seenparticipating in dance dramas. Hemis Tse Chu is also a two-day festival held in June. It is a 200-year-old tradition that remains to be one of the biggest and most famous monastic festivals in Ladakh. This festival is dedicated to Guru Padmasambhava, who was the founder of Tantric Buddhism. The festival sees resident monks/lamas of the Hemis Monastery performing sacred mask dance, also known as the Cham dance, eventually leading to the destruction of sacrificial offerings and portrayal of good over evil. Buddhists from Tibet, China, Japan and many other countries are joined by tourists from all over the world to visit Lamayuru exclusively to witness these grand festivals.
Restaurants and Local Food in Lamayuru
in Lamayuru are similar to those locally found in Leh. The elements and
influences are almost identical. Hence, Tibetan cuisine can be found in this
area. The most primary of the dishes available here are Sku and Thukpa (thick soup with
vegetables and noodles), Pava (a
dish made of sattu), Khambir (a
type of local bread).
You can also choose the steamed dumplings stuffed with meat or vegetables with chili sauce (momos) and Skieu (a dish made with vegetables, mutton and flour). Other than this one can find plenty of restaurants and eateries providing typical Indian cuisine.
Day 1: Arrive at
Day 2: Drive up to Lamayuru from Leh, it wil take about 3 to 4 hours. Trekking for another hour will get you to the famous Lamayuru Gompa. After the visit, another hour-long trek to Wanla, hiking through the 3,750 Mt Prinkti La Pass. Overnight camping at Wanla.
Day 3: Consider a 5-hour trek to Hinju from Wanla to visit the serene villages of Ladakh. Stay at meadow camp outside Hinju.
Day 4: Head uphill towards Sumdo Doksa via a 6-hour trek starting from Hinju and going through Kongskil La ridge. Subsequently going further upwards will bring you to the Kongskil La ridge for scenic views of Stok and Karakoram ranges. The other half of that trek is, however, a little difficult for beginners.
Day 5: 5-hour trek from Sumo Doksa to Base of Dung Dung Chan la. Passing a few river crossings, you will see the trail ascending to the base of Dung Dung Chan La.
Day 6: A straight climb for a 5-hour long trek from the base to Chiling. A vehicle from Chilling village will drop you off at Leh.