Last Updated on January 14, 2022 by asoulwindow
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How to reach Lamayuru Monastery
How do I get to Lamayuru Monastery in Ladakh? It is a commonly asked question. It is very easy to arrive at Lamayuru Monastery. You can easily arrive at Lamayuru Monastery and many other places in Ladakh via both private vehicle and public transport, thanks to the rock-solid infrastructure of India even in these remote locations.
Lamayuru Gompa can be easily visited as a day trip from Leh or as a stop when you drive all the way from Jammu-Srinagar-Kargil-Leh route. This comprehensive guide lists down all possible ways to reach Lamayuru Monastery.
Below is a handy guide on how to reach Lamayuru Monastery by different modes of transport.
Reach Lamayuru Monastery by Rail
Unfortunately, there is no rail network near Lamayuru Monastery. The nearest railhead is at Jammutawi. You can either self-drive from here like we did or take a flight from Jammu to Leh.
You can hire a taxi or bike from Jammu Railway Junction. It is a 3-4 days long journey to Lamayuru via stops in Srinagar and Kargil.
Private cab: You can also rent out a private car from Leh, Srinagar in Kashmir or Kargil.
Self-Drive Road Trip
We drove all the way from Jammu to Leh via Srinagar, Sonmarg, Drass and Kargil in Kashmir and left from Manali in Himachal Pradesh.
You can choose to start your drive to Lamayurufrom Jammu, Srinagar, Sonamarg or Kargil. We also passed through Baltal during the July trip, where many Hindu Pilgrims had camped for the annual holy pilgrimage known as Shri Amarnath ji Yatra.
The road conditions in this stretch are in brilliant condition. Please bear in mind that you can miss visiting Lamayuru if you take the alternate Dah-Batalik route or Hangroo Loop Road between Leh and Srinagar.
I visited Tibet during Kailash Mansarovar Yatra and found the terrain of both Ladakh and Tibet to be exactly the same. However, the infrastructure in Tibet is no-where close to the infrastructure of Ladakh in India. I saw bad roads, pathetic toilets and low-quality hotels in Tibet.
Reach Lamayuru Monastery on a hired car
You can easily reach Lamayuru via an adrenaline filled road trip on baby bottom smooth roads. Below is also a road trip itinerary which includes all the major places of interest between Kargil and Leh road.
Route of road trip
Below are some of the places of interest where we stopped. Our route was:
Gurugram -Jammu-Srinagar-Sonamarg-Baltal-Jozi La-Kargil-Mulbekh-Namika La-Fotu La-Lamayuru-Sangam-Magnetic Hill-Pather Sahib-Leh-Manali-Gurugram. (over several days)
There are many sightseeing attractions in this route. As they say, journey is a destination in Ladakh.
Jozi La: Jozi La is a high mountain pass and a must visit place in Ladakh.
Mulbekh Monastery: While proceeding from Kargil to Leh, we stopped at Mulbekh Monastery and admired the huge statue of Maitreya Buddha or the Chamba Statue. It reminded me of the Buddha statue of Bamiyan in Afghanistan which was destroyed by the Taliban.
Do read my detailed blog on Mubekh Monastery. Only few of such rock cut ancient statues of Buddha remain in Ladakh. Did you know that my blog A Soul Window has also been listed as Top Travel Blog of India and Number 1 travel blog of India?
Namika La Pass: It is a high-altitude pass located at a height of 12198 feet. We arrived here in just 30 minutes from Mulbekh Monastery. This is a popular tourist place in Ladakh.
Fotu La Pass: Lamayuru Monastery is nestled at the base of the Fotu La which is the highest pass between Srinagar-Kargil and Leh road. Fotu La is just 15 kilometres away from Lamayuru.
Fotu La falls mid-way between Kargil and Leh on the National Highway NH1D. It was a smooth descent from Fotu La Pass. You can also see an Indian Army base towards the end of Fotu La.
It took us 1 hour and 20 minutes to arrive at Fotu La from Namika La on a private car. Do not treat these high passes as picnic spots as it is not advised to stay here for more than 10-15 minutes due to lack of oxygen and high altitude.
Lamayuru Monastery: We arrived at Lamayuru monastery very quickly from Fotu La which is juat 15 kms away. We stopped here for lunch before proceeding to Leh.
Sangam: It was our next stop. It is the famous confluence of the Indus and Zanskar rivers.
Magnetic Hills: Wes topped here next to see our vehicles moving backward after we switched off the engine. Some cool stuff, this, eh!
Pather Saheb Gurudwara: We stopped at Pather Saheb for a tea and some prayers.
Leh: We finally arrived in Leh and called it a day, just after it began getting dark.
Sham Valley: Many people also club the offbeat Sham Valley with Lamayuru Monastery when they start from Leh. You must do this as you will discover many other unknown monasteries and other top places of Sham Valley which not many people visit. Petrol Tips
You must ensure to fill up the petrol tank as there are not many petrol stations in Ladakh region. We had even kept extra fuel in huge containers just in case we run out of petrol in a desolate place.
We tanked up at petrol pumps in Jammu, Srinagar, Kargil, Leh and Khaltsi. These are the most reliable petrol pumps on this route.
While returning, we ran out of petrol in Keylong and the petrol pumps were not available anywhere nearby. We had to go far in another jeep to get petrol in big plastic containers which we already had.
Reach Lamayuru Monastery by bus
Buses are the most economical way of enjoying a road trip in Ladakh, especially if you are a solo, budget traveller.
Yes, government run buses do play on this route. Keep in mind that the public bus will take a longer time and may not stop at touristy places of Ladakh such as Chamba Statue at Mulbek Monastery, Namika La Pass and Fotu La Pass. However, the bus ride is enjoyable too if you are on a low backpacking budget.
On picturesque routes (or even ordinary routes) such as this one, I always reach early and take the window seat so that I can enjoy the views throughout the journey.
Confirm the bus timings in advance as it is subject to change as per the weather conditions and other factors.
Leh to Lamayuru Gompa bus
You can catch a state bus from Leh to Lamayuru Gompa. State run JKSRTC buses ply between Leh and Srinagar. These buses always make a stop at the Lamayuru Monastery. Buses from Kargil and Leh both leave for Lamayuru Monastery at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Srinagar to Lamayuru bus
Buses plying between Srinagar and Leh also stop at Lamayuru.
Kargil to Lamayuru bus
Just hop on to a bus in Kargil which is heading towards Leh. The Kargil Buses Leh always stop at Lamayuru.
Reach Lamayuru Monastery by air
All you wanted to know about this topic is explained in this information packed blog.
It is very easy to arrive atLamayuru Monastery by flight via Leh. It is possible to rent a taxi and bike outside Leh airport if you want to travel to Lamayuru and any other of the top destinations of Ladakh. Srinagar airport is another nearest airport from Lamayuru monastery. This is the most comprehensive travel guide on this topic.
New Delhi to Leh Airport
Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport of Leh: Despite being at such a high altitude, thanks to the robust infrastructure of Indian Government, Leh has an airport of itself. You can easily take a flight to Leh from New Delhi.
The Leh international airport also has connecting flight from many cities of India. The Leh Airport is just 114 kilometres away from Lamayuru Monastery via NH1 and it roughly takes around 2 hours to cover the distance.
Time taken on flight: New Delhi to Leh Airport flight takes approximately 1 hour, 10 minutes.
Jammu to Leh Airport
It is also possible to fly directly to Leh Airport from the Jammu airport. You can easily club the Hindu pilgrimage of Mata Vaishno Devi and Ladakh road trip, if planned well. The best idea is to pay your respects at Vaishno Mata, rest and take a flight to Leh the next morning.
Time taken on flight: Jammu to Leh flight takes around 45 minutes.
Srinagar to Leh Airport
Srinagar: You can also take a flight to Srinagar from New Delhi, if you want to start your road trip to Ladakh by hiring a car from here. Many people also drive from Srinagar to Leh via Lamayuru Monastery on an 8 hours long scenic route that spans 304 kms on NH1.
Many tourists get down at Srinagar, take a halt, head to Kargil and after another break move to Leh via Mulbek Monastery, Namika La, Fotu La and Lamayuru.
Time taken on flight: Srinagar to Leh flight takes around 45 minutes.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
I have personally never suffered with Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) but it is not a badge to display. The weather conditions are extreme in much of Ladakh. AMS is real and can happen to the best of the travellers and trekkers who have been to high altitudes before.
I have seen many seemingly people who took AMS lightly also had to be hospitalised or even lost their lives to AMS.
If it didn’t hit you last time does not mean it will not hit you this time. Below are my quick tips regarding how to fight Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS):
- Take halts at places like Sonamarg, Kargil in order to acclimatise. Do not rush to head straight to Lamayuru either on Day 1 of arrival in Leh or Srinagar. It can even be fatal.
- Carry Diamox which helps in fighting AMS or Acute Mountain Sickness
- I also carry a big water bottle. The more you drink water the more it helps fight AMS
- I also carry garlic pods as it helps in AMS too.
Other places to see near Lamayuru
I saw this board just 97 kilometres before Leh. Isn’t it a great idea to veer away a little to the lesser known Hanuthang village and the famous Aryan Village of Dah and Hanu? Both of these destinations fall in the route between Leh and Lamayuru. Dah and Hanu is locatedonly 93 kms and 2 hrs, 15 minutes from Kargil via NH1 and 188 kms and 4 hours, 15 minutes via NH1 from Leh.
It is a good idea to start early from Lamayuru or Leh, so that you can stay here for longer. Although I recommend an overnight stay so that you understand and absorb the unique local culture better. The residents of Dah and Hanu claim that they are the descendants of the army of Alexander who never returned to Europe.
Other places to visit near Lamayuru Monastery and Srinagara-Leh Highway are as below:
Local Transport for sightseeing in Lamayuru Monastery
There is not much of a local transport near Lamayuru Monastery. Do not expect the infrastructure of big cities like Srinagar, Kargil or Leh around Lamayuru Monastery. It is a very small place with very basic facilities.
Do I need Inner Line Permit to visit Lamayuru Monastery?
The good news is that you do not need a permit to visit Lamayuru Monastery as it is a little away from Leh. You can enjoy the peaceful ambiance of Lamayouro without worrying about permissions. We still had our Inner Line Permits or ILPs sorted because one needs it in Leh and places like Khardung La, Tso Moriri, Pangong Tso and Nubra Valley.
Inner Line Permits or ILPs was also required when I visited Bomdila, Dirang and Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh and Mon, Longwa, Dzouko Valley, Kohima, Kisama etc in Nagaland. Many other places in North East India require an Inner Line Permits or ILPs.
Distances from Lamayuru Monastery
The following distances from Lamayuru Monastery are mentioned in ascending order. This can help you plan a Ladakh tour based on your location.
Distance between Lamayuru Monastery and Kargil is 102 kilometres and it takes 2 hours 30 minutes via NH1
Distance between Lamayuru Monastery and Leh is 127 kilometers only and it takes 2 hours 30 minutes via NH1
Distance between Lamayuru Monastery and Sonamarg is 225 kilometres and it takes 5 hours 30 minutes via NH1
Distance between Lamayuru Monastery and Srinagar is 304 kilometres and it takes 7 hours 30 minutes via NH1
Distance between Lamayuru Monastery and Manali is 537 kilometres and it takes 13 hours and 30 minutes via NH3.
Distance between Lamayuru Monastery and Jammu is 564 kilometres and it takes 13 hours 30 minutes via NH1 and NH44
Distance between Lamayuru Monastery and New Delhi is 1,125 kilometres and it takes 24 hours via NH1 and NH44
Conclusion: How to arrive at Lamayuru Monastery?
Contrary to popular perception, it is very easy to arrive at Lamayuru Monastery. I am sure that before reading this guide, you didn’t know that there are so many various means of transport to reach a remote place like Lamayuru Monastery in Ladakh.
Do share this handy guide with your friends and family whether it is via a bus, train, flight, an exciting road trip or a combination of all of these.
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