Lamayuru Monastery & Secret Moonland: The Complete Guide

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Last Updated on January 14, 2022 by asoulwindow

Table of Contents

About Lamayuru Monastery 

The ancient Lamayuru Monastery was an obvious mandatory stop during our epic road trip across Ladakh. As our convoy of multiple jeeps wheeled away on the baby bottom smooth Srinagar-Zojila pass-Kargil-Leh highway, I was delighted to see the dramatic setting of Lamayuru Monastery from a distance.

Located close to Leh, the capital of Ladakh and still an offbeat destination, Lamayuru is a must visit destination in Leh. Affiliated with the Drikung Kagyu school of Buddhism, it was originally a Bon monastery. I had met some Bon people while doing a parikrama or kora around the holy Kailash Parbat in Tibet.

We discovered many other offbeat places during this ‘once in a lifetime’ Ladakh road trip such as Namika La pass, Fotu La pass, Mulbek monastery and the Chamba statue. You can easily visit these destinations if you are driving a car or riding a bike from Leh to Srinagar or Srinagar to Leh. This detailed travel guide on Lamayuru Monastery will answer all your queries and help you plan a road trip to Ladakh.

I had travelled across Ladakh on an epic road trip with Scout My Trip and my travel blogger friends such as Ami Bhat, Swati Jain, Khursheed Dinshaw etc. This is the most comprehensive travel guide on Lamayuru Monastery.

Why is Lamayuru Monastery so famous?

Lamayuru Monastery is one of the most important monasteries in India because not only it is one of the oldest monasteries of Ladakh but also one of the largest monasteries of Ladakh. That makes it a significant Buddhist monastery in Ladakh.

While travellers and backpackers like me visit Lamayuru Monastery for its beautiful setting and timeless charm, this ancient Gompa is famous amongst Buddhist people due to its religious importance and rich history. The fact that there are many exotic sightseeing places around Lamayuru Monastery is cherry on the cake.

What adds to the popularity of Lamayuru Monastery is the fact that you can do many high-altitude treks from here such as the offbeat Lamayuru Chilling trek. However, one of the main reasons why Lamayuru Monastery is so famous is because it is a mandatory stop for people who are doing a road trip from Srinagar to Leh to Manali either on a bike or car.

Besides Buddhist monks, Lamayuru is also gaining popularity amongst regular tourists, thanks to its proximity to Leh and breath-taking scenic beauty. Here is all you want to know aboutLamayuru Monastery.

There are many secrets and mysteries of Lamayuru Monastery which are yet to be revealed.

Legend of Lamayuru Monastery

As per the local folklore, there was once a huge lake located in Lamayuru where snakes used to live. The lake was magically dried up by Mahasiddhacharya Naropa so that the foundation of the Lamayuru Monastery and the nearby small villages can be laid. I am glad that such a picturesque place was chosen for building the Lamayuru Monastery.

According to the local hearsay, it is only after the water of the vast lake dried up that the unusual rock formations and moon like craters started to appear on the land of Lamayuru.

I like how both Hinduism and Buddhism have such folklores and legends associated with famous spiritual places. Not everything can be explained by science alone, after all.

These are lesser-known facts about secret of Lamayuru Monastery.

Who built Lamayuru Monastery?

Lochen Rinchen Zangpo (958-1055 C.E.) is credited with building the Lamayuru Monastery.

The then King of Ladakh had commissioned him to build around 100 Gompas in the now Spiti Valley and Ladakh. This is why you still see so many centuries old Buddhist Gompas on the Delhi Spiti route.

When was Lamayuru Monastery constructed?

Lamayuru Monastery was built in 11th century C.E. There were 5 building located here in old times. However, only one central building exists today! You can see the ruins of 4 of the old buildings though.

It is also believed that the first building was erected here between the years 958-1055 CE.

You can also see the ruins and remains of the abandoned old buildings near the monastery. It reminded me of similar Buddhist structures I saw in Tibet.

History of Lamayuru Monastery

The ages old paintings of the cardinal kings made me want to know more about Lamayuru Monastery. I dug deeper into my reading pile later and found many startling facts about the history of Lamayuru. The history of the monastery dates back to the times of Rinchen Zangpo.

If you pay attention, you can connect the dots between the combined history of existing ancient monasteries of Spiti and Ladakhi Gompas such as Alchi monastery, Lamayuru monastery and Wanla Gompa.

Nomenclature of Lamayuru Monastery 

Lamayuru is often also spelt as Lamayouro. Some people also address Lamayuru Monastery as ‘Yuru Monastery’, ‘Tharpa Ling’ or ‘The Place of Freedom’.

I was curious to know what is the meaning of Lamayuru Monastery? Well, the literal meaning of Lamayuru is eternal.

Where is Lamayuru Monastery located

Lamayuru Monastery is located on the Srinagar-Sonamarg-Kargil-Leh Highway. Just as we were approaching Lamayuru Monastery from Fotu La Pass, I had my first glimpse of Lamayuru Monastery. I went agape mouthed seeing the dramatic location of Lamayuru Monastery. Lamayuru lies in the Khalsi tehsil.

Surrounded by nothing but barren brown mountains, the winding path which leads up to the Lamayuru Monastery is a sight to behold. A few trees and sparse grass, the yellows and maroons of the Lamayuru Gompa and blue roofs of surrounding buildings added some colours in the largely monochromatic landscape of this region in Ladakh.

Needless to say, it was one of the most picturesque and visually appealing part of our Ladakh road trip. The curiously shaped rocky outcrops made it all the more stunning! This serene and sacred desolate place was already growing on me.

What is the height of Lamayuru Monastery?

Lamayuru Monastery is a high-altitude destination near Leh in Ladakh. The Lamayuru Monastery is located on a height of 11,515 feet or 3510 meters. The captivating landscapes are formed here due to its height and topography. As soon as we left Kargil, I noticed changes in the landscape and it became very dramatic and larger than life as our kafila or convoy approached Lamayuru Monastery.

Places to see in and around Lamayuru Monastery

What is there to see in Lamayuru? There are many Buddhist places of interest located near Lamayuru Monastery. There are many interesting places to visit around the Lamayuru Monastery.

Some of the top places to visit in and around Lamayuru Monastery are listed as below: 

Lamayuru Monastery: Top place to visit

Here are some highlights of Lamayuru Monastery.

You must keep at least few hours for Lamayuru Monastery as there is a lot to see here. As I tear away from my group and silently observed the fine details of the Lamayuru Monastery, I was transported back in time.

As I entered the main temple through a courtyard, the wooden pillars caught my attention.  

Since we had ample time here, I minutely studied the colourful frescos, beautiful murals and paintings on the internal and external walls of Lamayuru Monastery. You can also see a Sand Mandala here which reminded me of a huge Sand Mandala and butter paintings I saw in Bomdilla monastery in Arunachal Pradesh in North East India.

I strolled around the assembly hall or Dukhang, sometimes admiring its architecture and at other times soaking in the breath-taking Himalayan views from here.

You must also see the Dukhand painting from the 1970s. You can also visit a small cave nearby where Zangpo had meditated.

The surreal setting of the Gompa makes it stand out. The multi coloured rock which is carved with prayers in Tibetan reminded me of similar rocks which I had seen near Mansarovar Lake during Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in Tibet and throughout Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal.

The decorated Stupas, fluttering prayer flags in primary colours and soothing fragrance of the Buddhist incense sticks transported me into a spiritual coma. I leave the monastery but not without moving the huge prayer wheel that stands silently outside the complex of monastery.

Seng-Ge-Ghang

You can also visit a temple known as Seng-Ge-Ghang. It was constructed by Rinchen Zangpo. This offbeat place to visit is a must see destination.

Also known as Singay Lhakhang, this is one of the oldest temples of Lamayuru. The pictures of dancing skeletons inside are intriguing. This is a temple devoted to Dharampala or protector of Dharma as mentioned in the Mahayana as well as Tantric traditions of Buddhism. This is an unusual place to see near Lamayuru Monastery.

Lamayuru Village walk

As we were reaching the Lamayuru Gompa, we stopped for a few minutes to soak in the views of Lamayuru Monastery from a distance and take a picture or two from this cool vantage point. You can also see mind numbing beautiful landscapes of nearby mountains and charming villages from the Lamayuru Monastery.

There are just about 100 houses in the village of Lamayouro. You can take a stroll at the village and exchange a Julley (Namaste in Ladakhi) or two with locals. A free walking tour in Lamayuru Village will acquaint you with local life. The village walk is one of the best things to do around Lamayuru Monastery.

Yoga Retreat Centre

Thanks to the serene ambiance of Lamayuru Monastery, it serves as a perfect venue to take your meditation and yoga capabilities to other level. Spiritual Places like Lamayuru slows me down and makes me calm and composed.

Thanks to the solitude that Lamayouro provides, it disconnected me with my worldly attachments and made me focus on myself and the little things we miss in the everyday whirligig of city life.

You can practice Yoga and meditation at the Yoga Retreat Center here which was established by a Yogi called Yogi Kyunga Rinpoche in the year 1970. Many urban travelers, bikers, local red robed monks and local people from nearby villages visit this center daily to practice meditation and yoga.This hidden gem is off the beaten track.

Soul Window Thoughts

Some places are so spiritual that they are made for deep meditation and Yoga as I realised during my epic trip to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in Tibet, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Bodhgaya in Bihar and Kedarnath and Rishikesh in Uttarakhand.  

Buddhist Monks of Lamayuru Monastery  

Being the main seat of the Drikung Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, around 50 other Buddhist Gompas are a part of it, making it a highly significant place for Buddhists. It thus came as no surprise to me that more than 300 Buddhist lamas are registered here. Around 150 monks live here at present. In past Lamayuru Monastery was home to more than 400 monks. They are now scattered amongst different nearby Gompas.

Lamayuru Monastery is also sacred to Buddhist monks as this is where a noted Indian Buddhist, Mahasiddha Naropa was born.

The silent Buddhist monks are not a tourist attraction! Lamayuru Monastery is their territory and it is your duty to maintain the sanctity of it. In case you are tempted to take pictures and videos of Buddhist monks, always be respectful and take their permission before going trigger happy.

Many monks live in and around Lamayuru Monastery. I visited the residential quarters, ensuring that I do not intrude their space and peace. I wandered around the monastery when I saw some child monks playing around. A shy monk kid even posed for me.

Places To See Near Lamayuru Monastery

It is common to see that many tourists only visit Lamayuru Monastery and leave. This is injustice to the secrets that hide near Lamayuru. There are many hidden gems and offbeat places located near Lamayuru Monastery which you must visit. Some of the best place in close proximity of Lamayuru Gompa are listed as below.

Moonland near Lamayuru Monastery 

One of the biggest claims to fame of Lamayuru is the famous Moonland. You can-not visit Lamayuru Monastery alone and not stop at the world famous Moonland which is located nearby. It is said that the landscape of Moonland is eerily akin to the surface of moon. This is why the region around Lamayouro is known as the Moonland. Visiting Moonland is a top thing to do in Lamayuru.

Me and my convoy stopped to gawk at the spot which offered best views of the bizzare rock formations which are supposed to look like the lunar surface. These uneven terrains are sprawled over a large stretch of land in the Greater Himalayas.

These beautiful landscapes can be seen a little away from the Lamayuru Gompa. Undoubtedly, the Moonland is the one of the best places to visit near Lamayuru Monastery. Lamayuru Moonland is very popular with bikers and families who are on a road trip in Ladakh on a car.

I am sure most of all (OK, all of us) will never be able to go to Moon ever. This is our best chance to visit Moon on Earth, if that is a thing, eh! Himalayan landscapes never fail to amaze me anyways, Moonland or no Moonland!

The Moonland is located just 3.1 kilometres away from Lamayuru Monastery. It is one of the best places to see in Leh Ladakh region. Do not miss Moonland, one of the major points of attractions in Ladakh. If you enjoy visiting unexplored places which are away from the crowds, then you will love sightseeing in Moonland.

Meditation Hill: Vantage Point for Moonland

Not many know that the best vantage point for panoramic views of Moonland of Lamayuru is a secret place known as Meditation Hill. Many trekkers love to camp here and wake up to breath taking views.

Meditation Hill is also home to several monks from Lamayuru Monastery who stay here and meditate. I have always preferred local indigenous and home-made medicines than those swallow me pills we have become accustomed to. Monks here prepare medicines out of locally available herbs in a medical laboratory located here.

You will pass across some beautiful Prayer stones or the Mani Stones and Buddhist Stupas as you climb up the Meditation Hill. Some of the stones with prayers deftly carved on it in Tibetan script are centuries old. Om Mani Padme Om, the Tibetan mantra is inscribed on most of these Mani stones.

You can also see great bird’s eyes views of Fotu La, serpentine roads and villages of Lamayuru from the Meditation Hill. This is indeed a hidden gem near Lamayuru. Many tourists do not even know about this unheard-of place.

Soul Window Reflections

I can-not confirm that Moonland near Lamayuru Gonpa looks like the surface of moon as let us face it, none of us have ever been to moon. However, I have seen a real rock from moon in Canberra, the capital of Australia.

I had visited a similar place in Wadi Rum in Jordan in the Middle East. It is said that the reddish landscape of Wadi Rum is quite similar to the landscape of Mars.

Wanla Gompa

I am sure you have never heard of the offbeat Wanla Gompa. Not many tourists visit the lesser known Wanla Gompa as it is off the beaten track. This ancient Gompa is a must go place in Ladakh because it is an important sub monastery of Lamayuru.

You can understand the ancient Buddhist traditions and practises here as there is no distraction of tourists and travellers here. The image of Avalokitesvara in eleven headed (“Chuchigzhel”) form is the major attraction of the offbeat Wanla Gompa.

The small 3 storey Avalokitesvara temple of Wanla Gompa is located in the Wanla Village which is 14.4 kilometres away from the Lamayuru Monastery. Make sure you visit this unheard of but historically important Buddhist Monastery. It is a free thing to do near Lamayuru Monastery.

Treks around Lamayuru Monastery

What is there to do in Lamayuru Monastery? Many tourists are unaware of the several picturesque treks which people do near Lamayuru Gompa. Here are some of the best high-altitude treks near Lamayuru Monastery.

Uleytokpo: Treks from Lamayuru Monastery 

There are many offbeat trekking trails that start from Lamayuru Monastery. In fact, not many know that an entire trekking town known as Uleytokpo is located near the Lamayuru Monastery. This place not only offers stunning views but also gives an alternate accommodation option.

Discerning travellers and trekking enthusiasts often opt to stay in the charming campsite located in Uleytokpo. Distance between Uleytokpo and Lamayuru Monastery is 46.1 kilometers.

Lamayuru to Darcha trek

The popular Lamayuru to Darcha trek starts here. This trans Himalayan treks is fast gaining popularity and takes up anything between 18 to 20 days.

Lamayuru to Wanla Trek

The shorter trek between Lamayuru to Wanla takes up only 5 days and is comparatively a moderate level trek. This is an unusual thing to do near Lamayuru Monastery. These are some lesser-known places near Lamayuru Monastery.

Lamayuru-Wanla-Chilling Trek

As our kafila or convoy passed through this region, I saw a signboard pointing towards Chilling. You can opt to trek from Lamayouro to Chilling via Wanla. It takes around 4-5 days. These unexplored places are not to be missed!

Excursions: Lamayuru Monastery Itinerary

Alchi Monastery

Which is the oldest monastery in Ladakh? Lamayuru Monastery is one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries of Ladakh. Alchi Monastery, also near Leh and Lamayuru Monastery is considered to be the oldest monastery of Ladakh. Alchi Monastery, Lamayuru Monastery, Wanla Gompa, Sumda and Mang-gyu are some of the oldest monasteries of Ladakh and can be traced back to the times of Rinchen Zangpo.

Tourist places on the Leh Kargil highway

Our long convoy had started early morning from Kargil. Stopping for quick breaks at the Mulbekh monastery, Chamba statue of Maitreya Buddha and high altitude passes such as Namika La Pass and Fotu La Pass, we arrived at Lamayuru. These are some of the most popular attractions on the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh Highway.

Namik La Pass

After having a sumptuous but expensive Chinese lunch in Lamayuru Monastery, we proceeded to Leh via Sangam, Gurudwara Pather Saheb and Magnetic Hills.

Sham Valley is also located on the route to Lamayuru Monastery.

Do visit these nearby places which are also some of the best offbeat destinations in Ladakh.

Isn’t it amazing that you can easily see so many must-visit places of Ladakh on one road trip?

Other places which are located close to Lamayuru Monastery are as below:

  • Nurla
  • Baima
  • Saspol
  • Batalik
  • Nimmu
  • Garkon
  • Dah Hanu
  • Dhomkhar

Festivals of Lamayuru Monastery  

If possible, you must time your visit to Lamayuru Monastery during its festivals. It is also the best time to visit Lamayuru Monastery.

Yuru Kabgyat

This age-old traditional festival of Lamayuru Monastery is celebrated every once in a year on the 17th and 18th day of the 5th month of the Tibetan Calendar. As per Gregorian calendar the festival falls in the month of June or July. Yuru Kabgyat is a 2-day festival.

It is the best time to visit Lamayuru Monasteryas you can easily see ritualistic masked dances or Cham dances in colourful traditional attires. Also, some holy displays are made so that the Buddhist devotees can offer their prayers to it.

Hemis Tsechu

It is another festival of Lamayuru Monastery where you can see traditional rituals and dances. Hemis Tse Chu is a 2 days long festival.

It reminds me of the annual Tsechu festival of Paro in Bhutan and the annual Torgya festival of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh in North East India near the border of India and Tibet. Do read all my blogs on Bhutan and Nepal.

Entry Fee to Lamayuru Monastery

There is a small entry fee you have to pay in order to visit Lamayuru Monastery. The Ticket Window is located at the restaurant (we had lunch here) near the parking area.

Vegetarian and vegan food in Lamayuru Monastery 

We had a lavish lunch of Chinese and Tibetan food at Lamayuru Monastery. It was delicious but a bit expensive for a backpacker like me.

The restaurant also has a tiny washroom with a small window that offers great views. Not that you have to visit the washroom for the views, eh!

You can easily get international vegetarian and vegan Indian, Chinese, Tibetan, Italian and continental food in restaurants around Lamayuru Monastery.

We mostly ate Vegan Tibetan food such as Vegan Thukpa noodles soup, Nenthuk, Tingmo, Butter Tea, Fried rice and Hakka Noodles at the restaurant which is located within the Lamayuru Monastery premises (just outside its main gate).

Top things to do in Lamayuru Monastery

There are many unique things to do around Lamayuru Monastery with friends, family and kids.

The top things to do in and around Lamayuru Monastery are as below:

  • Stargazing
  • Village walk
  • Nature walk
  • Enjoy bonfire
  • Visit Moonland
  • Stay with a local
  • Do birdwatching
  • Interact with a local
  • Do camping under the stars
  • Enjoy biking near Lamayuru
  • Go cycling around Lamayuru
  • Visit nearby tourist attractions
  • Visit nearby Buddhist monasteries
  • Offer your prayers in the monastery

Souvenirs Shopping Guide to Lamayuru Monastery

You can buy some locally made handicrafts, crockery, thangkas, small prayer wheels, singing bowls, Kashmiri shawls etc at Souvenir shops near Lamayuru Monastery. Every-time I am in Ladakh, I make sure I also buy lot of fresh and preserved local food, especially when I am traveling by flight.

Solo Trip Tips for Lamayuru Monastery

Not many people know that it is actually very easy to travel to Lamayuru Monastery as a solo budget traveller. Due to good connectivity of public transport to Lamayuru Monastery and easy availability of low-cost food and accommodation, solo travellers can easily travel to Lamayuru Monastery.

Just make sure you carry a nice travel book with you because mobile network is not very good around Lamayuru Monastery. Or better still, chat up with a local over a bonfire after dark. I am an introvert, so I will go with a book and wait for someone to break the ice, eh!

Backpacking Budget Travel Tips for Lamayuru Monastery

Contrary to the popular belief, I found that Lamayuru Monastery is a low-cost destination. Here are some my practical advice based on my Ladakh tour.

You can easily take a public transport from Kargil or Leh and arrive at Lamayuru Monastery without breaking a bank. If you stay at any of the low-cost accommodation overnight, you can take the first bus to Leh or Kargil the next morning.

Luxury travel Tips for Lamayuru Monastery

There are many luxury hotels available in both Kargil as well as Leh. Despite lack of facilities, a luxury traveller can still travel in style to Lamayuru Monastery. Just stay in a luxury hotel of Leh or Kargil and make a road trip to Lamayuru Monastery.

Is it safe to visit Lamayuru Monastery?

Yes, it is 100% safe to visit Lamayuru Monastery. Being a Buddhist monastery, it is always buzzing with religious activity. People who live around Lamayuru Monastery are peaceful and friendly.

Languages spoken in Lamayuru Monastery

Ladakhi language is the main language spoken in Lamayuru Monastery. Ladakhi language is sweet to listen to and speak. Other languages spoken and understood in Lamayuru Monastery are Hindi and English.

Julley is the Namaste of Lamayuru Monastery and much of Ladakh. Julley is used for greeting, thanking someone, welcoming. Julley is also used to say goodbyes or hello and hi.

Toilet facility in Lamayuru Monastery

Clean toilets are located right outside Lamayuru Monastery in a restaurant. If you are using the toilet of restaurant, then please ensure you buy something here. There are many restaurants near Lamayuru Monastery where you can use the toilets. 

Where to stay in Lamayuru Monastery?

We had started early morning from Kargil and managed to reach Leh via a lunch stop at Lamayuru Monastery the same day before sunset. This is why we did not stay in Lamayuru Monastery premises.

However, that said, it is a good idea to stay overnight in one of the homestays and hotels near Lamayuru Monastery. Many bikers coming from Kargil do stay here overnight and start early for Leh the next morning. You can also see many backpackers from U.S.A., Europe and Israel in Lamayuru.

If you want to get in to a deep practise of Yoga and Meditation then you can stay here for a month or more as well.

Some of the best homestays and hotels in Lamayuru are:

  • The Apricot Hotel
  • Dragon Hotel
  • Hotel Moonland
  • Hotel Niranjana
  • Siachen Guesthouse
  • Lion’s Den Guesthouse and Restaurant
  • Singay Home Stay
  • Temple View Homestay

There are many guest houses and hotels near Lamayouro Gompa.

Can we stay in Lamayuru monastery in Ladakh?

Yes, you can stay in the Lamayuru Monastery. However, a signboard boldly announced that women are not allowed to stay in the Lamayuru Monastery premises overnight. Only men can stay in monastery. The women therefore have leave to leave the monastery before dark.

During my extensive travel across India, I have observed that many Buddhist monasteries such as the one in Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh and Nalanda in Bihar offer accommodation facilities at a very nominal cost.

Camping in Lamayuru Monastery

It is a good idea to go camping in and around the Lamayuru Monastery. Some of the best locations for camping in this region are Lamayuru, Hinju and Walna.  

The Indian Astronomical Observatory which is also popularly known as the Hanle Observatory has the 3rd highest optical telescope of the world. While Hanle is located far away in Ladakh, you can enjoy stargazing with naked eyes in Lamayuru Monastery.

If you want to just camp and chill, then it is a good idea to light up a bonfire and talk sweet nothings, sotto voce, till wee hours. It is fun to set up your own camp but you can also ask a local to help you in the same for a small fee.

It is also possible to set up camps at the villages located on the foot of the Lamayuru Gompa. What’s more? If you want to wake up to the views of Moonland, you can also pith your camp near the mountains surrounding Moonland. However, you need to hike a little if you want to camp here. Camping at the village is far easier.

The best months for camping near Lamayuru Monastery are March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November. Needless to say, camping is one of the top things to do in Moonland and Lamayuru Monastery.

Timings of Lamayuru Monastery

Lamayuru Monastery is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. or from sunrise to sunset. Moonland is open throughout the day as there is no entry ticket or fencing here.

Duration of visit

How many days to spend in Lamayuru Monastery?

A half day tour to Lamayuru Monastery is sufficient for a regular tourist. In fact, I did not even stop at Lamayuru Monastery on my first visit. We started early morning from Kargil, visited Chamba Statue, Namika La pass, Fotu La Pass and Lamayuru. After spending some 3-4 hours in Lamayuru Monastery, we wheeled our way to Leh. We arrived at Gurudwara Pathar Sahib near Leh just before dark.

Chamba Statue of Future Buddha

What can I do in 1 day in Lamayuru Monastery?

If you are visiting Lamayuru Monastery as a day trip from Kargil or Leh, then you can easily see the entire monastery, click pictures and eat lunch in 3-4 hours. However, you might be left with little time to walk in the village below Lamayuru Monastery.

If you get a packed lunch, you will have more time to explore the area around Lamayuru Monastery.

What can I do in 2 days in Lamayuru Monastery?

I recommend that you stay for at least 2-3 days in Lamayuru Monastery. Many people stay for even up to a week around Lamayuru Monastery because there are many exciting things to do here. If you stay longer then you can enjoy slow travel. You can do birdwatching, hikes, treks, local sightseeing, village walk etc if you stay for 2 days or more near Lamayuru Monastery.

It is anyways advised to acclimatize at Leh or Srinagar/Kargil if you are heading to Lamayuru from any of these tourist attractions. Acclimatization is done to get used to the high altitudes of Ladakh.

Best time to visit Lamayuru Monastery

Here is an exhaustive guide to this frequently asked question on holidaying in and around Lamayuru Monastery. Weather in Lamayuru can be extreme at times, with cold winds that pervades here thanks to its proximity to Fotu La, a high­-altitude mountain pass of Ladakh. Let us see what is the best time to pay a visit to Lamayuru Monastery.

Summer: Summer is the best time to be in Lamayuru Monastery. Thus, the summer months of May, June, July, August, September and October are the best months to visit Lamayuru Monastery. I have been to Lamayuru Monastery in both July and September on separate trips.

Neither did I face any issues nor did I come across the rains during the 15 days and 20 days long trip on separate occasions. The crisp air, moderate weather and pleasant climate make summer the best time to visit Lamayuru Monastery and much of Ladakh.

June July is also the time when the annual Yuru Kabgyat festival of Lamayuru Monastery takes place. You can see the Cham Dance or mask dance during this Buddhist festival.

Winter: It is possible to visit Lamayuru Monastery in winter months like November, December, January and December. However, be warned of extreme cold climate in winters. The temperatures do dip below 0-degree Celsius in Ladakh during winter months. That said, I do enjoy traveling in extreme winters. I did an epic trip in winter to Sikkim and many states of North East India.

Monsoon: It is advised to avoid visiting Lamayuru during the rainy season.

How is Mobile Network in Lamayuru?

Well, I found the mobile network to be patchy across Ladakh. BSNL has the most reliable mobile network in most places in Ladakh. The post-paid numbers of BSNL work well in Ladakh. BSNL also has the widest network in Ladakh.

What Should I carry to Lamayuru Monastery?

This commonly asked question is explained here. Do carry these things with you to ensure a hassle-free vacation in Lamayuru Monastery, Leh and Ladakh.

Below is a complete checklist of the things you must carry to Lamayuru Monastery

  • Pack in a first aid kit
  • Pack in DSLR camera, Go Pro and empty SD cards as there are many stunning locations near the Gompa.

Also read: What to pack for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra?

What to wear in Lamayuru Monastery?

Here is a complete clothing Checklist for Lamayuru Monastery. I found the weather of Lamayuru Monastery to be quite pleasant during the day. I was able to manage in a thick shirt here. However, thanks to the high altitude, it can get very cold in night even during the summer.

It is thus advised to carry enough winter wear as you head to the Gompa. You must carry below mentioned winter gears.

  • Carry woollen clothes
  • Carry gloves
  • Carry thermal inner wears
  • Wear sturdy shoes
  • Wear sunglasses

Soul Window Travel Tips for Lamayuru Monastery

  • Smoking, drinking, chewing gums and playing music is strictly prohibited inside the Lamayuru Monastery. The tourists must respect the sanctity of the place.
  • Be respectful and do not pose, sit on or step over a sacred statue.

Photography Tips for Lamayuru Monastery

  • Ask Monks before clicking their pictures. It is their home and not your playground.
  • Photography is strictly prohibited inside the main prayer hall of Lamayuru Gompa.
  • Since Lamayuru Monastery is constructed on an elevation on a craggy hill, you can take breath-taking pictures and videos from atop the hill on which the gompa is located. This is one of the best vantage points here.

How to reach Lamayuru Monastery?

Lamayuru Monastery is very easy to reach from New Delhi NCR, Srinagar, Sonamarg, Leh and Manali. Lamayuru Monasteryis a great weekend destination from Leh and Srinagar.

Below are some of the best ways to reach Lamayuru Monastery

Air: Lamayuru doesn’t have an airport and that is likely to stay like that forever due to its inhospitable terrain. You can take a flight from New Delhi to Leh airport or Jammu airport or Srinagar airport. From airports, taxis, bikes and buses are available for Ladakh tour.

Rail: Jammutawi is the nearest railway station from Lamayuru Monastery

Bus: Buses are also available from Leh and Srinagar, Kargil etc.

Road trip: Biking and road trip in car is also popular in this route.

Local Transport for sightseeing in Lamayuru Monastery

Do not expect easy Local Transport for sightseeing in Lamayuru Monastery because it is located in a remote ‘in-the-middle-of-nowhere’ place.

Do read my detailed guide on how to reach Lamayuru monastery? My blog A Soul Window has is the No. 1 travel blog of India. It has been listed as top Indian travel blog too.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

Carry Diamox, take ample rest, consume garlic and drink water to fight Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) in Ladakh.

Conclusion: Why visit Lamayuru Monastery?

Is Lamayuru Monastery worth a visit? To summarise, the ancient Lamayuru Monastery is one of the top places to visit in Ladakh on the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh Highway. Located close to Leh, Lamayuru is an easy to reach destination, thanks to smooth roads and good connectivity.

This comprehensive travel guide will help you plan a memorable trip to Lamayuru Monastery solo or with friends and family. This historic destination is a must see place of Ladakh.

You must visit Lamayuru Monastery and Moonland, if you want to get up, close and personal with the authentic Ladakhi and Tibetan culture. The information given in this detailed travel guide

on Lamayuru Monastery will not be found elsewhere, especially in the traditional guide books. Do share this information packed travel guide on Lamayuru with your friend and family and plan that Ladakh tour now.

The view from my Soul Window is mystical!

Pin this blog to save the blog and plan a trip later!

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