(Last Updated on : 27-08-2014)
Lamayuru monastery is the most overpoweringly built monastery in India. It is also one of the oldest and largest monasteries in Ladakh
region in Jammu and Kashmir
. This Tibetan Buddhist monastery belongs to Red-Hat Sect of Buddhism. Earlier, 400 monks used to stay in Lamayuru monastery but nowadays it shelters only 50 inmates. Around 150 monks live in Lamayuru village
. Throughout the year, the monastery attracts tourists from various corners of the world.
Location of Lamayuru Monastery
This monastery is located in Kargil district
, Western Ladakh, India. It is situated on the Srinagar
- Kargil - Leh road 15 km east of the Fotu La. It is positioned at a height of 3,510 m.
History of Lamayuru Monastery
There are several legends about the monastery. According to one legend, the monastery was built by Mahasiddhacharya Naropa in 11th century who visited the place for meditation
As per another legend, it was built by the king of Ladakh during tenth century. Later the king donated the buildings to Rinchen Zangbo.
According to third story, during 16th century, the king of Ladakh Jamyang Namgyal contracted leprosy
which was cured by a Lama. The king was so happy with the development that out of gratitude he gifted the monastery building to the lama.
Attractions of Lamayuru Monastery
Lamayuru monastery is popular for housing various things of historical significance. The monastery is constructed with the assembly hall, Gonkhang, the temple
and residential buildings for monks. The Gonkhang is dedicated to guardians of Buddhism
and its walls are beautifully painted with images of Buddhist deities. The monastery comprises of elegant wall paintings, rich collection of thangkas, fine murals, rare scriptures and statues of different forms of Buddha and other deities.
During the Mahasiddha's stay in Lamayuru, Rinchen Zangpo translator came to this site and had built quite a few temples and stupas, when the teaching of the Kadampa School came into vogue.
Festival of Lamayuru Monastery
The monastery is also famous for its annual festival named Yuru Kabgyat. Every year, it is organized on the 17th, and 18th, day of the 5th, Tibetan month. The highlight of the festival is the mask
dance performed by the lamas. Another important ritual followed during the festival is the burning of effigies. It signifies the destruction of the ego in every individual.