Lamayuru Monastery

The tiny picture book village of Lamayuru is believed to have once been a lake that dried up. This pretty destination is home to one of Ladakh’s oldest monasteries, nestled amongst the hills, and an unusual landscape giving the village its nickname of ‘moonland’ or ‘moonscape’

Lamayuru monastery

Lamayuru’s main tourist draw is the monastery village, a series of red and white buildings high in the hills overlooking verdant farming terraces, and the home of around 150 Buddhist monks. It is one of the oldest and largest monasteries in Ladakh and dates back to the 11th century. It is believed to have been a sacred site for the pre-Buddhist religion called Bon. The monastery is home to fine frescos, carpets and Thangkhas (Tibetan Buddhist paintings on cotton or silk appliqué, usually depicting a deity, scene, or mandala), and the complex includes one of the oldest libraries in the region, containing extensive reading on the Tibetan Kagyupa Sect.

Geographical formations

Lamayuru has a fascinating ‘lunar’ landscape, created from unusual geographical formations. You can even spot moon-like craters dotted about! Legend has it that when a scholar laid the foundation stone for the monastery, his prayers caused the lake to dry up, leaving the surrounding moonlike craters.

Fairs and festivals in Lamayuru

The two-day long Hemis Tse Chu is the largest monastic festival in Ladakh, and the Yuru Kab festival Gyat involves dances and sacred rituals performed by the monks.

How to discover Lamayuru with Authentic India Tours

If you would like to discover Lamayuru please contact our travel experts on 01792 315499 or email Our recommended tour is our Monasteries, Lakes and High Passes of Ladakh Tour.