Lamayuru Monastery

Lamayuru Monastery

Perched on the high terrains of the stunning landscape of Ladakh, Lamayuru Monastery in Lamayouro is one of the oldest and most significant monasteries in Leh, Ladakh. Nestled at an altitude of 3,511 metres above sea level, it is not only one of the largest monasteries in Ladakh but is also the oldest gompa in the region and is known as ‘the place of freedom’ or ‘Tharpa Ling’. Monks who come under the Red sect of the Buddhist order reside and meditate in this monastery along with over 300 other monks who are also associated with the monastery’s administration. The Lamayuru Monastery is one of the major tourist attractions in Ladakh because of its spiritual and historical significance and due to its incredible scenic beauty enveloping it. Its height offers the visitors a panoramic view of the surrounding hills of Ladakh and a bird’s eye view of the lakes in the area. Lamayuru Monastery has 50 monasteries functioning under its direct administration, all practising the tenets of Buddhism. If you want to spend some time in serene, spiritual, and mesmerizing landscape, then the monastery is a great place to be.

Popular Legend of Lamayuru Monastery

According to the legend, this monastery was discovered by Mahasiddha Acharya Naropa in the 11th century who came here for meditation purpose. It is to be noted that the foundation of Lamayuru Monastery has already been anticipated in the Bodhisattva Madhyantaka where it was mentioned that there would be a lake which will dry up and a monastery will be constructed in its place. So when the lake dried up, Naropa found a dead lion there and constructed the first temple of Singh Ghang (Lion Mound) here. Total five temple were constructed, out of which only one exists today.

Timings and Entry Fee

Timing – Open 24 hours

Entry Fees - Free


The Lamayuru Monastery is one of the largest and oldest monasteries in Ladakh and is one of the most important monasteries in the region.The exact founding date of the Lamayuru Monastery is unclear, but according to legend, it was founded by a famous Tibetan monk named MahasiddhaNaropa in the 11th century. The legend says that the monk saw a lake in the area where the monastery now stands and had a vision of a monastery on its banks. He then meditated in a nearby cave for many years, and when he emerged, he founded the Lamayuru Monastery. Over the centuries, the monastery was rebuilt and expanded several times, and it became an important center for the Drikung Kagyu and Gelug traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. It was also an important stopover for traders and pilgrims traveling between Tibet and India.During the 16th and 17th centuries, the monastery was under the control of the Namgyal dynasty of Ladakh, and it continued to flourish as an important center of learning and religious practice. However, during the 19th century, the monastery was badly damaged by wars and natural disasters, and it fell into disrepair.

In the 20th century, the monastery was restored and renovated with the help of the Indian government and various Buddhist organizations. Today, it is a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims, and it continues to be an important center for Buddhist learning and practice in Ladakh.


The Lamayuru Monastery, also known as Yuru Gompa, was built in the 11th century and is one of the oldest and largest monasteries in Ladakh known for its unique architecture.The architecture of Lamayuru Monastery is influenced by Tibetan and Indian styles. The monastery is built on a hill and consists of several buildings and structures, including temples, residential quarters, and meditation halls. The monastery's main temple, called the Sumtsag Lhakhang, houses a statue of the Buddha and several other deities. The monastery's architecture features several distinctive elements, including its white-washed walls and red and ochre-colored wooden roofs. The buildings are arranged in a circular pattern, with the central courtyard serving as a gathering place for the monks. The monastery's walls are adorned with beautiful murals and frescoes depicting Buddhist stories and teachings.The Lamayuru Monastery also features a unique lunar landscape surrounding it, formed by the erosion of the surrounding mountains. This landscape is popular among tourists and photographers and is a beautiful backdrop to the monastery's architecture. Lamayuru Monastery's architecture is a blend of traditional Tibetan and Indian styles, with unique elements that make it stand out from other monasteries in the region. Its location and stunning surroundings also add to its allure and make it a must-visit destination for travelers interested in architecture and culture.

Highlights of the Monastery
Lamayuru Festival (YuruKabgyat Festival)

The Lamayuru Festival is a colorful and vibrant annual event that takes place in the village of Lamayuru, located in the Ladakh. The festival is usually held in the second week of June and lasts for two days. The festival is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Rinpoche, who is the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. The festival is a way for the local people to express their devotion and gratitude towards their spiritual leader.

Lamayuru Festival is also known as the YuruKabgyat Festival. "Yuru" means "summer" in the local language, and "Kabgyat" means "the gathering of spiritual leaders" in Tibetan. The festival is an important event for the people of Ladakh, and it is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor. During the festival, the village of Lamayuru is decorated with colorful prayer flags, and theLamayuruMonastery is adorned with intricate artwork. Monks from the Lamayuru Monastery perform traditional dances and rituals, accompanied by the sound of cymbals, drums, and long horns.

One of the main highlights of the festival is the Cham Dance, a masked dance that is performed by the monks. The dance depicts various Buddhist deities and is believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune. In addition to the religious ceremonies and performances, the festival also features a vibrant market where locals sell traditional handicrafts and food.

The Lamayuru Festival is not only a religious event but also an occasion for the local people to socialize, reconnect with friends and family, and enjoy the festive atmosphere. It is also an opportunity for visitors to learn about the rich cultural heritage of the region and to witness traditional customs and rituals that have been preserved for centuries.

Best Time to Visit

The weather in Ladakh is extreme, with very cold winters and hot summers. The best time to visit the Lamayuru Monastery is during the summer months of June to September whenthe weather is relatively mild, and the roads are open. The monsoon season in Ladakh is in July and August, so it's best to avoid those months if you want to avoid the rain. However, if you want to experience the Lamayuru festival, then the monsoon months arebest to visit the site as the festival takes place during the months of June or July.

Tips for Visiting
How to Reach

Once you reach Lamayuru, the monastery is located about 1 km from the village. You can easily walk to the monastery or hire a taxi or a motorcycle to reach there. The monastery is open to visitors during the day, and you can explore the ancient structure, enjoy the scenic surroundings, and witness the daily rituals and prayers performed by the monks.

Hotels to Stay Nearby
Places to Visit Nearby
Lamayuru Monastery

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Where is Lamayuru Monastery located?

Lamayuru Monastery is in Leh region of Ladakh.

What is Lamayuru famous for?

Lamayuru is known for its monastery and for its ‘lunar’ landscape, also promoted as ‘moonscape’ for the tourists. The landscape is spectacular with odd geometrical formations along with the ancient Lamayuru monastery.

Why is Lamayuru called Moonland?

Lamayuru is also called moonland due to its terrain which resembles the surface of the moon.

Copyright 2012-2024 Indiamap Digital Private Limited. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Use