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Did You Know About ‘Moonlands’ Of Lamayuru? Here Is A Guide To These Unique Lunarscape In India
Did you know there is a piece if moon on earth? well, not literally but metaphorically! In the valleys of Leh-Ladakh lies these unique geographical location that is a must visit at least once!
Lamaruyu Moonlands: Valleys of Jammu and Kashmir are often ascribed as ‘heaven on earth’, the beautiful meadows, exciting treks and scenic vistas are indeed a sight to behold. But, not just heaven, there is also moonscape on earth. Yes, you read that right, a moonscape! Home to one of the oldest monasteries, Lamayuru is a quaint village perched midway between Kargil and Leh. Near the greater Himalaya, the terrain is carved like the land on moon and hence claims the lunar fame!
This unique geographical feature attracts thousands of visitors every year. It is not merely the terrain look that attracts travellers but also another of its exotic feature. It is believed that during a full moon tha land becomes an arresting site all the more enhancing the landscape.
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Monks from the Lamayuru gompa stay here, on the top of this meditation hill. They have a medical laboratory up here where the monks churn out medicines from the local herbs. One needs to climb up the mediattion hill to reach the moonlands of Lamayuru. Various travel blogs have mentioned how ven more striking were the white blocks of houses balanced precariously – but perfectly atop these landforms.
Apart from the Monnlands of Lumayuru, the place is also renowned for its age old monstary.
This ancient monastery is the main seat of the Drikung Kagyu tradition in the lower part of Ladakh. There are more than 50 monasteries under the leadership of this great monastery in the lower region of Ladakh. About 300 monks are registered under the administration of the monastery. The history of Lamayuru monastery dates back to the 11th Century, when Mahasiddha Naropa (1016’“1100) visited the place coming from Zanskar. He spent a long time in strict retreat in a cave there and turned the place into a sacred land. The ancient temple in Lamayuru called Seng-ge-sgang is situated at the southern end of the monastery.
Apart from being one of the largest monasteries in all of Ladakh, this Tibetan Buddhist monastery is also the oldest gompa in the region and is known as “the place of freedom” or “Tharpa Ling”.
Monks belonging to the Red-sect of the Buddhist order reside and meditate in this monastery, and more than 300 other monks are also affiliated under the monastery’s administration. The Lamayuru Monastery is a major tourist attraction in Ladakh, not only because of its spiritual and historical significance but also because of its incredible scenic beauty.
STOK PALACE MUSEUM
The palace of the banished royal family in Stok is now converted into a museum which displays the richest collection of jewellery, ornaments, Thangkas and much more. It exhibits the ceremonial dresses, crowns, and centuries-old pieces of jewellery, which reflect the lifestyle and history of royalty in the region. There are Chinese Thangkas or sooth paintings which are more than 450 years old but still look new. The bright and pleasing colours and the intricate designs show the brilliance of architecture and art which existed at that time.
GURUDWARA PATHAR SAHIB
Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, most revered place where Guru Nanak Dev ji, founder of the Sikh religion is believed to have conquered a demon. Legend has it that once Guru Nakak ji was meditating at this place and a demon had thrown a big rock to obstruct his prayers but the boulder turned into soft wax that failed to harm him, seeing this the demon asked for penance for his deed and Guru Nanak ji forgave him. The boulder with the imprint of the body of Guru Nanak Dev and the footprint of the demon is on display in Gurdwara Pathar Sahib. Albeit, the area is known majorly for Buddhism but Gurudwara Pathar Sahib is equally worshipped by anyone who visits this place. It is maintained by the Indian Army.
THE LUMAYURU FESTIVAL
The annual festival known as Yuru Kabgyat is the major attraction of the monastery. Mask dance by the lamas are the highlight of the festival. Another important ritual followed during the festival is the burning of effigies. It stands for destruction of the ego in every individual. Besides its monastery, Lamayuru also attracts tourists for its landscape quite similar to the lunar terrain.
Isn’t it intriguing? Add on your bucket list right away!