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Ladakh Diaries Part 9: Lamayuru

Lamayuru is one of the most ancient monasteries in Ladakh, the oldest surviving structure dating to the 11 th century CE. What makes this monastery particularly fascinating, is its location, amidst what is today called the “moonscape”, for the spectacular natural rock formations, which truly are “out of the world”! As per legend , there once existed a huge lake in this area, populated only by the Nagas (serpents). It was prophesized that there would be a great monastery built here. This prophecy came true when the great acharya Naropa (756-1041 CE) arrived. He emptied the lake, meditated for many years inside a cave, and built the first monastery here. The present structure is a new one, built around the cave where Acharya Naropa is said to have meditated. This legend seems to fit well with the geological formations seen in the area, which suggest this was a paleo-lake, which disappeared around 1000 years ago. Lamayuru is about 130 km from Leh , and the Indus River flows along th

Diwali tour Part 17 – Nagore and Velankanni - A Photo blog

The main reason for our trip to Thanjavur was to visit temples. We visited a number of temples around Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, Mayiladudurai and Thiruvarur. There were only two exceptions to this – the Nagore Dargah, where we did not enter, as it was terribly crowded, and the Church at Velankanni where we offered candles, salt and pepper like thousands of other devotees who were also there like us.

From Diwali 08 - Thanjvur Trip


Having studied in a convent school, going to church, for me has always been a wonderful experience. The calm and quiet environs of a church attract me as much as the cymbals and gongs in a temple do. I had long wanted to visit the church of the holy mother at Velankanni, and this Diwali, my wish was finally fulfilled.


Velankanni is situated 12 Kms south of Nagapattinam, and is a beach town. The church is huge, and the authorities have used the surrounding land well to provide facilities for pilgrims. Details about the church, accommodation, routes, etc. are all available on the website of the church, which is quite well maintained.



Here is a photoblog of Velankanni.

From Diwali 08 - Thanjvur Trip

From Diwali 08 - Thanjvur Trip

From Diwali 08 - Thanjvur Trip

From Diwali 08 - Thanjvur Trip

From Diwali 08 - Thanjvur Trip

From Diwali 08 - Thanjvur Trip

From Diwali 08 - Thanjvur Trip

From Diwali 08 - Thanjvur Trip

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