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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

Red Wattled Lapwings

We have seen Red Wattled Lapwings in Mumbai, but got a really close look at them while at Mount Abu and Udaipur. Though it was summer, there was plenty of water, and these birds were prominently visible near every water body we visited.


A pair of lapwings at Nakki Lake, Mount Abu....


We saw these birds when we went boating, and couldn't get any closer.....




And then at Udaipur, they were everywhere!

Nehru Park, on an island in the Fateh Sagar Lake, was a bird haven - we saw many birds and lost count of time photographing them. There were plenty of lapwings there.....


Some of them seemed to be nesting... we saw many like these sitting down at the same spot, and wondered if it was a nest.....




We even saw one bird sit down in the middle of the path!



In the same garden, some of the lapwings seemed unafraid of us, and allowed us to come close, giving me some wonderful photos!







After all those male and female lapwings, it was time for the young ones! We saw these chicks at the Udaipur zoo. No, they weren't in the enclosures, but were walking around freely, which only made the experience more memorable!




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