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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

White Browed Wagtail

Udaipur, being a city of lakes, naturally attracts a lot of birds. However, considering that we were visiting the city in peak summer, I had little hope of seeing any birds. We might have missed the rarer ones, but there was no dearth of birds, even in the scorching summer heat, thanks to all the water in the lakes! Here is the first in the series of birds we saw on our summer vacation to Mount Abu and Udaipur.....



The White Browed Wagtail.....

The Fateh Sagar Lake at Udaipur had groups of them all over the place, though we couldn't get nearer....


At the Nakki Lake at Mount Abu, there were a couple we managed to approach without scaring them away!





Thanks to the close look we managed, we now know how to distinguish between the White Browed Wagtail and the Oriental Magpie Robin! But more about that in another post!!

Did you know that the zoological name for this bird is Motacilla Maderasapatensis - and that the name comes from the city of Madras? 


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