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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

Off again, on another trip!


The biggest festival of the year – Diwali – approaches, and, more than anything, we look forward to the vacation that comes in its stead. We usually celebrate the festival at home, lighting lamps and bursting crackers, but this year, as you know already, we can’t celebrate the festival, and are free to travel.



We have chosen to travel into interior Maharashtra this year, combining spiritual destinations with something different. Our main destination will be Nanded, to which I have managed to get train tickets. From then on, it will be us depending on local buses to get around and see as much of the places around as we can. On my radar are Aundha Nagnath and Parli Vaijnath, two important Shaivite shrines in Maharashtra, which also figure on the list of 12 Jyotirlingas. If all goes well, I will be on the verge of completing my Jyotirling circuit soon.

Also on my list is the Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan at Shegaon, a place I have heard lots of, but haven’t yet visited, and that is where we plan to be for Diwali.

After all that spirituality, it is time for us to relax and enjoy a bit of nature before we head back to the concrete jungle, so my final destination will be the Lonar Crater Lake. This is yet another place which I have planned to visit for a long, long time, and am keeping my fingers crossed, hoping it all works out.

This is slated to be a budget trip, trying to keep costs under control, since we have already travelled much more than expected this year (and spent a lot more too, if I may add!). Besides, we are also trying to sneak in some more travel before the year is out! How far we succeed depends on whether we manage to keep to our resolution to avoid hiring vehicles and travel completely by local buses. While that really isn’t as daunting as it sounds, remember that we have Samhith in tow, so it is indeed a challenge. We tried it from Mumbai to Nashik, and were quite successful, but this trip is much longer, and thus more of a challenge. We have booked a few tickets online, so those parts of the journey are already fixed, but the rest has been left to chance, and the efficiency of MSRTC!

I will be away for just over a week, and meanwhile, have tried to schedule posts for most days. Enjoy reading them, keep coming back.... and wish you all a very Happy Diwali! 


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