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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

2013 - Looking Back

As the New Year approaches, it is time for a retrospective – a look at the year that has gone by. It has been a memorable year in more ways than one. Filled with ups and downs, it is a year that will remain imprinted in my memory for a long, long time.

On the travel front, I managed to visit a lot of places which had been on my wish list. We broke a ten year jinx and finally visited Coorg. It was a short visit, though, and I hope the coming years bring me more opportunities to visit the wonderful place again. Wayanad was a first too, as were Mysore and the Jog Falls. We managed to slip in a second visit to Gokarna, and also a third trip to Goa, all these in the monsoon – a new experience for me.

What made many of these trips special was that we left Shankar behind with his work, and went ahead – just Samhith and me to Wayanad and Mysore, and we also dragged along my mom to Jog, Gokarna and Goa. Mom and son travelling alone was a wonderful experience, to be honest, and we both enjoyed it thoroughly, especially at Mysore, where we spent hours in the museums and lakes, and returned to the zoo again and again!

If the travel seems to be less than the past years, yes, it has been. The main reason for that was a tragic event in the family, when, in July, my father-in-law suddenly passed away. If his demise did alter our plans for the year, it also brought us closer to our family members, especially cousins who came from across the country to share our grief. I can never thank them enough for their presence and support during the difficult days.

On a happier note, this was a year Samhith has enjoyed to the utmost. This is the year I have seen him growing faster than ever, not just in size, but as a person too. He will enter his teens very soon now, and while I shudder at the thought, I can’t help but be proud of him! This year, I dragged him along to museums galore, both in Mumbai and outside, and his enthusiasm as well as insight has surprised me! He has made more friends than ever, and only a parent can understand the pleasure I get seeing him run off to play with his friends, and returning tired but happy, hours later! On the academic front, he aced the India Spell Bee, Mumbai edition, while, on the extra-curricular front, he shows an aptitude for cycling which delights us all. He recently cycled with his father all the way from Chembur to Thane, and just this Sunday, participated in a cyclothon too. We can see good times on his cycle ahead!

On another note, this has been the year I have really enjoyed with my camera, learning to use it a bit better, and wondering if it is time I shift to a DSLR, considering the appreciation I have received for my photographs. Our Postcrossing India friends encouraged me to print my photographs as postcards, which were very well received, and my photographs were also displayed at the Earth Mela conducted by the SPROUTS Environment Trust. Such appreciation is what we live for, after all! Besides, this is also the year my sister gave me ample opportunities to improve my photography skills – by renewing her Bharatanatyam performances. While she lit up the stage with her talent, I immersed myself in capturing the moments!

On the blog front, I have now completed six years of blogging, and have entered my seventh. Before the year ends, I will have completed 800 posts – a long journey by itself. Recently, I was listed 12th among ‘Top 31 Professional Indian Travel Bloggers’ by the Hop Around India Website. While I still don’t consider myself a ‘professional blogger’, I am honoured to be on the list! But having come so far, I can’t help wondering “What next?”

It has been a year of introspection, when I have wondered long and hard of where I am going, what I plan to do. As the year ends, and a new one begins, I know in my heart that I just want to write. It is what brings me happiness, gives me satisfaction, and that is just what I plan to do… continue writing, just as I have, for the past years, without a thought to anything else. And that is exactly what I wish for the coming years – opportunity, as well as inspiration, to write! 

Meanwhile, for the last few days of the year, I am planning to take you on a visual retrospective of my year - through my photographs! So, please do keep coming back, and leave your comments too, because nothing encourages or inspires me to write more than your comments do! 


  1. Any I am so sorry for your loss. But the year has so many ups. May you travel more and write more. And do buy that SLR you will not regret it, only you will keep buying more lenses and gear!

    1. Thank you, Mridula! I do hope the new year brings more travel :D but as for the dslr, the only reason i am not buying it is because i know i will keep buying more lenses and gear!!!!

  2. Anu, Nice and happy I feel the way you have improved on my fronts. especially your photographs are excellent.
    Happy for Samhith too.
    Sad to hear about the loss in your family.
    Looking to see more and more from you.
    I am aware of your activities but I find it always difficult to visit each and every blog . My blogging too had taken a back seat , will be getting back soon.

    1. Thank you so much, Chitra. It is so nice to see u here again. I was wondering where you had disappeared to. Hope you catch up with your blogging soon!

  3. Nice write up.Sorry to hear about loss.
    As others suggested do buy a DSLR :)


  4. Am commenting after a very, very long time, though I check in here very often. Hope the coming year brings lots of travel your way.

    1. so nice to see you here, Jayasree. Its been too long! and thanks so much! ! hope the new year brings you a lot of travel as well, and also hope it brings you here more often too!

  5. Lots of good wishes for the coming year u and Samhith too. I often check ur blog but don't comment...really some of ur pics r awesome ... hope to see a lot more of them in the coming year.

    1. Thank you so much, Dhanashri!!! so nice to see u here again! wish you all the best for the coming year too!!! and hope to see u here more often as well :D

  6. Very well said

    Now that makes me introspect on my year too

    1. Thank you so much, Sowmya! Looking forward to your introspection on the blog..

  7. Wishing you lots of travel and good times with the family in 2014. And in the new year, go for that new camera!

    1. Thank you so much, Charu! Keeping my fingers crossed for the camera.


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