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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

Dungeons of Srirangapatna

Where there is a fort, there usually are dungeons. Except, that these days we rarely get to see any. Which is why, when we saw a Karnataka Tourism board proclaiming the presence of two dungeons in Srirangapatna, Samhith was all agog with anticipation. The first dungeon, as it turned out, was very near the Ranganathaswamy Temple. The Colonel Bailey’s dungeon, as it is called, is where Colonel Bailey was held captive during the Second Mysore War, by Tipu Sultan.

The dungeon is not easily visible, concealed as it is by the remnants of the fort bastion. 

This section is called Sultan’s Battery – where the cannons were deployed, and right in the centre, there is one cannon, which, during the war, fell through the wall, and is said to be lying here ever since! You can see the section of the ceiling which has caved in.

However, most interesting, at least to my 10 year old war obsessed kid, was this….

His imagination ran wild at the thought of all the British soldiers chained to the walls!

The second dungeon on the list is called Thomas Inman’s dungeon. Unlike the first one, this is named, not for someone who died here, but for the one who discovered it. It is believed that this dungeon was used by Tipu Sultan to imprison Marathas and other prisoners of war. The auto driver we had hired was hesitant to take us there, but when we insisted, he managed to get directions. All we got to see, however, was this….

The board announcing the presence of the dungeons.

The area around looked something like this…

And try as we might, we weren’t able to find our way inside! Someone we talked to later suggested that the entry might have been closed for maintenance work, since the palace was also closed around that time, but we weren’t able to confirm it. It was a disappointment though, to have missed out on another dungeon!

For more information about these dungeons, check out these links...


  1. The dungeons still create a feel of fear as you go down the steps. It quite well maintained too.

    1. Well, we visited in May, it was hot, and the place was filled with people, so actually there was nothing scary about it. but i can imagine it would be if there was less of a crowd... well maintained. yes it is.

  2. srirangpatnam has such divine and beautiful temples and scenic beauty. thanks for sahring the images they are so eye glittering.

  3. Replies
    1. yes, Shrinidhi.. the whole of Srirangapatna seems to be filled with such interesting and historic sites.

  4. Dear Anuradha
    Just chanced upon your blog while hopping at a friend's blog ..wonderful I must say . So much things to know and definitiely not possible to see all the places I am an armchair traveler ..Let me see what all you have here for me
    have a nice week

  5. I like your post very much...

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post, It is awesome.

  6. Dear anuradha,
    Beautiful picture ,I like ur post.thanks for sharing ths amazing post
    It's a informative post and really historic


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