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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

Srirangapatna - Some thoughts

The serene environs of Srirangapatna hide among them, scars of not one, but four wars. 




The crumbling fort walls, remnants of the massive gateways, ruins of the erstwhile palace, and the dungeons, evoke memories of those three decades, less than three centuries ago, when the four Mysore wars tried the resilience of its citizens, over and over again. 



These are grim reminders of Srirangapatna’s past, and the ultimate sacrifices of its people , but the most poignant among them surely has to be the sight of this single stone which stands as a testament to the bravest among the men who perished here.



This simply engraved stone marks the spot where Tipu Sultan’s body was found. This is one of the attractions which every tourist to Srirangapatna visits, but few of us realise that he wasn’t found alone. His body was found among ‘heaps’ of dead soldiers, to quote the ASI board at the site, and the words only serve to emphasise the massive sacrifices made by the people of this remarkable little town.




But above all, it speaks volumes of the courage of the man who stood up to the British, and fought for his beliefs, against all odds. That he succumbed to the bullet of some ordinary, unnamed soldier reminds us that he wasn’t among those who directed the war, but that he fought among his men, shoulder to shoulder, and died among them too. My only knowledge of Tipu Sultan was from all I had read about him – first at school, and later, through books, and then, through a TV series on him. However, it was only as I stood there, by that simple stone Colonel Wellesly had placed in his memory, that I realized he had never felt more real! 

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Comments

  1. I just found your blog, and am enjoying it very much already. I hope to one day visit India, so I want to learn as much as I can about the history and people, and your posts will help me a lot! Now to go find out more about Tippu Sultan...

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Natalie! I hope you get to visit India soon, and learn all you want to, before you do! If u need any help, feel free to send me a mail.

      Delete
  2. I have travelled through/ around Srirangapatna, but never visited this place at all. Quite a historical place. Is this a UNESCO Heritage site?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No its not a UNESCO site, country hopping couple, but part of the ASI heritage sites. In fact ,there were boards all over, with a list of heritage sites in srirangapatna.

      Delete
  3. Yes, its only when we visit the actual site we realise the importance and that person and how he must have faced the adversities.

    ReplyDelete

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