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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

Fort Kochi - Part 1: First Impressions

What do you do when you visit a place for the first time? Do extensive research, or go unprepared, ready to be surprised? I chose the latter on my visit to Fort Kochi this summer, and within a day, I was so enchanted, I wished I could spend more time there! My experiences were too varied to fit into one post, so this is going to be a series... and here is the first one….

We knew we would enjoy our stay at Fort Kochi, the moment we entered the quiet bylanes and saw the quaint houses, seemingly from another era. The peace and quiet was a welcome relief after the bustle of Ernakulam, and it was difficult to believe we were so near the city! The number of boards advertising homestays clearly proclaimed it to be a tourist hub, though we discovered that it was mostly foreigners who came here, not the average Indian tourists. Maybe it is this which has helped Fort Kochi retain so much of its colonial past.

The Silverweed Homestay, tucked away in a narrow lane, greeted us with a profusion of flowers, which brightened the cloudy day. With just two newly built rooms over the original house, it was homely and comfortable. Our hostess was out on a medical emergency, though our host, grappling with the domestic arrangements, welcomed us warmly, and made sure we had everything we needed, even making breakfast for us singlehandedly! Chatting with him about his family, and Kochi itself, over the years, was certainly one of the highlights of our stay here!

Flowers seemed to be a dominant part of our Fort Kochi experience. From the many flowers our hostess carefully tended to….

To the many rooftop and balcony gardens we saw as we walked around the town….

Flowered creepers growing over abandoned walls, adding an extra dash of colour to the graffiti….

Even the trees formed a flowered canopy for many of the small lanes we walked by, as we explored the town.

Kochi welcomed us with flowers, but also showed us so much over in the one short day we spent here. Look out for many more posts about Kochi and its attractions in the coming weeks! 


  1. Beautiful! Being surrounded by so much natural color and greenery is very relaxing and soothing. I liked the bird graffiti too! More like art to me! :) I'm looking forward to more pictures and commentary about Kochi.

    1. Thank you, Natalie! I will post more pics of the bird grafitti soon. the place was full of grafitti but it rained so much i didnt click many of them.

  2. Replies
    1. you have been there during the biennale right? it must have been great then! I completely enjoyed my time there!


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