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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

The Winged Beauties of Satpura

The first thing that struck us at the Denwa Backwater Escape were the number of butterflies and dragonflies fluttering around.

The colours and their patterns had us bemused and fascinated, little though we knew about them.

Over the next couple of days, our guides rattled off names and species, though I remember only a few today. Which is why, I am settling for showing you the wide variety we saw, minus names and details!

When it came to birds, however, we remember a lot more of the names. After all, we were seeing some for the very first time!

Spot Billed Ducks and Ruddy Shelducks, together, in pairs! 

Whether we were walking around the resort, venturing into the jungle, taking a boat ride on the river, or simply sitting near the backwaters, there were plenty of birds to be seen.

We saw over 50 varieties of birds, without really going in search of them! These pics are just a few of those I managed to capture!

This beautiful raptor posed for us on the ground, but I can't seem to identify him! Help please! 

This Black Winged Kite eluded us all day, but settled on a tree in front of our window, just as we were getting ready to leave! 

I have created a collage of the photos simply to reduce the number of photographs in this post. For those of you who want to look at each pic in detail, here is a slideshow…

Or, to head over to the Album, click here

This was in November, before the migratory birds had arrived. You can imagine what it would be like now!

I visited Denwa Backwater Escape in November 2014 on an invite from Pugdundee Safaris to explore the Satpura Wildlife Sanctuary. You can read more about the trip on my other posts about the experience.

  • The Satpura National park is located in Madhya Pradesh, and the backwaters of the Denwa river from the Tawa dam marks one of its boundaries.

How to Reach:
  • By Air: The nearest airport is at Bhopal (176 Km)
  • By Rail: The nearest major railway station is Itarsi (70 Km), which is well connected to all parts of India. Other accessible railway stations are Pipariya (50 Km), Sohagpur (19 Km) and Hoshangabad (50 Km).
  • By Road : There are a few local buses to Sohagpur, but there is hardly any regular public transport to the sanctuary itself. It is best to hire a car from Itarsi or Pipariya.

Where to Stay: There are plenty of hotels in the vicinity of the sanctuary to suit all budgets. We stayed at the Denwa Backwater Escape, which is certainly one of the best options in the area. The forest department also has accommodation near the entry gate of the sanctuary.


  1. Brilliant!!! Such a visual treat.

  2. wow so many of them. Beautiful pictures.

    1. Thanks Arun, but these were just a few of those we saw :D

  3. beautiful I loved the dragon fly all pink

    such radiant colors WOWOW


    1. Thanks Bikram!thats my fav shot of the dragonflies too!

  4. You've got some great bird shots! Which lens did you use? I got interested in birding for the first time during my recent trip to Corbett. Now to take it more seriously... :)

    1. Thanks Charu! btw, i just commented on your post, and then saw this comment :D

      and i dont use a dslr.. all these pics are with my nikon p510 :D am too lazy to lug around a dslr with all those lenses right now!!

      So, does that mean you saw plenty of birds at corbett? its time i go again.

  5. What an experience! I have always loved Jungles and this one seems so full of life.


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