Lamayuru Gompa, 11th Century Tibetan Monastery in Ladakh

Experience the surreal beauty of Lamayuru, Ladakh, in less than 5 minutes. This short video encapsulates the awe-inspiring "Moonland", nestling an 11th-century monastery, a testament to a vibrant Tibetan Buddhist history. Journey through the narrow lanes of this quaint village, witness the warm culture of the Tibetan and Ladakhi population, and relish the enigma of the annual Yuru Kabgyat festival. Absorb the rich visuals of eroded landscapes, painted with monasteries and bordered by barren mountains and river valleys. Sit back, watch the video, and let Lamayuru unveil itself within the comfort of your screen.

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Unknown India • Ladakh, Karnataka, Telangana in 2022

vimeo chapterA click on this icon above displays the list of chapters of this film about Ladakh • state in northwestern India in India. A click on a dot goes directly to a chapter.

Reading the text below will help you better understand the cultural context of the images in this video.

Lamayuru Gompa: A Journey Through the History and Geography of Lamayuru, Ladakh 



Lamayuru is a land of almost supernatural beauty. Located in the union territory of Ladakh, India, this small village is a treasure trove of history and culture, anchored in the majestic Himalayan Mountains. Its most precious gem is undoubtedly the Lamayuru Monastery, also known as Yuru Gompa, which bears witness to a rich Tibetan Buddhist past. 


History of Lamayuru Gompa 


Lamayuru Gompa is one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh, dating back to the 11th century. It was founded by Buddhist scholar Mahasiddhacharya Naropa after long fasting and intense meditation. It subsequently attracted monks from all over Ladakh, making it a major center for the learning and practice of Buddhism. Even today, the monastery is home to around a hundred monks and continues to be a place of spiritual retreat. 


Geography: A lunar landscape 


The scenery around Lamayuru is amazing. Eroded rock formations give the area a moonlike appearance, earning it the nickname "Moonland". At an elevation of around 3,510 meters, Lamayuru is surrounded by barren mountains and river valleys, providing a stark contrast to the Buddhist monasteries that dot the landscape. 


Life in Lamayuru 


Despite its modest size, Lamayuru is home to a diverse population, mostly made up of Tibetans and Ladakhi. The inhabitants of the village lead a simple life, punctuated by Buddhism and the seasons. Their main source of income comes from agriculture and tourism. Visitors can expect to be greeted with warm hospitality, delicious cuisine and a variety of local artisan products. 


Traditions and celebrations 


Lamayuru is also famous for its annual festivals, notably the Yuru Kabgyat. This two-day festival, which takes place in the summer, is a celebration of the Buddha and Buddhist teachings. Monks perform ritual dances, known as Chams, which tell stories from the life of the Buddha and other Buddhist deities. 


Explore Lamayuru 


Visiting Lamayuru offers a unique opportunity to explore breathtaking scenery, rich Buddhist history and vibrant culture. Tourists can visit Lamayuru Monastery, admire ancient frescoes and Buddhist statues, and experience meditation under the guidance of experienced monks. A stroll through the village also reveals traditional Ladakhi architecture, while hikers can venture into the surrounding mountains for stunning views of the region. 




Lamayuru is a real treasure of Ladakh, offering a journey through the unique history and geography of this region. From the stunning moonscape to the culturally rich Lamayuru Monastery, a visit to this village is an experience not to be missed for anyone looking to experience the real Ladakh.


about the place, Lamayuru:

Lamayuru is a small village located in the Union Territory of Ladakh, India. Home to one of the oldest and largest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the region, the Lamayuru Monastery, also known as Yuru Gompa, this village offers a fascinating insight into Buddhist history and culture. The surrounding landscape, characterized by its eroded rock formations, gives the village of Lamayuru a lunar-like appearance, earning it the nickname of "Moonland". Each year, thousands of tourists and pilgrims visit Lamayuru for its striking natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.

stupas at the monastery, Lamayuru , Ladakh • India

What's the weather like in Lamayuru ?


Spoken comments in the film: 

In the heart of a lunar landscape on the high plateau of Ladakh, there is a small village within which stands a thousand-year-old monastery, built on a rocky peak during the 11th century. 

This is the oldest working monastery in Ladakh, the Lamayuru Gompa. 

Gompa means a place of prayer and meditation in Tibetan. These monasteries are often located in isolated places, thus reflecting one of the fundamental values of Buddhism, tranquility and serenity favoring meditation and spiritual contemplation, far from city temptations and distractions. 

This explains the location of Lamayuru Gompa, a monastery currently housing a hundred monks.


Often the creation of such monasteries is shrouded in mystery and many legends circulate. Among those recounting the foundation of Lamayourou Gompa, it is said that the founder, Mahasiddhacharya Naropa succeeded, after years of fasting and meditation, in causing the nagas (kind of mythical snakes) to leave the lake which was at the site of the monastery. , and to drain it to found the Gompa. Hard to believe, that this place was under water, when you observe the landscape..., but the legends do not address our Cartesian mind and have a mythical dimension which very often escapes us.



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prayer wheels, Lamayuru  • India • Ladakh

prayer wheels

stupas, Lamayuru  • India • Ladakh


valley seen from the monastery, Lamayuru  • India • Ladakh

valley seen from the monastery

repair work in the monastery, Lamayuru  • India • Ladakh

repair work in the monastery

Lamayuru, Ladakh • India

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