Lamayuru monastery or Yuru monastery is a Buddhist monastery located in Leh district. This is one of the oldest and largest monastery in Ladakh. It is famous for its annual mask dance festival.
Only a small part of the ancient monastery stands today. You can find the ruins of four corner buildings inside the campus. The prayer hall is open to tourists too. There are prayer wheels around the monastery. Inside the prayer hall, tourists are welcome to converse with the priest. There are many paintings and art works in the hall. If you are visiting in summer, take a village tour around Lamayuru to enjoy the culture of the land. People might invite you for a tea. Hiking is an important activity around the region. Other top attractions in the monastery are
Lamayuru monastery is on the Srinagar highway, which is closed in winter. The best time to visit the monastery is Summer. Summer starts in May and ends in September. If you are visiting in early winter, make sure to reach the monastery or Leh before nightfall. Getting stranded in the highway during snowfall is dangerous.
The monastery is located on the Leh-Srinagar highway. It is located 15 km away from Fotu La. You can find buses, cabs and jeeps from Leh to the monastery. Once inside Lamayuru monastery, you need to hike to the monastery. There are frequent buses from Kargil to the village.
The monastery holds two masked dance annual festivals. The festival takes place at 2nd and 4th month of Tibetan calendar. The main festival is the Yuru Kabgyat, which is famous for mask dance, procession and others. Hemis Tse Chu is a two-day festival, which is famous for interesting rituals that are said to wade off and tame the demons inside every individual.