Sham valley

Lamayuru Monastery

Lamayuru Monastery is one of the oldest Monastery in Ladakh. This Ancient Monastery is the main seat of Drikung Kagyu practice in the part of Ladakh. There are more then 50 monasteries under the leadership of this great monastery in the lower region of Ladakh. Around 300 monks are registered under the administration of the monastery. Lamayuru Monastery is situated approximately 127 km to the west of Leh

Short History about Monastery

In earley (1016-1100), Mahasiddha Naropa visited the place coming from Zanskar. He spent a long time in tough retreat in a cave there and turned the place into a spiritual land. The cave still exists, well conserve and forms part of the main shrine of Lamayuru Monastery. In 1038 the extremely skilful translator Rinchen Zangpo (958–1055) built five temples at Lamayuru village. These were among the 108 temples and stupas he raised in Spiti and Ladakh. One of the five temples at Lamayuru is still in excellent condition.

In 1834 Zorawar Singh invaded Ladakh, who was the general of the army of King Gulab Singh of Jammu. During the invasion many of the monks of Monastery were massacred and only few managed to escape to the mountains..When Zorawar Singh left Lamayuru, the monks hiding in the mountains returned to Monastery. There were only six of them left. They were totally shattered to find nothing at the site of their Monastery except for carcasses and ruins. They tried very hard to resume the holy activities of the monastery but it was next to impossible. Having nothing left, they had to use a set of mud cups as offering bowls. They bought one bell without the knob from someone in the village and played it during their rituals. Succession of Choje’s (Dharma Masters) took care of Lamayuru Monastery for some generations, and in 1904 the 31st Choje Togden Konchok Tenzin Damcho Gyurme built the current five-floor Monastery. Presently, well-organized with the more than 30 branch of Monasteries in and outside Ladakh, Lamayuru Monastery is home to 350 monks, all under the spiritual guidance of H.E. Choje Togden Rinpoche. Most of the senior monks of Lamayuru Monastery were educated and trained in spiritual activities in Drikung Thil and Yangrigar Monasteries, in Tibet, before the Chinese invasion in 1959. Festival : Annual masked dance festival