It is one of the most dramatic sights in Ladakh. Precariously positioned on a high, craggy spur overlooking a barren mountain, Lamayuru Gompa (nullmonastery) draws wide eyed wonder from first time travelers. Even those who do not visit the monastery make the mandatory stop at the base of the valley while travelling on the Srinagar-Leh highway. Such is its eerie appeal of Lamayuru! The surrounding landscape has often been described as 'Moon Land '.
A major landmark on the legendary Silk Route, the 11th century Lamayuru is Ladakhâs oldest surviving monastery. Naropa, a Buddhist scholar from Kashmir is said to have established this monastery. The monastery got its next infusion of life from Rinchen Zangpo. A Tibetan, he came to India to study Buddhism and went on to become a great translator of Sanskrit Buddhist texts into Tibetan. Along with taking Lamayuru to a high, he went on build many significant monasteries in present day Ladakh, Spiti and Kinnaur. The Lamayuru Monastery belongs to the Drikung Kagyu sub-sect, of the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism.
Lamayuru also serves as the starting point of a popular trek between Lamayuru and Alchi.>