Like all the Tibetan monasteries of Ladakh, it is built high on a hill-top:
a reflection not just of religious allegory, but a practical requirement in past centuries, when these communities were also seats of political power and strategic military bases.
Our first glimpse of Lamayuru provided, perhaps, the most arresting vista of all the Ladakh monasteries we visited:
one that made us very keen to explore.
But strangely, it lacked that intensity of “presence” which seeped from every aspect of the Likir community we experienced the same morning.
Despite its beauty, I felt slightly estranged from Lamayuru: kept at a distance:
I ask myself what might account for the difference, but find no logical answers.
We had been the only strangers in Likir, whilst there were two or three other tourists here in Lamayuru.
But they, like us, observed with quiet respect, careful not to disturb the silence.
And later, though our path would once more cross that of another European in a different monastery, it proved no barrier to sensing great sanctity..
Pictures taken in Lamayuru, Ladakh