This trip will take you to sacred places in Nepal where you will encounter exceptional people who devote their lives to spirituality. In these places, your guide, Geshe Jamyang Norbu, will share his knowledge of spirituality, psychology, and the Indo-Tibetan philosophy. If you are looking for a transformational travel experience full of moments of sharing and exchange, this trip is for you!
- Share moments with exceptional people, such as amchis, doctors of Tibetan medicine, monks from Kopan, nuns of Naggi Gompa and yogis
- Explore ancient Buddhist holy places such as Namo Buddha, “Homage to the Buddha”
- Be introduced to Buddhist philosophy by your guide, Geshe Jamyang Norbu, and participate in meditations and teachings
- Discover the culture, traditions and way of life of Nepal
- Be guided by the experience and expertise of Omalaya
You will arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to the hotel by minibus. This will be the first glimpse of the fascinating Nepalese cultural kaleidoscope of images and sounds, cows wandering in the streets, sadhus, rickshaws, temples, street merchants, women and children dressed in their colourful saris. Arrival at the hotel.
Kathmandu Durbar Square. Jawalakhel. Kathmandu.
Geshe Jamyang Norbu will take you to the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, where you can explore the historic centre and admire its fine architecture. You will start with Durbar Square, sacred heart of the city, and its superb examples of Nepalese-style pagoda temple sculpture, the royal palace, and the temple of Kumari. A Living Goddess, Kumari is worshipped as a deity by all devout Hindus and is the incarnation of Durga, “the inaccessible,” one of the most fearsome deities of the Hindu pantheon. Perhaps you will have the privilege of witnessing the goddess at the window of the temple.
In the afternoon, you will meet an amchi, a doctor of traditional Tibetan medicine, and learn about this art science that has been practiced for over 2500 years. Tibetan medicine is a science, an art, and a philosophy that provides a holistic approach to healthcare. At a special consultation, you will have the opportunity to personally explore the philosophy of this medicine. Through this unique experience, you will discover the benefits of this ancient practice.
Kathmandu. Patan. Bungamauti. Khokana. Kathmandu.
Today you will visit the ancient royal city of Patan, also known as the “City of Arts.” This UNESCO World Heritage Site will delight you with its beauty and cultural richness marked by exquisite architecture with its palaces, Hindu and Buddhist temples, statues and religious art. Visiting Patan is also an opportunity to meet the artisans that give this city its unique beauty. In many ways, life continues here as it has for centuries. In the afternoon, you will visit village of Bungamauti, home to many master wood carvers, followed by the village of Khokana and rice fields. These visits will give you the opportunity to experience daily life in Nepalese villages.
Undoubtedly one of the most fascinating architectural gems of Nepal, Swayambhunath, a Buddhist and Hindu pilgrimage site, is a haven of peace and beauty. To get there, you will climb the 365 steps to the stupa, a circular mound encasing Buddhist relics. The pilgrims see this climb as a purification of negativities that have been accumulated throughout the year. Here, you may offer butter lamps, flowers, and mantras, and let yourself be immersed in the sacred energy of this place. From this site, it is believed that the wisdom of the Buddha’s eyes look down onto the Kathmandu valley. The splendid view is decorated with colourful prayer flags hanging in the trees as a sign of good wishes for all beings.
In the afternoon, you will discover Pharping, an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists and Hindus where many great yogis have attained enlightenment. This site is home to the sacred cave of Asura where the yogi and tantric master Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, attained realization of mahamudra, enlightenment. Guru Rinpoche is revered by Tibetans for establishing Buddhism in Tibet in the 8th century. Geshe Jamyang Norbu will introduce you to the power of his mantra, a sacred sound formula based on repetition, beneficial for the body and mind. The mantra of Guru Rinpoche is known for its power of peace, protection, transformation, and healing. It will offer you a time of meditation and mindfulness, during which you may focus on the present moment in order to discover your true nature. Here, you will experience the powerful energy of this place, as evidenced by the rocks surrounding the caves, which are known to manifest an extraordinary phenomenon called rangjung. This sacred form arises from the rocks through the intensity of the spiritual energy. You will discover natural manifestations of Tara and Ganesh and take in the blessings of the premises by being present with your entire being. On the final night before leaving this place of indescribable wisdom and compassion, you will hang prayer flags for the good of all beings and thus pass on your wishes for peace, harmony, and prosperity.
Today you will visit Bhaktapur, “the city of devotees” and the third largest city of Nepal after Kathmandu kingdom and Patan. This ancient city with its remarkable architecture and relaxed atmosphere will be an exciting experience. It is characterized by its royal palaces, temples dedicated to different deities with varied architectural styles, pagodas, and a variety of magnificent buildings erected over the course of several centuries by various kings. Picturesque, narrow streets invite you to linger and explore one of the most well preserved cities of Nepal.
In the afternoon, you will visit Nagarkhot, a small village at an elevation above 2200 meters known for its breathtaking views of the Himalaya and its peaks, including Dhaulagiri, Ganesh Himal, and Langtang Lirung. Enjoy the deep peace of this place where Geshe Jamyang Norbu will offer teachings and time for meditation.
Panauti. Namo Buddha.
In the morning, you will start your day by enjoying the sunrise and the magnificent view of the Himalayan chain with its majestic, snowy peaks! You will take an excursion to Namo Buddha, “Homage to the Buddha,” one of the most sacred places of Nepal. In one of his previous lives Buddha met a starving tigress with cubs and, out of compassion, he sacrificed his body. A stupa commemorates this event and it is believed to contain its relics. Through wild rhododendron forests and small villages of Nepal, you will experience the energy of compassion that is always present in this place visited by many saints and great Tibetan masters. Here, in this beautiful atmosphere, Geshe Jamyang Norbu will provide a teaching on compassion and a guided meditation. In this teaching, you will be introduced to the concepts of Buddhist philosophy, which emphasize a feeling of flawless love and compassion. This is the first step in learning to exist without the support of others. When this natural state is reached, we are fully present with ourselves, which allows us to let go of our preconceptions of others. This release will allow you to fully open to others without fear and so to live a life of love and compassion.
In the afternoon, you will enjoy an excursion to the village of Panauti, which is an ancient Newar city. This city is a remarkable open-air museum of architectural beauty with its buildings and works of art. Panauti is also an important and ancient religious site. This sacred site was built at the confluence of two rivers, the Rosi and Punyamata, and a third hidden and holy river, thus creating a Triveni Sangam, a confluence of three rivers, in the shape of the trident of Lord Shiva. You may also enjoy the special energy of this place that is home to Indreshwor Mahadev Temple. Revered by pilgrims who come from near and far to pay homage to this temple’s shrine, it contains a shivalinga, an important object of worship by the faithful.
Changunarayan. Pashupatinath. Boudhanath.
You will visit the Changu Narayan Temple, the oldest temple in the Kathmandu Valley where you may absorb a sense of peace and wholeness. Perched on a ridge about 18 km east of Kathmandu, the view from this sacred place is the wonderful quintessence of religion and faith.
In the afternoon, you will visit Pashupatinath, one of the most important religious sites in Asia for the followers of Shiva. This complex of temples straddles the sacred river Bagmati and is a place of human cremation. Here, you will see many lingams, the phallic symbols of Shiva, which are ubiquitous in the art and architecture of Pashupatinath, and ghats, the stone steps leading into bodies of water, which are often used for cleansing rituals. You may also observe the temple’s inhabitants, the saints and ascetics, called sadhus.
You will also visit the incredible Boudhanath Stupa, a massive three-dimensional mandala, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the most holy Tibetan temple that exists outside of Tibet. The powerful energy that emerges here will fill you with a deep sense of tranquility. Along with many devotees, guests are also welcome to walk around this unique site, which is believed to contain within it relics of the Buddha. Here, the sacred is everywhere and you will discover how spirituality is woven into everyday life. You will experience this atmosphere’s powerful energy where time seems to be suspended.
In the morning you will have the chance to meet a great Tibetan master. He will give you the blessing of kaptok. This is a powerful protective practice that will help you manage the challenges of daily life while maintaining your spiritual path. After the blessing, you will participate in the monastery’s ritual to promote long life.
The remainder of the afternoon will be free for your exploration.
Today, you will visit the Kopan Monastery. This monastery is modern and was built in 1969. It is home to nearly 360 monks, lamas, teachers, and workers.
In the monastery, you will meet with a monk for the opportunity to discuss meditation practice. Walking meditation will also be offered, as well as a yoga class in the afternoon.
Bouddhanilkanda. Naggi Gompa.
You will visit the site of Bouddhanilkanda and impressive floating Vishnu statue that represents him lying in the cosmic sea of existence. By late morning, you will have the chance to be received by the Buddhist nuns of the Naggi Gompa Nunnery. To get there you will take a beautiful road that is in the Shivapuri Nature Park. This forest is full of beautiful trees and majestic plants. You will be delighted by the incredible valley views at the nunnery and by its surrounding tranquility. You will experience the overwhelming hospitality of the nuns and participate in their prayers.
In the morning you will visit the complex of temples dedicated to the goddess Vajrayogini. At this ancient pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists, the temples are a tribute to one of the most powerful deities practiced in Tantric Buddhism. You will participate in the chod ritual, a spiritual practice that “cuts” through the barriers of ignorance, negativity, and self-delusion and will be performed by a yogi.
In the afternoon, you will have the privilege of being invited into a one-on-one teaching and discussion of Buddhist philosophy.
Your final morning will be free to explore the city by yourself, do your last minute shopping, and enjoy your last moments in Nepal before returning home.