Himalaya Network Group
9-December-2022, Fri

Pilgrimage Tour

Nepal is a country known for its holy sights where the Buddha was born, lamas perform miracles, and statues have spoken. This pilgrimage offers all the primary Buddhist pilgrimage spots in Nepal. One will be guided through these sights and given the opportunity to pray, light butter lamps, and learn the history of each historical spot.

The length and price of the pilgrimage is entirely up to you. If there is anything that you would like to add or take out that is fine. Please give us a general budget and length of stay desired and we will make an itinerary to your liking.

(Places visited are listed and a brief explanation is given below)

Kathmandu: Click here for information on temples.
Patan: Click here for information on temples.
Bhaktapur: Click here for information on temples.

Boudhanath: This stupa, said to be the largest in the world at 36 meters high, has been designated a World Heritage sight by UNESCO. It is also known as Charong Kashar and is one of the most famed pilgrim- age sights not only for its size, but for it's unique history. There are over 45 Buddhist monasteries that have been erected in the vicinity where one can go to pray, make offerings, and light butter lamps.

Swayambu: This stupa looms over the valley on the top of a hillock in the western part of the valley. It is certainly one of the holiest places in Nepal and is linked to the creation of the Kathmandu Valley from a primordial lake. This too is a World Heritage Sight and is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. Surrounding the hill is a circumambulation stone walkway with smaller stupas, prayer wheels, and a huge golden statue.

Lumbini: This historical landmark is the birthplace of Sidhartha Gautam, the Shakya prince, better known later as Shakyamuni, the ultimate enlightened Buddha. A pillar that was erected over 2,200 years ago by the Buddhist, Indian Emperor, Ashoka, identifies the exact place of birth. Temples representing many different sects of Buddhism have been erected to commemorate the Buddha’s birth and give one a great opportunity to explore the many different facets to the Buddha’s teachings. Depending on budget and time one can get here by a bus or plane.

Namo Buddha: Better know by Tibetans as Tag-mo Lu-jin. This means the place where the Buddha offered his body to the hungry mother tigress. It is renowned for Shakyamuni's act of compassion upon encountering a hungry mother tigress he offered her his body so that she could feed her cubs. There are a couple monasteries and one ancient stupa erected nearby in which one can make offerings, pray, and light butter lamps. This sight can be reached in a couple hours by jeep or for those who prefer a half-day hike it gives beautiful views of the local villages and lush scenery.

Yangleshod: Locally known in Nepali as Pharping. This sacred place is known for three things. First, there is a Tara statue that is said to be self-arising. It was not carved by humans and slowly over the years becomes larger and more apparent from the rock. Second, above the statue on the top of a hill is a small cave in which Guru Rinpoche is said to have realized Vajra Kilaya. Third, in lower Yangleshod, there is another cave that Guru Rinpoche meditated in, in which there is the imprint of his head in the top of the rock. There are many different stupas and monasteries in the area that one may visit. This can be reached by car or bus and requires a small walk to reach the top cave on the face of a hill.

Maritika: Outside of Kathmandu where Guru Rinpoche is said to have increased his life span through meditation, in order to accomplish the benefit of beings, there is a huge cave in the rural hill areas. There is a very old and small monastery outside the cave on a hilltop, which one can visit and make aspirations, offerings, and light butter lamps. Due to its remote location, and depending on your time and budget, there are three ways to get there. One is to take a 45-minute helicopter ride, the second is a plane ride and then two days hike each way. The third, by far the longest and most adventurous way, is to take an overnight bus and then hike for one week each way.

Shakyamuni Four Point Pilgrimage
This pilgrimage takes one through the four main Buddhist spots where Shakyamuni was born, became enlightened, turned the first wheel of dharma, and died.

Lumbini: As mentioned above, this is the birth place of the Buddha. We start our journey here in southwestern Nepal.

Boudhgaya: This holy place located just southwest of Nepal is where the Buddha became enlightened. There is a large ancient stupa and many smaller surrounding ones where the Buddha attained enlightenment. Many temples representing the different sects of Buddhism surround the area.

Sarnath: This deer park just south of Boudhgaya is where the Buddha turned the first wheel of dharma. It is said that he remained for seven days in silence in the forest after attaining enlightenment before walking to Sarnath and giving teachings. There are many historical sights and the surrounding vicinity is covered with temples, stupas, and shrines.

Kushinagar: This holy site is where the Buddha passed on to nirvana. His last days are described in the Great Parinirvana Sutra (parinirvana means complete peace). There is a large stupa and monument marking the place where he lay as he died.

Pilgrimage Nepal and India
This pilgrimage includes all the sights mentioned above from Nepal and India.

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