This Buddhist Heritage Tour program from Adventure White mountain will take you to four notable sites of Buddhism in Nepal across three distinct landscapes. The first one is Lumbini in the Tarai. Next up in the hills in Kathmandu are Swayambhunath and Bauddhanath and finally you will visit Tengboche Monastery high up in the mountains.
Your journey starts from Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautama Buddha in the plains of Tarai. After spending a day inside in Lumbini, you will come to Swayambhunath and Bauddhanath in Kathmandu in the hilly regions. Finally you will go to Tengboche Monastery up in the mountains. The selected sites have important cultural and spiritual importance. By visiting these you can also see the lifestyle of Nepali people at three distinct places in a matter of a week.
In Lumbini you will see how a wealthy and affluent prince went on to become The Buddha. You will see how his birth took place, his early beginnings and his undying determination to figure out the meaning of life. You will also understand how after years of hard meditation, he finally achieved enlightenment and came to know the manifold of inner peace.
Another part of your journey takes you to Swayambhunath and Bauddhanath in Kathmandu. Bauddhanath, the largest stupa in Nepal and the holiest Tibetan Buddhist monastery outside Tibet, lies in the eastern part of Kathmandu city. It is the center of Buddhist tradition in Kathmandu. On the other hand, Swayambhunath, located at the top of a hill on the western side of Kathmandu Valley is its most important Buddhist monument. The four eyes of Buddha at the faces of the monastery look out into the city, watching over its residents.
Towards the end of your Buddhist Heritage journey, you will visit Tengboche Monastery in Eastern Nepal in the Khumbu region. Located at 3,867 metres this monastery at the domain of the Sherpa people is the largest monastery in Khumbu. The monastery was built in 1916 within Sagarmatha National Park, providing a wonderful panorama of The Himalayas in Nepal.
Our representative will welcome you at Kathmandu International Airport and take you to your hotel. The tour guide will brief you on the program in the evening. You may walk around the place if time allows, and later, join a Nepalese dinner hosted by us.
After breakfast, we drive for around seven hours to to Lumbini, in the Tarai flatlands of Nepal. In summer, it is humid but winters are pleasant except on harsh foggy days. You will immediately feel the environment that is quite different from that of the capital.
Lumbini is the birthplace of The Buddha. You will visit special places of interest such as Ramgram, Devdaha, Kapilvastu and the many monuments built by a number of nations in the city. You can take a stroll in the market area before returning to the hotel for dinner.
We drive for seven hours today, back to Kathmandu, with beautiful, scenic and winding journey for more than half the time. You can rest for the rest of the day or you can spend the evening in a bar until dinner.
Catch an early flight (around 7:00 AM) to Lukla. The safe but narrow and patch of strip in Lukla Airport makes the landing exciting. From there we trek up the scenic Dudh-Koshi Valley before reaching Phakding where we stay overnight.
After breakfast in Phakding, today we will trek to Namche. The route is criss-corssed with rivers and bridges and forests amid the delicate mountain ecosystem. The hike to Namche Bazaar is a steep one, with glimpses of Mt. Everest. This Bazaar, where we stay for the night, is the one true gateway to Mt. Everest.
Namche Bazaar is located in the great slopes in Everest region. At first glance, it might appear remote but stay there and you will find lodges, restaurants, internet cafes, satellite access and souvenir shops. You can easily spend the day exploring around the bazaar and in the evening, you can walk up to Hotel Everest View and watch beautiful sunset over the greatest mountain range in Nepal. At night, head down to your lodge, grab a drink and have dinner before going to bed.
Thyangboche must be one of the most beautiful places in the world. The height is well over 12,000 feet. The Monastery buildings stand upon a knoll at the end of a big spur, which is flung out across the direct axis of the Imja river. Surrounded by satellite dwellings, all quaintly constructed and oddly medieval in appearance, it provides a grandstand beyond comparison for the finest mountain scenery that I have ever seen, whether in the Himalaya or elsewhere.Mani Rimdu is the most important festival of the Sherpa people. It is held during the tenth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, corresponding to October–November of the Gregorian calendar. It falls on the autumn season when large groups of tourists visit the Khumbu region to trek to Everest Base Camp and to witness the festival which lasts for nineteen days. The religious festivities involve ceremonies and meditation (Drupchen). The meaning attributed to "Mani Rimdu" is that ‘Mani’ means “part of the chant of Chenrezig” and ‘Rilbu’ or ‘Rimdu’ means small red pills that are blessed during the festival. The red pills are blessed repeatedly and then distributed to all those who attend.
The festival is a tradition passed on from its mother monastery, the Rongbuk. It begins with an elaborate depiction of the mandala diagram made with coloured sand. This sand is extracted from a specified location in the hills. The mandala takes four days to draw; it is then covered and is central to the religious festival that lasts for the next 10 days. The program includes 16 dance numbers with interludes for comical effect. Finally, after all the devotees have left, the monks perform a fire rite to dispel all harm to the world. The sand mandala specially created for the festival is then formally removed with prayers for the benefit of all sentient beings. At the end of the festivities the resident Tengboche Rinpoche of the monastery blesses the general public after which the 'Mask Dances' are performed by the monks. The monks perform the masked dance to usher some of the protective deities as manifestation of the legendary saint Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism; the dance numbers also display the defeat of demons and the initiation of Buddhism to Tibet.
Thus, Tengboche Monastery and Mani Rimdu are major attractions for tourists in Nepal. The number of tourists visiting the monastery is said to be about 15,000 per year and during peak tourist season the number is said to be 600 per week
Today we trek back to Namche Bazaar for about 4 hours and stay overnight at the noisy village. You can take a hot-water bath or just relax with some drinks. Stay overnight at the lodge in Namche Bazaar
We continue to trek back to Phakding with about 7 hours of walk today. While the downward trek is tiresome, you will get to enjoy the night with hot drinks and good food in Lukla. You will stay overnight at Lukla in a comfortable hotel.
Early morning, take a scenic 45-minute flight from Lukla in order to avoid the strong winds later in the afternoon. Upon arrival at the airport, you will go to your hotel, freshen up and spend the day in Kathmandu. At night, you can go through the photographs that you took during your journey.
Your Buddhist Heritage Tour ends here today. We will drop you at airport three hours earlier to schedule flight. We are thankful to you as you gave us opportunity to serve. See you soon! -