This is an exciting and deeply spiritual tour package on Buddhism offered by Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition. On this pilgrimage tour, we take you to some of the most sacred spots in Nepal that deal with Buddhism, including where Lord Buddha was born and Guru Padma Sambhava achieved enlightenment.
Here we explore sacred caves as well as to see the site where Lord Buddha offered his body to a hungry tigress in the 7th Century, demonstrating his deep compassion for all of creation as the tigress was starving and unable to feed her hungry cubs. There will be visits to Lumbini, Swayambhu, Kapan Monastery, Boudhanath and other interesting places in this exciting adventure into Nepal and Buddhism.
DAY 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to Hotel
DAY 2 – Travel to Maratika by 4 wheel drive Jeep
DAY 3 – Maratika
DAY 4 – Return to Kathmandu
DAY 5 – Sightseeing in Kathmandu
DAY 6 – Travel to Lumbini, Sightseeing
DAY 7 – Return to Kathmandu
DAY 8 – Buddhist Holy Sites at Pharping
DAY 9 – Namobuddha
DAY 10 – Kapan Monastery
DAY 11 – Departure
DAY 1 – Arrival: You will arrive at Tribhuven International Airport in Kathmandu where you will be met by a representative of Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition and taken by private vehicle to your Three Star Hotel.
DAY 2 – Drive to Maratika: We will drive by private vehicle to Maratika Cave. It is a 9 hour trip by jeep. Accommodations are very basic at Maratika, and dinner will be Tibetan noodles and Nepali Dhal Baat. Maratika Cave is located 260 km southwest of Mt. Everest in Khotang District. The caves here have been pilgrimage sites for both Hindus as well as Buddhists for thousands of years.
DAY 3 – Maratika: We will explore Maratika today, taking time to visit all the caves and monasteries as well as finding some time to meditate. We will spend the night at our local lodge.
DAY 4 – Return to Kathmandu: It is a long return trip, but you will be back at your Three Star Hotel for the night with good food and a hot bath.
DAY 5 – Explore Kathmandu: Today we tour the Kathmandu Valley with a focus on Buddhist sites. There are seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Valley, and two of them are devoted to Buddhism. We will visit Swayambhu (Monkey Temple) which has been sacred to Buddhists for over 2000 years. From here it is a trip to the fabulous ancient city of Bhaktapur where we will see fine example of Newari architecture as well as temples and palaces.
DAY 6 – Fly to Lumbini: We fly to the domestic airport near Lumbini and take a private vehicle for 35 km to our Three Star Hotel where we will enjoy visiting the birthplace of Lord Buddha. We will have time to meditate there as well as to visit some of the many monasteries at this site. There is a museum at Lumbini, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
DAY 7 – Fly to Kathmandu, Visit Patan Durbar Square: We will return to Kathmandu today and explore the fabled city of Patan. Sitting south of Kathmandu, it was once its own kingdom and was known as the city of art. We will see its famed Durbar Square and temples along with the Newari Buddhism Golden Temple which includes a museum known for its Buddhist sculptures. We will spend the night at our Three Star Hotel in Kathmandu.
DAY 8 – Buddhist Sites in Kathmandu Valley: We will travel to Pharping where we will see Asura Cave where the Great Guru Padmasambhava became enlightened. There are many historic caves, monasteries plus the largest statue of Padmasambhava in the world (106 feet tall). You can make a special puja today before returning to your hotel.
DAY 9 – Namobuddha: We drive early morning to Namobuddha which is around 45 km from Kathmandu. This is the famous site where a reincarnated Buddha offered his flesh to a hungry tigress so she could feed her cubs, the ultimate act of compassion. We will spend time at this sacred place before returning to our hotel.
DAY 10 – Kapan Monastery & Boudhanath: Today is our final day in the city and we go to the largest stupa in Nepal (3rd largest in the world) at Boudhanath. Kapan Monastery is nearby and belongs to the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). This monastery was founded in 1969 and is a center of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. We will have a Farewell Dinner and Cultural Show in the evening.
DAY 11 – Departure: All good things must come to an end, and this short trip is no exception. Your representative at Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition will escort you by private vehicle to the airport to see you off to your next destination. Before leaving, why not discuss a return trip to Nepal to explore other parts of this great nation. Your representative at Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition can put together all kinds of vacation packages for your next holiday.
While traveling with Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition, your all around safety and satisfaction is of our paramount concern. Please note that the Trip Leader has the authority to cancel or amend any part of this itinerary if it is necessary due to any safety concerns. We leave no stone unturned to keep the itinerary mentioned above, but as this adventure does include traveling in the Himalayas, we can’t guarantee that it will not be necessary to make changes if conditions so warrant. Some of these factors include extreme weather conditions, unexpected natural disaster, health conditions of any of our group members, etc, can all be contributing factors necessitating changes. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition’s Trip Leader will try to ensure that the trip runs as per plan, but we kindly request that you be flexible if need be.
All accommodations for Maratika Haleshi Namobuddha Lumbini Pilgrimage are on twin sharing basis with inclusive trip costs and are chosen based on standard hygiene, standard of service and food, location and more. There are two kind of accommodations during the trip. We will spend the nights in 3-Star Hotels in Kathmandu & Lumbini and local lodge in Maratika. Solo travelers may share a room, or if requested, we can arrange for a private room for an additional fee. We at Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition will do all we can to make your trip as pleasant and enjoyable as possible.
During the tour, we can enjoy typical Nepali local food, different ethnic cuisines as well as all types of international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.) from pizza and chips to apple pie. We can even enjoy hot chocolates, variety of breads, drinks and snacks. Dinner and breakfast will be served at the tour where we will spend the night. A farewell dinner with cultural show and breakfast will be served in our stay in Kathmandu as well as breakfast served in Lumbini.