Travel Agency

For those seeking an immersive experience, we organize tours and treks to the sacred Buddhist sites and valleys of Nepal and Bhutan, ideal for exploring and dharma practice. Our tour experiences are crafted to resonate with seekers of varying backgrounds, physical capabilities, and motivation for traveling.

40m-high statue of Guru Padmasambhava overlooks the monasteries of Dollu and Pharping

Sacred Buddhist Sites of the Kathmandu Valley

We recommend three days to cover all the Buddhist power places mentioned next, plus some other important landmarks of the Kathmandu Valley. The price per day is on a sliding scale ranging from 85 to 150 USD for the guide, excluding transportation fees. Our guides will not only provide the historical background of the various sites but also introduce Buddhist principles for those who are interested. We can also include airport pickup service and hotel booking in Boudha.

(Please be aware that the sliding scale pricing is in place to ensure accessibility for individuals from diverse financial backgrounds. Please select the option that aligns with your financial capabilities. If you can contribute towards higher scales, we encourage you to do so as it enables us to maintain service quality for all. However, please feel free to opt for lower scales if necessary. Should you require further assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to us.) 

For bookings please email: 

Considered by some as the most powerful shrine in all the Himalayas, Swayambhu’s story is connected with the origin of Buddhism in Nepal and the origin myth of the Kathmandu Valley as a whole. The Stupa, along with other shrines, rests atop a forested hill on the western edge of the valley. According to Newar tradition (the Newari people are the local inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley), this is the center of the Nepal Mandala.

One of the largest stupas in the world, Boudha stupa is located on the ancient trade route that crosses the Himalayas from Nepal to Tibet on the eastern side of Kathmandu. Ever since the arrival of Tibetan refugees during the second half of the 20th century, it has become their main center of worship in Nepal and now is one of the main centers of Tantric Buddhist activity in the world. The stupa and its surrounding areas are home to over 50 different Buddhist monasteries as well as to an active community of craftsmen, artists, and dharma practitioners.

The smallest of the Three Great Stupas, this stupa marks the site where in a past life, Buddha Shakyamuni offered his body to a starving tigress who was about to eat her own cubs. Due to this deed, this is regarded as the birthplace of the practice of body offering which developed in Tibetan Buddhism as Chod. Due to the karmic repining of this deed, those five cubs are believed to have been reborn as Buddha’s first five disciples to whom he imparted his very first teaching on the Four Truths, and the mother tigress was reborn as the woman who offered him the curd which invited him to break his asceticism and attain final enlightenment. Namo Buddha is located southeast of the Kathmandu Valley. The setting is very peaceful and conducive to meditation. Thrangu Tashi Yangtse, Thangu Rinpoche’s monastery is located up the hill. There one can find lodging and sometimes courses on Buddhist philosophy and Tibetan language.

Tilopa and Naropa Caves

Located on the banks of the Bagmati River within the Pashupatinath temple compound, there are two caves which the Tibetan tradition identifies as being places where the two progenitors of the Kagyu lineage meditated. The caves are located in a relatively quiet location within the Pashupati Gorge (this is also one of the three gorges that according to mythology, Manjushri cut in order to drain an ancient lake, therefore making the Kathmandu Valley inhabitable and extremely fertile for human habitation). There are many other caves in the surroundings. Some are empty and some are inhabited by Hindu yogis mainly from the Goraknath lineage. Even though nowadays Pashupati is usually associated solely with Hinduism, there are other Buddhist sites such as Guhyeshwori temple which is associated with Vajrayogini. In addition, Vishworup Temple’s main deity is identified as Chemchok Heruka according to Tibetan guidebooks. Chemchok Heruka is one of the deities of the Mandala of the Great Eight which Guru Padmasambhava introduced to Tibet and has remained an important practice within the Nyingma Tradition. This temple may be the site known as “Orgyen’s Throne” in some Newar chronicles. Khamtrul Chokyi Nyima mentions a tree and an image of Goraknath near the site where Guru Rinpoche meditated so it is likely this is the same location. 

Tham Bahil

Nestled within Thamel (indeed this is where it gets its name), the tourist district of Kathmandu, Tham Bahil is an ancient monastery said to have been founded by the great master Atisha Dipankara during his stay in Nepal in the 11th century CE when he was on his way to Tibet from India. Here a sacred ancient manuscript of the Prajnaparamita Sutra in One Hundred Thousand Verses is stored and displayed upon request. This particular copy is said to have been pulled out by Nagarjuna from Shantipur (a secret temple in the vicinity of Swayambhu stupa) where there is an entrance to the realm of the nagas. Even though the dates don’t exactly match for this to be the Nagarjuna who developed the unsurpassed Madhyamaka philosophy, the mountain behind Swayambhu hill is also called Nagajun Hill and is said to have other sites associated with him. 

Talking Tara

Situated in the heart of old Kathmandu, the primary object of worship within a small courtyard next to Itum Bahal, is an image of White Tara. She is flanked by two attendants. Also recognized as Taking Tara, this statue was erected in the 14th century by a devoted woman from Banepa. According to Tibetan tradition, she is believed to have flown from Tibet and imparted teachings, earning her the affectionate nickname “Talking Tara.” This is a must-visit site for all those who have a connection with her. 

Golden Temple (Kwa Bahal)

Located near Patan Durbar Square, this is probably the most significant Newar Buddhist monastery in the Kathmandu Valley. The Golden Temple is renowned for its contemporary religious vitality, wealth, and the quality of its art. One can’t help but imagine how many Buddhist monasteries in the valley must have looked like this some hundreds of years ago during the period when the previous dynasties of kings of the Kathmandu Valley still supported Buddhism. However, unlike museums that usually feel stale, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar (its official Sanskrit name) is beaming with activity by its local Newar community. Its main and adjacent shrines are generally active with people performing the daily rituals that have been igniting its spiritual energy for nearly one thousand years. The main object of worship is a silver image of Shakyamuni Buddha held in the main shrine. In subsidiary shrines, there are exquisite sculptures of Tara, Manjushri, Vajrasattva, Avalokiteshvara, Basundhara and in the cenrter of everything a Swayambhu Stupa. The stupa itself is regarded as the oldest object around which the vihar was established in the 11th century CE.

The Temple of a Thousand Buddhas (Mahabuddha Bahal)

This temple complex is dominated by a replica of the Mahabodhi Stupa in Bodhgaya, India, the site where the historical Buddha attained final enlightenment. The temple is the product of a vision from a devoted Newar priest who, after returning to his native Lalitpur from a pilgrimage to Bodhgaya in the 1500s, recreated the main shrine there with the support from his lucrative coin making venture. It is nicknamed the Thousand-Buddha Temple, due to its prolific representations of Buddha in most of its molded terracotta bricks. Following the door upstairs in front of the main shrine statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, there is a tantric temple dedicated to Vajrayogini. This is one of the Four Yoginis of the Kathmandu Valley. There is also a smaller stupa similar to the main one dedicated to Queen Mayadevi, Shakyamuni Buddha’s mother. 


Sankhu Vajrayogini

Located in the ancient Newar village of Sankhu around 20 km east of the center of Kathmandu, on the old road to Hyolmo and Tibet, Vajrayogini resides in her free-standing mandir built in the traditional Newar style pagoda architecture within a temple complex in the middle of a forest. The oldest inscriptions date this site back to the 6th century, making it one of the oldest recorded power places of the valley. Numerous Buddhist masters are believed to have practices here. According to the terma tradition, Guru Rinpoche came to Sankhu in the 8th Century and met his Nepali consort Shakyadevi. From here they went together to Yangleshö (Pharping) to practice the Yangdak and Vajrakilaya tantras. 

Pharping (Yangleshö)

The Village of Pharping is located on the southern rim of the Kathmandu Valley. Known by the Tibetans as Yangleshö, this area holds several power places associated with many great Buddhist masters, especially Guru Padmasambhava. This is the place where Guru Rinpoche is believed to have attained the realization of Mahamudra, making it equivalent to Bodhgaya for tantric Buddhists.

Yangleshö Cave

Upon reaching the town from Kathmandu City one arrives at a copious spring identified as Chumikjangchub or “The Spring of Enlightenment” by Chatral Rinpoche. Above this spring, next to a Hindu temple dedicated to Narayan, is Yangleshö cave, where Guru Rinpoche himself meditated. Within it, one can find the Guru’s headprint on the roof. The rock formations above this cave are also believed to be poisonous naga snakes turned into stone by Guru Rinpoche’s power when they were trying to attack him.

Pharping Vajrayogini

Around the hill is the Pharping Vajrayogini Temple. She is one of the four main Yoginis of the Valley. Her form is based on a vision of Mahasiddha Phamthingpa who had the original image made in the 11th century. Phamthingpa was one of the most renowned teachers of his day. He studied under Mahasiddha Naropa for nine years in India. It is also believed that Marpa Lotsawa also stayed in this temple three times during his journeys  back and forth from Tibet to India.


Asura Cave

Following the staircase above the Vajrayogini Temple, overlooking the town is Asura Cave. Nowadays surrounded by a branch of Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche’s White Monastery and their retreat center, one can also stay and retreat for a few days in the vicinity of this holy site. Within the cave, there are sculptures of Yangdak Heruka and Vajrakilaya, which according to tradition are the practices the Great Guru engaged in while staying at this locale. There is a handprint on the rock right outside the cave, imprinted by one of the many yogis who have meditated there during the centuries following the site being blessed by Guru Rinpoche.

Self-Arisen Tara

Following the staircase below Asura Cave, one can also find Rangjung Drolma or The Self-Arisen Tara. Discovered in the second half of the 20th century, Tara emerged next to Ganesha from a rock formation which is now protected by a temple within the monastic compound built by Ralo Rinpoche. 


Kathmandu Wellness

We provide additional wellness services for those interested; however, participants are responsible for covering the associated fees individually.

Visit To The Tibetan Doctor

For interested travelers, we offer visits to the Tibetan clinic for a consultation regarding the health of their body and mind with professionally trained practitioners of Traditional Tibetan Medicine. The Tibetan doctors base their diagnosis on the pulse and other physical and mental signs of the patient. 

Astrological Reading

We collaborate directly with an experienced Nepalese astrologer who received a traditional Brahmin education, mastering family rituals, grammar, astrology, and other traditional sciences. He has also spent thirteen years of dedicated practice in Kriya yoga within the Lahadi Mahasaya lineage. The last three of these years were spent meditating an average of sixteen hours daily. Following this retreat, he transitioned to primarily assisting individuals through astrology, building upon his innate talent developed since his youth. Enhanced by Kriya practices, he adeptly interprets charts to provide insights into personalities, past life karma, major life challenges, and various life aspects. People have reported positive effects from his prescribed remedies. Over the years, he has analyzed charts for thousands, offering solutions to their everyday challenges, all while instilling faith in the infallible law of karma. Since 2015, he has been an active practitioner of Buddhism, particularly the Nyingma and Sakya traditions. 

For those interested we can also offer online sessions. The fee for a 1-hour and 15-minute Zoom consultation varies on a sliding scale from 120 to 200 USD.

To schedule a consultation, please contact us via email:

Outside Kathmandu

Lumbini - Buddha's Birthplace

For Lumbini, we recommend a 3-day and 2-night stay (excluding travel time either by land or flying from Kathmandu). The cost for the two nights of lodging, five meals, a tour of the Lumbini compound, and a trip to Kapilavastu is 110 USD for one person with an extra 30 USD per extra person. For Bookings or questions email:

Lumbini is one of the four main pilgrimage sites connected with the historical Buddha Shakyamuni. It is located about 10 hours by bus to the west of Kathmandu, near the Indian border. Lumbini is the place where Queen Maya gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama, who became known as the Buddha upon his attainment of enlightenment, in 623 BCE. In the center of the Lumbini Mandala is the Marker Stone. This marks the exact spot where Buddha was born. The Marker Stone is inside the Mayadevi Temple, the most important of all shrines in Lumbini. The temple bears witness to several layers of construction over the centuries. It also houses a 4th-century CE sculpture known as the Nativity Sculpture. Next to the Mayadevi Temple is the Ashoka Pillar, erected by the Great Indian Emperor and propagator of the Buddhadharma in 249 BCE. Close to the Ashoka Pillar is the Puskarini, the holy pond where Queen Mayadevi bathed before giving birth to the Buddha and where she gave him his first bath. The Mayadevi Temple and the sacred garden surrounding it are nestled within the southern part of the Lumbini Park Complex. This park covers an area of one mile in width x three miles in length. North of this area is the Monastic Zone. The Monastic Zone is divided into east and west areas by a water canal. On the eastern side, there are around 10 monasteries mainly from Theravada lineages, and on the western side around 20 of Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions. Each of the monasteries has been sponsored by a particular country and generally follows Buddhist architectural styles from that country (if the country happens to have one). It is an amazing site to see all these examples of Buddhist architectural traditions within walking distance of each other. 

Other important sites around Lumbini are Tilaurakot/Kapulavastu, the ancient capital of the Shakya Kingdom where there are vestiges of the palace where Prince Siddhartha (the Buddha) spent his first 29 years. Also, there is Kudan, the site where Buddha’s father, King Shuddhodana met him for the first time after his enlightenment.


For Hyolmo, we recommend a 5-day tour:

Day 1: Kathmandu to Hyolmo, stay at Chiri Village and visit to Shakya Zangpo’s Monastery (Hyolmo’s oldest monastery) and retreat cave.

Day 2: Rangjung Choten, Dungkar Rangjung and Neding (all day hike)

Day 3: Ama Yangri (all-day hike) (option to rent jeep halfway) 

Day 4: Melamchi Gyang (Guru Rinpche’s Nyida Rangjung Cave, Guru’s throne, Guru’s headprint, Dakini cave) (stay in Melamnchi Gyang for the night) 

Day 5: Milarepa Cave (car from Melamchi and brief stop before heading back to Kathmandu) 

Price: 350 USD for one person. Includes all expenses in Hyolmo. Excludes transportation to and from Hyolmo. Additional 150 USD per person.

For bookings or questions email:

Hyolmo is a valley located 4 to 5 hours north of Kathmandu by jeep. This valley is considered a beyul (hidden land prophesized by Guru Rinpoche as a prime location for practice during our times). It is surrounded by mountains that preserve pristine forests and the purest water water. There are numerous power places here, making it an ideal location for meditation retreats. Some of the major pilgrimage sites include:

The Cave of the Sun and Moon is located in the village of Melamchi Gyang. According to tradition, Guru Rinpoche meditated and performed one hundred thousand prostrations in this cave. The cave is called Sun and Moon because of a self-arisen sun and moon on the ceiling of the cave. In this same village, there is a place associated with dakini Shakya Devi, the Guru’s Nepalese tantric consort. 

Across the Valley, above the village of Tarkye Gyang is Chatral Rinpoche’s main retreat center called Neding. 

Up the valley from the villages, about 6 to 8 hours by foot, there are two caves; Yangdak Chokyi Draphuk and Khandro Phuk associated with Guru Rinpoche and Yeshe Tsogyal respectively. 

Just a few minutes’ walk below Tarkye Gyang is Chiri Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in Yolmo founded by Ngakchang Shakya Zangpo. Nearby is also Shakya Zangpo’s meditation cave. Shakya Zangpo, also known as Yolmo Terton, is the individual who built the Boudha Stupa into a resemblance of what we see today. He was guided by visions to come and restore the stupa while in Tibet. After performing this deed he settled in Yolmo. He belonged to the lineage of Jangter (The Northern Treasures). He was the teacher of great Lamas such as Ngari Panchen Pema Wangyal and Lekden Dudjom Dorje. 

A couple of hours’ walk down the valley one can also find Milarepa Cave. Following the command of his guru Marpa, Milarepa spent some time practicing in the Hyolmo Valley at this particular location. There is also an amazing self-arisen statue of Milarepa inside the cave.

Maratika Cave

It is located around 8 hours by jeep from Kathmandu to the east in the village locally known as Halesi. According to the Tibetan tradition, this is the cave where Guru Rinpoche practiced with his Indian consort Mandarava. He attained the level of the Knowledge Holder of immortality by directly encountering Buddha Amitayus, and gained victory over the Lord of Death. Because of this, the site is considered very conducive for longevity practices. According to the Hindu tradition, this site is also associated with Lord Shiva. 


Located about 4 hours west of Kathmandu by jeep, along the old route to Hetauda and India near the town of Daman one finds a path leading to the Spring of Enlightenment. It is located about a one-kilometer hike from the road. According to the popular Barchey Lamsel Prayer (The Remover of Obstacles) revealed by Chokgyur Lingpa, this is the site where Guru Rinpoche subdued haughty local spirits and turned them into protectors of the dharma. The site is marked by a spring of immaculate water that is believed to have a purifying effect. The spring is within the beautiful and peaceful scenery of a densely forested landscape. This is an excellent place for retreat.

For longer bookings or personalized tours please email: