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Nepal Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour

Trip Duration : 07 Nights 08 Days



About Buddhism

Shakyamuni Buddha (Siddhartha Gautam), the apostle of peace, the founder of Buddhism was born in Nepal's Lumbini in 623 BC. Buddhism was originated in Nepal when Siddhartha Gautam became a Shakyamuni Buddha. Buddhism was introduced as a way of living in the earlier times but later the followers started to take it as a religion. Buddhism is the dominant religion in the thinly populated high mountain in Nepal. The main objectives of the Buddhism are achievement to the enlightenment and non violence.

For the time being, the different great masters have developed different philosophy in Buddhism (School) and teachings. There are slightly different in one another. There are 3 major different Buddhism in practice in Nepal. They are Mahayana Buddhism, Therabada Buddhism and Vajrayana Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism is the most widely practiced in the mountain region. The people (Sherpa, Lopa, Manangi, Thakali, Gurung, Lhomi, Nyimba, Dolpa, Tamang) to the northern part of Nepal follow the Buddhist culture and tradition

The majority of the people are the Hindus in Nepal. However, the Buddhist are respectable in all aspects. Some of the pilgrimage sites are worship by both the Hindu and Buddhist people.

Buddhism in Nepal

Nepal is the most holy land to the Buddhist pilgrimage from all over the world. The ledged says that the previous Buddha (Krakuchhanda, Kanakmani, Kasyapa etc) were visited Nepal in different times. The monuments of these bodhisattavas and previous Buddha's can be seen even today. The great teachers, practitioners (Nagarjuna, Mahasanghika Bhiksuis) were visited and live in Nepal in different time of history. The history of Buddhism in Nepal is not stable. Some time it was boom and some time it was suspended from the ruler. There are major 4 types of Buddhism are exist in Nepal.

Mahayana (The great vehicle) Buddhism in Nepal: Mahayana is the heavily practiced Buddhism in the world and in Nepal as well as. The Buddhism was derived from Tibet and most of Tibetans follow Mahayana. According to the teachings of Mahāyāna traditions, "Mahāyāna" also refers to the path of the Bodhisattva seeking complete enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings, also called "Bodhisattvayāna". A samyaksaṃbuddha (A fully enlightened Buddha) can establish the Dharma and lead disciples to enlightenment. Mahayana Buddhists teach that enlightenment can be attained in a single lifetime, and this can be accomplished even by a layperson

Therabada (The teaching of the elders) Buddhism in Nepal: Theravada Buddhism, the doctrine of the elders, is the oldest unbroken traditional Buddhist tradition practised by people since the time of the Buddha. Unfortunately, Buddhism was decline in Nepal or lost itself for many centuries. Late 19th century it was reintroduced and nowadays there are number of Therabada monasteries and followers are there in Nepal.

Vajrayana Buddhism in Nepal: The traditional Buddhism of the Newars (the local of Kathmandu valley) is a very ancient form of Vajrayana Buddhism. It was once much more widespread, being followed throughout South Asia. The great monastic universities of north India were sacked and destroyed by Muslim invaders. The monks fled to Nepal and Tibet and started to remain there being a Buddhist masters. Vajrayana Buddhism in Nepal focuses on sacred complexes known colloquially as baha or bahi in the Newars' mother tongue, Nepal Bhasha. More honorically they are called vihara, the Sanskrit and Pali term for monastery.

Mountain (Highland) Buddhism

The Highland people of Nepal follow the Tibetan Buddhism. In terms of Buddhism their main source of reference is Tibet, although their practice of Buddhism is not exactly the same as in Tibet. In the past, they used to be trained by Tibetan Lamas either from Tibet or Kathmandu Valley but now this tradition is rarely followed. Among these Nepalese highlanders the most familiar Buddhist term is lama. Lama is not necessarily a celibate Buddhist monk but rather a household priest. Among the Sherpas it is only in the early twentieth century that they began to build Buddhist monasteries (gompa) and have celibate lamas (gelung) and nuns (gelungma). Otherwise they have always practised Sherpa Buddhism in which local married priests (lama) conducted rituals in village temples and at houses, for the benefit of the general populace similar to other highlanders. Among Nepalese highlanders, the affiliation of religion is clearly seen in their life-cycle rituals. Among all rituals the most important ritual is a death ritual where the missing link has to be established between the death and the next life through a medium i.e. Buddhist lamas and Bon shamans. Death ritual (Ghyawa) is the main event of these highlanders and they associate Buddhism with death and otherworldly concerns.

Some scholars refer highland Buddhism of Nepal as a development of Nyingmapa school of Tibetan Buddhism. Nevertheless, there are also followers of Gelungpa and Bon traditions. Nying-mapa which means 'adherents of the old [tantras]' puts Padmasambhava, the founder of the sect before the Buddha. In their gompas (temples) the main statue is the figure of Padmasambhava whereas the Buddha is the secondary figure. This is opposite to Gelungpa tradition. These two traditions are widely identified with their hats. Nyingmapa are called red hat because they don red robe and hat, whereas Gelungpa are called yellow hat according to the colour of the hat they wear. The main distinction between these two traditions is celibacy. Nyingmapa priests often live as householders forming a distinct social group or class, and only gather in the local temple for the performance of rituals whereas Gelungpa priests live in monastic lives.

The inhabitants of Nepalese highlands belong to various ethnic groups whose socio-religious and culture are heavily influenced by Buddhism. In northern Nepal live Sherpas, in mid-hills of Nepal live Gurungs, Magars, Thakalis. Tamangs live in most part of mid-hills and around the Kathmandu valley. All these ethnic groups are culturally Buddhists. In their societies they have their own religious men and agents in different forms. Apart from Buddhist priests (lamas) they have exorcists and shamans result of their local beliefs in deities and spirits.

According to Tibetan history one part of the credit for introducing Buddhism into Tibet was given to a princess of Nepal, Bhrikuti. She later became a Tara or Buddhist goddess in Tibetan Buddhism. The relationship between Nepal and Tibet, therefore, went back to very early period of their histories. Later Buddhism firmly established in Tibet with assimilation of local beliefs and it was prosperous till China invaded the country a few decades ago. The prosperous of Buddhism in Tibet had direct effect over most Nepalese ethnic groups who have close links with Tibet. Sherpas has the closest links with Tibet socially and culturally, whereas Tamangs, Gurungs and others have distant relationships. However, based on their oral histories they link their lineage with Tibet one way or other. Significantly, Buddhism practiced by those ethnic groups are unique in their own way. They have developed and shaped up different styles of Buddhism from its main reference of Tibetan Buddhism. It can be labelled according to each ethnic background: Sherpa Buddhism, Tamang Buddhism, Gurung Buddhism etc.

Trip Facts

Highlights of this Trip

Min. Group Size : 2
Best time to Travel : Mar-May/ Oct-Dec
Transportation : Private car/ van as per group size
Taken Care by : Our city tour guide

Visit UNESCO World Sites in Kathmandu, Visit major Buddhist Pilgrimage site in Nepal, Naturalist paradise Pokhara city and around, the birth Place of Lord Buddha Lumbini, Annapurna Himalayan view and the first ray of sunrise from Sarangkot



Itinerary - Nepal Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour

Day 1. Arrive in Nepal

Our representative will meet you in the Nepal airport and welcome with flower and garland. Transfer to Hotel. You will have free time to look around (If your time permits we will drive to Boudhanath to see the butter lamp lighting and circumnutating the Stupa by Buddhist followers). Night rest at Hotel.

Transfer: By private car/ van as per group size

Accommodation: Hotel in the city center

Taken care by: City tour guide.


Day 2. Kathmandu sightseeing tour

After early breakfast our guide will take you to the Kopan Monastery (Tibetan Buddhism University). Spend couple of hours with the great lama, see their activities and around. On the way back you will be stop by the Nunnery. Later you will drive to Boudhanath Stupa. After lunch we will drive to Pashupatinath (Hindu temple) and later in the evening back to Hotel and night rest.

Transfer: By private car/ van as per group size

Accommodation: Hotel in the city center

Taken care by: City tour guide.

Activities: Sightseeing around the city.


Day 3. Kathmandu sightseeing tour

Wake up early (5:30am) in the morning and drive to Swyambhunath stupa. You will see the Buddhist pilgrimage circumnutating the stupa, dong Cora and some of them are paying deep homage to the GOD by folding their arm and slapping their body in the ground. Visit the stupa and around. After back to hotel for breakfast and drive to Pharping Gumpa. Later drive to Patan Durbar Square and visit Buddhist site including Maha Bihar, Golden temple, and some other Bihar. Evening back to Hotel and rest.

Transfer: By private car/ van as per group size

Accommodation: Hotel in the city center

Taken care by: City tour guide.

Activities: Sight seeing around the city.


Day 4. Drive to Pokhara (5-6hrs)

Breakfast will be serving at Hotel and after drive to Pokhara through the scenic highway. Check in to hotel and take a free walk around the lake side in the evening (if our time permit we will drive to peace Stupa). Over night at the hotel.

Transfer: By private car/ van as per group size

Accommodation: Hotel in the lake side

Taken care by: City tour guide.

Activities: Drive to Pokhara.


Day 5. Pokhara sightseeing tour

Breakfast will be serving at Hotel and after drive to sight to sightseeing (Tibetan refugee cap, Tibetan Choling Gumpa, Shanti Stupa, David falls, Seti river gorge) by car with our city tour guide. Back to hotel and rest.

Transfer: By private car/ van as per group size

Accommodation: Hotel in the lake side

Taken care by: City tour guide.

Activities: Drive to Pokhara


Day 6. Drive to Lumbini 6-7 hr

Wake bit early than normal and have a quick breakfast. Our car will be ready and drive (7-8 hr) to Lumbini. The drive passes with the view of towering mountain to the flat land to the south. Arrive in Lumbini and check in to Hotel. After refresh visit sacred garden. Back to Hotel and night rest.

Transfer: By private car/ van as per group size

Accommodation: Hotel in the Lumbini

Taken care by: City tour guide.

Activities: Drive to Lumbini


Day 7. Lumbini sightseeing and return to Kathmandu 7-8 hrs

Wake up in the morning and visit Mayadevi Temple (birth place of Lord Buddha) and return to hotel for breakfast. After breakfast visit Tilaurakot and drive back to Kathmandu. Night rest the Hotel.

Transfer: By private car/ van as per group size

Accommodation: Hotel in the Lumbini

Taken care by: City tour guide.

Activities: Explore Sacred garden and Buddhist site.


Day 8. Back to Home

After breakfast, check out from hotel and drive to UNESCO World Heritage Site Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Later in the afternoon we will drop to international airport and fly to Home. Sweet home.

Transfer: By private car/ van as per group size

Taken care by: City tour guide.

Activities: Visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Drive to airport


Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites in Nepal

Boudhanath

UNESCO World Heritage Site Boudhanath is believed one of the biggest Stupa with two all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. This is also known as a center of Tibetan Buddhist in Kathmandu.

Kopan Monastery

Kopan is considered as a university of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. The Mahayan Buddhist center (Tibetan Buddhism) is a teaching center. They teach combines course of traditional teachings (informal discussion, several periods of guided meditation, and a vegetarian diet). The Kopan Nunnery is situated near by the main monastery also provide spiritual and practical education.

Swayambhunath

UNESCO World Heritage Site Swayambhunath is one of the holiest Buddhist site in Kathmandu valley. The oldest Stupa in the valley as nice overlooking view of Kathmandu.

Pashupatinath

UNESCO World Heritage Site, The holiest site to the Hindu, Pashupatinath is situated on the Bagmati river bank. The two storey temple is golden has golden roof and silver doors. There are lots of many shrines around the temple.

Lumbini

UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lumbini is the birth of Lord Buddha. Hundreds of thousand Buddhist pilgrimage visit Lumbini every year. The Mayadevi temple, Puskarni pond, Myanmar temple, the Chinese temple, international Gautami Nuns temple and many more temple and sutras are scattered within 9 sqkm.

Tilaurakot

Tilaurakot is the palace of king Siddhartha form where he has a great escape to his enlightenment. Before became a Buddha he have spend his 29 years pricey life in that palace.

Shanti Stupa

World peace stupa is build by Japanese Buddhist group to spray the peace to the world. It is great to visit that and the crane conservation site at the same time. Tibetan Choiling Gumpa: This is another Buddhist Gumpa where they teach the Tibetan Buddhism. You can visit the gumpa and sit and listen to the Mantra and you can be patient to listen the mantra and talk to the Lamas.

Refugee camp

Nepal has few Tibetan refugee camps that were left Tibet after the Cultural Revolution in China (Tibet). They escape to Nepal and some left in the mountain part of Nepal after became Nepali mountain people who kept sheep and yak and some come down to the city and live in the camp waiting to the settlement of their problem.

Package Cost Includes - Nepal Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour

• Arrival pick up and departure transfer from Nepal airport by private vehicle as per group size

• All land transfers as per itinerary by private vehicle (non A/C)

• City Sightseeing as per mention in the itinerary.

• Escort by city tour guide.

• Accommodation in the mention hotel in the city center.

Package Cost Excludes - Nepal Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour

• Meal in the city (lunch and dinner)

• Monastery or temple and monument entrance fees.

• International flights, visa and departure taxes

• Travel insurance and emergency evacuation (Should cover your insurance)

• Tips and gratuities (crew will expect the tipping)

• Personal expenses such as drinks, postage, laundry

• All the expenses in except on trek/ tour

• Costs arising from unforeseen events outside the control of AATE.

Trip Notes - Nepal Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour

Note: The above itinerary is just an outline. We are always flexible to add more sites or remove places. There may have some places you could fine from the internet, from the friends or books, are interesting.

Hotel

We can organize the hotel accommodation as per your requirements. We will give priority to the eco friendly, clean, hygiene and safe hotel. Even though, we are happy to book your choices hotel.

Guide

We will give you a local fluent city tour guide with good experience. If you wish specialist guide, the will be under request.

Transport

There are different choices of transport while in Nepal. Private charter vehicle, Tourist buses, Public regular buses, airplanes are the different choices. We can organize as per you request.

Meals

Breakfast will be provided at hotel and lunch and dinner will be self. We can include the lunch and dinner as well on request. We will manage lunch and dinner with different cuisine including Nepali traditional food. Our first priority will be hygiene.

Monastery

There are many different monasteries. If you are interested to see the Lamas or want to spend night in Monasteries, please let us know in advance. Kopan monasteries provide staying facilities and meditation as well as. As there are different sects (school) in Tibetan Buddhism, there are different monasteries as well as.

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