Pilgrimages to the Himalayas
Trekking in the Himalayas is less than 50 years old: An ex-Gurkha officer, Col. Jimmy Roberts, led the first trekking groups in 1965. But pilgrims have been coming to the mountains for at least 3000 years.
For Hindus, Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Janaki Mandir in Janakpur, Manakamana Temple in central Nepal (now with cable-car service to the hilltop!), and Muktinath high above the Kali Gandaki river are all prime destinations. The Kathmandu Valley has many other tirthas of prominance as well for the pilgrim.
Guides fluent in English and Hindi can enhance your visit and add cultural sightseeing if you wish.
Nepal offers something for every Buddhist too. The Himalayas are predominantly Mahayana tradition, but there are also many Theravada teachers and programs in Kathmandu and Lumbini. And the Kathmandu Valley developed its own Buddhist tradition, different from both of the great schools. Come and see.
Pilgrimages for Buddhists include Lumbini - Birthplace of the Buddha, and Devdaha, birthplace of his mother, Mayadevi. In Kathmandu there are is Boudhanath Stupa, Swayambhunath Temple Complex, other stupas built in the 5th century, and a hermitage cave used by Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava).
Guides fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese are available, and we can arrange retreats, meditation lessons, and teachings from high lamas.
Pilgrims visiting Bhutan can walk up to the Tiger's Nest built by Guru Rimpoche with the assistance of a flying tiger which he rode to the site.
Across the country are other sites holied by his presence and signs left for posterity.
And on a hilltop near Thimphu there is a 169 foot / 51.5 meter tall statue of Buddha Dordenma looking over the valley below.
Bhutanese Buddhists mostly follow the Drukpa School, though there are important Nyingmapa establishments as well. Because the population is overwhelmingly Buddhist, the faith permeates every aspect of Bhutanese culture.