Pharping Tour, place of Guru Padmasambhava

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    Pharping Tour, place of Guru Padmasambhava Highlights
    • One day tour to Pharping the Asura cave and other pilgrimage site with a professsional guide and comfirtable car

    Pharping, 21 kilometer south from Kathmandu is sacred site of Yanglesho where Guru Padmasambhava attained level of a Mahamudra Vidyadhara. Pharping town is a thriving Newari town that’s ancient Buddhist pilgrimage sites have been taken over by large numbers of Tibetans. However more specifically it is referring to two caves in which Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated. One is located on the hillside behind and above Pharping, commonly known as Asura Cave or the 'Upper cave of Yangleshö'. The other one is located slightly below Pharping, about a five minute walk outside of town and known as 'Lower cave of Yangleshö' or simply Yangleshö. 

    Pharping, where Guru Padmasambhava attained the level of a Mahamudra vidyadhara. Yangleshö is thus, according to Katok Rigdzin Tsewang Norbu, considered to be for Vajrayana practitioners as important as Bodhgaya because it is where the second buddha Guru Padmasambhava attained the state of enlightenment. Every year Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche leads several seminars and retreats in Asura Cave monastery in Pharping. Pharping has not only been blessed by Guru Rinpoche, it has been also visited by many great beings, like long term resident Marpa Lotsawa, who practiced, made offerings, ganachakra feasts, aspiration prayers and so on. 

    Sites to see in Pharping

    There are two major practice caves in Pharping blessed by Guru Rinpoche: the Asura cave and the Yangleshö cave. At the bottom of the flight of stairs climbing up to the Asura cave is an old and important Vajrayogini temple, the Pharping Vajravarahi temple. This is one of the four or five Vajrayoini temples of the Kathmandu valley. The others are located in Sankhu, near Swaymbhunath, below the hill of Pashupatinath (Guhyeshwari), and in Chapagaun. They start towards the end of the village, at Ralo Rinpoche's monastery and start by a shrine containing a self-arisen Tara on the side of an image of Ganesha. To the south of the village is the temple of Dakshinkali, one of the four Kalis surrounding the Kathmandu valley. Pharping also has several monasteries, temples and retreat centers, including Chatral Rinpoche's monastery, and the Palyul Retreat Centre, which is the residence of Khenpo Namdrol Rinpoche and home to the Rigpa Shedra. 

                                                                                                                     Asura Cave

    Tour Itinerary
    Drive to Pharping. It is 20 kilometer south from Kathmandu and takes about 1 hour. Drive with private car, we visit Asura cave and Yanglesho cave, both blessed by Guru Padmashambhava. Visit Pharping monastery, Parphing Bhajrayogini temple and surrounding area covered by prayers flags. Option to drive further to Dakshinkali temple, a Hindu goddess Kali. It is about 2 kilometer further from Pharping village. There are many other Monastery around the village, if you wish to visit. Drive back to Kathmandu with the same car.     

    Pharping Tour Schedule

    Start from your hotel by 9 am is suggested, you still can choose your time.
    09:00AM: Our car and guide will pick up you from your hotel and start driving to Pharping. This is the suggested time to starts, but you can choose your own time to follow
    10:00AM: 21 kilometer takes 1 hour. Drive through beautiful landscape, local villages, valley view.  Reach at Pharping and start visiting around.

    Visit the Asura Cave
    Monasteries and arnoud the Asura Cave 
    Place of prayer flag at the top of the cave 
    Vajrayogini temple 
    Yangleshö cave and monastery 
    Statue of Guru Rinpoche in Dallu village 
    Explore around the Dallu village
    Visit Taudaha on the way back
    Drop to Kathmandu 

    You will be back in Kathmandu by 2 - 3 pm.

    Yanglesho cave
    Yangleshö cave also called Shesh Narayan in Pharping     

    Option to include Dakchhinakali temple in Pharping tour

    Pharping tour has option to add Dakchhinakali temple. It is in the same tour cost. Dakchhinkali temple is about 2 kilometer from Pharping. It is temple dedicated to the Goddess Kali is one of the major Hindu temples in Nepal.It’s believed that she likes to have fresh animal blood two times a week (Thursday and Saturday), therefore, this is a popular temple for live sacrifices twice a week. People come from all over the Kathmandu Valley to offer roosters and male goats to the goddess in hopes of having any evil removed from their lives. Dakchhinakali temple has also the same value as Pashupatinath temple and Manakamana Temple in Nepal. Mother Dakshinakali is the most popular form of Kali. She is the benevolent mother, who protects her devotees and children from mishaps and misfortunes. 

     A video about Asura cave, Pharping. The place of Guru Rinpoche or Padmashambhava

    Cost Details
    • Private car Pickup and drop Kathmandu 
    • A Tour guide 
    • Any food, drinks, personal expenses 
    • Any tipping, Any donation in monastery/ temple 
    Useful Information

    Bajrayogini Temple of Pharping

    This temple is in the list of our visit with Asura cave and others in Pharping. Vajra Yogini temple at Pharping is known as Pharping Bajra Jogini in Nepali, or Phamthing Dorje Neljorma in Tibetan. It houses a sacred image of Vajra Yogini which has, in the past, manifested the miracle of speaking. The main form of Vajra Yogini at the Pharping Temple is known by many names including Uddhapada Vajra Yogini (Maitri Kachö) and Phamthing Yogini; to the Hindus, she is known as Nil Tara. Like most forms of Vajra Yogini, she is red in colour. With her right foot firmly planted upon the worldly deity Maha Ishvara on the ground, the other is raised straight up into the sky, pulled up by her left arm which holds a skullcup to her mouth. A khatvanga staff rests on her left shoulder and in her right hand she holds a curved cemetery knife to her side. Her attendants Baghini and Singhini, the Tiger- and Lion-Headed Yoginis flank her.

    This unique form of Vajra Yogini first appeared in a vision to Vagisvarakirti, the elder of the two Phamthingpa brothers who was a Nepali master and disciple of the famous Mahasiddha Naropa. Hence it is likely that the statue was originally made during the time of Vagisvarakirti himself but was restored at a later date by a subsequent vajracharya (a Vajrayana Buddhist priest from the Newari community of Nepal).

    The famous Vagisvarakirti lived in the 11th Century and was renowned as one of the greatest teachers of his day. This great yogin of the Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara and Hevajra traditions was the heart disciple of Naropa, who had most likely spent some time in the Kathmandu Valley. Vagisvarakirti studied under Naropa for nine years, receiving the transmissions of the Chakrasamvara and Hevajra Tantras, amongst many other teachings and transmissions. Vagisvarakirti’s brother Dus-‘khorba also studied under Naropa for five years.

    According to Tibetan sources, the Phamthingpa brothers were attributed to be Indian, perhaps due to their ancestry or from a prolonged stay in India to receive teachings. It may also be that at the time, the Tibetans themselves made no distinction between India and Nepal and thus, they were called the ‘Indian’ Phamthingpas to identify them as foreigners, since Phamthing could also be a Tibetan name.

    The explorer and scholar Nicholas Roerich suggests that the elder Phamthingpa was actually known as Vagisvarakirti (Ngagi Wangchuk Drakpa) and that his sacred remains are preserved at Lo-chia-t’un in Gansu, China where he passed away upon his return from a pilgrimage to the Five-Peaked Mountain Paradise of Manjushri (Wu Tai Shan). He writes that the village of Phambi (Pharping) near Kathmandu is where the descendants of the great Phamthingpa currently live.

    Aside from the image of Phamthing Yogini in the main chapel, there is another holy statue of Vajra Yogini enshrined in a separate chamber to the side. In terms of iconography, she is exactly the same as the main Vajra Yogini image belonging to Phamthingpa, except that she has a yellow face. It is said that this statue belonged to the travelling Tibetan master Marpa who, while on his travels to India, actually stopped at Pharping to worship Vajra Yogini at this shrine itself.

    The Pharping Vajra Yogini Temple is located on the upper level of the building. In the shrine downstairs, a red standing Lokeshvara is in the middle alcove, with Basundara or Yellow Tara on the left, and Buddha Shakyamuni flanked by his two foremost disciples on the right.

    According to Chokyi Nyima, the name ‘Pharping’ was derived from Nagaraj Sesa’s epithet Phanathinggu, ‘the Nine Hooded Cobra’. Over time, it has since been corrupted into ‘Phamthing’, which was the name of the village or district in the 18th Century. And so, it was the ‘Indian’ Phamthingpa who was named after his birthplace, the pronunciation of which was presumably further corrupted into ‘Pharping’ over time.

    Text about Vajrayogini Pharping is by tsemrinpoche

    Client Reviews

    • Had an excellent tour to Pharping

      Had an excellent tour to Pharping and the area nearby with tour guide Gyanendra, visiting several important monasteries and religious sites. Even though the monasteries were not opened when we arrived, Gyanendra asked the monks to have them opened just for me. There was also no strict schedule but I could choose myself where I wanted to spend more or less time, which was really appreciated. One big plus also for them taking photos for me during the tour that they shared with me after the trip. Most happy and satisfied with the tour.

      Mathias Skoog
      Mathias SkoogSweden,August 07, 2022
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