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.
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.
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
10:00AM: 21 kilometer takes 1 hour. Drive through beautiful landscape, local villages, valley view. Reach at Pharping and start visiting around.
11:30PM: Start driving back to Kathmandu, Drop to your hotel or any other places you request to drop.
Yangleshö cave also called Shesh Narayan in Pharping
Ngagyur Nyingmapa Rigzin Phodrang Monastery in Pharping at the entrance gate of Asura cave
A video about Asura cave, Pharping. The place of Guru Rinpoche or Padmashambhava
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, Sweden