Discover captivating cultures, sacred spaces, and mindful moments on this set-departure journey
Discover captivating cultures, sacred spaces, and mindful moments on this set-departure journey
Your cultural and spiritual immersion begins in Nepal’s vibrant capital city of Kathmandu, where a rich heritage and fascinating history unfolds. As you acclimatise to your surroundings, a sense of anticipation builds for the extraordinary adventure that lies ahead. For the first five days of your journey, Kathmandu and Dhulikhel become the canvas for your exploration, unveiling cultural treasures, ancient art and architecture, and sacred temples and monasteries.
From there, your travels continue to Bhutan, where you will explore three of the country’s most revered valleys, Paro, Punakha, and Thimphu, over the next seven days. Each day brings a harmonious blend of yoga sessions, moments of tranquillity, and cultural excursions. Immersing yourself in vibrant markets, ancient monasteries, and lush landscapes, you will absorb the very essence of Bhutan. Amidst the breathtaking scenery, partake in meditation sessions, forging a connection with the profound spirituality that permeates these sacred spaces.
Your journey becomes a soul-enriching experience, seamlessly weaving together the cultural and spiritual tapestries of Nepal and Bhutan, set against the backdrop of awe-inspiring views of the mighty Himalaya.
Talk to one of our travel specialists to tailormake you stay to any of our destinations
07 December 2024
Kathmandu: Officially Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Kathmandu is the capital and largest urban agglomerate of Nepal. The agglomerate consists of Kathmandu at its core along with its sister cities Patan, Kirtipur, Thimi, and Bhaktapur.
Dwarika’s Hotel: The magnificent Dwarika’s is a heritage hotel showcasing centuries-old intricate carved wood and terracotta work and is celebrated for its intimate and authentic luxury coupled with the unique spirit and warm hospitality of the Nepali people – it is the ideal base from which to explore the city.
08 December 2024
Bhaktapur: Otherwise known as the ‘City of Devotees’, ‘City of Culture’, ‘Living Heritage’, or ‘Nepal’s Cultural Gem’, Bhaktapur is one of three royal cities in the Kathmandu Valley. Filled with monuments mostly made from terracotta bricks with carved wooden columns as well as palaces and temples with elaborate carvings, gilded roofs, and open courtyards, Bhaktapur is dotted with pagodas and religious shrines. Lying along the ancient trade route between India and Tibet, Bhaktapur is partly surrounded by mountains, boasting magnificent views of the majestic Himalaya.
Dhulikhel: Located 1,600 m (52,48 ft) above sea level, Dhulikhel is considered one of Nepal’s greatest mountain delights. The spectacular panoramic views of the snow-capped Himalaya seen from here is indeed one of the finest.
09 & 10 December 2024
*Please note all wellness treatments are available at an additional cost. All treatments must be booked in advanced.
11 December 2024
Patan City: Patan Durbar Square is located in the heart of the city and was once the palace of the kings of Patan. The square consists of artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples – a display of Newari architecture that had reached its pinnacle during the reign of the Malla kings. The Krishna Temple, built entirely of stone, is said to be the first specimen of Shikhara-style architecture in Nepal. Patan Museum, also situated in the square, is a big attraction for visitors. The square is full of ancient palaces, temples, and shrines, noted for their exquisite carvings. Patan Museum is the first public museum in Nepal that has been created as an autonomous institution of this type.
Boudhanath Stupa: Boudhanath Stupa (or Bodhnath Stupa) is the largest stupa in Nepal as well as one of the holiest Tibetan Buddhist shrines outside of Tibet. Dating back to the 6th century, the stupa sits at the centre of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu and is a revered symbol of Buddhism. The stupa is located on the eastern outskirts of Kathmandu.
12 December 2024
Tamchog Lhakhang: The Lhakhang was originally built by Thangtong Gyalpo, a pioneering engineer who introduced the construction of suspension bridges to Bhutan and Tibet. It is believed that more than 58 bridges were built across the country however only two have survived. One of these bridges still stands strong at the base of the Tamchog Lhakhang. Marvel at the iron bridge reconstructed using original chain links.
Thimphu: As the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, Thimphu is a stronghold of traditional Bhutanese art, architecture, and culture. Situated at 2,320 m (7,656 ft) above sea level, it is home to over 100,000 inhabitants, including the Royal family. A crucible for urbanisation – this is where you will see modern-day Bhutan infused with more traditional aspects of living. Fun fact, Thimphu is the only national capital city in the world to not have any traffic lights.
National Memorial Chorten: This well-known landmark was built in 1974 in the memory of the third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is popularly regarded as the Father of Modern Bhutan. This four-storey structure was built to be seen as the most visible religious landmark in the kingdom of Bhutan. It serves as an important place of worship for Thimphu residents, as well as devotees from other parts of the country. Within are carvings of mandalas, statues, and religious teachings.
National Institute for Zorig Chusum: This institute offers courses on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan, all ranging between four to six intensive years of training. Zorig Chusum plays an important role in the ‘Preservation and Promotion of our Cultural heritage’, which is one of the four main pillars of the Gross National Happiness philosophy which Bhutan is known globally for. Students learn art forms such as painting, stitching, and carving; it is fascinating to see the skill and discipline imbibed in them as well as the spectacular art created.
Buddha Dordenma: This gigantic Shakyamuni Buddha statue is filled with over 100,000 smaller Buddha statues, each like the Buddha Dordenma itself, made of bronze and gilded in gold. At a height of 51.5 m (169 ft), it is one of the tallest Buddha statues in the world. The statue fulfils an ancient prophecy dating back to the 8th century CE, discovered by Terton Pema Lingpa, the Religious Treasure Discoverer of the time. It is said to bring peace and happiness to the entire world.
More about your yoga instructors:
Yangchen Lhamo, more famously known as Yoga Yangchen, is an experienced yoga teacher from Bhutan. She received her yoga teacher training (200-hours YTTC and 300-hours YTTC) in the birthplace of yoga, Rishikesh, India. Yangchen was the first Bhutanese yoga teacher to become a member of the Yoga Alliance. Over the years she has taught over 600 students, both Bhutanese and foreign, with a total of more than 2,000 hours of teaching. Her passion in life is creating and improving the wellbeing of all sentient beings, animals, and people alike. Yoga Yangchen’s main social cause is Doghouse Bhutan, a not-for-profit building doghouse for the many free-roaming dogs in Bhutan. Her partner, Leki Wangdi, also completed his yoga training in India. Leki mainly teaches hatha yoga, ashtanga yoga, vinyasa yoga, pranayama, meditation yoga nidra and NSDR (non-sleep-deep-rest).
13 December 2024
Royal Takin Preserve: Bhutan’s national animal is the takin. This large, shaggy, and hoofed mammal has a bit of mythology tied to it. Legend has it that the animal was created by the great Buddhist yogi, Drupa Kunley or ‘the Divine Madman’. This species of takin is found only in Bhutan and western Arunachal Pradesh. The Royal Takin Preserve is located 10 minutes from Thimphu. Originally a zoo, the fourth king decided to disband it since keeping animals in cages did not align with Bhutan’s environmental and religious beliefs. The animals were released into the wild, however the takin was too tame to survive, and wandered around the streets of Thimphu. This led to the making of the Royal Takin Preserve. Now the animals are kept in a large enclosure where visitors can safely observe them.
14 December 2024
Chimi Lhakhang: Perched on a hill in the centre of the valley, Chimi Lhakhang is a temple dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley. Also known as the ‘Divine Madman’, he used humour, song, and dramatic reenactment to disperse his teachings back in the 15th century. Chimi Lhakhang is widely known as the temple of fertility; local people come here to receive blessings from the lama. They pray and ask to be blessed with a child. The Bhutanese also bring their newborns to be named here. The Lhakhang is about a 30-minute walk through fields from the main road.
Punakha Dzong: Constructed in 1637, this was the second Dzong to be built in Bhutan, and for many years served as its seat of government. Widely referred to as the most beautiful Dzong in the country, the towering white walls form a lovely contrast to the surrounding greens and blues. It is the winter residence of the central monastic body and holds a very important relic over which many wars were fought with the Tibetans. All of Bhutan’s kings are crowned here before they can take their throne in Thimphu.
15 December 2024
Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten: This three storey Lhakhang is a recent addition to Bhutan’s string of architecturally splendid buildings. Built by Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon, it houses representations of the tantric form of Buddhist deities that subjugate enemies and ward off harmful influences on the people of Bhutan. Built for the protection of the country and the present king, Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten also offers impressive views of the valley below.
Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery: Perched on a ridge amongst the pine trees gleams the magnificent structure of the Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang. This temple houses a 14 ft (4.2 m) bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara, made by local Bhutanese artisans. Other statutes include those of The Buddha, Guru Rinpoche, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, Tsela Namsum, and the 21 Taras. The temple complex also houses a permanent school of higher learning and a meditation centre for nuns where, apart from religious training, provides vocational training such as tailoring, embroidery, statue making and thangka painting.
16 December 2024
Paro: A historic town, situated at 2,250 m (7,382 ft) with many sacred sites and historical buildings scattered through the area, Paro is home to many of Bhutan’s oldest temples and monasteries, the National Museum and the country’s only airport. Mt Jhomolhari (7,326 m / 24,035 ft) reigns in its white glory at the northern end of the valley. Its roaring glacial water plunges through deep gorges to form the Paro Chu River. Paro is one of the most fertile valleys in Bhutan, producing a bulk of the locally famous red rice from its terraced fields.
Ta Dzong: A watch tower originally built to defend Rinpung Dzong during the inter-valley wars of the 17th century, since 1967, the Ta Dzong has served as the National Museum of the country. It holds a fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangka paintings, natural history, and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps. The building’s circular shape comes from its defensive origin.
17 December 2024
Tiger’s Nest: Built on a sheer cliff face at a height of 2,950 m (9,678 ft), the four-hour trek offers spectacular views. The trail climbs through a beautiful pine forest, many of the trees decorated with Spanish moss and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, founder of Buddhism in Bhutan flew from eastern Bhutan on a tigress, bringing Buddhist teachings and meditation here to this cliff. This is one of the most honoured and sacred of all Buddhist sights around the world. This hike takes about five hours with a 900 m (2,952 ft) approximate gain in altitude.
18 December 2024
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