Meditation Trek to Maratika Cave (Halesi Mahadev), Lodge Trek 9 Days
It’s a great pleasure for us, that we are able offer this pilgrimage Tour together with a meditation program, which will be organized by our highly educated, experienced Buddhist Meditation-teacher. He will offer you to meditate with instructions, which will also refer to the area, for about three hours a day. In addition he will pass you on valuable information about Buddhism in general, which you will be able to use in daily life, even if you are not a confessed Buddhist. The places where the meditations take place will differ according to the theme of instructions, but we will meditate in the open nature as much as possible. The participation is voluntarily, but you should mention, that the meditations follow a particular structure, like it is described in the ancient Tibetan scriptures (lam rim). The duration and intensity of the meditation sessions our guide will co-ordinate with you personally at the beginning of the tour. Of course the meditation instructor will also be available for individual talks and questions at any time. Since our meditation-guide will pay attention to your personal needs at any time of the tour, we did the following outlines without including the meditation-times. But you can reckon, to meditate or listen to teachings for three times a day (morning, noon and evening), more or less one hour each time. In addition you will get instructions, how you can tackle with the meanings of the meditation while trekking or in the evenings. In this sense the intensity of this combined ‘Trekking and Meditation’ Program to a large extend depends also on yourself.
Maratika Cave (lit. ‘The Cave of Bringing Death to an End’) and Maratika Monastery are located in the Khotang District of East-Nepal, approximately 185 km south west of Mount Everest, at the hilly region between the holy rivers Dudh Koshi to the right and Sun Koshi to the left. In the local dialect it is also known as ‘Haleshi’. It is a place full of natural beauty, cultural inheritance and is popular among the Hindus, for whom it is associated with Lord Shiva, as well as Buddhists all over the world.
The Legend goes, that Lord Vishnu was the first ever devotee to pay homage to the Haleshi Mahadeva in the Satya Yuga, the ‘Golden Age’. Afterwards, the last 6000 years until now, many kings, sages, devotees, philosophers, thinkers, hermits, abbots and ascetics have been paying homage to this sacred place. It is taken as a place for fulfilling wishes and giving boons to the real devotees, that their wishes will been fulfilled.
For Buddhists his power-place is generally associated with Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), where he and his consort Mandarava were blessed with immortal life by Buddha Amitayus. The caves of Maratika are mentioned in tibetan literature up from the 12th century. The ‘Sanglingma’, a Kathang (biography) of Padmasambhava discovered by Nyang Ral Nyima Öser, describes the original event, which made the Maratika caves a sacred place for Buddhists:
At the request of the Bodhisattva Avaloketesvara, the Buddha Amitayus once taught eighteen tantras of long life. The Dakini Sangwa Yeshe recorded them and hid the teachings afterwards in the Maratika-Cave. While Guru Padmasambhava was in the kingdom of Sahor, he met king Arshadhara’s daughter, a sixteen-year-old maiden called ‘Mandarava-Flower’, who endowed the qualifying marks of a tantric adept. The Guru magnetized her and took her along as his spiritual consort and support in practice. Later on, the Master and his consort went to Maratika, disclosed the mandalas of Buddha Amitayus and practiced the earlier by Sangwa Yeshe hidded long-life-tantras. After three months they had a vision of Amitayus, who appeared in the sky and placed the nectar-filled vase of immortal life upon their heads. So he blessed Master Padma to be the daka Hayagriva and Mandarava to be his consort, the dakini Vajra Varahi. Thus they attained the vidyadhara level of longevity beyond birth and death. While the Guru later went to Tibet to establish Buddhism there, Mandarava stayed in India, where she had a lot of deciples.
Other later written sources narrate this episode in the life of the great saint, for example the ‘Padma Thangyig Sheldrangma’ (14th century) a Terma (treasure-text) of Orgyen Lingpa. Also, the Samten Lingpa alias Tagsham Nuden Dorje, a Tertön (revealer of hidden treasures) from the second half of the 17th century, consecrates six folios to this episode in his biography of Padmasambhava and his consort.
In ‘Guide to the sacred places of Nepal’ also Khamtrul Choki Nyima (1730-1780) had written about Maratika-Cave. Brief introductions by H.H. Dalai Lama, Trulshik Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Chatral Rinpoche, Lama Ngawang Chophel Gyatso and Lopon Karma Wangchuk, can also be found in ‘The Guide to Maratika’.
We have choosen this short trek for ‘Trekking and Meditation’, because Maratika is believed to be one of the most holiest places in Nepal and by that reason very auspicious for meditation, specially for Buddhists, who want to make a short pilgrimage in combination with more intense meditation practice, which we can modify at your wish.
Itinerary in detail
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu and meet with SFT representative at the airport and transfer to Hotel. Welcome drink and short briefing about the Meditation program, the tour and trekking. Relax.
Day 2: Full day sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley with our tour guide by private car. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Lamidanda and trek to Halesi Mahadev,
Wake up in the morning and fly to Lamidanda. We have breakfast and start to trek to Halesi after a short teaching and meditation. Evening Meditation before Dinner inside the Maratika Cave. Overnight in Lodge.
Day 4: Exploring the Halesi Mahadev Temple and Caves,
Wake up and Teaching/Meditation before the Breakfast inside the Maratika Cave. Afternoon free for exploring the Buddhist Monasteries and Caves, after another short meditation session. Evening meditation before Dinner inside the Maratika Cave. Overnight in Lodge.
Day 5: Exploring the Monasteries and surrounding hills,
Wake up meditation before Breakfast inside the Monastery and afternoon free for exploring the surrounding hills after meditation session. Evening meditation before Dinner inside the Monastery. Overnight in Lodge.
Day 6: Trek from Halesi Mahadev to Lamidanda,
Wake up and meditation inside the Maratika Cave and have a breakfast. After breakfast, trek down to Lamidanda. Evening learn Meditation before Dinner. Overnight in Lodge.
Day 7: Fly from Lamidanda to Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel,
Wake up and learn Meditation before breakfast and after breakfast; fly back to Kathmandu.
Day 8: Full day Sightseeing Tour in Bhaktapur and Patan Durbar Square with Tour Guide by private car, overnight in Hotel.
Day 9: Final Departure to International Airport for your further destination.
Our Tour Package includes;
* Airport/Hotel/Airport pick up and transfer by private car/van.
* 4 nights accommodation in twin bed sharing basis with breakfast at standard hotel in Kathmandu.
* Kathmandu City Tour as per above mentioned itinerary and entry fees.
* Round Trip domestic flight tickets and airport tax.
* Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with Tea & coffee and hot water during the Lodge trek.
* Lodge to lodge accommodation during the trek.
* 1 experienced helpful and friendly guide, porters (1 porter for 2 peoples), their food & accommodation, salary, equipments & insurance.
* All transportation by private vehicle.
* All necessary permits.
* Meditation Instructor and his food, accommodation, salary and insurance.
* First Aid medical kit box.
* Tourist service charge.
* Office Service charge.
* All Government Tax.
Our Tour Package doesn't include;
* Any meals in Kathmandu other than breakfast.
* Travel insurance (if you want us to arrange your travel insurance, we would greatly be happy to assist).
* International air fare to and from Nepal.
* Nepal Tourist Visa fee.
* Items and expenses of personal nature.
* Any kind of alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, laundry, phone call, internet.
* Personal Trekking Equipments like sleeping bags, jackets (can all be hired in KTM)
* Emergency Evacuation (Helicopter Rescue).
* Any costs which arise due to a change of the itinerary, because of landslides, domestic flight delays, political disturbance, and strikes etc.
* Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost included.
* Horse renting and additional porters during the trek.
* Tips for guide, porters, driver...
Tipping is expected but it is not mandatory.
N.B: The package can be redesigned or redeveloped as per your taste. For more information please e-mail us at email@example.com
Note: In case of emergency during the trip, Helicopter will be arranged by Swiss Family Treks & Expedition (P) Ltd. The charges must be paid by the clients themselves.
Grade: (Moderate) [ Explain ]
|Start date||End date||Availability|
|Trip is available|
|Easy trekking by Himalayan standards is generally up to 2000m. There are plenty of ups and downs on well-maintained trails. This type of trip is best suited for those who lead a reasonably active life. The trek takes about 3 to 7 days, walking about 4 to 5 hours a day.|
|This involves longer treks (five to ten days) on maintained trails. This type of trek includes day excursions to higher elevations, for which it's advisable to have some previous hill- walking experience. On these treks, we generally achieve an altitude between 900m to 3000m.|
(Moderate to strenuous)
|A reasonably demanding trek at an altitude up to 4000m with side trips to higher elevations. The trails are sometimes uncharted and away from inhabited areas.|
|These treks must be fully supported. We climb to altitudes between 3500 and 5000m. & there are overnight stays at altitudes above 4000m. For this trek, trekkers should be fit & enthusiastic hill walkers prepared to tackle difficult terrain in remote areas.|
|This trek is best described as Alpine, and suitable is suitable for those in excellent health, capable of carrying a backpack, when required. The trek covers very remote areas, traveling over snow-covered passes at an altitudes of up to 6500m. You will need to axes and crampons. No strenuous trek should be undertaken without medical clearance.|
|Standard||Ideal for backpackers, students, travellers, very basic accomodation 1 * or none*, group travel in bus.|
|3 Star||Nice ** to*** star hotel ideal for the normal traveller family, couples, hotels are clean and monitored by our company, breakfast usually included. Travels are in van or 4 seater jeep.|
|4-5 Star||**** to ***** star Hotels with all possible international comfort, where available SAT TV. SPA etc. brekfast included for the traveller who wants to be spoiled , travelling in privat car, Jeep.|
There will be a cancellation fee of 25% for any cancellation three weeks prior to Tour departure date, 50% two weeks prior to Tour departure date and no refund thereafter. No refund for no shows & delay arrivals whatsoever reason.