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Last year our silent yoga retreat in the heart of the Grampians VIC was a big success ???attracting a big group of yoga and nature lovers from three Australian States.
This year, Heba and Abha invite you to Nepal, right to the heart and birthplace of Yoga.
Our yoga retreat will include cultural and historical explorations of various areas in Nepal (more info in itinerary below) specifically historically and culturally rich places in the land of Himalayas. Kathmandu has been mentioned in Hindu Scriptures like ‘Skanda Purana’ to be the land of Buddha, Lord Shiva, many great yogis like Guru Gorakhnath and Guru Matsyendranath, Buddhist Guru Padmasambhava, Kali and has been a regular pilgrim site for Hindus and Buddhists since 5 BCE.
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Retreat Schedule Day 1
Arrival in Kathmandu Upon arrival at the airport, you'll be welcomed by our representative and transferred to your hotel.
After a short briefing from our representative, we'll first visit the Swayambhunath Stupa, one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal. Perched on top of a 77m high hillock, it is surrounded by beautiful shrines and monasteries. You will be soaking in the spiritual vibes while being guided into a meditation session there.
We'll then make our way towards the Kathmandu Durbar Square. Built between the 12th and 18th centuries, this complex was once the seat of the ancient Mallya Kings of Kathmandu. Here, they were crowned and their coronations solemnized.
Up next: Visit the Kumari Temple - the residence of the Living Goddess. Known as the Virgin Goddess, a young child is chosen from the Newari community of Nepal and is worshipped and revered across the country. After reaching puberty, another Kumari will take her place as the Goddess. Then: We'll make our way to the ruins of Kasthamandap. This shrine is believed to have been constructed from the wood of a single tree. An interesting note - the capital of Nepal is named after this temple.
In the evening: There will be a Relaxing Yoga and Yoga Nidra Session at the hotel to soothe your aching muscles. Afterwards, we'll enjoy a traditional welcome dinner while watching a Nepalese Dance performance.
Kathmandu Begin your day with an early morning yoga and meditation session, after which we'll have breakfast.
We'll then visit some of the country's most revered temples. First, we'll head to Boudhanath, one of the largest stupas in South Asia, that is located on an ancient trade route to Tibet. For many centuries, Tibetan merchants have rested and offered prayers here. This massive stupa is designed as a giant Mandala guarded by five Buddhas which represent five elements of Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Ether.
Then, we'll visit a sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Pashupatinath. It is the most sacred Lord Shiva Temple. This pagoda-style building is decorated with a gold-plated roof, silver doors, and woodcarvings of the finest quality. We'll then make our way to Guheswari Temple, which is dedicated to Sati Devi, Shiva's first wife, who gave up her life in the flames of her father's fire ritual
Pokhara After morning yoga and meditation session we'll drive to Pokhara (which will take around 6 hours). Pokhara is a place of remarkable natural beauty. The serenity of Phewa Lake and the magnificence of the fishtailed summit of Machhapuchhre (6,977 m) rising behind it create an ambience of peace and magic. At an elevation lower than Kathmandu, it has a much more tropical feel to it, a fact well appreciated by the beautiful diversity of flowers which prosper in its environs. Indeed, the valley surrounding Pokhara is home to thick forests, gushing rivers, emerald lakes, and of course, the world-famous views of the Himalayas.
This is the land of the Magars and Gurungs, hardworking farmers and valorous warriors who have earned world-wide fame as Gurkha soldiers. The Thakalis, another important ethnic group here, are known for their entrepreneurship.
Upon arrival at Pokhara, check into the hotel. The rest of the day is free and easy.
Visit ‘The Old Bazaar of Pokhara’ in your free time today. This traditional bazaar is colorful, charming and has ethnically diverse products. You'll see plenty to purchase here, from edibles and cloth to cosmetics and gold.
The old bazaar is also home to one of Pokhara's most important shrines. Locally called the Bindhyabasini Mandir, it dominates a spacious stone-paved courtyard built atop a hillock. We will try to squeeze some time here for a yoga session.
The day will end with another Chakra Balancing Meditation Session followed by dinner.
In Pokhara This day is full of exciting activities. An early morning hike to the Sarangkot Mountain to watch the sunrise. The view from this mountain is truly stunning as you'll have a panoramic view of the Annapurna range on one side of you and Pokhara on your other side. A perfect place for a soul satisfying Yoga and Meditation Session.
Sarangkot (1592 m): A former Kaski fort lying atop a hill to the west of Pokhara. The panoramic view of the Himalaya seen from this point is superb.
Mountain Views Clearly the most stunning of Pokhara's sights is the spectacular panorama of the Annapurna range which forms its backdrop. Stretching from east to west, the Annapurna massif includes Annapurna 1 to IV and Annapurna South. Although the highest among them is Annapurna 1 (8,091 m), it is Machhapuchhre which dominates all others in this neighborhood. Boastfully levitating in the skyline, the fish-tailed pinnacle is the archetypal snow-capped, needle-pointed mountain.
We'll then return to the hotel for breakfast In the afternoon: we'll go on a tour of Pokhara. On our route: the Phewa Lake, the second largest lake in the Kingdom, is the center of all attraction in Pokhara. It is the largest and most enchanting of the three lakes that add to the resplendence of Pokhara. Here, one can sail or row a hired boat across to the water or visit the island temple in its middle The Tal Barahi Temple. The eastern shore, popularly known as lakeside or Baidam, is the favorite home base for travellers and is where most of the hotels, restaurants and handicraft shops are located.
We will also visit the Seti Gandaki River which flows right through the city. We'll walk to the Mahendra Pul bridge that provides a perfect view of the river- the gushing water and the deep gorge made by its powerful flow. In the evening: a rejuvenating yoga and meditation session at the hotel to wrap up the day.
Drive Pokhara / Kathmandu - (200 kms / 6 hrs)
Early this morning, we'll leave for Kathmandu. En route, if time allows, we'll stop at Patan (Lalitpur Metropolitan City) for a half day sightseeing tour. This will include visiting the Patan Durbar Square, a World Heritage Site and center of Patan's religious and social life. It's a charming mélange of Palace buildings, artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples with intricately carved doors, lattice windows and beautiful courtyards. It is also known as the “town with a thousand golden roofs”. Patan is designed in the shape of Buddhist Dharma Chakra (Wheel of Righteousness) and has more than 1200 monuments scattered around the city. Indulge in a yoga and meditation session here.
We'll then visit the Tibetan Refugee Camp, which was set up in 1960. Here, you can buy authentic Tibetan handicrafts, handwoven carpets and a lot more. Evening: a yoga and meditation session focusing on Activating the Third Eye, followed by dinner at the hotel.
Start your day with a Laughter Yoga Session followed by Meditation Session focusing on pranks energising at the hotel.
After breakfast, we'll visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square, a conglomeration of pagoda and shikhara-style temples. There are beautiful golden effigies of kings perched on the top of stone monoliths, guardian deities looking out from their sanctuaries, and wood carvings in every place-struts, lintels, uprights, tympanums, gateways and windows.
Bhatapur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is famous for the famous Hollywood Movies, “Little Buddha” and “1001 nights”. It used to be the capital of Nepal until 15th C.E.
We will also visit Panauti City, one of the oldest towns in Nepal, consisting of many temples that date back to the 15th Century or earlier. Our last Yoga and Meditation Session will take place here.
After exploring this city, we'll return to the hotel for a farewell dinner.
Kathmandu - Tribhuvan International Airport You will be transferred to the airport to board your flight back home. End of our Services.