Retreat in the Himalayan Valley of Dakinis, Lahoul
Retreat – Himalayan Valley of Dakinis, Lahoul
19th July – 9th August 2016 (22 days)
Khandro Rinpoche, authentic Master and Practitioner of the yogic meditation lineage of Togden Shakya Shri, will teach and practice with students in her birthplace, Kardang Gompa, Lahoul.
This most holy of valleys is blessed with the energy of previous great meditators. Kardang gompa sits at the base of the most holy mountain Drilburu. For circumambulation fame it is second only to Mt Kailash. How fortunate to be introduced to this land and spiritual practice in 10 days of retreat and pilgrimage through its very own Khandro Thrinlay Chodon – avail yourself of immense blessings!
Travel direct to Lahoul and the retreat, then after retreat you may choose one of two ways to travel back to Delhi via Leh – by car over the most spectacular road in the world (Lahoul-Leh) to see amazing Leh and fly direct back to Delhi or Tso Pema br car and see the holy lake of Guru Padmasambhava then back to Delhi, also by car.
The Program Lahoul Retreat 2016 of the retreat and travel
Day 1 19th July 2016 Delhi
Our Druk Expeditions representative will welcome you at Delhi airport and transfer you to your hotel. Welcome and introduction to the group will be at your first evening meal.
Day 2 20th July 2016 Delhi-Manali
Travel to Kullu-Manali. There are two options – fly or drive. Even if you wish to fly we must include you in an alternate plan in case flight is canceled due to weather. If this happens then full flight fee is reimbursed by the airline. Flights leave in the morning to Kullu and you will be met at Kullu airport and driven to your Manali hotel. For those driving it is a drive of approx 15 hours so we begin early – you are picked up from your hotel around 5am and you will reach Manali hotel in the early evening.
Day 3 21st July 2016 Manali
Rest day overlooking the Himalayan mountains! Your hotel is next door to Khandro Rinpoche’s family home and Gompa so you may also visit on this day and perhaps have audience with Sey Rinpoche and /or Imi Drupten if they are available. Today is a free day also to explore Manali town.
Day 4 22nd July 2016 Manali
Manali sightseeing. Manali sits at the head of the beautiful Kullu valley, which is said to be the entrance of the gods to India. Today you will discover this valley. We will drive to the ancient town of Naggar where we visit Nicholas Reorich Art Gallery and lunch at Naggar Castle before heading back on the other side of the Beas river to see pahmina shawls and perhaps also visit the Tibetan school of traditional arts.
- •Nicholas Reorich Art Gallery: The museum displays a private collection of the Russian painter, philosopher and naturalist Nikolai Reorich, who lived and died here. The ground floor of the gallery is dedicated to his beautiful and soulful paintings of the Himalayan mountains. The upper floor preserves the artist’s private rooms.
- Naggar Castle: Built around 1460 AD, by Raja Sidh Singh of Kullu, the castle has a unique architectural blend of western and Himalayan style. The castle is scenically located near the Beas River and offers panoramic views of the surroundings.
Day 5 23rd July 2016 Manali
- Manali sightseeing: Today begins with a forest nature walk amidst ancient traditional homes and meeting locals. We stroll down the hillside overlooking Manali to Drukpa Gompa, the marriage home of His Holiness Shabdrung of Bhutan and our Khandro Rinpoche. It is the only Bhutanese architecture in Himachal. Morning tea is served at the Gompa and lunch will be at a local Spanish restaurant. After lunch you will visit the famous Hadimba temple, perhaps ride a yak and do some more local shopping.
- Hadimba temple: It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimdi Devi, sister of Hidimba,who was a character in the Indian epic, Mahābhārata.The temple is surrounded by a cedar forest at the foot of the Himālayas. The sanctuary is built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground, which was worshiped as an image of the deity. The structure was built in 1553.
Day 6 24th July 2016 Manali-Lahoul
After an early breakfast, we will drive over the Rothang Pass (3,978 m or 13,051 ft) and into the Valley of the Dakinis, Lahoul. This is an amazing drive up and through forests and waterfalls to the high Himalayan range, then down the other side into the green valley of peas, potatoes and holy sites that is Lahoul! Packed picnic lunch will be served on the way.
Day 7 25th July 2016 Lahoul
Today you will rest, acclimatize and settle into your accommodation, which will be your home during the next ten days of retreat. Lahoul is a beautiful Himalayan valley around 10,000 ft above sea level – it is dotted with many little Buddhist hermitages, all of which are known to our Khandro Rinpoche. You will be staying and retreating at Kardang Gompa, which is where Khandro Rinpoche was born.
Day 8-Day 17 26th July-4th Aug 2016 Lahoul
10 days Retreat led by Khandro Rinpoche: The retreat will consist of 10 days in a home spun environment which is how our Rinpoche had the dharma seeped into her being. The joy and compassion is palpable of local yogis, nuns and monks as well as lay people. Your retreat includes mindfulness meditation sessions, teachings, cooking with locals, pilgrimages to the local holy sites as well as cultural dance and song.
Day 18 5th Aug 2016 Lahoul-Leh OR Manali
All retreatants will depart Lahoul on this day – one group will head over one of the most spectacular roads in the world to Leh, Ladakh (then fly back to Delhi) while the other group drive back to Manali and after one night stop in Manali they travel by road on to the sacred lotus lake of Tso Pema (then again by road to Delhi).
Day 19 6th Aug 2016 Leh or Manali
LEH GROUP: Leh rest day – you will walk around the town, see local markets, and many interesting shops set in this unique and amazing landscape. Leh is the gateway to Ladakh. Its capital and service center – an active town for all surrounding areas. Leh is beautiful and has been at the heart of the Tibetan-Buddhist culture for centuries. Its colorful Gompas, stunning landscape and it being a kick-off point for so many wonderful treks makes this place a must to visit.
TSO PEMA GROUP: Manali rest day
Day 20 7th Aug 2016 Leh or Tso Pema
LEH GROUP: Leh sightseeing. Places to see in Leh include Stock palace – the residence of the King with a renovated museum, Shanti stupa – take in the evening sunset over the valley while praying for peace, Shey and Thiksey monasteries – where the earliest Tibetan kings ruled from and the place of the large Maitreya statue, Stagna Gompa – built on a hill which is shaped just like a “tiger’s nose”, owes its inception to a great scholar saint of Bhutan, Hemis Gompa – one of the richest and largest gompas built in 1600’s, this is where the famous Hemis festival with colorful lama dancing is held each year.
TSO PEMA GROUP: Travel Manali to Tso Pema (Lotus Lake) as Tibetans call it / Indian name of the township is Rewalsar. It is the site of a legendary miracle by Padmasambhava. Also known as Guru Rinpoche, this Indian sage brought Buddhism to Tibet in the 8th century, and is said to have subdued the people and the local blood-thirsty spirits through demonstrations of his magical powers as an adept practitioner. The legend of the lake is that Guru Rinpoche was teaching Princess Mandarava tantra in local secret caves, and she became his consort. Her father, the King of Zahor was greatly displeased and attempted to burn them both in the valley below. But Guru Rinpoche turned the pyre into water, and the fire became a lake. Thus, Lotus Lake miraculously came into being and is revered by Tibetan Buddhists. It is also revered by Hindus, who regard the area as Hanuman’s land. Punjabis also worship this lake because Padmasambhava is one of their ten holy teachers.
Day 21 8th Aug 2016 Leh or Tso Pema
LEH GROUP: Rest, explore, leisure and shopping day in Leh.
TSO PEMA GROUP: Tso Pema sightseeing: Morning drive to Guru Rinpoche cave above the lake, visit nuns who stay in retreat for years, raise prayer flags. On the way back we stop at the huge Guru Rinpoche statue that sits overlooking the lake. After lunch we continue circumambulating this holy lake, visit Mandarava’s cave and local temples.
Day 22 9th Aug 2016 Leh-Delhi
LEH GROUP: Morning domestic flight to Delhi and transfer to your international onward flight in the late afternoon or evening.
TSO PEMA GROUP: Drive to Delhi and transfer direct to your international onward flight in the late evening.