Published Date :22 Aug, 2016
If you’re ever itching to get out of noisy and dusty Kathmandu, but don’t want to venture out just too far yet, then a trip to Dakshinkali and Pharping might just be the perfect day tour for you! This is well worth a trip to take if you want to see and understand Nepalese spiritual culture, beyond the main tourist temples of Kathmandu. And if you decide to take the local buses there, then I guarantee you that this will be one of the most unique local experiences you can find around Kathmandu!
This gorgeous view is only a short bus ride away from Kathmandu!
Dakshinkali is a village located just over 20 kilometers outside of Kathmandu and is home to one of the most famous and holiest Hindu places of worship. Dakshinkali Temple is a beautiful dedication to the Goddess Kali, the fearful and ferocious form of the mother goddess. Hindus view Kali as an important Goddess and believe she has the ability to make wishes come true. Thus, hundreds of locals from all around Kathmandu Valley make their way to Dakshinkali Temple on Tuesdays and Saturdays to pay their respects. To satisfy the blood lust of Kali, people bring chickens, goats, sheep, pigeons to offer to the goddess as sacrifices.
Worshippers gathered at Dakshinkali Temple. Check out the animal sacrifices in the bottom right of the photo!
Walk a few minutes through the lush green forested hills and you’ll reach Pharping, a neighboring village and home to a thriving Newari community. A large number of Tibetans reside here, and a look around Pharping monastery gives you a glimpse of local Buddhist culture. Many Buddhist pilgrims visit this colorful temple because Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, is believed to have reached enlightenment in the caves of Pharping during the 8th century. If you look closely by the cave entrance, you can see the handprint of the guru. Legend has it that Padmasambhava attained supernatural powers during his meditations and left an everlasting handprint on the stone walls!
This is me, at the Pharping Monastery. If you spin the prayer wheels while walking clockwise around the stupa, it brings you blessings :)
The rich religious sites in the Dakshinkali Pharping area make this a compelling day trip out from Kathmandu. It’s easy to visit both villages in a day by taxi, bus, or even bicycle. The villages are only about 20 km from Kathmandu and the travel time one way typically takes 1-1.5 hours. If you’re seeking an adventurous local experience near Kathmandu, then Dakshinkali and Pharping are the perfect places to go!
My guide Shiva and I outside the Ashur Cave, where Guru Padmasambhava was enlightened. Thanks Shiva for a great tour!
Himkala Adventure offers this tour for adventurous budget travelers two times a week. For more information check it out here!