Insight Tours 2024

Maratika, Nepal

14th - 25th April- FULLY BOOKED

The Shang Shung Institute U.K. and the Museum of Oriental Art and Culture (MACO) are pleased to present the 2024 Maratika, Nepal Insight Tour on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Pilgrimage and Long Life Retreat first led by the Late Chögyal Namkhai Norbu in Maratika in 1984. Maratika is the sacred cave where the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, the great ancient master Guru Padmasambhava, and the female guru deity Dakini Mandarava realized immortal life in the 8th Century. 


Dear Friends,
We have now reached the full capacity of participants for the trip.
If you are interested to join you can write to to be put on the waiting list.
If places clear up you will be notified immediately. 

From - to: 14th - 25th April 2024

Trip Duration: 12 days 11 nights

Starting: Kathmandu, Nepal

Finishing: Kathmandu, Nepal

Trip Grading: Regular itinerary, moderate walking

Accommodation: Hotels

Trip’s cost: USD 1275 per person (double room, on a two person sharing basis)

Single room supplement: 220 US$

*** PLEASE NOTE :As we have already filled all places at Tokyi Guest House, starting January 11th all bookings will be offered a place to stay in a nearby hotel (4 minutes walk) at Lavie Residence.


Places we will visit:

Kathmandu, Nepal.

Bouddha (Standard Tibetan: བྱ་རུང་ཁ་ཤོར།, romanized: Jarung Khashor), also known as Boudhanath, Khasti Chaitya and Khāsa Chaitya is a stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal. Located about 11 km (6.8 mi) from the center and northeastern outskirts of Kathmandu, its massive mandala makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal and the world.

The stupa is said to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha. It is located on the ancient trade route from Tibet which enters the Kathmandu Valley by the village of Sankhu in the northeast corner and continues to the ancient and smaller stupa of Chabahil named Charumati Stupa (often called "Little Boudhanath"). It then turns directly south, heading over the Bagmati River to Lalitpur, bypassing the main city of Kathmandu (which was built later). Tibetan merchants have rested and offered prayers at Boudha Stupa for many centuries. Following the 1959 Tibetan uprising, a large number of the Tibetan refugees migrated to Nepal and settled down around Boudhanath. The influx of the Tibetan refugees has seen the construction of over 50 gompas (Budhhist monasteries) around Boudha. As of 1979, Boudha Stupa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Along with Swayambhu, it is one of the most popular tourist sites in the Kathmandu area.


Pharping, Nepal.

Pharping is a small town lying above the Bagmati river on the southern edge of the Kathmandu valley, about 20 km from the capital. From the top of the hill, the view of the entire Himalayan range. Here we will visit Padmasambhava Cave and Vajra Yogini Temple.

Maratika, Haleshi, East Nepal

The Halesi-Maratika Caves (also the Haleshi Mahadev temple) are located next to the village of Mahadevasthan, in the Khotang District of eastern Nepal, 3,100 ft. – 4,734 ft. above sea level. The cave and temple are about 185 km south west of Mount Everest. The temple is a venerated pilgrimage site for Hindus, Buddhists and Kirat. In Buddhism Mandarava and Padmasambhava realized a number of terma that had been elementally encoded in the cave by dakini Sangwa Yeshe. These terma numbers among the longevity teachings of Buddha Amitabha, and were given at the behest of Bodhisattva Avalokiteswara. It is here, at the cave, that Mandarava and Padmasambhava attained the Vidyadhara of longevity (or long life).






DAY 1 - 14thApril

Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to the Tokyi Guest House in Boudhanath.

Small tour, optional massage.

Welcome dinner and a brief presentation of the tour.


DAY 2 - 15th April

Optional morning meditation or yoga and the exploration of Boudhanath.

Boudha Stupa, monasteries, temples, circulation of the stupa - shopping.

Pashupatinath, Tilopa and Vajrayogini temple caves.


DAY 3 -16th April

Day Visit to Pharping (about 20km from Kathmandu).

Padmasambhava Cave and Vajra Yogini Temple.

Back to Kathmandu.


DAY 4 - 17th April

Optional morning yoga.

Triten Norbutse Bön monastery.

Swayambhu stupa and hill.


DAY 5 -18th  April

Tour of Kathmandu, Durbar square, Bijesvari Vajra Yogini temple, shopping at  Asan Thole  traditional market.


DAY 6  - 19th April

Bhaktapur,  Unesco site, famous for its architecture.

Pathan-Pathan museum, artists atelier, Mahabody temple.


DAY 7 - 20th April

Early departure to Maratika (Haleshi) East Nepal – whole day drive crossing two Himalayan rivers.

Evening arrival at Haleshi, transfer to the Padma Hotel.

Please note: all meals in Maratika are included in the price (vegetarian, simple yet healthy).


DAY 8 - 21st April

Practice in the caves and tour of the sacred caves and sacred sites.


DAY 9 & 10 - 22nd/23rd April

Practice in the caves.


DAY 11- 24th April

Return to Kathmandu.


DAY 12 -25th April

Free morning- last minute shopping.



About the Tour Guide, Jacobella Gaetani


Iacobella Gaetani was born in Naples. While living in Nepal, she began studying the Tibetan language at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu. In 1982, after returning to Italy, she continued to study Tibetan at the Oriental University of Naples with Chögyal Namkhai Norbu. She graduated with a thesis on the comparative analysis of two ancient  Tibetan funeral rituals from the Buddhist and Bon traditions, after carrying out field research in northern India. Among other Tibetan texts, she translated and edited The Long Life Practice of the Immortal Dakini Mandarava, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu's mind terma, and The Temple of Great Contemplation, the Gonpa of Merigar by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu. She has taught English language and literature at High schools in Tuscany. She is the curator of the Museum of Oriental Art and Culture of Arcidosso (MACO). She is currently finishing a book on the life and poetry of Jamyang Chöying Drönma, the elder sister of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu. She has guided various tours in Nepal, Central Tibet, and Eastern Tibet on behalf of the  Maco Museum.

Shang Shung Institute UK, a non profit institute, connects people for the support of Tibetan and Himalayan culture in person & online.

Shang Shung UK Ltd.
Lekdanling, Unit B
14 Collent Street
London, E9 6SG