Pilgrimage Journeys

The Himalayas hum with religious practice - Buddhism has infused the histories and culture of Tibet, Bhutan, Ladakh and Nepal. Beyond The Clouds is excited to offer spiritual seekers a chance to immerse themselves in these ancient cultures on our Pilgrimage Journeys to the Himalaya.

let us design a tailor-made pilgrimage just for you, or lead a group trip

On your pilgrimage journey you’ll visit sacred places of Buddhism, including stupas, caves, temples, and monasteries, places where monks strive to live and practice in accordance with the teachings. You’ll travel through remote regions where religion and culture are inseparable, and Buddhist belief is a part of the fabric of society. Discover the warmth of the local people, the peaceful rhythm of village life, and how dharma continues to play a role in these communities as they modernise.

The backdrop to your journey is the incredible Himalayan range, mountains held sacred by local people. As well as monastery and temple visits you’ll have opportunities for sightseeing and short day hikes, and valuable time for relaxation and meditation.

Our journeys are fully planned and arranged by our knowledgeable team, who are passionate travellers and have spent years in the Himalayan region. We hand pick high-quality hotels with serene atmospheres conducive to spiritual practice, and carefully select local or community-owned businesses, so you can experience real Himalayan hospitality while supporting the local economy. Don’t forget that 100% of Beyond The Clouds’ profits support the work of the charity First Steps Himalaya. By booking your journey with us, you are helping change lives in the rural Himalayas for hundreds of people.

A Buddhist pilgrimage in Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, or Ladakh is perfect for solo travellers, couples, small groups, or large groups of up to 16 people (with a group leader). We can tailor the itineraries to suit your needs, interests, and fitness levels.

We are Also looking for leaders to work with on our 2019/20 Pilgrimage Journeys to the Himalaya

Are you a meditation, mindfulness or spiritual teacher, and want to lead a group on an incredible dharma tour to the Himalaya? Beyond The Clouds can work with you to plan and coordinate this journey, and offers leader discounts of varying amounts depending on how many people sign up for your tour - if you fill the tour completely, you can even get a free trip! We’d love to hear from you, so please contact us for more information about being a group leader in 2019/2020.

See below for our top recommended pilgrimage destinations in Bhutan, Tibet, Ladakh and Nepal, or for more inspiration check out our blog.

 
 

Bhutan, the Buddhist-ruled Dragon Kingdom of the Himalayas. It’s a small country packed full of myths and magic, many relating to Padmasambhava and Bhutan’s own saint the “Divine Madman” Drukpa Kunley.

Suggested trip length: 7-10 days.
Recommended for: Small and large groups with a Tibetan-Buddhist focus, looking for a comfortable stay and unique journey.
Highlights: Chimi Lhakhang, Punakha Dzong and Phobjika in Wangdue Phodrang, Paro Dzong and Tiger’s Nest in Paro.

Punakha Dzong

The second oldest and second largest Dzong in Bhutan, Punakha holds the sacred artefacts of the Kagyu lineage, plus relics of Terton Pema Lingpa.

Chimi Lhakhang

The Temple Of Fertility, founded by the Divine Madman, now famous for its artefacts of his, and visited by locals who wish to have children.

Tiger’s Nest

After visiting the monasteries and temples in Paro, climb up to this cliff-hugging retreat that was the abode of Padmasambhava in the 8th century.

 
 
 

Known romantically as Shangri-La, the home of the Dalai Lamas is bursting with sacred natural and man-made landmarks. Follow in the footsteps of thousands of pilgrims across this high plateau on an unforgettable journey.

Suggested trip length: 10-14 days.
Recommended for: Large groups of 4-16 people wanting to see the sacred land for themselves, and not on a strict budget.
Highlights: Mount Kailash, western Tibet; Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Drak Yerpa, Lhasa; Samye Monastery, Yarlung Valley; Labrang Monastery and Langmusi Monastery, Amdo.

Mount Kailash

Believed by many to be Mount Meru - the centre of the universe - Kailash is surrounded by myth and legend. Completing the 3-day hike around this mountain is to Tibetan Buddhists what Mecca is to Muslims.

Lhasa

The ancient capital of Tibet - visit the Dalai Lama’s Potala Palace, mystical Jokhang Temple, and hidden retreat caves of Padmasambhava at Drak Yerpa. Journey south to see Samye, the first monastery in Tibet.

Amdo

The birthplace of the 14th Dalai Lama, and home to two of the largest and most important monasteries in Eastern Tibet - Labrang and Langmusi. Enjoy a taste of monastic life in these village-like monasteries.

 
 
 

The Land of High Passes, once part of the ancient kingdom of Tibet and still cherishing the traditions and religious practices of their ancestors, Ladakh is like the land that time forgot.

Suggested trip length: 5-10 days.
Recommended for: Couples, small groups, or large groups who want an authentic off-the-beaten path experience without the high price tag of Tibet or Bhutan.
Highlights: Hemis Gompa, Thiksey Gompa, Thagthok, Alchi Choskhor, Leh Palace.

Hemis Gompa

The richest monastery in Ladakh, housing a collection of significant religious and historic relics in its museum.

Thiksey Gompa

Ladakh’s mini Potala Palace, favoured by the Dalai Lama as a site for giving teachings each summer.

Alchi Choskhor

Intricate and colourful murals line the walls here, displaying Buddhist imagery with Silk Road influences.

 
 
 

The birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, the mixed Hindu and Buddhist country of Nepal makes a perfect stopover on the way to or from Bhutan or Tibet.

Suggested trip length: 3-7 days.
Recommended for: Couples, small and large groups travelling on a budget. Pairs perfectly with a trip to either Tibet or Bhutan.
Highlights: Boudhanath Stupa, Namobuddha, Swayambhunath, Patan Durbar Square.

Boudhanath Stupa

The heart of Boudha, the Tibetan quarter of Kathmandu, surrounded by dozens of monasteries from every school of Buddhism. This is the Jokhang of Nepal.

Namobuddha

Where Siddhartha Gautama, in a previous life, offered his body to a starving tigress and her dying cubs out of immense compassion.

Swayambhunath

Known more commonly as the “Monkey Temple”, Swayambhu sits on a hilltop above Kathmandu and is connected with Manjusri worship.

 

Inspired to embark on a spiritual journey in the Himalaya?

Contact us now if you are interested in leading a group or booking a private tour.