About Pharping and its history

About Pharping and its history

Asura Cave, Pharping

Pharping lies in the Southern part of the Kathmandu Valley on the way to Dakshin Kali. It is an important Pilgrimage site for Vajrayana Buddhists. Outside of the town on the hillside there are three very important sacred sites: a major Vajrayogini temple, a cave where Padmasambhava meditated with his (or Vishnu's depending on one's faith) footprints in a stone in front of the cave, and a self-arising Tara below the cave complex. Because of this wealth of sacred tradition, there are a number of new Tibetan Buddhist monasteries being built across the area, including one with a large 100 ft. Padmasambhava that dominates one of the hillsides. Padmasambhava is believed to be a manifestation of The great Guru Rinpoche, and achieved the state of Mahamudra here in Pharping.

About Pharping and its history

There are a number of reasons why Vajrayogini is worshipped in Pharping. The first is that Padmasambhava visualized her here when he stopped in Nepal on his way to Tibet and meditated in a number of caves for about 12 years. He ordered the construction of a shrine to his vision of her. Then in the 11th C Phamthingpa, came from here. Pharping may be derived from his name. He was a Buddhist scholar and is mentioned in the Blue Annals, the primary source of Tibetan Buddhist history. He was invited to Tibet to bring initiations for Vajrayogini, Kalachakra and Chakrasambhava mandalas. He was Marpa's teacher for three years and he initiated the famous translator and Milarepa's teacher in the Chakrasambhava rites. He also started the Chakrasambhava initiations in the Kathmandu Valley. His Sanskrit name is Bagiswarkirti.

There are two monastic styles in the Kathmandu Valley, Bahi and Baha; the Bahi must have a temple to Vajrayogini, who is considered a wish-fulfilling goddess. In addition to the local people, Newari Bajchacharyas come to Pharping’s Vajrayogini to practice their mantras.

About Pharping and its history

Pharping holds importance not only in Vajrayana Buddhist practitioners' life but it’s equally important for Hindus as well. Dashain Kali, the most sought after pilgrimage site for Hindus is constructed at the lower half of Asura Cave which is about a kilometer outside the village of Pharping. Dakshinkali is one of the main temples in Nepal dedicated to the goddess Kali. Goddesses are worshipped through animal sacrifices, and this is especially seen during Dashain festival.

Pharping is one of the many sacred grounds in the Kathmandu Valley. The larger than life legends that surround the village is a testament to the belief that great things have happened here. Pharping is a must see for all going through Kathmandu so one can immerse themselves in centuries old traditions and customs.