Pharping

Pharping

This is a popular village amidst a lovely setting by the hillside. It is situated at the southwest corner of the Valley. Inhabited mostly by the Newars and Tamangs both of whom are Buddhists by faith, the village is dotted with numerous Mahayan (Lamaism) monasteries. Another important sight is the Buddhist temple of Bajra-Yogini pertaining to the authentic philosophy of Bajrayan.

A few hundred metres beyond Shesh Narayan, Pharping is unexpectedly large and lively for this distant corner of the valley. It’s divided between an unattractive modern commercial strip along the road, the more villagey Newari centre (reached by a side road where the main road swerves left), and a Tibetan Buddhist boom town which seems to throw up another fantastically gilded gompa every year. Nepal’s first hydroelectric plant was built just downhill from Pharping, in 1911, but the power generated all went to light Singha Durbar.

A fifteen-minute walk uphill brings you to the Tibetan area, dominated by the huge white-and-gold stupa of Tharik Gompa, built in 1997 by followers of Tharik Rinpoche, a Sakyapa lama based in Boudha. Less grandiose but more significant is the golden-roofed Pharping Bajra Yogini, which sits above the newer monasteries and is one of the valley’s four tantric temples dedicated to the angry female aspect of Buddhahood. Foreigners usually aren’t allowed to enter, but the upstairs sanctum contains two prancing images of Bajra Yogini, each holding a skull-cup and knife.

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