Skip to main content

Asura & Yangleshö Cave

September 10, 2023

These sacred sites lie just beyond Kathmandu Valley’s southern rim in Pharping village. The lower cave is Yangleshö, now located in the village of Pharping and the upper cave is Asura, located higher in a thick forest on a hill right behind Pharping. The caves of Asura and Yangleshö are of immense significance for followers of Guru Padmasambhava, akin to Bodh Gaya for Vajrayāna practitioners. Guru Rinpoche used these caves as a retreat to focus on Yangdak Heruka, a wrathful form of Buddha’s wisdom mind and later combined it with practice of Vajrakilaya, a deity associated with the Buddha’s enlightened activity. The result was that he attained the siddhi of Mahamudra, the great seal. Devotees have journeyed here for centuries, paying homage to the place and Guru Rinpoche. What you didn’t know: There’s a handprint on the left side of the Asura cave’s entrance. It is not Guru Rinpoche’s, unfortunately.