Combining the Sanskrit word for ‘peace’ with kora or ‘circular pilgrimage’ in Dzongkha, the Bhutanese language, Amankora is a series of lodges across the central and western valleys of Bhutan. Situated in a blue pine forest in the upper reaches of the Motithang area of the Thimphu Valley, the 16-suite Amankora Thimphu is close to the capital’s sights and shopping, while remaining a quiet retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the Kingdom’s main commercial center.
A Mindful and Cultural Journey
- Nepal · Bhutan · India · Sri Lanka
- Oct 14–28, 2024
- 15 Days, 14 Nights
- Per Person
Terms & Conditions
USD $108,888 per person, based on double occupancy.
The single supplement cost is USD $38,888.
All prices are based on two persons sharing a room. For those desiring a single room, a single supplement has been provided and is subject to space available (maximum 2 single occupancy travelers).
All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars.
Please contact us for full terms and conditions.
Amankora Thimphu, Bhutan
Amankora Paro, Bhutan
Amangalla, Sri Lanka
Amanwella, Sri Lanka
Travel through the spiritual heart of Asia to Nepal, Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka focusing on wellness, mindfulness, and the diverse cultures of these four Buddhist and Hindu influenced countries. The journey, hosted by an ordained Buddhist Zen Master (Dharmacharya), begins high in the Himalayas and concludes on the tropical beaches of southern Sri Lanka.
Our jet is a luxurious custom-outfitted Airbus ACJ 319, modified to feature 19 seats instead of the standard 130, and is one of the finest ultra-long-range private aircraft available. The interior is configured in a spacious lounge design—there are two large cabins—creating a relaxed, comfortable, and social atmosphere that is quite unlike commercial jets.
DESIGNED FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T DO GROUP TRAVEL
Each journey accommodates a maximum of 16-18 guests, ensuring ample space and an exceptionally comfortable in-flight experience, where you want to relax with a book or enjoy a cocktail with new friends. So, while expeditions involve a fun social group atmosphere, they retain the benefits of private travel. With this hybrid model, we describe the Aman Jet Expeditions as being designed for people who do not usually do group travel.
- Fitted with 19 seats (instead of 130)
- Two pilots, two flight attendants, one chef & one engineer
- Two lounges
- Three restrooms
AIRBUS ACJ 319 OR SIMILAR
Situated in Balakha village, the 24-Suite Amankora Paro contrasts rustic elements with contemporary design. Its architecture features natural rammed-earth walls, gently sloping roofs and wood-paneled interiors. Centered around a large flagstone courtyard, a lime-washed stone pavilion houses the living and dining room facilities, library and outdoor terrace, all warmed by fireplaces.
Amanbagh is a verdant oasis of mature palm, fruit and eucalyptus trees lying within a walled compound once the staging area for royal hunts. Evoking the palatial elegance of the Mughal era, Amanbagh provides a tranquil base from which to explore the rich heritage of Rajasthan, India’s dramatic frontier region. The topography of the surrounding Alwar region consists of sandy plains interspersed with craggy hills, a stark contrast to Amanbagh’s verdant setting.
Guests may choose between this property and Aman-I-Khás.
Open from October to May each year, the best season for wildlife spotting, Aman-i-Khás is a wilderness camp located in a brushwood forest on the fringes of Ranthambore National Park. Its name combining the Sanskrit word for ‘peace’, aman, with the Hindi word for ‘special’, khás, Aman-i-Khás offers accommodation in ten air-conditioned tents with soaring canopies draped in the Moghul style.
Guests may choose between this property and Amanbagh.
Amangalla sits within the ramparts of the historic 17th century Galle Fort, a setting blessed with a rich legacy and narrow streets lined with buildings from the Dutch and British colonial eras. Offering views of 200-year-old gardens and the fort and harbor beyond, Amangalla presents stately high-ceilinged suites evocative of another epoch.
Amanwella is situated just west of Tangalle in a mature coconut grove fronting a crescent-shaped beach. The modernist design, informed by Sri Lanka’s most notable architect, Geoffrey Bawa, makes use of local materials. Suites are linked by pathways, spread out along the hillside to the west of the public areas, providing views of the ocean and beach flanked by two rocky headlands.
EXPERT IN BUDDHISM, HINDUISM, AND ASIAN PHILOSOPHY
Shantum Seth is a Zen Master (Dharmacharya) in the Mindfulness Buddhist lineage (of the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh). He has been teaching in India, Asia and across the world, and has been leading pilgrimages ‘In the Footsteps of the Buddha’ and other multi-faith and transformative journeys since 1988. Shantum will lead optional mindfulness sessions and circle meditations throughout the journey.
HELICOPTER RIDE AROUND EVEREST
Commence your Aman Jet Expedition in thrilling style with a three-hour helicopter flight around Mt. Everest and four of the other ““eight thousanders” — offering unbeatable views of the snowcapped Himalayan peaks. Oxygen is available as ascend if needed. If weather permits, stop for a champagne breakfast at Kongde with sweeping panoramic views of the world’s highest peak.
MINDFULNESS SESSIONS (OPTIONAL)
Join your spiritual leader, Shantum, for relaxed sessions on mindfulness throughout the journey. These may include meditation, guided walks, circle discussions or simply discussions about philosophy and the life and teachings of the Buddha. The mindfulness sessions are typically held in the mornings or early evenings (accompanied by a glass of champagne).
MEET THE MONKS OF BHUTAN
Meet the monks of Pangri Zampa Lhakhang, a 16th century former temple now converted into Bhutan’s Royal College of Astrology. Around 100 monks reside here in this photogenic riverside monastery.
HIKE TO TIGER’S NEST
Rise early for a moderately difficult half-day hike to the resplendent cliffside Tiger’s Nest monastery. Tiger’s Nest, or Taktshang Goempa, is one of Bhutan’s most revered monuments. It hangs off the face of a cliff nearly 3,000 feet above the valley floor. The legend states that Guru Rinpoche flew into Bhutan on a mythical tigress and meditated in a cave before bringing Buddhism to Bhutan.
TOUCHDOWN AT THE TAJ MAHAL
Jet into the city of Agra for a specially-arranged touchdown at the iconic Taj Mahal, on your way to one of the Aman properties in India. An immense 17th-century Murghal marble monument, the Taj Mahal remains one of the world’s great archeological masterpieces of form and function, which every visitor to India should try to see at least once.
FIRE MEDITATION CEREMONY
Take part in fire meditation, the most pure of the five elements. Participants sit around a fire called a hawan, made up of herbs and fragrant wood from the Himalayas. The session consists of chanting the Gayetri mantra, a powerful mantra in Hindu, intended to energize all of the body’s 24 chakras, or centers of spiritual power. Only available to guests who choose to stay at Amanbagh.
EXOTIC GAME DRIVES
Venture out into the wilds of India on the trail of tigers on a game drive through Ranthambore National Park — one of the finest places in the world to see wild tigers. With a national park-appointed wildlife expert at the helm, you’ll explore this vast nature reserve – home to leopards, hyenas, 350 species of bird and more – in an open-top jeep. Only available to guests who choose to stay at Aman-i-Khás.
Dwarika's Hotel, Kathmandu
Arrive in the Himalaya. After settling into your suite, join your fellow guests and expedition leader for a cocktail reception followed by dinner. Start the Aman Jet Expedition in spectacular style the following day with a helicopter excursion around Mount Everest. If weather conditions permit, stop for a high-altitude champagne breakfast at Kalapathar. Explore Kathmandu with visits to Unesco-listed Boudhanath Temple, Bhasmeshvar Ghats, or Pashupatinath Temple. Encounter enigmatic sadhus and have the option of a mindfulness session in the evening with Shantum.
If you wish, begin the next day with a morning session on mindfulness, which can include meditation, guided walks, circle discussions. With your private car, driver, and guide explore Kathmandu and its surroundings, home to a smorgasbord of historical sites including seven Unesco sites. Visit Durbar Square, explore the Old Quarter, or venture to Patan City. Discover Kumari Palace, Khokana Village, and Bungamati Village. Conclude your day with cocktails and dinner with your expedition group.
Arrive in Paro, Bhutan, via private jet and transfer to Amankora Thimphu. Relax at your leisure, or explore Thimphu town with your private car, driver, and guide. Enjoy optional mindfulness sessions in the evening and gather for welcome cocktails and dinner with your expedition group.
The following day there is an optional morning mindfulness session with the spiritual leader. Explore Thimphu with your private car, driver, and guide. Suggested experiences include the Astrology School at Pangri Zampa Lhakhang, home to around 100 Buddhist monks, the National Library of Thimphu, which contains more than 10,000 volumes of ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan texts, and the National Textile Museum, where you can delve into the art of weaving, a vital Bhutanese craft. Other highlights include the Motithang Takin Preserve, home to Bhutan’s unusual national animal, the Handmade Paper Factory, where you have the opportunity to create custom-made stamps as a memento, and a rewarding hike to the hidden monastery of Dodedrak. Conclude your day with optional mindfulness sessions at Amankora.
After a leisurely morning in Thimphu hiking or exploring places of interest such as the Folk Heritage Museum or the 12th century monastery-fortress of Changangkha Lhakhang, transfer to the zen-like Amankora Paro. Explore Paro with your private car, driver, and guide. Visit Paro Dzong, which houses important temples and a state-sponsored monastic community. Explore the National Museum of Bhutan, home to extensive collections of cultural and religious artifacts, including thangkas. Visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan's oldest and most sacred temples. Attend a blessing ceremony conducted by a tulku, a reincarnated lama, back at Amankora.
Meet with your spiritual leader for a morning session on mindfulness, then embark on an unforgettable half-day hike to the cliffside Tiger’s Nest, one of Bhutan’s most revered monuments – and one of the world’s most breathtaking temples. Enjoy optional mindfulness sessions in the evening and gather for farewell cocktails and dinner featuring seasonal Bhutanese cuisine and a dance performance.
Amanbagh, Alwar or AMAN-I-KHÁS, RANTHAMBORE
Transfer to India by private jet, where we have arranged a special touchdown in Agra, where you may explore the iconic Taj Mahal with your private car, driver and guide, before flying on to Jaipur. Spend your three nights in India at Amanbagh in Alwar if you wish. Alternatively, you will have the option (pending availability) to stay in Ranthambore at Aman-i-Khás.
Option one: Stay at Amanbagh, a palatial and tranquil base from which to explore Rajasthan’s rich heritage. Suggested experiences include a jeep ride through the archaeologically-rich ancient ruined city of Bhangarh, and the Cowdust Tour — hop in an open Jeep to explore fascinating rural villages surrounding Amanbagh. History enthusiasts may also be interested in seeing the Neelkanth Temples, and remote Ajabgarh Fort. Back at Amanbagh, you are invited to a fire meditation ceremony. This meditation is based on the concept that fire is the purest of the five elements. Participants sit around a fire called a hawan, composed of natural herbs and fragrant wood from the Himalayas. The session includes chanting the Gayatri mantra, a powerful Hindu mantra intended to energize the body’s 24 chakras or centers of spiritual power.
Option two: Stay at the Aman-i-Khás, a tented wilderness camp, situated in Ranthambore National Park, one of the world's best places to observe wild tigers. Spend your days on expert-guided game drives here. The park is home to approximately 75 tigers, hundreds of crocodiles, and over 350 species of birds — it's a paradise for ornithologists. The park also hosts leopards, sloth bears, hyenas, and much more. You'll travel in a shared open-top vehicle, offering the best opportunities to the wildlife. Other highlights include a horse safari astride a rare Marwari steed, and explore Rajasthan's romantic ruined forts.
Arrive in Galle in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day at your leisure. Join a mindfulness session in the evening or following morning, if you wish, and enjoy a complimentary 60-minute spa treat at the Amangalla spa.
The following day explore the wonderfully charismatic Galle Fort on foot, guided by your private butler while learning the history of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore Galle Fort's narrow streets, admire Dutch and English colonial homes, browse the shops and boutiques, and visit well-preserved architectural gems such as the Dutch Church and Dutch Government House. Investigate several excellent museums, and browse the local gem shops, before returning to Amangalla for an optional mindfulness session and cocktails.
Depart for Tangalle, farther along Sri Lanka’s southern coast, at your leisure. Along the way, we recommend stopping at the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, where you can learn about local turtle conservation efforts. After arriving at Amanwella, enjoy some relaxation time: stroll the surrounding forests, unwind on the golden beach, enjoy a spa treatment or a mindfulness session led by the spiritual leader in the evening.
The next day, explore Tangalle and its surroundings with your private car, and driver/guide. Visit the vibrant Tangalle Market in the morning or consider a half-day excursion to Mulgirigala Rock to explore an ancient monastery. Visit the Wewurukannala Buddhist Temple and Kudawella "blowhole" on the way back. Outdoor enthusiasts may appreciate the two word-class safari parks within a 90-minute drive of Amanwella (additional cost), home to elephants, migratory birds, and even leopards.In the evening, join a final circle talk and meditation session with the spiritual leader before enjoying farewell cocktails and dinner on the beach with a cultural show to conclude your expedition.
The following day, enjoy a complimentary yoga session on the beach if you wish, before departing for Colombo and your international return flight, at your leisure.
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