Haleshi, also known as Maratika, are sacred and holy caves and a Monastery located in the Khotang District of Nepal near Mount Everest. Haleshi is first seen in writings and history and is believed to have been discovered in the 12th century. This particular cave is associated with longevity, long life and immortality in both Hindu and Buddhist cultures. Both Hindu and Buddhist consider these caves as an important pilgrimage site.
The Maratika Monastery offers pilgrimage retreats to all visitors regardless of heritage and background. These retreats provide ample time for meditation and the monks offer classes on how to live a simple monastic life.
Most visitors reach the holy caves of Maratika by bus or jeep. Helicopter is also available. Due to the remoteness of the caves this journey has often been described as difficult, and even with vehicle and helicopter assistance visitors must hike on foot up rocky and steep terrain to reach the caves entrance and simple guest house lodging.
Visiting the Maratika caves can be a spiritual and uplifting experience. Many believe that these holy caves have the ability to grant immortality. However visitors must understand that this particular site is not suggested for those that are not used to outdoor and camping experiences or are experiencing health issues.