Adventure Details

This project is organized and run by RWI

US$2,950 for 12-days

Additional Cost Information:

All costs are per person and based on double occupancy.
Single supplement is available

Discounts! Past participants receive 10% off the full tour fee
Check out AiP's Loyalty Program

Your fee includes:

  • Ground and air transportation within Nepal, including pick-up upon arrival and drop-off upon departure at Kathmandu's international airport
  • Double occupancy lodging during trip dates
  • Meals from Day 1 dinner in Pokhara through breakfast on Day 12.
  • Tours and recreational activities during your trip dates.
  • In-country permits specific to RWI's program
  • Expert instruction

All participants are responsible for:

  • Transportation to Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Nepal visas
  • Travel health insurance, including emergency evacuation
  • Kathmandu lodging (RWI can help with arrangements)
  • A review of RWI's Welcome Package, which you will receive upon payment of your deposit. It contains important information for pre-trip preparation including RWI's packing list and additional information about the site and area.

Project Leader: 
Lama Sashi Doj
Lama Sashi Doj is a world-renowned thanka painter and Buddhist monk. The monastery's head lama, Sashi-la is now in charge of the restoration and conservation of the fine artwork of Chhairro Gompa; he is also working to establish a traditional Buddhist art center at the monastery in order to provide training to both the monastic and secular communities.

Nepal volunteer vacation monastery wall painting restoration project

Restoring Nepalese Wall Paintings with Restoration Works International

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Dates: April 15-26, 2013; April 29 – May 10, 2013; October 7-18, 2013; October 21 – November 1, 2013

The Chhairo Gompa, or monastery, was built in the 1600’s and served as the religious center for the Takhali people of the Mustang region of Nepal. When China closed the border to Tibet and blocked trade routes, economic hardship ensued and Chhairo Gompa fell into disrepair. The last resident monk left in the 1970’s.

Nepal volunteer cultural heritage restoration projectIn 2004, Lama Sashi Doj began to look for ways to restore the gompa. He met Mark Hintzke, founder of Restoration Works International (RWI), who agreed to take on the project. After eight years of volunteer restoration efforts, their dream of bringing the monastery back to life has been realized! Chhairo Gompa opened its doors to its first group of young monks on June 4, 2012.

Restoration work continues. Adventures in Preservation is now working with RWI to bring volunteers to Chhairo Gompa for the next stage of conservation work. In 2013, work will focus on restoration of the monastery’s magnificently colored wall paintings. Contact us with any questions, and then register through RWI’s website.

Lama Sashi Doj, a world-renowned painter, is heading the effort to restore the fine artwork of Chhairo Gompa. He belongs to the family of artists responsible for many of the sculptures and wall paintings at Chhairo and at other gompas in the area dating back five generations.

Lama Sashi, along with a team of wall painting experts, will provide instruction in the techniques involved in wall painting conservation. No experience is required to join this effort, but tasks will be carefully assigned in order to place each person where their assistance is most advantageous.

If you have special art conservation skills, please let us know. We are also interested to hear if you have skills in photography, sketching or video work that you would like to share.

How You Will Help the Community
Lama Sashi Doj, a community leader, is the primary force behind this cultural heritage restoration project. With almost no financial resources at hand, Nepal cultural heritage restoration project monasteryhe nonetheless is well on his way to accomplishing his goal of restoring the gompa and resuming the education of young monks within it. This success is a direct result of the hard work and generosity of community members and international volunteers.

You can be a vital part of reaching the next goal, saving and restoring the monastery’s paintings and art objects. Such work is important not only in and of itself but also because doing so confirms, to the community, the value of their talents and traditions.

Why This Could Be The Greatest Adventure of Your Life

During your adventure in Nepal you will:

  • Explore a once forbidden region of remarkable beauty
  • Learn from a world-renowned artist
  • Become acquainted with the people and culture of Lower Mustang

Lodging and Meals
You will stay in a comfortable family-run guesthouse a short walk from the work site. Rooms are double occupancy with en suite bathrooms with hot water. There is electricity, although in this area it can be spotty.   Breakfast and dinner will be enjoyed at the guesthouse. For lunch, you will have the opportunity to help the local Nepalis prepare traditional meals on site.

Excursions and Free Time
Adventures in Preservation RWI volunteer heritage restoration travel programFree time can be spent hiking in the magnificent mountains or getting to know the local merchants. The group will visit important cultural sites in the area and enjoy wonderful apple creations in Marpha, the Apple Capital of Nepal, and the nearest town.  

Travel Details
The Chhairo Monastery is located in the breath-taking Himalaya Mountains of Nepal, just off the Annapurna trekking route. Be sure to book your international travel early. Most participants work with a travel agent that has experience booking flights to and from Nepal.

Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be picked up and taken to your hotel/guesthouse. Air and ground transportation within Nepal is arranged by RWI and covered by your fee.

Contact RWI to arrange airport pick-up and with any other questions.

Visit the RWI project page for further details and registration information.