“In our tradition, the Buddha advised that in times to come people interested in his teachings should be told about the places associated with the major events of his life…we believe that expressing respect and admiration for the qualities of the Buddha—by making offerings or undertaking a pilgrimage—contributes to our own spiritual progress.”
– His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Our aim is to connect you to a deeper spiritual practice by visiting meaningful destinations. Spiritual guidance and teachings are incorporated into our tours and our pilgrimage leaders are experienced, knowledgeable and reliable.
Sharon Thrupp has been leading Buddhist pilgrimages through her Australian company, Ekno Travels, since 2006. She has organised and lead tours to India, Nepal, Japan and Australia. She has also undertaken many personal pilgrimages to countries such as Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Myanmar and Indonesia. She is currently the treasurer of the Sakyadhita Australia Committee.
Sharon’s life has been consumed by travel. She got her first insider experience travelling in her home country of Australia, and after this taste of life on the road she set off further afield and spent many years living and working in New Zealand, England and Scotland.
Sharon then spent several years volunteering in the Himalayas – both in a rural village in Nepal and in Dharamsala, India; the home of the Dalai Lama. It was during this time that Sharon became a Buddhist and started her travel business.
Vikas Kumar is our much-loved insider guide in India. He loves to share his country with visitors, in particular his knowledge of pilgrimage sites.
Vikas was born in and still lives in Naddi – a small, picturesque village just above Dharamsala in the foothills of the Himalayas. He is passionate about the area and has worked as a trekking guide in the Himalayan region, from Dharamsala to Ladakh, since leaving school. He completed his tertiary education part time whilst working as a guide.
Since then he has taken groups (mainly from Australia) throughout India and Nepal. He continues to be fascinated by his beloved India, sometimes travelling the length and breadth of the country in one season. Vikas’ gentle nature combined with his local networks and understanding make him the perfect insider to ensure the safety and well-being of any traveller to India.
Emma Billsberry (Lozang Drolma)
Lozang Drolma (Emma Billsberry) is originally from a small village in the English countryside. Emma first discovered the Dharma in 2005 when she was volunteered at the Chenrezig Institute in Australia. Within a few months she was ordained as Lozang Drolma and began her formal studies with the five-year Buddhist Studies Program before becoming a registered FPMT teacher in 2012. She then completed a further two years of Masters studies, totally nine years of studies while living and serving at the Chenrezig Nun’s Community.
While at Chenrezig she assisted with the many spiritual programs, leading meditations and pujas. She also regularly taught introductory courses and led retreats, becoming well known for her natural warmth, kindness and wisdom.
In 2012 Drolma travelled to Nepal and assisted the Kopan November course as meditation leader. Since arriving in India in 2015 she has taught at Tushita Meditation Centre and the Root Institute, as well as learning Tibetan.
Drolma currently resides in Dharamsala as a student at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics.
Ven. Kartson (Yaki Platt)
Venerable Kartson (Yaki Platt) was born in Tel Aviv and previously worked for the Israeli Armed Forces. He then moved to India and studied conversational and classical Tibetan for four years. He came to the Chenrezig Institute in Australia as the translator for Geshe Jamyang in 2005 and is now translating for Geshe Tsultrim. He is a graduate of the Buddhist Studies Program and was ordained as a monk in 2015 and is now called Ven. Kartson.