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The birthplace of Buddha, Nepal is a remarkable land of fabled legend and incredible beauty. Kathmandu is the hub of life in Nepal, and is a traveller's paradise, packed full of highlights in the form of temples, markets and monkeys!
Heading out of the capital you will discover the true meaning of natural beauty – from the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas to the verdant green pastures of Balthali. Visit a typical Tamang Village and enjoy a walk through paddy fields with panoramic views of this stunning county.
Mixing tradition and culture with outdoor adventure and friendly local experiences, this sample tailor made tour, perfect for active travellers, showcases all that Nepal has to offer. If you have a bit more time, we can also organise an additional 6 night stay to enable you to take in the stunning destinations of Bandapur, Pokhara and Chitwan too!
Upon arrival at Kathmandu International Airport you will be met by a local representative and transferred to your hotel.
Being your first full day with a guided tour of Kathmandu. Visit Swayambhunath, otherwise known as the Monkey temple, to witness the rituals of monks, pilgrims and worshippers. There are so many monkeys found in and around the temple that a small swimming pool has been made for the monkeys to cool themselves in the scorcing heat of summer!
After that, visit Budanilkantha, a Hindu open air temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple's main statue of Budanilkantha is considered the largest stone carving in Nepal. The statue is a black stone structure carved from a single block of black basalt and stands at 5 metres tall in the middle of a sunken pool of water.
Finally, visit Kathmandu Durbar Square. The entire square was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Whilst several buildings in the Square collapsed due to April 2015’s earthquake, reconstruction began soon after and the square remains the traditional heart of the old town.
The Durbar Square, with its old temples and palaces, epitomizes the religious and cultural life of the Nepales people . The major Interesting things to see here are ‘Kumari (The house of Living Goddess) Ghar’ ‘Kastha Mandap’, Maru Ganesh, Mahadev Temple, Shiva Parvati Temple, Bhagwati Temple, Old palace, Saraswoti temple, Krishna Octangular Temple, Big drums, Kal Bhairav, Jagannath Temple, and Taleju Temple.
Today, enjoy a full day guided tour of Pashupatinath, Boudhanath and Bhaktapur Durbar Square.
Pashupatinath, dedicated to Shiva the Destroyer, is the holiest Hindu pilgrimage destination in Nepal and is listed as a World heritage site by UNESCO. It is a must visit temple for all Hindu. From about the 7th century onwards it became the first and foremost temple of Nepal, with kings, aristocrats and the rich offering a great deal of wealth and land in trust to the God, making it one of the richest temples in Nepal.
Then, continue towards Boudhanath, Nepal’s largest Stupa and considered the holiest Buddhist temple outside of Tibet. See Tibetan monks in maroon robes and with shaved heads wander the prayer flag–decked streets while pilgrims spin prayer wheels and stock up on yak butter and tsampa (roasted barley flour).
In the afternoon, drive to another historical town; Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a collection of pagoda and Shikhara-style temples grouped around a fifty-five-window palace of brick and wood. The Square contains innumerable temples and other architectural showpieces like the Lion Gate, the statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, the Picture Gallery and the Golden Gate.
Hotel Heritage Bhaktapur
After breakfast, drive to Changu Narayan situated approximately 20 km east of Kathmandu. Changu Narayan is said to be the oldest temple of Kathmandu valley and is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage monument list. People from Newari community live in and around Changunarayan. During your visit, you can see the handicrafts made by the local people which reflect the ancient Newari culture. Then trek to Nagarkot through a fragrant pine forest, enjoying splendid views of the valley and mountains as you walk. Nagarkot is one the most panoramic destinations in Nepal and you could spend many an hour here standing in awe of the landscapes, mountain views (including Mt Everest) and magnificent sunrise and sunset views.
Walking time approx. six hours
Hotel Country Villa
Start the day with a gentle walk through pine forests, paddy fields and past small villages to the ancient town of Dhulikhel . This Newar town (Newar being the historical inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley) offers a traditional atmosphere along with spectacular views of the Himalayan range – with views of peaks like Dorje Lakpa, Gauri Shankar and Langtan. Enjoy a complete panoramic view of the snowy ranges from Karyolung in the east to Himalchuli in the west. The old part of this town is an interesting area to wander around with some fine old Nepalese buildings and several interesting temples.
Dhulikhel Lodge Resort
After breakfast at Dhulikhel, walk to the Namo Buddha, situated on a hill above Panauti. It takes about three hours to reach from Dhulikhel. There is an amazing legend related to the Buddha, which is commemorated by an ancient stone slab and a stupa with the all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. Namo Buddha is surrounded by a Tamang settlement. Later, walk another three hours and reach the enchanting Balthali village offering excellent mountain views at an altitude of 1,730m.
Walking time approx. six hours
Balthali Village Resort
Today, visit a typical Tamang village, Dada Gaun, where a Buddhist Community lives. It is very traditional and secluded from the modern world. Here people and animals live together side by side. We then walk to Pada Gaun for more spectacular views of the whole Himalayan range and the beautiful green forest of Mahabharat. Then walk on to Karnali, a hamlet of nature, and follow the banks of the Ladku River back to the resort.
Balthali Village Resort
This morning, take leisurely walk to the thriving Newari village of Panauti, wedged between the Punyamata and Roshi streams. Panauti forms the shape of a triangle with a serpent (naga) idol standing at each of its three corners to protect it from floods. Pride of this place goes to the massive, three-tiered Indreshwor Mahadev temple which some believe to be the original structure built in 1294 AD, which would make it the oldest surviving Nepal. You will then be driven back to Kathmandu.
Walking time approx. six hours
Full day guided tour of Khokana, Bungmati and Patan Durban Square
The village of Bungmati and Khokana, a complex of cultural amalgamation is just 10kms from Kathmandu. These small Newari villages in the Lalitpur district date back to the 6th century but the prominent artifacts are of medieval period times. You will see local people enjoying their traditional life style, sitting in common courtyards, weaving, chatting and working. For Newari culture, tradition and architectures, this is an open museum.
Visit old houses, Rudrayani Temple, local mustard oil industry, masterful wood carvers and sculptors, Rato Machhindranath Temple, Karya Binayak Temple and more. The five-day Khokana Jatra festival, with its masked dancers, is usually held in October and is a good time to visit.
Afterwards, take a sightseeing tour of Patan Durbar Square, largely regarded as the culturally and historically-richest Durbar Square. It is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Your journey comes to a satisfying end this morning. You will be transferred to the airport for your international flight home.
Bandipur - Pokhara - Chitwan National Park
No visit to Nepal is complete without a visit to Pokhara and Chitwan National Park. En route to Pokhara however, is one of the finest hidden gems of Nepal, namely Bandipur. For hundreds of years this hilltop town had been a rich trading centre that dominated the trade routes to India. With the coming of modern roads, it became forgotten and rundown; thus a medieval masterpiece was saved for posterity. The town has been lovingly restored and you can stay in the historic 'Old Inn' with views across the valley to Pokara and the Annapurnas; this is quintessential Nepal.
Pokhara and its beautiful lake have adopted tourism in much the same way as has Kathmandu - gently. Gentle is the nature of the place and you can choose to relax in its many bars and restaurants or to bike or hike in the surrounding landscape.
Chitwan meanwhile is legendary. Yes, spotting tigers is your goal but realistically rhino, elephant, bears, antelope and crocs are what you will see. Whether you prefer a jeep safari or a walking safari, there are all levels of accommodation available around and within the park.
Alternatively, try a three night Famous Farm Homestay Extension at Nuwakot. This small village is a maze of old temples and palaces and is a haven for serenity. The Famous Farm is an historical manor house that has been converted for a small number of visitors. This is a place to get away from the tourists and to enjoy rural Nepal, its people and magnificent vistas
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