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Kathmandu - Nagarkot - Godavari - Pokhara - Chitwan - Kathmandu
10 Nights / 11 Days
Nepal Cultural Tour
Arrive Kathmandu and transfer to Bhaktapur
Meet and assist by our airport representative and transfer you to Bhaktapur en route visit Pashupatinath Temple and Boudhanath Stupa
Pashupatinath Temple: The magnificent temple of Pashupatinath with its astonishing architectural beauty is situated amidst a lush green natural setting on the bank of the sacred Bagmati River. The temple built in pagoda style has gilded roof and richly carved silver doors. The temple stands as a symbol of faith, region, culture and tradition. Dedicated to the Hindu God of Destruction, Lord Shiva, this temple is regarded as the most sacred temple of all Lord Shiva temples. The richly ornamented pagoda houses the sacred linga or phallic symbol of Lord Shiva. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Every year thousands of pilgrims from all over the world come to pay homage to this temple. Non-Hindu visitors are strictly prohibited to enter the temple however; they are permitted to view the temple from the east banks of the River Bagmati.
Pashupatinath is also Nepal's most renowned Hindu cremation site. In the Hindu Culture, after a person is dead, his/her body is wrapped in cloth, placed on bamboo litters and brought to the cremation site where the eldest son in the family burns the body. The ashes from the dead body are collected and swept into the River Bagmati that eventually joins the Holy Ganges. AryaGhat, is of special importance because it is here the members of the royal family were cremated. The main cremation site is Bhasmeshvar Ghat, which is the most-used cremation site in the Kathmandu Valley.
Boudhanath Stupa is one of the most imposing landmarks of Kathmandu and is a center of Tibetan Buddhism. The stupa is built on a massive three level mandala style platform and is 36 meters (118 feet) in height. The base of the stupa is adorned with 108 small images of the DhyaniAmitabha Buddha and inset with prayer wheels. Thousands of pilgrims circle the stupa in a clockwise direction each day spinning the prayer wheels. It is said that each spin of a prayer wheel is the equivalent of reciting the mantra. The stupa’s massive mandala makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal. The ancient stupa is one of the largest in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Stupa is on the ancient trade route from Tibet that enters the Kathmandu Valley by the village of Sankhu in the northeast corner. Tibetan merchants have rested and offered prayers here for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many decided to live around Boudhanath. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of a Buddhist sage, perhaps parts of the Buddha’s body (bones, teeth), or sacred texts and other ceremonial objects.
Overnight at Vajra Guest House
Drive to Nagarkot
Today we will have some sightseeing around the old town of Bhaktapur then we drive to Nagarkot
Bhaktapur also known as Bhadgaun meaning the city of devotes, this place is the home of medieval art and architecture. Lying 14 km / 9 miles east of Kathmandu City, this place was founded in the 9th century and is shaped like conch shell. The city is at the height of 4600ft. above sea level. In Bhadgaon you will visit the Durbar Square with its array of temples overlooked by the Palace of 55 windows built by King BhupatindraMalla. The Nyatapola Temple also built by King BhupatindraMalla, is the best example of Pagoda style and stands of five Terrance on each of which stands a pair of figures two famous strong men, two elephants, two lions, two griffins and two goddesses. Time permitting, a visit to the museum of Thanka painting can also be considered.
At an altitude of 2229m above sea level, Nagarkot is situated 35 km northeast of the Kathmandu city. From here one can see the majestic Mount Everest and other snow capped peaks of the Himalayas. Nagarkot is located between Kathmandu valley in the west and Indrawati in the east. The top of Nagarkot encompasses more than 200 miles of snowcapped peaks, from Annapurna in the west beyond Everest in the east. It also offers a panoramic view of the Kathmandu Valley.
Nagarkot is a renowned international tourist destination with spectacular views of the whole Langtang range, sunrise over the mountains and sunset views. It is a popular over-night holiday destination for not just tourists but for the people of Kathmandu as well.
Overnight at Nivaniwa Lodge
Drive to Godavari en-route sightseeing of Bungamati and Khokana
Godavari Situated 16 km/10 miles from Kathmandu city, Godavari located at the lap of Phulchoki hill is well known for its prized butterfly population including rare collector’s items. The Royal Botanical Garden also located here has a wide range of collection of high altitude orchids and cacti. This place is also recommended to the bird watcher.
Bungamatiis a typical medieval Newari village perched near the Bagmati River, 10 km north from the capital city Kathmandu. Less influenced by modern life and abiding by its old culture and civilization, Bungamati exemplifies true beauty. This village was the origin of the procession of the chariot of Lord Machindranath, the God of Rain and Compassion, one of the most important gods of the Kathmandu Valley, worshipped equally by Hindus and Buddhists. It is one of the most important festivals of the Newari community.
A tour through the village of Bungamati gives a clear picture of the primitive lifestyle of the Newari community. The village streets have quite a few woodcarving shops and once on the streets, one can see the local Newari people busy working intricate designs on wood or stone. Most of the people in the village make their living through woodcarving, an art that has been passed down through generations.
Khokana is a small Newari village on the southern flank of the Kathmandu valley. Located about 8 km from the Kathmandu city, Khokana was established in the 7th century by the mighty Licchhavi rulers of Nepal. A village of its own, Khokana is unique in many ways. Khokana has its own history and over the years it is less affected by modern civilization and has managed to retain its own culture and tradition.
The village is famous for its unusual mustard-oil harvesting process which till date is done in a traditional way using a heavy wooden beam to crush the mustard seeds in order to extract the oil. The villagers are mostly involved in farming or spinning wool yarn. Their daily activities include women sitting outside spinning while men are busy crushing seeds. The oil extracted from the seeds can be consumed. The purity of the extraction makes this oil rich in therapeutic benefits.
Khokana is the first habitation to be electrified, even before the Kathmandu city. Nominated to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Khokana represents itself as a vernacular village and for its industrial heritage of mustard-oil seed.
Overnight at View Bhrikuti
Visit Kirtipur, and Dakshinkali then drive back to Godavari Village Resort
Kirtipur It is a small town 8 km / 5 miles south west of Kathmandu on the top of a hill near Tribhuvan University. This historical town has many things to offer – old shrines, temples and old houses. One can also witness people in traditional costumes weaving their requirement of cloth on looms.
Dakshinkali:Located 22 km outside the Kathmandu Valley in a cleft between two hills is the blood soaked temple of Dakshinkali, one of the most important temples of Nepal. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess of power, Goddess Kali, Shiva’s wife in her most bloodthirsty incarnation. The scowling idol of Goddess Kali or ‘The Black One’, with six arms, a protruding tongue, blood shot read eyes, adorned with a necklace of skulls is just another form of Goddess Durga, the supreme goddess.
Goddess Kali is believed to be extremely powerful and accomplished with the ability to make wishes come true. Devotees from all over the country, religiously visit her twice a week (Tuesdays and Saturdays) to satisfy the mighty goddess’ bloodlust by sacrificing uncastrated male goats, buffaloes, chickens, ducks and other such animals. These two days of the week and during the festival of Dasain (one of the most important festivals in Nepal held usually in October), the courtyard of the temple is covered with blood and goddess Kali is bathed with blood.
Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the premises of the temple. The temple is usually crowded and there is often a long queue for the Hindus to get in. Families holding an animal, a goat/chicken etc. for sacrificial purposes is a common sight here. After the sacrificial ceremony, the carcass of the animal is brought home for a feast or cooked at the nearby picnic spot and consumed by the family members as Prasad.
Overnight at View Bhrikuti
Drive to Pokhara(Approx. 5 hours drive)
Pokhara’s bewitching beauty has been the subject of many travel writers. Its pristine air, spectacular backdrop of snowy peaks, serene lakes and surrounding greenery make it ‘the jewel in the Himalaya’, a place of remarkable natural beauty. With the magnificent Annapurna range forming the backdrop and the serenity of three major lakes – Phewa, Rupa and Begnas – Pokhara is the ultimate destination for relaxation. Pokhara Valley is the end of the famous Annapurna Circuit and a gateway to some of the most famous long-distance treks in Nepal. It also offers plenty of rewarding short walks and day trips suitable for children and weary trekkers. It is the second largest city in Nepal and sits high on the list of ‘must visit’ places in Nepal.
Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel as booked. If time permits, we will do boating at the Lakeside.
Overnight at Hotel Dandelion
VisitDavis Fall, Bindebashini Temple, Gupteswor Mahadev Cave Tibetan Refugee Camp.
Davis fall:The Devis fall is a lovely waterfall that marks the point where a stream from Phewa Lake vanishes underground through a natural tunnel. The site is named after a Swiss tourist who was unexpectedly swept away while swimming at the Phewa Lake in 1961. The body of the tourist was never recovered.
Bindebashini Temple: This is one of the oldest temples in Pokhara. Legend says that when Pokhara was a part of Kaski Kingdom, the main deity of the temple, Goddess Durga, was brought from India. Apart from the peace and tranquility that can be felt in this region, the premises of the temple offers a good view of the Himalaya on a clear day. The temple is in the area of the Bazaar; hence, a journey of the old bazaar can be combined with a visit to the temple.
Gupteswor Mahadev Cave, across the Devis Fall, is one of the longest caves in Nepal.
The cave contains a huge stalagmite worshiped as a Shiva lingam that looks like snake's head and a tortoise body.
Tibetan Refugee Camp: There are the two Tibetan villages in the vicinity of Pokhara. One of them called Tashiling and the other village by the name of Tashi Palkhel. The Tibetan people living in these villages keep themselves busy by producing and trading in woolen carpets and other handicraft items. They also run souvenir shops around lakeside. Some of them work like hawkers selling souvenirs at bargaining prices.
Overnight at Hotel Dandelion
Drive from Pokhara to Chitwan(Approx. 4-5 hours drive).
After breakfast, drive to chitwan and upon arrival, transfer to the hotel.
Chitwan literally means “Heart of Jungle”. The Chitwan National Park is located in the lush valley of the Chitwan District, 75 miles south west of Kathmandu, in the foothills of the Churia Ranges. Formerly known as The Royal Chitwan National Park, Chitwan National Park was established in 1973 and is the first national park in Nepal. It was enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Natural) in 1984.
The Chitwan National Park is rich in flora and fauna with different species of birds, mammals, butterflies etc. and is an ideal place for nature lovers. The park is renowned for its variety of wildlife like carious types of deer, monkeys, leopards, Bear, crocodiles and particularly the Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros and the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger. Exploring the park is made easy through several jungle activities like elephant back rides, jungle walks, jeep safari, canoeing, bird watching etc. which provides great opportunity to get closer to the diverse ecosystem of the forest of Nepal.
Overnight at Hotel Park side
In Chitwan. A whole day filled with exhilarating jungle activities.
Jungle activities include nature walk, elephant safari, visiting elephant breeding centre, bird watching, boat ride on the river, and canoeing
Overnight at Hotel Park side
Drive back to Kathmandu.
Today we will drive back from Chitwan to Kathmandu which takes approximately 5-6 hours. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel as booked.
Overnight at Hotel Tibet
Visit Kathmandu city (Old Kathmandu), Patan durbar square and Swayambhunath
Kathmandu, the largest city of Nepal, is the political as well as the cultural capital of the country. Like any big city, Kathmandu has seen rapid expansion in the last decade, but despite the hustle and bustle so typical of metropolitan cities, its people remain as refreshingly friendly as ever. Retaining its ancient traditions, Kathmandu is blessed by a Living Goddess and is enriched by endless ceremonial processions and events that take to the streets every now and then with throngs of devotees seeking blessings. These religious festivals are steeped in legend and are quite a spectacle with chariot processions and masked dancers often possessed by the spirits of deities.
Vegetable & spice markets: We visit the vegetable & spice market in Ason, and see its many courtyards and bustling bazaars.
The Temple of the Living Goddess: The Kumari Devi is the most important of several living goddesses in Nepal. She is seen on the temple’s balcony regularly.
Durbar Square: ‘Durbar’ means ‘palace’, and takes its name from the old Royal Palace. This is the centre of the old city, and there are a number of interesting temples including Kasthamandap, the House of Wood, which gives the city its name.
Much of the Heritage sites have been damaged in the April 2015 Earthquake. Currently, renovation is under process.
Swayambhunath Stupa also known as the Monkey Temple is a UNESCO WORLD Heritage Site. It rests on a hillock 3 km towards the western edge of Kathmandu and is one of the most important and the most sacred Buddhist shrines of Nepal. Legend has it that when Kathmandu Valley was a lake 2000 years ago, a single lotus flower grew at the center of the lake. When Saint Manjushree, the Bodhisatva drained the lake with a single slash of his sword, the lotus settled on top of a hill and magically turned into a stupa. Thus Swayambhunath is also known as a Self-Created stupa.
This stupa is the most ancient and the perhaps the most enigmatic of all holy shrines in Kathmandu. The area surrounding the stupa is filled with smaller chaityas, temples, painted images of deities and numerous other religious objects. There are many small shrines with statues of Tantric and shamanistic deities, prayer wheels for the Tibetan Buddhists, Shiva lingams and a popular Hindu temple dedicated to Harati, the Goddess of smallpox and other epidemics.
Later transfer to Patan
Patan also known as Lalitpur, the city of artisans is a paradise of fine arts and one of the three cities in the Kathmandu Valley. Located 5 miles southeast from the Kathmandu City, Patan is best known for its rich cultural heritage. It is home to the valley’s finest craftsmen who have preserved such ancient techniques as the repoussé and lost wax process used to produce exquisite sculptures. The city retains much of its old charm with its narrow streets, brick houses and multitude of well-preserved Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries (vihars) and monuments. The predominant sound in Patan is that of the tinkering of craftsmen bent over the statuettes they are shaping. As in Kathmandu, Hinduism and Buddhism have co-existed here for ages, influencing each other, and the religious harmony is exemplary.
The city of Patan offers visitors the chance to see an abundance of exquisite works of religious art and architecture. Patan is enclosed within four stupas, built in the 3rd century AD by Emperor Ashoka. Each stupa is symbolic of the Buddhist Wheel of Righteousness (‘Dharma Chakra’). In the heart of Patan, amidst the Patan marketplace lays the Patan Durbar Square, an area filled with ancient palaces, pagoda temples, stone baths, Hindu and Buddhist statues, engravings and bronze cravings. The Palace of the Malla Kings is one of the highlights of Patan. The palace complex lays the stone temple of Lord Krishna, which was built in the 16th century A.D. The Royal Bath (known as 'Tushahity') is another showpiece of fine stone and bronze carving in the palace complex.
Patan Durbar Square is one of seven monument zones in the Kathmandu Valley that together have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also located in the square is the Patan Museum, formerly a Malla palace, which houses bronze statues and religious objects, some dating back to the 11th century.
Overnight at Hotel Tibet
Final Departure [B]
Today we will transfer to the airport for your flight home.
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