Day 01 : Arrival in Kathmandu
Upon arrival at Kathmandu airport, you can obtain Nepali visa if you don’t have one yet. You need to complete visa application form and provide a passport size photograph. Visa fee costs US$ 25 and is good for up to 15 days. A 30 day visa fee costs US$ 40. Collect your baggage, walk through customs and meet Highland Asia Representative and driver outside.
Check in hotel and after some rest, we set out to explore the wonders of Kathmandu Valley. We begin from Swayambhunath Stupa-the 2000 year old Buddhist shrine, situated on a hillock 80 m above the valley floor, offering panoramic views of Kathmandu Valley as well as the snow capped mountains.
From Swayambhunath, we descend and drive to Durbar Squares of Kathmandu in the heart of old city. Kathmandu Durbar Squares constitutes the former Royal Palace and a cluster of ancient and medieval temples with rich stone and wood works. Kumari House-the temple of Living Goddess of Nepal, the legendary Kasthamandap Temple-from which the city derives its name, the Jagannath Temple and the Shiva Temple with erotic wood carvings and Taleju Temples are the most fascinating.
We walk through the narrow streets of Indrachowk and Assan-the traditional business hub of Kathmandu and enter the tourist district of Thamel with economy accommodations, restaurants, curio shops and bargain places. We end up the day in a typical Nepali restaurant where our local manager or guide joins you in the dinner. The restaurant entertains their customers with Nepali folklore dances.
Accommodation in the choice of your hotel.
Day 02:AM Patan and Bungmati Village, PM Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple and Aarati Ceremony.
This morning, you may go for an hour long mountain flight that provides you an eye level view of Mount Everest and other majestic peaks of the Himalayas ( US$ 170 per person with roundtrip airport transfer)
After breakfast, we begin the tour of valley from Patan-the city of arts and crafts. Patan is one of the three medieval principalities of Kathmandu Valley-the other two being Kathmandu and Bhaktapur. We visit the main courtyard of the former palace and the cluster of temples in the Durbar Square, most of which are multi-roofed pagodas, while others are Shikhara style architecture with multiple pinnacles with stone doors and windows. We walk through the cobbled streets with handicraft workshops and stores lining up in either sides and visit the rich Buddhist monasteries and Hindu Temple.
From Patan, we drive to the outskirt of the city to visit the traditional village of Bungamati which remains decades behind in time and less influenced by any modern changes of the city. We will see dry spinach, chilies, onions and garlic hanging from the balconies and windows of the houses, roosters roaming around, women washing and drying the grains and meet the children playing.
Afternoon, we visit Boudhanath Stupa and Pashupainath Temple. Boudhnath Stupa is the largest stupa architecture in Nepal and one of the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temples outside Tibet. It is the center of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu and rich in Buddhist symbolism. From here, we head to Pashupatinath Temple-probably the most revered of the Hindu Temples of Nepal. The temple situated on the bank of sacred Bagmati River is dedicated to Lord Shiva-one of the three major Hindu Gods. Admission to the main temple is reserved for Hindus only but we will have good view of the temple and ritual activities from other side of the river embankment. The temple area is vibrant with rituals, chanting, wandering holy men, pilgrims and devotees and onlookers. We will have also opportunity to watch the Hindu cremations services on the bank of the river. One of the advantage of visiting Pashupatinath in the evening is that we will get opportunity to witness the Aarati Ceremony that many travelers normally don't know about it. Aarati Ceremony with oil lamps, chanting and dancing wraps up the ritual of the day.
Day 03 Bhaktapur and Nagarkot
Bhaktapur is the smallest of the three medieval principalities of Kathmandu Valley but the best preserved one. Bhaktapur Durbar Square constitutes the former palace and a number of temples with intricate wood carving and beautiful stone sculpture. The Golden Gate-the main entrance of the palace is the master piece metal work of Nepal. We will visit the palace museum, the courtyard and the Royal Bath Tank of the palace complex. We walk on the cobbled street of and visit the impressive 5 storied Nyatapola Temple, Duttratraya Temple and Pujarimath Complex. The peacock window of Pujarimath Complex is the master piece wood carving in Nepal. We will stop to visit the pottery square where we will learn the traditional method of pottery making.
From Bhaktapur, we continue north east on the road winding through the paddy fields and villages. Nagarkot Lies at an altitude of 6,500 ft and offers spectacular views of snow capped mountains on a clear weather day ( Oct-Apr).Afternoon, we return to Kathmandu. If you are an early riser, we visit Nagarkot first for sunrise view and later we visit Bhaktapur.
Hiking enthusiasts can hike two hours from Changu Narayan Temple to Nagarkot. We drive from Bhaktapur to Changu Narayan Temple (30 minutes) and then hike through the villages terraced farmlands. Overnight hotel in Kathmandu.
- Airport transfers (1 arrival and 1 departure transfer)
- A private car, van or bus (depending on group size) for sightseeing.
- English speaking licensed Tour Guide.
- Sightseeing admission fees
- Accommodation on twin/double sharing basis.
- Daily breakfast and 1 Nepali welcome dinner
Cost Does Not Include
- Meals other than listed above.
- Expenses of personal nature such as drinks, tipping, laundry, phone etc.
- Extra expenses or loss due to nature and unforeseen events.
- Travel health insurance
- Nepal visa fee