Explore medieval kingdoms, pagoda temples, hill side villages and experience the ethnic cultures of the Newars, Gurungs & Tamangs
Take an insightful tour to Kathmandu’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, stroll through ancient bazaars and medieval palace squares, explore ancient Newari villages which are living museums and shrines of the local deities. Explore Nepal’s mid-hill villages and experience rural lifestyles and ethnic cultures of the Tamangs and Gurungs. Visit Pokhara, a beautiful scenic lake town where nature is amplified with the views of majestic peaks, clean water lakes with boating and canoeing thrills at your service. Witness some natural wonders of nature in waterfalls and gorges and magical dawns that light up the sky and the snowy Himalayan spires in hues of the rising sun. Capture these magical vistas and wonderful landscapes in your camera. Yes, discover the wonders of Nepal – a country truly blessed with natural beauty and rich cultural history.
Arrive Kathmandu; transfer to the hotel It is a panoramic thrill flying into Kathmandu on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below you are almost ecstatic, beginning a whole chain of memorable experiences that stay with you for a long time. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. After checking in at the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities. .
Leaving the main city, we drive for about half an hour to Bhaktapur. Among the three medieval kingdoms, Bhaktapur or Bhadgaon is the best preserved. As large vehicles are not allowed inside the old city, we walk up to the durbar square. En route we get to observe local potters busy spinning their wheels & drying their terracotta wares. We marvel at the wonderful specimen of art and architecture of the Malla era at Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Lion Gate, Golden gate, Art gallery, Statue of King Bhuptindra Malla, Nyatapola Temple and the Malla Palace of 55 windows are the living prides of Bhaktapur and we will explore all the places. After our exploration of Bhaktapur Durbar Square, we drive 6 km north of Bhaktapur to Changu Narayan Temple - a UNESCO world Heritage site and one of the oldest temples in the Valley. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple was built in the 4th Century AD. Inside the temple precinct are some really exquisite stone sculptures of Hindu deities from the Licchhavi period (4th to 9th centuries). After the day’s tour, we return to our hotel in Kathmandu. .
Today, we take a scenic drive to Dakshinkali Temple, a woodland shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva’s (a Hindu deity) blood thirsty consort, Kali. The temple lies about 22 kilometers south of Kathmandu valley. As devotees of Goddess Kali believe her wrath can only be appeased through blood sacrifice, you will witness animals (goats, ducks and chicken) being sacrificed at the sanctum of the goddess. On our return drive, we make a stop at Chobar & Kirtipur. We visit the Chobar Gorge which lies at the foot of Chobar village. The legend about the birth of Kathmandu Valley speaks of the Buddhist deity Manjushri cutting the hill at Chobar into half with a mighty sword, letting out the water of a lake and opening the fertile vale for habitation. Near the gorge is the temple of Jal Vinayak (dedicated to Lord Ganesh). From Chobar, we drive along a high ridge to Kirtipur - one of the oldest settlements in Kathmandu valley. The history of Kirtipur goes back to the 12th century when it was an outpost of Patan but later became a separate kingdom. We visit the ridge top Bagh Bhairav temple. Hanging from one of the temples’ high walls are weapons commemorating the terrible conquest of the village in 1768 by Prithvi Narayan Shah’s armies. A number of shrines populate the temple compound, one of which houses Dhartimatta (Earth Goddess). She is carved in stone, lying on her back with thighs parted. Pregnant women flock to Dhartimatta, praying for safe pregnancies and safe labor. We also visit the picturesque and colourful Srikirti Vihara, a Thai Buddhist shrine. In the evening, we drive back to our hotel. .
Today we take a drive to Bungamati - an ancient Newar village that dates back to the 16th century. Perched on a spur of land overlooking the Bagmati River, the village is the resting place of the Valley’s Rain God Rato Machhendranath. The village is home to the Valley’s best wood carvers who are famous for producing excellent woodcraft. The village’s narrow streets are lined with shops selling wooden handicrafts and workshops filled with busy woodcarvers at work - interesting shots for your lens. After exploring Bungamati we drive to Khokana, another Newar village. The small village filled with typical Newar houses is famous for its mustard oil. The garlands of red chillies, garlic and corn hanging from the rooftops of houses presents a picturesque sight. .
Leaving Kathmandu behind, we take a scenic drive to Nuwakot village. Visiting Nuwakot villages offers a unique opportunity to experience Nepal outside the classic tourist areas. Nuwakot is a small thriving village situated on the way to Langtang Valley. King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who unified Nepal in 1767, started his unification campaign from Nuwakot , when he merged the two kingdoms of Gorkha and Nuwakot. Nuwakot has a nice, clean main street that leads up to Saat Taale Durbar, the beautiful old castle, which in its historical importance is equal to the Hanuman Dhoka Palace in Kathmandu. A stone throw away from the durbar is the area’s main temple, Nuwakot Bhairabi Temple and Jalpadevi Mandir. .
Nuwakot district is a traditional Nepali village situated in one of the last mountain passes on the ancient caravan route to Kathmandu. Though the village has a mixed population comprising of Chettris, Newars, Tamangs & Magars, the latter two communities are in majority. We visit the Durbar Square and the surrounding villages. .
Today we take a scenic drive to Bandipur via the ancient town of Gorkha. Gorkha was the royal seat of the erstwhile Shah dynasty, which ruled Nepal till 2008, when a popular people’s movement overthrew monarchy and declared Nepal a republic. The place is famous for the hill top shrine of Manakamana Mai and Gorkha Durbar- an old palace of the Shah dynasty. We take a drive to Bandipur. Situated at an altitude of 1030 meters in Tanahu district, Bandipur is an ancient Newari town that used to be the main trading center from the late 18th century to recent times before being replaced by Damauli. Bandipur is a mere three and a half hours’ drive from Kathmandu along the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway. Panoramic views of Himalayan range can be enjoyed from the town. .
We take a 3/4 hours’ drive to Pokhara - a beautiful scenic lake town where nature is amplified with the views of majestic peaks. We drive past picturesque hamlets and lush, green fields along Prithivi Highway. As we approach Pokhara, our eyes behold the snowy pinnacles of the Annapurna Range, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Lamjung Himal. On reaching Pokhara, we check in at our hotel. .
Today we visit the city’s major sightseeing spots. We enjoy boating on Phewa Lake. The reflection of the Machhapucchre’s (Fishtail) spire on the lake waters is one of the most breathtaking sights. We visit the spectacular waterfalls at Davis Fall, the exquisite Bindyabasini Temple and the mysterious Mahendra Gupha (cave). .
Today we drive to Dhampus, a traditional Gurung village. The Gurungs are an ethnic community who inhabit the hills surrounding Annapurna region. From the village we take some stunning and spectacular shots of the snowy Annapurna Range, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu. .
In the morning, you will be taken for an excursion to Sarangkot. In an hour’s drive up the hill from Pokhara, lies Sarangkot. Located at an altitude of 1592 m, it is the highest point on the Pokhara valley rim. From here you can see the whole Pokhara Valley and the Annapurna ranges (Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Machhapuchure, Annapurna III, Annapurna II, Annapurna IV and Lamjung Himal). Afterward, you will take a 30 minutes flight back to Kathmandu. After reaching Kathmandu, you can spend the remaining hours as per your wish. .
Our support team will drive you to the airport for your international flight. Have a safe journey! .
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.