One of the oldest cities in the world, Kathmandu is a tourism hub of Nepal. The history dates back between 167 BC and 1 AD according to great scholars. Throughout the ancient times, different rulers of different dynasties like Kirat, Licchavi, Malla and Shah have ruled the valley. Patan, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu are the greatest cities of the ancient Kathmandu valley where trade, culture, art and architecture flourished in different phases. Still there are many historical monuments, which represent Nepalese culture as well as the harmony between two great religions Hinduism and Buddhism.
Anyone planning their next trip to Nepal, Kathmandu valley will be an awesome way to get in touch with the unique history of the country that defines, civilization of different eras with the blend of modern touch.
Kathmandu valley offers variety of sightseeing destinations. The harmony between Buddhism and Hinduism can be witnessed during the visit to the world heritage sights. Sightseeing in Kathmandu is a perfect way of getting in touch with the rich Nepalese history. The Valley is also the home of the seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which include Kathmandu Durbar square, Bhaktapur Durbar square, Patan Durbar square, Pashupatinath, Swyambunath, Boudhanath and Changunarayan.
When it comes to shopping, Kathmandu is a great place for buying authentic Nepalese goods. Handicrafts, Thanka Paintings, Fabrics like Pashmina, Cashmere, Wool, Silk and handmade garments are some of most sold items in Nepalese market. Streets of Kathmandu are filled with items that might interest all kinds of tourists. Local spices are very famous amongst food loving people whereas Handicraft, exotic Nepalese weapons, hemp products and traditional musical instruments are famous amongst travelers. Branded goods as well as Nepalese items are sold side by side, so it is quite easy to find the desired goods in different localities of the valley.
Travellers who have been to Nepal describe the culture as a very colorful one. Since the beginning of the civilization, “Religion, Culture and Festivals” have been a part of Nepalese life. Plus ethnic diversity adds a different flavor to the colorful life in the country. With multiple ethnical tribes the level of cultural diversity in the valley caters a great photographic experience for both professional and amateur photographers.
The language of food is universal. And when it comes to Nepalese food, it is the prime highlight of our culture. Types of Nepalese food depends on, which place or city you are in. If you are in Kathmandu, spicy Newari cuisines will awaken your taste bud in a hot and sweet way. The Newari clan who dominate the population of the valley not only celebrate colorful festivals and culture; they also are wonderful cooks and food fanatics who love to cook delicious cuisines and of course share them with every one around.
We would not hesitate to call this tour the Best of Nepal Tour because it incorporates the best of Nepal’s culture, wildlife, nature and adventure.
The country better known for Himalayas and the adventurous walking activities to the elevated landmarks closer to the Himalayas also caters equally fascinating culture, rich wildlife, matchless urban nature and the thrilling adventures. And the Best of Nepal is a blend all these wonderful highlights Nepal caters without trekking to the elevated regions.
Our Best of Nepal Tour takes you to three major cities of the country i.e. Kathmandu Pokhara and Chitwan. These cities of Nepal are the biggest tourist hubs known for the contrasting extraordinary treasures they house.
The tour is also considered the best of Nepal because travelers have plenty of options for lavish stay as three towns house the best hotels and restaurants of the country, with all the modern facilities and amenities.
Let us see why we call this tour the Best of Nepal Tour
Kathmandu – where culture is older than the countries like USA & Australia
If you are entering Nepal via air, you need to tolerate Kathmandu. The first experience of Kathmandu for many is not good. The sights, sounds and smells of Kathmandu for most of westerners definitely give them the cultural shock. However, travelers slowly begin to like Kathmandu.
The metropolis choke full of traffics and pedestrians has so much to offer. The cobbled maze streets of Old Town Asan that lead to the site of artistic and cultural Heritage Square – the Kathmandu Durbar Square cater abundant opportunities to understand the culture of this ancient town. The city known as the melting point of Hinduism and Buddhism also houses the largest Hindu shrine of the country, Pashupatinath and two major Buddhist stupas – Boudhanath and Swayambhunath.
Moreover, the neighboring towns Bhaktapur and Lalitpur are not less fascinating culturally and artistically as all these towns went through tough Art War with each other for centuries. Additionally, the culture of native community of all three cities, Newars is wonderful aspect to observe in Kathmandu.
Newars are the families of artists, who designed every tiny creation of the valley bit by bit. They are the families of the celebrators, who throughout the year are involved in celebrating the most vibrant festivals of the country and they are the families of the indigenous cooks, who are admired for cooking the most delicious and traditional Newari cuisines.
Pokhara – from where 8000m+ Himalayan peak loom dramatically in 30 km radius
Pokhara is truly a dream town where everyone likes to settle down permanently. Perfect weather throughout the year, lush green hills that ring the valley and the spectacular views of the Himalayas dominated by Virgin Mountain Fishtail, Pokhara is unarguably a heaven on Earth.
This Lake Town that lies 200km west of Kathmandu is the most popular stopover point for trekkers to Annapurna and Mustang Region to spend significant amount of quality time before and after the trek. The tourist hub in Pokhara, Lakeside that lies in the shore of verdant Fewa Lake is full of life catering live music and colorful souvenir shops.
Apart from soft adventures like boating in Fewa Lake and excursion of caves and gorges of the town, Pokhara is the most popular adventurous hub of Nepal. Among several hilltops that cater the magnificent views of the Himalayas and Sarangkot is one of them. Sarangkot is the most special hilltop in Pokhara because it is from here the Aerial Adventure as if Paragliding takes place.
Besides, the city is also the home to Aadventures like zip-flying, bungee jumping, Ultra-light flights and skydiving. The soft adventures like Mountain Biking and day hiking are also the popular activities Of Pokhara.
Chitwan – where the endangered wild species are sheltered for generations to come
When it comes to the wildlife adventure in Nepal, Chitwan National Park is the first destination most people think of. UNESCO World Heritage, protected park spreads over 932 sq km with wetlands, grasslands and woodlands.
The park caters one of the best wildlife activities of entire Asia. If you are a wildlife lover, Chitwan National Park has plenty of wildlife activities for you. Elephant Safari, dugout canoe ride, Jeep drive, nature walk, elephant bathing and bird-watching tours are the most popular activities of Chitwan National Park. All these activities are full of fun catering you an opportunity to sight as much as species of mammals, reptiles and birds.
However, spotting a wild species in the wilds needs bit of luck. The home to one horned rhino and Royal Bengal Tiger, the park also houses rare gangetic dolphin and 544 species of birds.
Plus, the opportunity to enjoy glimpses of Tharu culture in the neighborhood of Chitwan National Park is an additional cultural activity attached with the incredible wildlife park of Nepal.
54 cities across the globe competed for TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards for the Destination on the Rise 2014. Kathmandu, the Nepalese capital tops the list in Asia. Based on searches and reviews of millions of TripAdvisors’ users, Kathmandu achieved third place after Havana and La Fortuna de San Carlos in the category.
Kathmandu, a cosmopolitan city is an ideal blend of medieval and primeval cultural treasures and the rapidly growing modernity. The valley itself is a Heritage Valley, which comprises three medieval towns Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. The home to seven UNESCO enlisted World Heritage Sites; Kathmandu also is called the City of Temples and Deities for having countless small and big temples and monasteries scattered throughout the city. The oldest finding archaeologists have found in Kathmandu, is a statue at Maligaon which dates back to 185AD and hence the civilization of Kathmandu is ancient which is evident.
Largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal, Boudhanath
Situated at 1400m, Kathmandu has an ideal weather most of the times of the year. The pleasant natives who are always in the festive mood, celebrate more than 100 festivals every year, which could be an opportunity to have an insightful peep into the traditional Nepali culture. Moreover, the restaurants serving varieties of cuisines of food, comfortable hotels and facilities of every modern amenity are easily available in the city. All the above factors mentioned among others, have made Kathmandu an ideal pick to travel, for millions of travelers around the world.
After the TrpAdvisors’ winners on the category of Best Travel Destinations on the Rise 2014were announced, the travel search engine says, “These were the places that have seen the greatest increase in positive traveler feedback and traveler interest”. “In all these award winning destinations travelers can discover wonderful accommodations, attractions and,” said TripAdvisor chief marketing officer Barbara Messing.
Artistic example of medieval Nepal, Kathmandu Durbar Square
Boarding a plane to a very new place is often interesting. Throughout the flight a traveler draws an imaginary picture of the place. Once the plane lands and reality is before the eyes, it is nowhere close to the drawing in the brain. Exactly, encountering the unexpected or the least expected is the fun of traveling. And Kathmandu is one of the few destinations where several unexpected activities for a novice traveler take place every now and then.
Metallic and wooden carving-Kathmandu
The most artistic doorway
Devotee with Buddha-Swayambhunath
Hindu death ritual- Pashupatinath
Wheels dominate the noisy roads, but medieval culture overflows in the neighborhood. Dust in the air but colors of celebration absorb the pollution. Modern malls built everywhere but still the ancient edifices count more. Traffic jam stretched to several 100 meters but the citizens hold unlimited patience to drive through. This is Kathmandu or the first perception over Nepal- for a novice traveler. Kathmandu is surprise to many and shock to few; disorganized technically but organized rationally.
Deity resting on the ground
Artistic window frames-Everywhere in Kathmandu
My home is so beautiful
Evil dies when I roar
Kathmandu, a UNESCO World Heritage valley holds three equally beautiful antediluvian cities which in medieval times were at Art War with each other. Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur collectively house seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites along with 1000s of other temples and monasteries sprinkled in different corners of the valley. That is why Kathmandu boasts to be the City of Temples. Traveling back to medieval times is the exact way to describe the exploration of Kathmandu. It is a sanctuary of ancient sensual architecture, wobbly but still firm ancient structures, the complex wooden carvings, the sacred dome and pagoda shaped shrines and the peaceful courtyard where once the civilization thrived. The fun of getting lost in the lively squares of Asan and Indra Chowk demands a map to navigate a way to the main street. Kathmandu in short is a beautiful ancient maze bucketed with life.
Kaal Bhairav- Fearsome God
Rani Pokhari, in the middle of Kathmandu
Fluttering holy flags- Boudhanath
Kathmandu is a treasure trove. Arty and holy deity idols scattered everywhere demand the watchful eyes. These ancient treasures are everywhere; resting high on ancient buildings, tucked in temples doors, abandoned in an isolated ruins of the shrines. But most of these little treasures are found somewhere near to famous temples and monasteries of the city.
City of temples- Kathmandu
Elephant God- Ganesha
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Ear pleasing music
Pashupatinath, the holiest Hindu Temple for death ritual in Nepal, Changunarayan, the oldest Hindu temple in the valley, the prevailing Boudhanath, said to be the largest stupa in the country, Swayambhunath, a peaceful Buddhist stupa set atop a hill are the major shrines in Kathmandu enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The medieval Durbar Squares built in all three cities are also must explore UNESCO Heritage Sites while in Kathmandu.
Gods live in and out of the temples
Flowers for the Deities
Devotee dressed and masked as Monkey God- Hanuman
I have seat up in the sky
Kathmandu is chaotic yet captivating it is frenzied yet fantastic. A hub of culture, history and religion, Kathmandu has something for everyone.
The largest stupa in Asia, Boudhanath reflects the Tibetan lifestyle at its traditional best. Everyday myriad of Buddhist devotees gather around this dome shaped stupa to circumambulate the shrine clockwise, which is ritualistically a holy act in Tibetan culture. Right below the dome, colorfully marked eyes of Buddha , seems like taking care of the city with a parental watch. Maroon robed Tibetan monks stroll around the adorned streets with colorful prayer flags. The view of pilgrims spinning the prayer wheels and amassing yak butter and roasted barley flour which is also one of the typical Tibetan cultures, adds life to this tiny Tibet within Nepal. One of the few places in the world where Tibetan Buddhist culture can be observed without spending much time and money, Boudhanath is an UNESCO enlisted World Heritage Site. The vicinity around Boudhanath is pack to capacity with monasteries and outlets producing and selling essentials to live a normal life of Tibetan Buddhist.
Young monks learning the values of Buddhism
Boudhanath has an important historical significance which was once upon a time a prominent stopover point on the trade route between Tibet and Kathmandu. Travelers on this silk route offered prayer at Boudhanath for the safe journey to Tibetan capital Lhasa, through the high passes in the Himalayas. Descendants of Tibetan refugees to Nepal since 1959, dominate the place now whereas, maroon robed Western students influenced towards Buddhism can also been seen in the backstreets of Boudhanath.
The ancient heritage, Boudhanath can be best observed on the full moon evening, when the entire plaza surrounding the shrine, lightens up with hundred thousand butter lamps.