Heritage Explore Tour – 13 Days
As the name suggests, the tour specifically focuses on the exploration of famously quintessential cultural heritage sites and monuments. They are evidently unique and insightful into giving you a clear picture of how the ancient people were culturally conditioned, and what they value now. The Kathmandu Valley alone has seven UNESCO World Heritage sites:
Pashupatinath Temple—two-storeyed pagoda style temple considered one of holiest for the Hindus, and the site is an assemblage of other temples, ashram, and images, Swayambhunath Stupa—one of the oldest monuments situated at an elevation to reach where you need to ascend 365 steps,
Baudhanath Stupa—a 36 m high three-level mandala style stupa is one of the oldest, Kathmandu Durbar Square—famously known as Hanuman Dhoka, it is an ancient royal courtyard with several temples,
Patan Durbar Square—also an ancient royal courtyard embedded with the Hindu and the Buddhist monuments depict the supreme Newari craftsmanship,
Bhaktapur Durbar Square—also known as Bhadgaon, the courtyard consists four distinct squares, and Changu Narayan Temple—an ancient Hindu temple of Changu Narayan built around 3rd century AD. Besides, the valley has much more to offer you.
This might overpower your aesthetic sense. It will be good to turn your head to nature. Nagarkot serves this purpose very well. From the top of its hill station, you will have exceptionally ethereal views of the Himalayan ranges at sunrise.
The exploration will be all the more fulfilling with your visit to Namo Buddha—one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites, known by the Tibetan as Takmo Lu Jin. Moreover, your one-night monastery stay will be inevitably enriching. You will find absolute silence and serenity. You will be heartily welcomed for the prayer. You will eat what they eat.
It will be followed by your visit to Bandipur, a hilltop settlement 143 km west of Kathmandu and 80 km east of Pokhara. There you will visit the Temple of Khadga Devi, and climb Gurunche Dada. What’s more, from Tudikhel, a flat hilltop, you might have a magnificent view of the Himalayan range.
Indeed, Pokhara is the tourism capital. The Phewa Lake, the Davis Falls, the Seti Gandaki Gorge, the Barahi Temple, and the Mahendra Cave are some of its major attractions. The Barahi Temple in the center of Fewa Lake is the most important two-storeyed pagoda-style monument.
The tour is more than worthwhile!
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 02: Visit Kirtipur / Swoyambunath & Kathmandu Durbar square
Day 03: Visit Bungamati / Khokana / Patan & Patan museum
Day 04: Visit Sankhu & Boudhanath
Day 05: Drive Kathmandu to Bhaktapur
Day 06: Drive Bhaktapur to Nagarkot
Day 07: Trek Nagarkot to Changunarayan & drive to Namo Buddha
Day 08: Drive Namo Buddha to Kathmandu: visit Pashupatinath & Kapan monastery
Day 09: Drive Kathmandu to Bandipur via Manakamana
Day 10: Drive Bandipur to Pokhara
Day 11: Visit Sarangkot / Devi's fall / Gupteshwori cave & World Peace Stupa
Day 12: Flight Pokhara to Kathmandu
Day 13: Departure
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu airport and you will be transferred to the hotel by one of our representatives. Welcome dinner at one of the traditional Nepali restaurants in Kathmandu.
Day 02: Visit Kirtipur, Swoyambunath and Kathmandu Durbar square: start our tour with the historical fort town Kirtipur which is about an hour drive from Kathmandu. Then we visit magnificent Buddhist stupa called Swoyambhunath followed by a visit of Kathmandu durbar square, old palace square.
Kirtipur - Originally a Newari foundation, Kirtipur is still a centre of Newari culture. It has been merged with surrounding villages to form the municipality of Kirtipur. It consists of many temples, monasteries. The town which dates from 1099 A.D. straddles two hills and a large pond in between. It is a natural fortress.
Swoyambhunath is one of the oldest stupa of the Kathmandu Valley. It is situated on one of the highest hills in the valley. It watches over the Valley from the top of a hillock on its western side just three kilometers west of the city center. The stupa is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal and its establishment is linked to the creation of the Kathmandu Valley out of a primordial lake. Swayambhu is also known as Samhengu and is recognized as a World Heritage Site. It is also one of the oldest and most glorious Buddhist shrines in the world which is said to be two thousand years. The four sides of the stupa are painted with the eyes of Lord Buddha.
The Kathmandu Durbar Square holds the palaces of the Malla and Shah Kings who ruled over the city. Along with these palaces, the square also surrounds quadrangles revealing courtyards and temples. The square is presently known as Hanuman Dhoka, a name derived from the statue of Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, near the entrance of the palace. The preference for the construction of royal palaces at this site dates back to as early as the Licchavi period in the third century. When Kathmandu City became independent under the rule of King Ratna Malla (1484-1520) the palaces in the square became the royal palaces for its Malla kings. When Prithvi Narayan Shah invaded the Kathmandu Valley in 1769, he also favored the Kathmandu Durbar Square for his palace. Other subsequent Shah Kings continued to rule from the square until 1896 when they moved to the Narayan Hiti Palace.
One of the most visited sites in the square is the house of the Kumari (a living goddess who is the reincarnation of Kali).
Day 03: Visit Bungamati, Khokana , Patan and Patan Museum: drive for an hour to visit traditional Newari villages called Bungamati and Khokana. Then we drive back to Patan where we visit some of the oldest temples and palace squares. We visit one of the best museums of art and culture of Nepali history as well.
Bungamati - Situated beyond the southern belt of Ring Road, inside the valley, Bungamati is a small Newari village still abiding its tradition as their significant part of life. Very less influenced by the modern city, Bungamati exemplifies true beauty of the still living age old culture and civilization, your journey to Bungamati, starts with a vantage point where one can behold the entire village of Bungamati and Khokana. Walking down the lanes of Bungamati, you will pass through local Newari people busy working intricate designs in wood or stone on their way to creating many more beautiful artifacts keeping their talents running for the future generations to enjoy. Though, small in size, at least 100 people from the village earn their living through wood carving. The village was earlier, the origin of the precession of the chariot of Machindranath, one of the most important festivals of the Newari community.
Khokana - A traditional and tiny Newari village eight kilometers south of Kathmandu, (on the outskirts of Patan) which has its own history and has retained its tradition and culture It is a living museum and recalls medieval times. The farming community of Newars who live here are mostly dependent on agriculture and much of their daily activities take place outside of their dwellings.
There are women sitting outside spinning, men crushing seeds, and other daily activities. The village is famous for its unusual mustard oil harvesting process in which a heavy wooden beam is used to crush the mustard seeds in order to extract the oil. It is believed that a share system was used in the past here. This oil can be consumed if desired, but it can also be used for therapeutic massage. This was also the first village, indeed the first habitation, to be electrified, before Kathmandu.
Patan- the second largest town in the valley is situated to the south of Kathmandu. Patan's great building boom took place under the Mallas in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Numerous temples of widely diverse styles, as well as many Buddhist monasteries, are scattered around the fascinating town. Patan is famous for its crafts and metal works which are wonderful souvenirs.
Patan Museum is housed in a courtyard within the Northernmost building complex of the Durbar area. The most picturesque setting of the palace that has been created in so small a place by piety and pride is known now to the people as Keshav Narayan Chowk after a temple standing at the center of the courtyard dedicated to Keshavnarayan- a form of Lord Vishnu. This part is recorded in the history as Chaukot Durbar or four-cornered-fort-palace.
This is the first public museum in Nepal that has been created as an autonomous institution of this type managed by its own Board of Directors. The museum has been acclaimed, by the visitors, as one of the finest museums in South Asia. The popularity is growing day after day and is economically self sustained now.
Day 04: Visit Sankhu and Boudhanath: drive to another small traditional village to witness its' incredible Newari culture. On our way back, we visit a Buddhist stupa called Boudhanath. Then we go to Bairoling monastery to experience true Buddhist culture where we spend the night as well.
Sankhu is also known as the Eighty Siddhas as there are four of five caves where the Siddhas of India are said to have stayed. One of the caves is also said to have been the practice cave of Nagarjuna, and an image of the great master which was originally in the cave has been taken outside and placed some distance away.
In the Kathmandu Valley Padmasambhava made a pilgrimage to Sankhu where he met Shakyadevi and took her to Yanglesho. Vairotsana, leaving Tibet after his teachings were slandered, stopped in Nepal and offered a golden icon to the monastery of Sankhu
Sankhu is also the site of the month long worship to the Goddess Swasthani. The Swasthani Purnima is a tribute to the Goddess through fasting, meditation and ritual bathing, mainly by women. It begins on the full moon of the Nepali month of Magh and ends on the full moon of the Nepali month of Phagun.
Bouddhanath Stupa lies about 6 km east of downtown Kathmandu and it is the largest stupa in the Valley and one of the largest in the world. It presents one of the most fascinating specimens of stupa design with hundreds of prayer wheels and 108 small images of Buddha all around. Just like Swoyambhunath, this stupa has four sides with the watchful eyes of Lord Buddha. All the Buddhists throng to this stupa to take part in the sacred rituals during the Buddhist festivals.
Day 05: Drive Kathmandu to Bhaktapur: a short drive to the oldest part of the Kathmandu valley called Bhaktapur. This fascinating city reminds you the true culture and living style of medieval period. The hotel where you would be staying is close to the main square so it gives you enough opportunity to observe all the magical parts of this ancient city.
Bhaktapur- Located about 20 km east of Kathmandu in the Kathmandu Valley, Bhaktapur is known as the 'City of Devotees', the 'City of Culture', the 'Living Heritage', and 'Nepal's Cultural Gem'. It is one of the 3 royal cities in the Kathmandu Valley. We visit four different squares in this city: Durbar Square (palace square), Tamaudi Square (public square), Pottery Square and Dattatrey Square.
Day 06: Drive Bhaktapur to Nagarkot: we drive for an hour on a winding road to one of the most popular hill stations which offers great view of Himalayas and an ideal place to get refreshed from Kathmandu's hustle bustle.
Nagarkot – One of the most popular hill stations / viewpoints close to Kathmandu valley. The reward for the Nagarkot trip is panoromic view of 33 different mountain peaks of different regions including Mt. Shisapangma of Tibet.
Day 07: Trek Nagarkot to Changunarayan and drive to Namo Buddha: a short drive down to Telkot and start our short hike (2 hours) to Changunarayan where we visit one of the oldest temples in Kathmandu valley. Then we drive to Namo Buddha.
Changunarayan is a fascinating place where you can see oldest Manu script found in Nepali history and some magnificent temples.
Namo Buddha or Takmo Lujin is a very sacred place for the Buddhists. The Stupa situated just off to the downtown Kathmandu is visited by scores of pilgrims every year. There is a legend behind the reverence of this place. According to the Buddhist legend, the King Mahasattva gave his body to a hungry tigress at this place. His reliquary Stupa remained underground for centuries. One day a hermit called Bhagavan (Sakyamuni) came to this site and got attracted to the bulge. It is said that he clapped his hands, and miraculously the Stupa appeared.
Day 08: Drive Namobuddha to Kathmandu: on our way back from Namobuddha, we visit a Hindu temple called Pashupatinath and a Buddhist monastery called Kapan.
Pashupatinath Temple is one of the holiest pilgrimage destinations for all the Hindus of the world. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the trinity and the guardian (patron) deity of Nepal. This is one of the oldest temples, situated on the banks of the Holy Bagmati River. It is a double–roofed golden temple with four triple silver doorways. Pashupatinath covers an area of 281 hectares, which is one of the biggest temple complexes in Nepal.
Kopan Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery near Boudhanath, on the outskirts of Kathmandu valley. It belongs to the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international network of Gelugpa dharma centers, and once served as its headquarters.
The monastery was established by the FPMT founders, Lamas Thubten Yeshe and Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, who bought the property from Nepal's royal astrologer in 1969. Its name comes from the name of the hill on which it was built.
Kopan has become famous for teaching Buddhism to visiting foreigners. The first of what would become annual month-long (November–December) meditation courses was held in 1971. These courses generally combine traditional Lam Rim teachings with informal discussion, several periods of guided meditation, and a vegetarian diet.
Day 09: Drive Kathmandu to Bandipur via Manakamana: we drive for about 3 hours to the place called Kuringhat and take a cable car to visit one of the holiest temples for Hindu, called Manakamana. Then we continue our drive to a traditional trading town called Bandipur. We spend a night in a small guest house running by a Newari family.
Manakamana temple situated in the Gorkha district of Nepal is the sacred place of the Hindu Goddess Bhagwati, an incarnation of Parvati. The name Manakamana originates from two words, “mana” meaning heart and “kamana” meaning wish. Venerated since the 17th century, it is believed that Goddess Bhagwati grants the wishes of all those who make the pilgrimage to her shrine to worship her.
The Manakamana temple lies 12 Km south of the town Gorkha. The temple is located on a distinguished ridge 1302 meters above sea level and overlooks the river valleys of Trisuli in the south and Marsyangdi in the west. The spectacular views of the Manaslu- Himachali and Annapurna ranges can be seen to the north of the temple. The temple is approximately a 104 Km drive from Kathmandu.
Bandipur is a picturesque town nestled in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal, a land as famous for its natural beauty as for the hospitality of its people. Bandipur lays midway between the capital Kathmandu and Pokhara, another popular tourist destination.
Overnight: Guest House
Day 10: Drive Bandipur to Pokhara (820m): an exciting drive to Pokhara for about 3 hours. Free afternoon to explore Lake City.
Day 11: Visit Sarangkot, Devi's fall, Gupteshwori Cave and World Peace stupa: early morning drive to Sarangkot to catch sunrise over the mountain peaks of Annapurna range.
The view from Sarangkot is superb. Several different peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges, including the two highest peaks in the world,-Annapurna I (8091m) and Dhaulagiri (8167m) can be seen.
Then we drive back to Pokhara. After breakfast, we resume our sightseeing for the day. We visit Devi's fall; a water fall that goes into a narrow canal, Gupteshwori cave and World peace stupa; which offers you great view of Pokhara valley and Annapurna range.
Day 12: Flight Pokhara to Kathmandu: a scenic flight back to Kathmandu for about 30 minutes.
Day 13: Transfer to the airport and departure
The tour price includes:
- Transfers airport / hotel / airport.
- Accommodations in Kathmandu / Nagarkot / Namo Buddha / Pokhara on BB Basis
- Welcome dinner at one of the traditional Nepali restaurants
- Transport, guided visits and entry of the monuments in Kathmandu / Patan / Bhaktapur / Pokhara
- Private vehicle Kathmandu - Bandipur - Pokhara
- Flight Pokhara - Kathmandu
- Airport tax
- A professional English speaking tour guide (Culture Guide for KTM / Adventure guide for Bandipur / PKR Part)
- Private vehicle during sightseeing
- Your international flight re-confirmation.
- All necessary documents and government tax.
- Insurance for staff
The tour price does not include:
- International Flights
- Lunch and Dinner for whole trip
- Travel Insurance (compulsory and we strongly advise you to take out to cover accident / repatriation, helicopter / medical care)
- Alternative / additional transportation (flights / vehicles), accommodation in case of bad weather, heavy rain, flood, landslide, strike, road blockade etc
- Personal expenses such as cold drinks, mineral water, alcoholic drinks, telephone etc.
- Tips for tour staff or car / van / bus driver.
NOTE: The price of the tour will be adjusted according to the group size.
From the eternal snow of the high peaks to the extensive tropical lowlands, Nepal has a wide variety of climates.
Spring: March to late May: In this season, Kathmandu is in full bloom, lots of different types of flowers can be seen at this time of the year. Temperature is mild, end of the cold winter and approaching warm and hot summer. Temperatures vary between 10 ° C to 28 ° C but can rise up to 30 ° C. Between 2000 and 3000m, temperature rarely drop below 0 ° C. However, few frosts or snowfalls are possible in March above 4000 m.
The summer/monsoon period - It interrupts the majority of trekking from late June to late August. Some of the trekking regions "trans-Himalayan", Dolpo and Mustang, however, remain protected from monsoon prevailing rest of the country. They are the only channels available in Nepal in the summer.
Autumn: mid September – mid December - Perfect temperature and weather for trekking. Brings cooler days, but clear skies. Above 3000 m altitude, temperatures can drop to -10 ° C at night.
In winter: mid-December - mid-February - Nights are generally cold, dry climate, Above 3000m, temperature drop down to 0 ° C to - 15 ° C at night, the days are often sunny.
- Travel Pack / Suit case
- Day pack
- Lightweight, low maintenance and versatile clothing
- Convertible travel trousers
- Lightweight fleece
- Lightweight waterproof jacket
- Comfortable shoes/boots
- Hat (sun/warm hat)
- Warm clothes / Jackets / trousers (If travelling in early Spring / Autumn / Winter)
- Luggage locks
- Head light (torch)
- Wash bag
- Travel towel
- All purpose travel soap
- Small repair kit (needle and thread)
- First aid kit
- Accessory bags
- Guide book
- Electrical adaptor
- Insect repellent
- Sun cream
- Valid passport
- Print out of Airline tickets
- Contact detail of Embassy / Tour agency
- Travel insurance