Kathmandu, the mystical and magical city, is famous for its bustling streets, vibrant culture, rich historical heritage, exquisite temples and religious sites. The sightseeing tour will give you an insight about the lifestyle of the people of this ancient city. Though the city is a valley, the views of many Himalayan gems like Langtanag and Ganesh can be clearly seen from here. For nature lovers, hiking the Shivapuri National Park and then to the legendary hilltop of Nagarkot just off the edge of the city is a great option to explore the marvelous forest and trails filled with flora and fauna. Don't forget to get hold of handcrafted souvenirs which Nepal is globally known for!
Bhaktpur Durbar Square (Bhadgaon)
We'll wake up very early in the morning to watch the stunning sunrise from Nagarkot, which the place is most renowned for. We will return to Kathmandu around noon and do some sightseeing in Bhaktapur Durbar Square, a collection of pagoda and shikhara-style temples grouped around a 55-window palace of brick and wood. The attraction of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the Lion Gate, the Golden Gate, the 55-window palace, art galleries and the statue of King Bhupatindra Malla. After driving back to Kathmandu, there will be a farewell dinner for you in the evening in a typical Nepalese restaurant with cultural dance and music.
You have the option to extend your trip to continue onto Chitwan jungle safari, rafting adventure, Kathmandu valley shopping tour, scenic Everest flight, mountain biking and other activities.
We'll spend this day on a guided sightseeing tour in the valley, and in the evening, we'll head to Nagarkot (a 1-hour drive from Kathmandu). The places we visit are:
Bouddhanath Stupa (World Heritage Site)
Lies about 6 kms to the east of downtown Kathmandu and is the largest stupa in the valley. It looms 36 meters high and presents one of the most fascinating specimens of stupa design. Buddhanath is also known as Khasti, or dew drops, after an account that builders had to use dew to mix the mortar as Kathmandu was suffering from a severe drought during the construction of Bouddhanath.
Changunarayan Temple (World Heritage Site)
Situated on a ridge overlooking the Kathmandu valley, about 12 km to the east of the city. It is dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu. It is one of the finest and oldest specimens of pagoda architecture built in 323 AD by King Haridutta Verma. The temple is richly decorated with sculptures and carvings, and its position above the Kathmandu valley affords a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside.
Nagarkot is one of the most scenic spots situated about 35 km east of Kathmandu from where an excellent view of snow-capped peaks of the Himalayan Ranges in eastern Nepal can be seen (weather permitting). The place is also renowned for spectacular sunrise sights. There are also some great hiking trails in Nagarkot.
We'll drive around the valley to visit some important religious, natural and historical sites. We'll visit the following places:
Only about 2 kms away, Pharping is an ancient renowned city situated in the southern region of Kathmandu. It was popular with the name "Shikharapuri Mahanagari (Metropolitan City)" which was recognized as an independent state with 48,000 people in the ancient times. Shikharapur was an independent Newari (ethnic) state, but presently hosts several important Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries.
Dakshinkali Temple, one of the main temples of Nepal, is dedicated to Kali, the fearful form of Lord Siva’s consort, Parvati. The main deity in the temple is the black stone, six-armed form of Kali, standing on a prostrated figure. Dakshinkali is located 22 km outside Kathmandu, and about 1 km outside the village of Pharping at the south end of the valley between two hills and at the confluence of two rivers. Sacrifices - the main way that the goddess is worshipped - are made two times a week at this temple, on Saturdays and on Tuesdays.
Patan Durbar Square (World Heritage Site)
Patan Durbar Square is an enchanting combination of palace buildings, artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples. The former royal palace complex is the center of Patan's religious and social life, and houses a museum containing an array of bronze statues and religious objects. One remarkable monument here is a 17th-century temple dedicated to the Hindu god Krishna, built entirely of stone.
A trip to the Tibetan Refugee Camp and the Handicraft Center will also be covered while visiting Patan, where one witnesses the hand weaving of Tibetan carpets and mounding of metal statues.
A professional guide and vehicle are provided for a day of sightseeing in and around Kathmandu city. We visit some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city along with other interesting cultural monuments that dot the valley. These include Boudhanath Stupa (the largest Buddhist shrines in the world), Pashupatinath (the holiest Hindu temple in the world), Durbar Squares (Palaces and fortresses of medieval Kings), along with other popular cultural attractions. We get to observe the lifestyle of Nepalese people, holy sadhus and monks, fascinating history as well as awe-inspiring architecture. Details of some of the sites we'll be visiting:
Kathmandu Durbar Square (World Heritage Site)
This complex of palaces, courtyards and temples, built between the 12th and 18th centuries, used to be the seat of the ancient Malla kings of Kathmandu. An intriguing piece here is the 17th- century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages. The Durbar Square is the social, religious and urban focal point of the city. There are also three museums inside the palace building.
Swoyambhunath Stupa - The Monkey Temple (World Heritage Site)
Watches over the valley from the top of a hillock on its western side. The huge stupa is one of the holiest Buddhists 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 the Monkey temple because of the countless monkeys living in the premises.
Pashupatinath Temple (World Heritage Site)
Pashupatinath is one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world and lies 5 kms east of the city center. The richly-ornamented pagoda houses the sacred Linga, or phallic symbol, of Lord Shiva. Chronicles indicate the temple's existence prior to 400 AD. Devotees can be seen taking ritual dips in the holy Bagmati River flowing beside the temple.