©2019 by Himalayan Destinations

OF MOUNTAINS AND MANEATERS

Day One:  Arrival, Bodnath


  • Arrival

  • Afternoon Visit – Bodnath


Arrive and meet our representative at the airport before you are transferred to your hotel.


BODNATH

At sunset you start with a visit  of  the  imposing Bodnath , the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal.

At this hour  monks in red robes circle the stupas with the all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. Drums beat and prayers are chanted at all times of the day and devotees can be seen  taking up to a hundred and eight rounds of the structure, praying Om Mane Padme Om.


Return to your hotel for the night.


Day Two: Bungamati, Patan, Pashupatinath, Kathmandu


  • Breakfast at the Hotel

  • Morning Sightseeing -  Bungamati, Patan Durbar Square

  • Afternoon Sightseeing – Pashupatinath, Kathmandu Durbar Square & The Old Market, Thamel


BUNGAMATI

After breakfast, start off at the village of Bungamati. One of the better preserved Newari villages , Bungamati  is centered around a sunny central square and is a center for woodcarving . The area is renowned for its mustard oil, and in season, the presses run full swing. Little has changed in this settlement that still thrives on agriculture, and you become witness to a way of life that goes back a 100 years.


PATAN  DURBAR SQUARE

A short distance away is the city of Patan. Located in the second town of the Kathmandu valley. Patan, the city with a 1000 golden roofs, is a veritable pile of pagodas, temples ad palaces – predominantly Buddhist, and famous for its craftsmen, carpenters, and masons.

Here, you visit the old palace complex and the renovated Patan Museum and the Golden Temple.


PASHUPATINATH

In the afternoon, drive to Pashupatinath, one of the most prominent Hindu temples in Southeast Asia. Hinduism has been dominant in Nepal but is inextricably intermingled with Buddhism. Faith is an important aspect of Nepali life, as you will see in any religious site.

Pashupatınath  is dedicated to the Hindu God of destruction Shiva and attracts thousands of worshipers from all over the world. The inner courtyard is accessible to Hindus only. Clouds of grey smoke rise above wooden pyres where the deceased are cremated to continue the endless cycle of life and death.


KATHMANDU DURBAR SQUARE

Finish up the sights of the day at Kathmandu Durbar Square, the sister square of Patan. You will walk from Kathmandu Durbar Square which is home to the Living Goddess to Asan  - the old market lying in the heart of Kathmandu.. This traditional market leads to many intriguing sights and is a maze in itself with the narrow streets and alleys, the temples, the people milling around, colorful shops offering a variety of spices, dry fruits, color powders, incense, and many more things. Every day fresh fruit and vegetables are carried to this market place from all over the valley.


THAMEL

Finish in the energetic tourist hub of Thamel. Thamel contains a large number of lodges, restaurants, bookshops, travel and trekking agencies and shops selling handicrafts. Connected to the Old Market, Kathmandu Durbar Square,  the hippie haven of Freak Street back in the 60s and 70s, the vibrancy of Thamel is a mixture of energizing chaos in the main streets and quiet seclusion in the back alleys. The entire area has a distinct character of its own, and one can spend hours perusing the wares being peddled, or simply soaking in the atmosphere.


Return to your hotel for the night.



Day Three: Nagarkot, Changunarayan, Bhaktapur


  • Breakfast at the Hotel

  • Morning – Hike through Nagarkot

  • Afternoon Sightseeing – Changunarayan Temple and Bhaktapur


NAGARKOT

Have breakfast at the hotel,.  Just an hour’s drive out of the valley, the metalled road to Nagarkot winds through terraced fields, unspoilt countryside and small villages, climbing up to 1300 meters where a large number of resorts, both big and small have flourished.  To the south, the whole Kathmandu valley is spread out, while to the north is a stunning view, that on clear days, includes the dark pyramid of Everest amidst an entire horizon of snow clad peaks. A beautiful sight that one can never tire of seeing. Then continue the day with an energizing walk through the hills of Nagarkot.

Hike through the quaint, cool countryside through gently rolling hills and small villages till you reach Telkot, from where you will drive on to Changunarayan


CHANGUNARAYAN

Located in proximity of Bhaktapur and Nagarkot, Changu Narayan is the very first pagoda roofed temple in Nepal, dating back to the AD 300. It is one of Kathmandu valley's oldest monument. It is a place of worship and pilgrimage given prominence because of its elevation (153 m above Kathmandu valley). The temple is located at the end of a long ridge which runs well into the valley and said to have been built by King Han Dutta Verma in fourth century AD. It is richly decorated with sculptures and carvings and said to be the oldest temple in the valley. The area commands a splendid panoramic view of surrounding countryside, especially in late afternoon, when the meandering Manohara River turns into a golden ribbon.


BHAKTAPUR

Arrive at the last of the three sister cities: Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur is known today as an “open museum” and a “living heritage“. Brick paved enclave of old royal palace buildings dating back 13th to 14th centuries, artistic temples and exquisite artwork offers a picture of the grandeur of medieval Nepal. Bhaktapur will surprise visitors with its presentation of innumerable temples and other architectural showpieces – Nyatapola, Bhairavnath, Dattatraya, Pujari math with its peacock window and many more.

The houses with their tiled roofs and carved wooden balconies and brick walls are adorned with drying vegetables. Bricks made from the rich soil of Bhaktapur are used everywhere – houses, paved lanes and courtyards. The streets are paved in herring-bone brick and the lanes are invariably filled with men carrying loads of vegetables, hay and pottery.
The jewel of Bhaktapur is the Nyatapola – a pagoda type temple built on plinths standing aloof and deservedly proud as one of the most beautiful medieval squares in the world. Religious processions, dancers, musicians, holy chariots, funerals, marriages- they all pass by this beautiful square, appreciating the world as it keeps turning.


Return to your hotel for the night.



Day Four: Kathmandu - Bandipur


  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Depart for Bandipur in your vehicle.

  • Raft between Majimtar and Kurintar  on the Trisuli River

  • Arrive at Gaun Ghar, Bandipur. Check in, wash, and change

  • Afternoon visit the local attractions / Walk around the quaint countryside


RAFTING

After the days of culture, it is time to dive headfirst into the wild!

Nepal has earned a reputation as one of the best destinations for white water rafting in the world. Nepal's thundering waters, the come straight from the glaciers of the mighty Himalaya, provide unmatched thrills for rafting and immersing oneself in the landscape.

A rafting trip on the  Trisuli River can provide both  a fun experience  as well as a break on the overland journey from Kathmandu to either Pokhara or Chitwan.


BANDIPUR

Bandipur was once a prosperous trading centre along the India – Tibet land trade route and its buildings, with neoclassical facades and shuttered windows, speak of past glories. In 1973 after the opening of the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway, the commerce shifted to Dhumre leaving Bandipur not quite as it used to be. Still attractive enough for the passing traveller, yet quaint enough to be a welcome breath away from the bustle of Kathmandu, Bandipur is a welcome retreat on the way to Pokhara. Located at an altitude of 1000 m, this hilltop bazaar offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas, and the residents have managed to retain some of the town’s old charm. To this day, vehicles are not allowed in the centre of the town.


Spend the afternoon meandering around the winding paths that crisscross the hills, or relaxing at the lodge



Day Five: Bandipur - Pokhara


  • Breakfast at the lodge

  • Depart for Pokhara  in your vehicle.

  • Arrive at Pokhara

  • Afternoon, visit the local attractions in Pokhara


POKHARA
Continue your journey to the city of lakes: Pokhara. Pokhara is the only place in the world to provide such dramatic views in a sub-tropical setting. Machapuchre, for example, is only 28 km from Phewa Lake and not a single mountain range intervenes between the two. With its tropical climate, irreplicable views of the Annapurna, and wide range of activities, the city promises to transform fatigue into exhilaration, and beckons the thirsty traveler to explore the wonders of the mountains, rivers, and lakes that surround it, at their own pace and time.


THE MANY SIGHTS OF POKHARA


Sitting on top of a narrow ridge 1,100 m above the Phewa lake is the World Peace Pagoda that was built with aid of Japanese monks. It is a popular tourist attraction because of its serene location, and also its panoramic view of Pokhara, the lakeside and the Annapurna range beyond. You may opt to drive up a dirt road to near the top or take a trail and walk up (1 ½ hours to reach the top).


In the bazaar you can visit the temple of Bindabisini, a temple dedicated to an incarnation of Durga / Kali. On Saturdays you may encounter people offering sacrifices. Devi’s fall about 3 kms south of lakeside where the river originating from Phewa lake drops and goes underground. In the monsoon and post moon soon periods, when the river is at its highest, the sound of the water dropping, and the vapours rising is truly impressive.


Across the road from Devi’s fall is the Gupteshor cave. You walk down steps and through a low tunnel into a damp cavern where a huge stalagmite is worshipped as a shivalingam.


Spend the day walking around downtown, visiting the sights. Or by just relaxing on a boat on the lake.



Day Six: Pokhara Hike


  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Day hike around the hills of Pokhara 

Hike up the foothills of the Himalayas for views unlike any before. Drive to Kande (a forty five minute drive) and hike for four hours to Dhampus to enjoy some mountain views in the clear air as you relax and enjoy all that nature has to offer



Day Seven: Pokhara - Chitwan


  • Early morning drive to Sarangkot for view of sunrise

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Fly to Chitwan

  • Check in and lunch at jungle lodge

  • Late afternoon river safari

  • Dinner and overnight at lodge


SUNRISE HIKE


Wake up early to witness the sun rise from the hill of Sarangkot, a mountain top village from where one has beautiful views of the Annapurna chain. A 45 minute drive from downtown Pokhara or a 3 h climb will bring you to the top of the ridge which is a very popular spot from where to view the sunrise. Return to your hotel for breakfast, and then prepare to fly to Chitwan.


CHITWAN

The national park, located at the foothills of the Himalayas, is an area reserved  for the preservation and protection of many  indigenous wildlife. Countless animals and a vast array of birds live and forage in the evergreen Sal forests of the reserve.


You lodge in huts with heated showers, attached toilets, and a full bar- simple enough to rough it up, but not leaving you outside your comfort zone. Climb aboard open 4 x4 jeeps, dugout canoes, and elephant backs for an exotic ride into the jungle, where, among the park's extraordinary wildlife, graceful rhinos, shy sloth bears, exotic, endangered birds, and, if you are patient and lucky, a tiger awaits.


Day  Eight: Chitwan


  • Early Morning Jeep Safari

  • Packed breakfast in the jungle

  • Lunch at the lodge

  • Afternoon elephant briefing and bathing

  • Late afternoon bullock cart ride to Tharu village visit

  • Evening Tharu cultural program, dinner, and overnight at lodge


Start your day by foraying into the jungle on a 4X4. Traversing riversides, the open plains, and the outskirts of the densest parts of the jungle, bear witness to the various denizens of the park. Gharials basking in the sun, grazing rhinos close enough to touch, and the fresh pugmarks of a tiger leading you on ever deeper into the wilderness.


Return to your lodge, then beat the heat with a fun afternoon at the elephant briefing center. Spend some time learning about the elephants of Chitwan national park before heading to the nearby river to bathe- and get bathed- by them.


Take a scenic ride of a bullock cart still used by the famers of the region to the nearby Tharu village. The Tharus, the indigenous people of the Terai region, are famous for their unique artwork, cooking skills, and rich culture. Explore the village and observe the lifestyle of the locals before returning to your lodge for a cultural show about their culture, followed by dinner.




Day  Nine: Chitwan


  • Early morning nature walk and bird watching

  • Breakfast at the lodge

  • Afternoon jeep safari

  • Packed lunch in the jungle


Venture into the jungle early in the morning on foot with a naturalist. In addition to the wide variety of  animals, Chitwan National Park is also home to a plethora of birds of different species. Whether you spot the rare Kashmiri Arjunak, or happen upon tiger tracks enticing you deeper into the jungle, there is something for everyone. The crisp morning air will wake you right up and drive you forward.


After breakfast at the lodge, head back into the jungle in jeeps to see what you might have missed on your first jeep safari. Return to the lodge for lunch, then spend your afternoon at leisure until dinner.


Day Ten: Chitwan - Kathmandu


  • Breakfast at the lodge

  • Fly to Kathmandu

  • Check in at hotel

  • Afternoon at leisure for individual activities


Fly back to Kathmandu after breakfast, and spend the afternoon at leisure. Relaxing at the hotel, shopping in Thamel, revisiting a place, time permitting, all can be done.  



Day  Eleven : Departure


  • Breakfast at hotel

  • At leisure till departure


Enjoy your final breakfast in Nepal, finish packing your bags, check out and enjoy the memories in the years to come.