Culture and Nature – Nepal
Route : Kathmandu - Pokhara - Jomsom - Muktinath - Jomsom - Pokhara - Bandipur - Kathmandu
With reference to the ancient manuscripts, Nepal is regarded as the “Land of Gods”. The oldest religion of the world; Hinduism, is believed to be scripted 5000 years ago in the Himalayas. So, practice of it was before than that. The traditions, the culture and the religions that are noticed to be followed from the beginning of the human civilization put a remark on this belief. The mysticism that evolved and grew in the Himalayas is now widespread in the world.
The vibrant Kathmandu city is famous by the title “The city of temples” which alone features seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites viz. Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, Basantapur (Kathmandu) Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Stupa, Patan Durbar Square, Changu Narayan Temple and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. More than ten different religions are exercised in Nepal among which Hinduism and Buddhism are the major.
Lumbini; the birthplace of Lord Buddha is located in the southern part of the country. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mountains in the north, where the Hindu gods are believed to live, are yogic spots for the meditators. There are 1310 peaks of altitude more than 6000 m and eight of them viz. Mount Everest (8848 m), Mount Kanchenjunga (8586 m), Mount Lhotse (8516 m), Mount Makalu (8481 m), Mount Cho Oyu (8201 m), Mount Dhaulagiri I (8167 m), Mount Manaslu (8156 m) Mount Annapurna I (8091 m) are more than 8000 m in height. Hence, Nepal is also called “The Land of Eight Thousandars”.
Though the nation is not in equal pace with the third world on modern development but she has everything poured in her by nature. The Chitwan National Park and the Sagarmatha National Park being included as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites is a clear indication of it. The Chitwan National Park is also called “the Second South Africa” for its richness in flora and fauna. The only home of one-horned rhino in the world is also a habitat of Royal Bengal Tiger and elephant. The tourist city Pokhara is a city of lakes which is also a gateway for trekking to the Annapurna massif.
The presence of altitude based on three different regions viz. Himali (mountain) region, Pahadi (hilly) region and Terai (plain) region and human adaptation according to the places have brought variety in the customs, living, cropping, celebrating, etc. So, Nepal is a country with unity in diversity. This package is for those who wish to indulge in the cultural and natural aspects of Nepal visiting the destinations viz. Kathmandu, Chitwan, Pokhara and Nagarkot.
• Day 01: Upon arrival in Kathmandu transfer to your hotel
• Day 02: Full day sightseeing in Kathmandu
• Day 03: Full day sightseeing in Kathmandu
• Day 04: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Enroute visit Manakamana temple.
• Day 05: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom. Explore Jomsom.
• Day 06: Drive from Jomsom to Muktinath. Visit Muktinath temple and return to Jomsom.
• Day 07: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara. Sightseeing in Pokhara
• Day 08: Drive from Pokhara to Bandipur. Explore Bandipur.
• Day 09: Drive from Bandipur to Kathmandu.
• Day 10: Departure transfer
Outlined Itinerary :
See Full Itinerary
Arrival TimeLate Night or Mid Night
Final DepartureLate Night or Mid Night
Dress CodeCasual, Warm and Sports Wear
Tour Itinerary : - Culture and Nature – Nepal
Day 01: Upon arrival in Kathmandu transfer to your hotel
This is the day of inquisitiveness about the country of your budget list which emulsifies as you begin to fly over the mountains and hills and then enter the Kathmandu valley. Your airplane lands to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Then you proceed for luggage clearance and exit from the departure lounge. Immediately, you see several people displaying a name card. Among them, one is our representative who meets and escorts you to your hotel. A welcome drink is offered in the hotel. Later, the briefing of the program is provided.
Day 02: Full day sightseeing in Kathmandu: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath and Patan Durbar Square
Today, the cultural, historical, religious and monumental aspect of Kathmandu is to be revealed. After morning breakfast, we visit Swayambhunath Stupa to witness the rituals of worshippers, pilgrims and monks. Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple where a swimming pond is built for the monkeys. Then we visit Basantapur (Kathmandu) Durbar Square, which is located in the heart of Kathmandu. Now due to the restoration process after the devastating earthquake on April 25, 2015, it is gradually gaining its vibrant look. Finally, we visit Patan Durbar Square located in Lalitpur district. The Patan Durbar Square is taken the richest Durbar in Kathmandu in its culture, architecture and history.
[Note: All the places we visit today are the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.]
Day 03: Full day sightseeing in Kathmandu: The Pashupatinath temple, Bouddhanath Stupa and Bhaktapur Durbar Square
The cultural, historical, religious and monumental aspect of Kathmandu valley is going to be exposed today as well. After breakfast, we visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square, which is located in Khwopa aka Bhadgaon or Bhaktapur which is 13km east of central Kathmandu. It's the fusion of stone sculpture, wood sculpture, antique architecture, unique arts, culture and culture, especially of Newari ethnicity. The major attractions of the square are the 55 Window Palace, Nyatapola temple, Bhairav Nath temple and Golden Gate.
Our next visit is Bouddhanath Stupa where we take lunch. Boudhanath is one of the most favourite Buddhist shrines in Kathmandu and is one of the largest stupas in South Asia. It is built in mandala style which measures 36m in height. The canopy has 13 stages. The brick fence has 108 images of meditational Buddha. Pair of Buddha’s eyes in the stupa symbolizes the awareness. The stupa is a center of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal.
Later we visit the Pashupatinath Temple, located on the bank of Bagmati River, which is the biggest Hindu shrine of Nepal. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva; the creator of yoga and dance. Saints visit here for the shelter to meet death and the cremation in the bank of the river which meets the holy Ganges river. Those who attain death in Pashupatinath are believed to be reborn as humans.
The main temple has the gold plated copper roof and 4 silver doors which is the masterpiece of Hindu architecture. A huge golden statue of Nandi is in front of the main door. Only Hindus are allowed to enter the main temple but there are many different monuments available in the bank of the Bagmati River. The eastern bank of the river offers a complete view of the main temple. The western bank has Panch Deval (Five temples). The right bank of the river has spots for the funeral procession. This is a sacred place where the spirit of death can be experienced.
[Note: All the places we visit today are the UNESCO world heritage sites.]
Day 04: Drive Kathmandu to Pokhara – approx. 6/7 hrs. drive. Enroute visit Manakamana temple.
Escape from Kathmandu valley via a drive along the riverside road of Trishuli River to the plain land Chitwan and then to the Pokhara valley which belongs to the hilly region. Before Chitwan, stop at Kurintar and take a cable car ride on the hilltop to reach the Manakamana Temple. Manakamana refers to the wish of the soul. It’s a belief that worshipping and praying in the Manakamana Temple, one's wishes became reality. Then get back to Kurintar via cable car and take a ride. Enjoying 6/7 hours’ drive you reach your hotel in Pokhara. After refreshment, you head for an hour boat ride in Phewa Lake and visit the Tal Barahi Temple; the temple of goddess Kali, inside the lake.
Day 05: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom. Explore Jomsom.
A direct flight from Kathmandu is not available. So a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom is an option. Since afternoon a strong wind blows in Jomsom so the flight takes only in the morning. In case of flight cancellation, we take drive option from Pokhara to Jomsom but sightseeing won't be feasible with driving. Jomsom bazaar is a cynosure in the Annapurna region where standard modern accommodation is available. The airplane passes through Kaligandaki gorge providing the stunning view of the Himalayas like Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre and Annapurna. Upon arrival to Jomsom, you'll simply be amazed seeing the landscape which feels like heaven. The experience of being there and enjoying the natural beauty is more than explainable.
Day 06: Drive from Jomsom to Muktinath. Visit Muktinath temple and return back to Jomsom.
Take a 2 hours' drive from Jomsom along Kali Gandaki valley via 4WD Jeep through an off-road. After reaching the Ranipauwa village, walk further for 25 minutes to reach Muktinath. Muktinath temple is a famous holy shrine of both Hindus and Buddhists where salvation is believed to be attained. The temple is made in Pagoda style encircled with Kunda and 108 taps. Many people reach there to worship Lord Vishnu and take a holy bath in all 108 taps. The other major attractions of the place are Mharme Lha Khang Gompa, Swaminarayan temple, Jwala Mai temple, Samba Gomba and Saligram. Drive back to Jomsom and spend the night there.
Day 07: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara. Sightseeing in Pokhara
This morning, enjoy a 35 minutes’ flight from Jomsom to Pokhara. Our airport representative receives you there. Then visit the hotel and later start sightseeing in the places viz. Bindhyabasini Temple, Barahi Temple, Gupteshwor Cave and Shanti Stupa.
Bindhyabasini temple is located between Bagar and Old Bazaar of Pokhara. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhagawati and is the foremost Shaktipeeth and one of the oldest temples in Pokhara. The temple is in the Shikhara style and has a statue of goddess Bhagawati with 8 Bhujas (hands). It’s believed that one wish can be fulfilled by worshipping in the temple. Having more than one wish is taken as greed.
Barahi temple is a two-story pagoda temple, built from stone, which has different names like Tal Barahi Temple and Lake Temple. It's located on an island of Phewa lake. In the temple, there's a statue of the goddess Ajima; one of the manifestations of goddess Durga in the boar manifestation. She is worshipped as the goddess of Shakti. Shakti is defined as the cosmic energy and the power of universal creation. The only way to reach the temple is boating. Meanwhile, you enjoy the one hour boating to the Phewa Lake enjoying the reflection of Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) mountain in the lake water.
Gupteshwor Cave is the sacred pilgrimage dedicated to Lord Shiva; the god of the gods. The word Gupteshwor refers to the hidden god. The limestone cave has an iconic Shiva Linga inside and the underground water flow. Those suffering from medically incurable diseases come here and stay for a long time to get cured.
Shanti Stupa is a pagoda-style Buddhist monastery which is not famous because of it but due to its location. It's a vantage point to see Pokhara valley, Annapurna Himalayan Range, Sarangkot and Fewa Lake. It's situated in the southwest of Pokhara in Anadu hill at an elevation of 1100 m. Out of eighty peace pagoda of the world, it one of them and hence also called 'World Peace Pagoda'. Driving through rocky road it takes about half an hour or more to reach Shanti Stupa from Lakeside, Pokhara. You need to walk a bit to reach the main viewpoint.
Day 08: Drive from Pokhara to Bandipur (1030 m) - 03 hrs. drive. Sightseeing in Bandipur.
After breakfast, drive from Pokhara to Bandipur (1030 m) via Prithvi Highway which takes approximately 3 hours. Reaching to Dumre, we escape from the highway and direct towards Bandipur. Bandipur is the old historic town which is full of architecture, caves, incredible views and unspoiled landscapes. It's a vantage point to observe the panoramic Annapurna Range, Manaslu, Dhaulagiri, Marsyangdi valley and Langtang. The civilization is full of Newari culture. Upon arrival, hike to the hilltop and observe the panoramic view of magnificent hills.
The mountains that can be seen range from Dhaulagiri in the west and Langtang in the east. Plains of Chitwan and Manakamana in the east can also be seen. Then visit Siddha Gufa (the largest cave in Nepal), Patali Dwar (Door to heaven), Tundikhel, Martyrs Memorial, Magar Villages and so on. The fig trees present in Tundikhel are taken as the symbol of Brahma, Vishnu and Hanuman. Since the morning, fog can disturb the distant vision so the afternoon or moment before sunset would be best to enjoy the view from the hilltop.
Day 09: Drive Bandipur – Kathmandu – approx. 6 hrs. drive.
Leaving the beauty wherever it is, it’s a time to return to Kathmandu. There are two options viz. flight and drive transfer. Flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu is about 30 minutes’ and the drive for the same destination is about 6/7 hours. Both the means are exciting as one provides an eagle view to the landscape and another provides a natural view of each place from proximity. Your overnight is in a hotel in Kathmandu.