This is one of the best tour programs. During this tour you will get opportunity to visit old and ancient historical hill towns, villages, famous ancient and historical Hindu and Buddhist temples, popular view points from where we have super panorama views of the mountains and Sun rise. You can get different cultural Experiences of different ethnic groups of Eastern, Southern and Western part of Nepali people. And we do also village walk, boating on Fewa Lake in Pokhara and Jungle safari in Chitwan national park. In this tour you will collect all the different experiences about Nepal and Nepali people.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu (1350m)
A representative from the company will display your naming board and greet you outside the arrival terminal. He or she will answer questions, brief you on the immediate arrangements escort to your hotel. The tour leader will hold a short briefing in the hotel regarding tour arrangements and a general orientation to Kathmandu.
Day 2: Sightseeing around Kathmandu valley
Our Tour guide led you explore around Kathmandu valley for the sightseeing. We explore historical, spiritual and world Heritage Sites: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath (Monkey temple), and Bouddhanath: one of the largest Stupa of the world, Pashupatinath: One of the Hindus holy place of the world.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square, the land of gods surrounded by beautiful mountains around. Kathmandu Durbar Square lies in the heart of this city; it is a complex of beautiful temples and shrines, both Hindu and Buddhist. Most of them are built in the pagoda style embellished intricately carved exteriors, built between 12th and 18th centuries. The Durbar Square with its old temples, palaces, epitomizes the religious and cultural life of the people. It is here that Kings of Nepal are crowned and their coronations celebrate. Until the early 20th century the Durbar Square was the King's residence. It is a living open museum of Nepal. Now Nepal is republic.
Hanuman Dhoka, running the eastern edge of the square takes up more space than all the other monuments here combined. Hanuman Dhoka palace complex consists of a huge Royal Square exposing a tremendous variety of temples dedicated to different Hindu gods and goddess. The centre palace complex here in is named after a monkey god called Hanuman established by King Pratap Malla in 1672 A.D. One can see a huge stone statue of Hanuman painted all red right to the main entrance of the palace. Hanuman here is regarded as a powerful protector entire Durbar square. The important things are Taleju temple, The Kumari Ghar (house of the living goddess), Kasthamandap (house of wood) and Maju Dega.
Swayambhunath (The monkey Temple)
Swayambhunath is a Buddhist Stupa on a west of Kathmandu city, 6 km far from Thamel. It is on the top of the small hill. This hill is a mosaic of a small Stupa and pagoda temple. It is one of the most fascinating architectural jewels of the world. It is said to be 2000 years old and visitors are often call it the “Monkey Temple” because here are lots of monkey around. In the beginning there is very nice statue of Lord Buddha standing on Lotus flower in small pond. This is symbolizing spreading peace in the world. After then it start many small temples and Stupas all way to main Stupa. Its main feature, the white dome is identified with spotless pure jewels of Nirvana and a 13 tiered golden spire in the conical shape surmounted on the dome representing 13 heavens an elaborate canopy. Underneath this touring structure is a pair of all seeing eyes of Buddha paints on all four sides of the Stupa. Here is a huge golden Thunderbolt (Bajra Dhatu Mandala) in the front. It represents sward Chandahasa of Manjushri. The twelve animals depicted in the lower part represent the months of the Tibetan year. Now, there are huge statues of the Sakyamuni Buddha, Chengresi and Guru Padama Samvawa in the east- western side near by the road. These are the new. This Swayambhunath is standing is stands commanding a magnificent view of Kathmandu valley and the breathtaking panorama of the north eastern Himalayan range.
Boudhanath (Jyarung Khasyor)
This is another Buddhist Stupa built on flat surface and is one of the oldest and the largest in the world. The Stupa of Boudhanath lies 8 km east of Kathmandu. This temple is also known by the Jyarung Khasyor. On this colossal and ancient Stupa are the all seeing of Lord Buddha. It is in various levels of the terraces and it is painted in pastel and adorned with prayer flags. The unique aspect of this great Buddhist monument is that it is set in the natural Mandala design. Altogether 108 Buddha images and 147 insets of prayer wheels adorn the base of the huge circular edifice. There are presences of about four dozens monasteries around it. The settlement of Boudhanath has the largest community of Tibetans. There are many stories and legends concerning the origin and history of the Stupa. The splendid dome of Boudhanath Stupa is approximately 120 ft in diameter, 1 hec in width and 43m in height. It is surrounded by colorful private family houses. This is very famous for all Buddhist people and every year thousands of pilgrims from all over the Himalayan region visit the Stupa.
The Pashupatinath temple is one of the most venerated Hindu temples in the world. It is an international center of pilgrimage and the Hindu devotees from all over the world come here for pilgrimage. The temple lies on the bank of the holy river, Bagmati. There are hundreds of temples and shrines surrounded the main temple. The main temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and houses a lingam or his phallic symbol. The beautiful pagoda temple of Pashupatinath as it stands now was built in the 7th century AD, but there is evidence to prove that there was a temple here before 4th century AD. Various rulers throughout history have adorned and additions to the temple to give it its present shape. In 1696 AD, it was completely renovated by King Bhupatindra Malla.
Pashupatinath attracts both pilgrims and sightseers. It is a place of worship, a ceremonial center, a recreation center, an open air art gallery and an archaeological as well as historical site. The Pashupatinath area contains 492 temples, shrines, Stupas, Pati (rest place) and Sattal. There are also about one thousands Shiva lingams. As such it is a storehouse of rare sculptures. The eastern side of the Bagmati River is a pleasant wooded mound where rhesus monkeys live. Thus the temple is an important site in terms of both culture and nature.
Day 3: Drive to Namo Buddha via Panauti (1750m / 3 – 4 hrs)
From Kathmandu we drive along the Araniko Highway through Bhaktapur and Banepa. From Banepa we leave Araniko Highway and drive to Panauti. This is very interesting drive and nice sceneries along the way. Panauti is small ancient town and very popular for its ancient temples.
Panauti is a small town located 32 km Southeast of Kathmandu, found in the central regions of Nepal. It is a historical city, as it was originally a small state given by King Bhupatindra Malla as a dowry to his sister. This town has a population of about 10,000 people and a few prominent icons, such as the Indreswor temple and Durbar Square found in the town center. At the end of the 13th Century, Panauti was finally integrated into the unified kingdom of Nepal, along with Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur, which are all former capital cities of the Kathmandu valley. Panauti, consists of a variety of Buddhist and Hindu religious monuments, and is considered to be one of the area's most important medieval sites. It is considered as the most artistic town in Nepal after Kathmandu Valley.
Panauti is situated at the confluence of the two rivers Rosi and Punyamati, has been regarded as an important religious site since very early times. In Nepali society, such river scared places. A visit or just an ablution in such places enables man to be freed from many sins and anxieties. The presence of this at Panauti has added and remarkably enhanced its religious sanctity and popularity as well.
The Indreshwar temple is one of the largest and tallest pagoda style temples in Nepal. It was originally built over a lingam in 1294, making it the oldest surviving temple of Nepal. The roof struts embellishing the two lower stories of the temple are distinct Nepalese wood-carving and architecture.
Leaving Panauti we drive through Sunthan, Sankhu area through Orange gardens and beautiful rice fields. We can see many traditional Newari houses and many people are working on their fields. From end of Sankhu it is very short drive up to Namo Buddha through beautiful forest. There are some simple guesthouses and restaurants near by the Stupa.
Namo Buddha is about 40 km away from the heart of Kathmandu city. It is in Kavre District in the southeast of the valley. Namo Buddha is a place of pilgrimage highly esteemed by people from all over the world, East and West. Most of the local people in this area are Buddhist.
It is a small village which is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Nepal and one of the holiest in the world. It is known as the place where the Buddha, in a previous life as a prince, gave his body to a starving tigress and her cubs.
Namo Buddha is a beautiful place surrounded by forest. The place is very quiet, its environment is very clean, with no pollution, and the natural air is so fresh, cool and healthy. It is also the right place for meditation and practice. In the morning when you wake up, you can see a beautiful sunrise and in the evening wonderful sunset view. You can enjoy snow-covered Himalayan ranges which look so amazing. Namo Buddha is one of the most important religious sites in Nepal.
According to history, in the distant past, there lived a king named Great Charioteer (Shingta Chenpo) who ruled over a small kingdom. Due to the king’s accumulation of merit, all his subjects enjoyed happiness and well being; rains came at the right time while crops and livestock flourished. The king had three sons: the oldest was named Great Sound (Dra Chenpo), the middle Great Deity (Lha Chenpo), and the youngest Great Being (Semchen Chenpo). Powerful in the martial arts and radiating confidence, the two elder sons always helped the king in governing the kingdom. From his earliest years, the youngest son, Great Being, was very bright and endowed with spontaneous kindness and compassion
Prince Great Being (Semchen / Ngingdui Tshenpo Mahasatwo), found a tigress lying in a cave at the top of the hill, overlooking the jungle. Very quickly, he realized that she was going to die. Her five cubs were still little and their survival depended on their mother. Ngingdui Tshenpo he decided to give his life to the tigress in a bust of love and compassion. The tigress refused. When the tigress refused to eat him, he decided to cut his arm to feed his warm blood to the tigress. The taste of blood gave the tigress an appetite and finally she accepted the sacrifice from the prince. The tigress left only the bare bones of the prince which were brought back in the village and buried in a tomb which became the actual stupa of Namo Buddha. Some 3500 years later, the Gautam Buddha came to the village of Sange da Fyafulsa; he went around the Stupa three times and declared that he was the reincarnation of Prince Ngingdui Tshenpo. It was that moment that Gautam Buddha renamed this village and henceforth the name of Namo Buddha which means First Buddha.
Day 4: Drive to Timal visit Ghelung Cave, Narayanthan, Yari Nag and drive to Dumja visit oldest Shiva temple then spend night in Gimdi.
Descending down from Namo Buddha, we drive down to Kavre Bhanjyang or direct down to Bakunde besi. It is very nice, interesting drive through many hill villages and can see wonderful views of the mountains and nice terraces. Bakunde besi is fast growing small commercial center of these area, here are many shops and local hotels.
From Bakunde besi, we leave B.P. highway and drive up to the Khardar Patti, Kanpur and then join with main Timal Ridge line at Kot Timal (1745m / 11.36 km from Bakunde). Kot Timal is settlement of Tamangs with a slight mix of other ethnic groups of Bahun Chhetris and Magars. The Tamangs here are considered to be the descents of Hrinjen Dorje. Kot Timal is considered to be the seat of Tamang Kingdom and mostly referred to the famous King Hrinjen Dorje.
After Kot Timal, we drive little bit further up through beautiful pine forest to beginning of Yangbel village. This village is situated on the top and offers beautiful mountain views, many hills, villages and 2 Rivers (Sunkoshi and Roshi). From last part of the village, we descend down to Ghelung Cave. There is very nice cement stairs all the way to the Cave (15 min). It is in very steep cliff, there are lots of prayer flags everywhere. Ghelung Cave (1811m) and Tongsum Kunda are the first two significant places where Guru Remporche had meditated many years before he went to Tibet. These ancient caves are also mentioned in Buddhist Holy Scriptures. There is a Guru Remporche's shoe (Leg) in the beginning. The cave is very narrow. The cave has been lit up with a bulb which makes it easier for one to study the various religious images that have been carved on the walls inside including that of elephant, Bajra, drum, shell, sacred text etc. Crawling through an opening above will ultimately lead you to the top of the hill but very difficult. There is also a place to lit butter lamp where there are foot and hand print of Guru Remporche. Visitors from Tibet, India and Buddhists from all over Nepal come here to pay pray.
The Tongsum Kunda is in little bit further where Guru Padma Remporche is said to have drawn water from during his stay. According to local belief, when Guru became thirsty, he is said to have pierced with his stick through tantric power and thus sprang a spring of water.
From Ghelung Cave, we retrace to Yangbel and short drive to huge ground of Pokhari (1885m). This place is main center of Timal area and administrate center of Narayan Sthan Village Development Committee. Here are several government offices, Higher Secondary School, local health post, some local shops, and simple lodge and tea shops. Little bit further from here, there is another huge ground (1902m) surrounded by beautiful forest at the bottom of Narayanthan temple. There are some Stupas dedicated to Namo Buddha, Bouddhanath and Swayambhunath.
We climb for a while to Narayanthan Temple (1933m / 5 min), the most famous and auspicious religious temple of Timal region. The temple consists of statue of Lord Vishnu as well as Guru Rimpoche, it is beautiful place and surrounded by community forest. According to local belief, the king of Kathmandu once ordered to bring the statue of Narayan to his palace at any cost. On their way back the porters settled exactly where the temple is today for a night's rest. The next morning Narayan told them that he liked the place and refused to go and since porters could not dare to return empty handed lest the King became angry, Narayan agreed to allow porters to cut his nose, left arm and the toes of his right feet and to hand them over to the King. Narayanthan Temple in Kathmandu is said to have been built afterwards using the same organs. Every year during the full moon of August, a huge festival takes place dedicated to God Narayan. Majority of Tamang and other ethnic groups gather in the Temple from Kavre and surrounding districts to pay respect to the God and fulfill their wishes.
From temple, we descend to the road and drive to Yari Nag (Rhorsaiba / 1853m). Yari Naag is third most important sacred site of Guru Remporche in Kavre, Timal region. According to Buddhist scripture, this place has been recognized as the place where Guru Remporche had battled with demon called "Yaksha Nagbo (black demon). Recently a big statue of Guru Rimporche has been built here. There is also a shallow ground where believed that there was a pond and lived a Nag. The pond is said to have dried and after then Nag left the water. This is beautiful place. Here are some local tea shops, a small monastery and many Stupas.
After this place, we drive along the ridge line for a while and then descend steeply down to the Roshi River there is small road but not bad. We drive through beautiful villages and after crossing the Roshi River, join with B.P. highway then drive to Nepal Thok to visit Dumja Shiva temple. Dumja Mahade Temple lies on the bank of Sun Kosi River and is a holiest shrine for Hindus dedicated to first Adhi Linga. The site, according to Hindu Mythology, was created by Bramha, one of the three supreme lords, during his meditation. The place is a reverential site among Hindus and especially Shiva followers.
After visit the Mahadev Temple we drive to Narke bazaar (40-50 min). It is very interesting and scenic drive along the side of Roshi River. From Narke, we can drive or walk for 30 minutes to Gimdi. Gimdi is divided into 2 parts, Sano Gimdi and Thulo Gimdi. This village is well known, famous of Timal area and very popular for Buddhist Stupa (Jyangchhup Chhorten), one of the oldest monasteries of Timal and ancient Hindu temples. The local people believe that the Bhimsen (powerful Hindu god) and Jyangchhup Chhorten are very powerful and protect the all people from all kinds of dangerous. And also these gods will fulfill all wishes.
The Jyangchhup Chhorten is situated at middle of 2 villages. This Stupa had believed to be built in same time with Namo Buddha. Here is constructing huge statue of Kashyap Buddha. The Hindu temples are also situated in middle of the 2 villages. This place is called Pandhero tole where are famous 3 cow headed taps, government lower secondary school and many Hindu temples. The taps and temples had built by Lichhavi and Malla kings between 11th to 18th centuries.
Day 5: Visit around Gimdi and drive back to Kathmandu (3 hrs)
This is very easy walk or drive to Narke and very interesting scenic drive to Kathmandu. We join with same route at Bakunde besi. We will drive through many small villages, market areas and big towns Dhulikhel, Banepa and Bhaktapur.
In the afternoon we visit Thamel or nearest market or some more sightseeing.
Day 6: Drive to Chitwan National Park via Manakamana temple.
From Kathmandu, it is 6 hrs drive to Chitwan. On the way before Muglin, we can travel to Manakamana temple by cable car which is longest cable car of Asia. It is beautiful and interesting journey for 15 -20 minutes. Up-down it takes more than 1 hrs including visit temple. This temple is situated on top of the hill which is most popular Hindu temple. We can see also wonderful views of the mountains.
Manakamana Temple is situated in Gorkha district of Nepal and 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 Manakamana grants the wishes of all those who make the pilgrimage to her shrine to worship her.
The temple is located on a distinguished ridge 1,302 m above sea level and overlooks the river valleys of Trisuli in the south and Marsyangdi in the west. The spectacular views of the Manaslu, Himalchuli and Annapurna ranges can be seen to the north of the temple. The temple is approximately a 140 km from Kathmandu.
The legend of Manakamana Goddess dates back to the reign of the Gorkha king Ram Shah during the 17th century. It is said that his queen possessed divine powers, which only her devotee Lakhan Thapa knew about. One day, the king witnessed his queen in Goddess incarnation, and Lakhan Thapa in the form of a lion. Upon mentioning the revelation to his queen, a mysterious death befell the king. As per the custom of that time, the queen committed Sati (ritual immolation) on her husband’s funeral pyre. Before, her sati the queen had assured Lakhan Thapa that she would reappear in the near future. Six months later, a farmer while ploughing his fields cleaved a stone. From the stone he saw a stream of blood and milk flow. When Lakhan heard an account of this event, he immediately started performing Hindu tantric rituals at the site where the stone had been discovered thus ceasing the flow of blood and milk. The site became the foundation of the present shrine. According to tradition, the priest at the temple must be a descendent of Lakhan Thapa.
Darshan comes from the Sanskrit word meaning sight. The pilgrimage to Manakamana is made by a great many people every year. This religious expedition to see the Goddess Bhagwati at Manakamana is hence referred to as Manakamana Darshan. According to Hindu mythology the universe is said to consist of five cosmic elements- earth, fire, water, air and sky. The offerings to the Goddess are made on this basis. At least one of the following should be amongst the worship materials:
There is a tradition of sacrificing animals at the temple. Some pilgrims sacrifice goats, cocks and pigeons in a pavilion behind the temple. However, recently the District Livestock Service Office, Gorkha has banned the sacrifice of birds such as pigeons, roosters, and ducks.
Now, there is a facility of a cable car from Kurintar, just 5 km east of Mugling to Manakamana. The cable car rides over the distance of 2.8 km in 10 min. The cable car usually operates during the daytime from 9 am to 5 pm and stops during lunch break from noon to half past one.
After visit the temple, we come back to the road by cable car and continue to drive to Chitwan.
Day 7: Extra day in Chitwan
Chitwan National Park is very famous for its wild animals and birds. It was declared UNESCO Natural Heritage site in 1984. There are around 600 plant species, 56 different mammals, 539 kinds of birds and 49 amphibians and reptiles found in the Park. The highlights are Asian one horned Rhinoceros and Royal Bengal Tigers.
Boating: We boat in Narayani River by traditional wooden boat. It will be about 1 hr and during our boating, we can see many Crocodile, Rhesus Monkeys and many birds.
Elephant ride: This is also very interesting. The Maute will take us in the forest and will try to show us wild animals. During our elephant ride, we can see many wild animals including one horned Rhino, Deer and Monkeys.
Bird watching: In the late afternoon, you will take in the jungle area to see the birds. The hotel use professional bird guide for this.
Cultural Tour: For this you will take around Tharu villages. You can see typical Tharu village life.
Cultural show: In the evening the hotel organize cultural program. Specially, the local people perform their cultural dance.
Day 8: Drive to Lumbini (3 hrs)
It is short scenic drive to Lumbini. During our drive we can enjoy very much but the temperature is little bit hot. We will have great and unforgettable time in Lumbini. There are several nice hotels and restaurants in Lumbini near the Lumbini garden.
LUMBINI: BIRTH PLACE OF BUDDHA
One of the four most holy places for Buddhists religion, Lumbini is situated at the foothills of Himalayas in the Terai plains of southern Nepal in Rupandehi District. The bewitching beauty and tranquility of Lumbini is not only for the pilgrims but also to anyone seeking peace and serenity. This spiritual destination paramount's with historical, cultural and spiritual values. Maya Devi Temple, Ashoka Pillar, the Holy Pond and many other Buddhist monasteries built by Myanmar, Thailand, Korea, China, Japan, German and Vietnam have impeccable architectural.
Lumbini is the place where the Prince Siddhartha (later became Buddha) was born on the "Vaisakha Poornima" (Full Moon Day of May 623 B.C.) and uttered an epoch making message to the suffering humanity. In his early years he lived as a prince in his royal palace but when he was 29 years old he retired to the forest where he followed a spiritual life of meditation. After six years he attained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya.
In Lumbini there are many temples including Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini Peace Stupa, ancient Stupas, monuments, monasteries and a museum, the Lumbini International Research Institute, are also within the holy site. There is also a Puskarini, or Holy Pond, where the Buddha's mother took the ritual dip prior to his birth and where he had his first bath. Lumbini had declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997.
The history of Lumbini was re-established with the visit of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, who made a pilgrimage in 249 B.C. and erected a stone pillar an inscription that Shakyamuni Buddha was born here (Hida Budhe Jate Ahakyamuni). After his visit, structural activities started to mark the birth place of the Buddha. He worshipped the nativity tree, the bathing pool and also visited the other surrounding historical sides. Later on, three famous Chinese pilgrims: Tseng Tsai
(4th century A.D.), Fa-Hsien (5th Century A.D.) and Hiuen Tsang (7th Century A.D.) visited the Lumbini. Hiuen Tsang's travel account gives a detailed description of the area including Ashoka Pillar. King Ripu Malla (1312 A.D.) of Karnali, marked his visit by an engraving on the Ashoka Pillar. After 14th century A.D. the sites were forgotten, neglected and shrouded in bushes. The association of Lumbini with the Buddha went slowly to oblivion for almost 600 years and the name Lumbini gradually changed to Rummindei and then to Rupandehi, the present name of the district.
In the process of an archaeological survey in 1896 General Khadga Shamsher Rana and Dr. Alois Fuhrer discovered the Ashoka Pillar in Lumbini. The most important archaeological discoveries in Lumbini are Buddha's nativity, the gold casket, charred human bones, terracotta sculpture of a Bodhisattva and the marker Stone.
In 1956, on the occasion of the 4rth world Buddhist conference, late king Mahendra visited Lumbini and wanted to improve it. Further, the pilgrimage of the UN Secretary General U. Thant proved a mile stone of the modern history of Lumbini. Deeply influenced by Lumbini's sanctity, U. Thant wanted the government of Nepal to develop Lumbini as an international pilgrimage and tourist center. In 1970 Prof. Khenpo Tange of Japan was assigned to create the Lumbini Master Plan which was approved by the government in 1978. In 1985 the Lumbini Development Trust was established to take over the responsibility of the overall management and development of Lumbini.
Day 9: Visit Lumbini and fly back to Kathmandu
This morning we visit Lumbini and in the afternoon fly back to Kathmandu. In the late afternoon we visit Thamel market area for shopping and in the evening we have farewell dinner at typical Nepali restaurant with pure Nepali cultural dance. The cultural group will show many different kinds of local dances from different tribal group. It will be very interesting.
Day 10: Departure from Nepal
We will escort you to airport for your departure.