Kathmandu Valley boasts unique geographical, natural, and cultural wonders for tourists and trekkers alike. During our 7-day tour, we not only explore the three towns within the valley (Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur) but also important sites located in its periphery. We begin our tour with visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites scattered around the valley followed by visits to beautiful nearby villages. On our trip we also travel to Nagarkot, a hill town popular for its views of the Himalayas. Next, we visit Changu Narayan Temple which is believed to have existed as early as 325 A.D. And afterwards, we visit significant Hindu temples like Dakshinkali and Budhanilkantha ideally located in the outskirts of the valley.
We will be staying at Hotel Shanker, a 4-star hotel in Kathmandu for 4 nights, at Hotel Country Villa in Nagarkot for one night and at Kirtipur Hill Side Hotel and Resort in Kirtipur for one night. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost an additional USD 350.
Upon our arrival in Kathmandu, Himalayan Glacier will arrange to pick us up from the airport. We will then be transferred to our hotel. During the late afternoon, we can take a rest at our hotel room. In the evening, we get to enjoy a welcome dinner in a traditional Nepali restaurant where we will be able to enjoy authentic Nepali cuisine with a brief cultural program. Overnight in Kathmandu.
After breakfast, we begin our sightseeing tour by visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites within Kathmandu. Kathmandu Durbar Square showcases Nepalese art and architecture at its best. The architecture is typical of the Malla dynasty who ruled over Nepal from the 12th to the 18th century. Swayambhunath Temple is popular among the foreigners as the Monkey Temple owing to the large monkey population residing in the area. Pashupatinath Temple is situated on the banks of river Bagmati and is one of the principal temples of Lord Shiva. The Bauddhanath Stupa is one of the largest stupas in South Asia which is built on the ancient trade route to Tibet.
Early in the morning we leave our hotel for an hour-long mountain flight and marvel at the closest possible aerial views of the world’s highest peak, Mt Everest, the world’s second highest peak, Kanchenjunga, and other high Himalayas along with a clear glimpse of the Tibetan Plateau. In the afternoon, we visit Patan, Khokana and Bungmati. Listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Patan Durbar Square is rich in ancient arts and architecture. Khokana is famous for its mustard-oil seed and its functional and industrial heritage. Bungamati somewhat seems untouched by time. Here, you can see people drying red chilies and garlic from their windows. Overnight at Kathmandu.
Thimi is about 10 kilometers east of Kathmandu and is famous for earthen wares, masks, puppets, hand-woven clothes and other handicrafts. The place is also well-known for its sweet, beaten rice grown on tradition fields. We also visit Bhakatpur, an irresistible city with an authentic local lifestyle preserved over centuries of isolation from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. While in the city square, we get to admire the Nyata-Pola Temple, the Golden Gate, water spouts and the 55 Window Palace which merge together to provide an ambiance of a magical outdoor theater to its visitors. We also immerse ourselves in the authentic delicacy of the local food in Bhaktapur. Changu Narayan is the oldest temple in the Kathmandu valley and boasts of being the oldest pagoda style building of Nepal. Today we also visit Nagarkot, a village in Bhaktapur which sits at 7,200 ft and boasts stunning Himalayan vistas. It is also renowned for its sunrise and sunset views of the Himalayas. Depending on your choice, we will visit Nagarkot either for sunrise or for sunset.
We take our breakfast and head towards the southern part of Kathmandu. Dakshinkali Temple is located within a forest and is dedicated to goddess Dakshinkali who is one of the most important Hindu goddesses. Pilgrims throng the area to visit the temple and offer prayers. Chobhar is known for the Chobhar gorge through which all the water of the valley drains and also for the vast network of natural mountain caves. Pharping has several Buddhist and Hindu monuments, temples and monasteries. Kirtipur is a historic town situated atop a hill of the valley. The area houses Nepal's largest and oldest university, Tribhuvan University, which is also an important learning center of Nepal. The historic town has many interesting sights, shrines and temples, old houses, people working on ancient looms, etc. which are all delightful to see. Overnight in Kirtipur.
Today we travel to the northern part of the Kathmandu Valley. We take breakfast and drive to Budhanilkantha, a colossal statue of Lord Vishnu reclining on the bed of snakes, lies at the base of Shivapuri Hill. Budhanilkantha is a major pilgrimage site for the Hindus. Further north from Budhanilkantha, a stretch of dusty road goes into the Shivapuri National Park. The site is also a famous trekking region nearby Kathmandu and many city dwellers can be seen trekking in the area. There is also a Buddhist nunnery inside the national park. The dirt-road amidst the jungle goes uphill through the villages of Dandagaon, Gurje Bhanjyang, etc. finally unfolding into a panoramic view of mountains, distant hills and valleys. After crossing the hill top, a few kilometers downward drive takes us into the Shivapuri Village.
Our Extended Kathmandu Valley Tour comes to an end today! A representative from Himalayan Glacier will take us to the airport approximately three hours before the scheduled flight.