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Kathmandu Heritage Tour
3 Nights / 4 Days

Kathmandu Heritage Tour  
Trip Duration : 4 Days
Trek Length :
Trip Rating : Easy
Maximum Altitude : 4423ft
Activity : Cultural tour
Lodging : Hotel
Transportation : by Vehicle
Begins & Ends : Kathmandu
Best Season : September to May
Trip Date :
Land Cost :
Single Supp :
Group Size : 2-16 Persons

Highlights of Kathmandu Valley:

Welcome to Nepal, the land of Himalaya! Kathmandu Valley, the capital of Nepal, is situated at 4,423 feet above sea level. The valley is surrounded by semi-green hills, terraced fields and towering snow-capped peaks in the backgrounds. Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan are the major towns in the valley. All three are of great historic, cultural and artistic interests. The architectural history of the valley is said to have begun with the Lichhavi and the Malla kings. Today, the ancient monuments and temples are the center of attraction for visitors, particularly the seven World Heritage Sites, designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Brief description of each site is provided in the itinerary below.

Not only the ancient temples and monuments that make the valley interesting but also the diverse cultural groups that make their home here. It is the base camp for all visitors to Nepal and a perfect place to explore history and culture of this Himalayan country. Nepal being an underdeveloping country, its shape and face is changing daily bringing environmental degradation, and is affecting the world heritage sites. The influence of modernization is engulfing the ancient treasures of Nepal. Therefore, we request all visitors to contribute their ideas on how to save the world heritage sites of Kathmandu Valley for the future generation.

The valley rims, especially, Nagarkot and Dhulikhel are perfect places to escape the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. From these hilltops, you can breathe fresh air and enjoy striking mountain scenery, sunsets and sunrise over the snowcapped peaks. We organize treks of various durations in the surrounding hills to provide you opportunities to visit local villages and to enjoy scenic vistas. If you plan to escape the traffic and sounds of the city life, then, these hilltop resorts are perfect places to consider.

Trip Activities: Kathmandu Cultural Heritage sightseeing.
Tour Season: Year round

Itinerary:

Day 1 Arrive Kathmandu, Nepal
Meet on arrival in Kathmandu Airport and transfer to hotel.

Day 2 Kathmandu, Swayambu and Patan
Breakfast at hotel.
Depart to visit Kathmandu ancient palace, Swayambu Stupa and Patan ancient palace (three world heritage sites) and Tibetan Refugee Handicarfts Center. Lunch break en-route.
Return to hotel around 4PM.

Kathmandu Durbar Square:
Kathmandu Durbar Square contains an elegant ancient wooden palace, the house of Kumari, the Living Goddess of Nepal, and various temples with intricate woodcarvings.

The fearsome Kal Bhairab, the Red Monkey god, the house of the living Goddess Kumari, not to mention hundreds of erotic carvings-only begin to unfold the square's cultural imagery!

The buildings here are the greatest achievements of various dynasties that rule the Kathmandy Valley. They resulted from the great rivalry between the three realms of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan. According to legend, the valley was divided among the children of Yaksya Malla. His children and grandchildren began an artistic warfare trying to outdo each other in ever grander styles. As a result, the architectures of these cities look similar, particularly the palace squares. But the wood carvings, statues and architecture in particular-of Kathmandu's Durbar Square are exceptionally fine.

Then, we visit the fine collections of the Royal Museum inside the old palace of Kasthamandap from which the name Kathmandu was derived.

Swayambu Stupa:
It is said that the history of the Kathmandu Valley began with Swayambu, "selfcreating". According to legends, the Buddhist saint Manjushree came across a beautiful lake during his journey in the Valley. He discovered a lotus that emitted brilliant light at the center of the lake. So, he cut a gorge in the southeastern hill (known as Chobar gorge) and drained the water to worship the lotus. People settled in the dried up lake and called it Kathmandu, while the hilltop of the selfcreating Lord has become a holy place. The valley being a lake bed is actually not only a fable, but a geologic reality. Clay mines and rich soil bear evidence of the valley's under water past.

Swayambu is not only the major landmark of the valley but also one of the best places to observe the religious harmony of Nepal. Ancient mini stupas and shrines of both Bhudhists and Hindus fill up the stupa complex. This stupa is among the most ancient in this part of the world and its worshippers are diverse. A monastery adjacent to the stupa houses the largest image of Sakyamuni Buddha in Nepal and many stone sculptures of different deities. There numerous monasteries in the vicinity of the stupa with huge prayer wheels, fine Bhuddhist paintings, and special butter lamps which can be lite after offering a monetary donation. Since we will not spare time to visit all the monasteries, we will visit the main monastery in the stupa complex. On a clear day, this hilltop stupa complex offers excellent views of the Kathmandu Valley and the towering snowcapped peaks in the distant background.

Patan -The City of Beauty & Artistry:
We drive to Patan, the ancient city, also known as "the city of Beauty", situated on the southern bank of the Bagmati River about five kilometers southeast of Kathmandu. Patan is a city of artists, craftsmen and metal workers. Full of Buddhist monuments, Hindu temples with fine bronze gateways, guardian deities and wonderful carvings are found here. Patan Durbar Square has many famous sites and unique architecture. Krishna Mandir in the Square was built to honor an incarnation of Vishnu and is Nepal's best example of stone architecture. The best place to see fine metal sculpture is Hiranya Varna Mahabihar, the "Golden Temple", a Newar monastery, which contains wall paintings, fourteenth century statues, and scriptures. Its facades is mostly covered in bronze. Patan is another Cultural World Heritage site recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

End of Patan city tour, visit the Tibetan Regugee Handicrafts Center, and transfer back to hotel.

Day 3 Bouddha stupa, Pashupatinath and Bhaktapur
Breakfast at hotel.
Depart to visit Bouddha Stupa, Pashupatinath and Bhaktapur, three more world heritage sites.
Lunch break in Bhaktapur. Return to hotel around 4PM. Meals: B.

Bouddha Stupa:
Bouddha Stupa is located thirteen kilometers north of downtown Kathmandu or about four kilometers from Pashupati area, and is one of the largest stupas in Nepal. It is said that the Bouddha stupa was built by the Lichhavi King Man Dev in the fifth century. Ever since then Tibetan merchants and Buddhist pilgrims have rested and offered prayers here.

Monks, nuns and lay people alike walk around the stupa with prayer wheels in their hands, whispering "OM MANE PADME HUN" meaning "hail to the jewel in the lotus" while extreme devotees undergo rituals of prostration to the Lord Buddha. The Bouddha area is a unique place with full of visual attractions. Vividly colored thankas (tantric Buddhist paintings), hand-woven carpets, jewelry, masks, khukri knives, ready made garments of different ethnic groups, and many other modern and antique crafts are sold here. The visitors and residents around the stupa are as varied as the physical objects one will encounter. The Tamangs were the original inhabitants. Then, refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s and many settled around Bouddhanath. Today, different ethnic groups make their homes here particularly followers of Buddhism. After the tour, transfer to hotel and at leisure.

Pashupatinath Temple:
This temple is the holiest Hindu pilgrimage destination in Nepal. The shrine of Lord Shiva has existed for at least fifteen hundred years in the Kathmandu Valley. A temple dedicated to Shiva existed at this site in 879 AD. However, the present temple was built by King Bhupatindra Malla in 1697. A gold-plated roof, silver doors, and woodcarvings of the finest quality decorate the pagoda construction.

Rajrajeswari Temple built in 1407, Kailash with Lingas more than 1,400 years old, Goraknath temple, the courtyard of Biswarup, rows of Shiva shrines and Hindu pilgrims from all over South Asia offering worship to Shiva, the Hindu cremation grounds known as Arya Ghat along the Bagmati River are some of the sites that we see on this tour. You may encounter cremation along the bank of the river. Please refrain from taking pictures of such scene as you might offend the mourning relatives.

Bhaktapur -the city of Devotees:
Here, we walk through the Palace square, visit the palace museum, monuments and the pottery kiln. The name Bhaktapur, means the "city of devotees", and was founded in 889 AD by King Anand Dev.
It is the most enchanting of Kathmandu Valley's three ethnically Newar cities. Newar art and architecture of the Malla periods from about 12th to 18th century are among the best attractions here. The palace complex in the middle of the city portrays the prosperity of the Malla years and the detailed craftsmanship of the period. The Palace of fifty-five Windows stands in the square and was home to many of Bhaktapur's kings. The square's gate was built by King Bhupatindra Malla (1696- 1722) and was among the biggest in the Valley. Among other monuments in Bhaktapur, the big bell, the Nyatapola temple, the golden Gate, the Bhairab Temple, the five-tiered temple, the Dattatreya Square with its wood-carving, and metalwork museum are the most interesting places.

Bhaktapur is not as modernized as Kathmandu and Patan and stands in sharp contrast. Therefore, visitors can still see people making clay sculptures and utilities in the city alleys. Its elaborate ancient monuments and the surrounding valley with beautifully terraced farms make Bhaktapur a unique destination to visitors.

Day 4 Departure from Kathmandu
Breakfast at hotel and transfer to airport for your flight. Meals: B.

Service Includes:

  • Three nights lodging in quality 3-4 star hotels in Kathmandu on twin sharing with breakfast,
  • Tour activities as mentioned in the itinerary,
  • Transfer service on arrival, departure and during the tour,
  • English speaking local tour guide service throughout the tour,
  • Entrance fees to monuments visited as per program.

Service Excludes:

  • Visa fees, international airfares and departure tax,
  • Meals such as lunch and dinner are not included,
  • Personal expenses, personal insurance, telephone, laundry,
  • Alcohol and soft beverages including bottled water,
  • Charges for delays caused by situations beyond our control, such as bad weather, natural disasters, political unrest, accidents and emergency rescue fees.

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P.O. Box 24947
Nil Saraswati Marg,
Lazimpat-2,

Kathmandu, Nepal
Telephone: (977-1) 444-2879

Email: info@sherpajourneys.net and nepal@sherpajourneys.net

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