PRIVATE DAY TOURS IN KATHMANDU, NEPAL
Option 1: Halfday tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swoyambhunath Stupa (3-4 hrs)
Kathmandu Durbar Square is located in the heart of old city Kathmandu. The founding of the Durbar (Royal Palace) dates back to Licchavi times. With considerable renovations by Malla rulers and later the Ranas, construction was accomplished progressively over many centuries. There are around 50 temples in the vicinity. Visit the 17th Century Durbar complex, Hanuman Dhoka, Paravati temple, great Bell and Drum, Bhairav, Taleju Temple and array of temples grouped around it. A few steps away is the Temple of the Living Goddess, where the clients may catch a glimpse of the Kumari at one of the open windows overlooking the inner courtyard. All around the splendour of historical monuments is the hustle & bustle of the market place. Vegetable vendors, trees of flutes, salesmen with their wares displayed on their person, souvenir hawkers, and street shop selling imported goods and tucked away in a quiet corner the glittering bead market for custom made bead necklaces.
Atop a green hillock west of Kathmandu stands the great stupa of Swayambhunath, a site over 2,500 years old marking the point where the legendary patriarch Manjushri discovered the lotus of the ancient Valley Lake. Swoyambhunath offers a bird’s eye view of the Kathmandu city. This huge stupa is one of the holiest Buddhists sites in Nepal and its establishment is linked to the creation of the Kathmandu. The faithful circumambulate of the stupa clockwise, turning the banks of prayer wheels and even prostrating full-length are done in reverence.
Option 2: Halfday tour of Pashupatinath temple & Bouddhanath stupa (3-4 hrs)
Pashupatinath temple is considered as one of the holiest shrines of all the Hindu temples in the whole world. The temple of lord Shiva, Pashupatinath, with a tiered golden roof and silver doors is famous for its superb architecture. Entrance to the temple precinct is forbidden to non-Hindus. They will only be able to view it from the eastern bank of Bagmati river overlooking the cremation grounds. This two tiered magnificent golden temple with four triple silver doorways is unique example of the Nepalese temple architecture. It is one of the largest Hindu temple complexes in South Asia with hundreds of Shiva lingams, shrines icons of various Hindu god and goddess insides. It is not known when the temple was founded. The Bagmati River, which runs next to Pashupatinath Temple, has highly sacred properties is lined with dharmasalas and cremation Ghats. There is usually a cremation in progress on one of the platforms by the river, regarded as holy as it flows into the sacred Ganges. There are many occasions when the faithful take ritual purificatory baths in the river.
Bodhnath is the biggest Stupa in Nepal and is located on flat land and encircled by houses & monasteries, where Rinpoches reside. Bodhnath is also known as `little Tibet’ because of its unique atmosphere resembling old Barkhor marketplace in Lhasa. Many Tibetans visit here as a place of pilgrimage and trading.
Visit the nearby monasteries and possibility of mediating for some time with monks and try to get blessings from them.
Option 3: Halfday tour of Patan Durbar Square (3-4 hrs)
Patan is also known as Lalitpur or the “city of fine arts” and is the oldest city in the valley. This Buddhist City is said to have been founded by Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century BC. Patan is the cradle of arts and architecture of the valley, a great center both of the Newari Buddhist religion and of traditional arts & crafts with 136 bahals or courtyards and 55 major temples. Well known among these are the Krishna Mandir and Hiranya Varna Mahavihar besides other temples.
Option 4: Halfday tour of Bhaktapur Durbar Square (3-4 hrs)
Bhaktapur also known as Bhadgaon is the home of medieval art & architecture and still retains its rich medieval aroma. A city of farmers, Bhaktapur is also known for it’s pottery and weaving. Bhaktapur is the most charming and the best preserved of the valley’s three cities. Visit the ancient gateway, Durbar Square the Royal Residential Quarter of Bhupatindra Malla, Batsala temple, Bhairavnath temple, Duttatraya temple, Pujari Math and Palace of 55 windows. Walk to the famous Nyatapole temple, the five storied temple in pagoda style, the tallest temple in the country guarded by a series of mythical animals and deities overlooking the Bhairav temple dedicated to the tantric deity of Bhairav.
Option 5: Halfday tour of Bungmati & Khokna villages (3 hrs)
About 6km. South of Patan lies the two medieval village of Bungmati and Khokana. To reach these villages one has to follow the straight road from the Tibetan refugee Camp on Jawalakhel. About 5000 people live in Bungmati and 3000 inhabitants in Khokana. Most of the people are Newars. From Khokana, Bungmati is 15 minutes walk. In these villages on can see typical Newari houses. Also these villages are popular for chilly and mustard oil. The best time to visit Bungmati and Khokana is in October and November because at that time the whole village looks colorful. They hand red chilly garland from the top floor to the ground floor in the whole village. Most of the farmers in these villages are either involved in spinning or oil pressing business. The mustard oil of Khokana is still popular in Kathmandu valley
Option 6: Halfday tour of Dakshinkali temple (4 hrs)
Dakshinkali is 45-minute drive south from Kathmandu. Located in a dark valley at the confluence of two streams, the shrine of Dakshinkali is the most spectacular of all Kali temples. Animal sacrifices are offered to this deity signifying fertility and the procreative powers of the Female, every Tuesday & Saturday.
The animals are presented to the priest who will ritually decapitate them with a khukuri knife & bathe the black stone image of Kali in blood.
Option 7: Halfday excursion to Nagarkote hill (mountain view point) (4 hrs)
Situated 2175m above sea level, Nagarkote is a popular tour and hill destination near Kathmandu. It is famous for mountain views. Five of the world’s 10 tallest Mountains: Everest (8848m), Lhotse (8516m), Cho Oyu (8201m), Makalu (8463m) and Manaslu (8163m) along with many other lesser summits can be viewed from this place (during clear weather).
The place is surrounded by the terraced hillside and most beautiful scenery. It is possible to make walking tours to nearby villages.
Option 8: Hike from Changunarayan to Nagarkote (5-6 hrs)
Morning, drive to Changu. Visit the famous Changunarayan temple.
The ancient temple of Changu Narayana is located on a high hilltop that is also known as Changu or Dolagiri. The temple is surrounded by forest with champak tree and a small village, known as Changu Village. The temple is located in Changu VDC of Bhaktapur District, Nepal. This hill is about 8 miles east of Kathmandu and a few miles north of Bhaktapur. The Manahara River flows beside the hill. This shrine is dedicated to Lord Visnu and held in especial reverence by the Hindu people. This temple is considered as the oldest temple in Nepal. The recent earthquake has severely damaged the temple.
Commence gentle hike from the village along Kathmandu valley ridge to Telkote near Nagarkote hill (approx. 3 hrs walk).
The first part is more natural as the trail follows the ridge rich with deciduous forest. The Himalayas appear in the distance totally remote and undisturbed. The walking is easy with gradual uphill. The trail later goes through the terraced fields via Tamang Village. The thatched houses, painted with ochre, are built by with local stone hand-hewn by local craftsmen. These houses are normally 3 storied with a kitchen on the ground floor, a bedroom on the second and a store on the top. A courtyard in front has an adjoining shed for animals. The garden next to the house supplies all the household seasonal vegetables and fruit. Spring brings colour to the village with young goat kids and other young animals as well as beautiful bright blossoms everywhere. Local wine making is pretty common throughout the year.
The trail offers good views of mountain and valley (weather dependent).
Nagarkote hill, situated 2175m above sea level, Nagarkote is a popular tour and hill destination of Nepal. It is famous mountain views. Five of the world’s 10 tallest Mountains: Everest (8848m), Lhotse (8516m), Cho Oyu (8201m), Makalu (8463m) and Manaslu (8163m) along with many other lesser summits can be viewed from this place (during clear weather). The place is surrounded by the terraced hillside and most beautiful scenery.
Visit Nagarkote and drive back to Kathmandu (approx. 1 hr drive).
Option 9: Hiking trip to Namoboudha and Panauti (5-6 hrs)
Namobuddha is a holy site for the Buddhist and lies in the Kavre district at an altitude of 1800m, about 38 kms east of Kathmandu. The stupa and shrines build up in this lovely little hill significantly enough mark a very ancient holy site where a legendary prince named Mahasattva offered him to starving Tigress with its several underfed cubs. This legendary episode is depicted in a very nice stone slab and place right next to a holy stupa.
Namobuddha hiking through charming villages affords some excellent mountain views and is a delightful way to see the picturesque countryside. A scenic countryside along Nepal/Tibet highway takes you to Dhulikhel Bazzar (30kms/1hr drive from Kathmandu). From here you will walk about forty-five minutes up to Devistan, a small temple, an excellent spot to view the Himalaya. After a short descent, a gradual climb of about ninety minutes brings you to Phulbari, where panoramic mountain views are excellent. Then it is a ten minute walk to the legendary Namobuddha Stupa.
A popular legend relates that the Lord Buddha in his previous incarnation had offered his own flesh to save a starving tigress and her cubs from the imminent death.
After exploring the area a walk of about 2 1/2 hours takes you down to the charming medieval Newari village of Panauti, a treasure house of ancient Newari architecture.
From Panauti your vehicle will transfer you back to Kathmandu (1hr drive). (total walking hour approx. 5-6 hrs, tour duration approx. 6-7 hrs).
The main attractions of this hike are the panoramic mountain views and many Buddhist stupas on the hilltop. Namo Budhha is also famous for rice, mustard and millet; so you can also experience the beautiful hillside terraced farms throughout the walk. One can see the number of temples, variations in landscapes and diversity of people living in harmony.
For bookings & Tour prices, please contact:
TRIP TO NEPAL PVT. LTD.Lazimpat | GPO Box 8060 | Kathmandu | Nepal
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