The tour is designed for people who are interested in the religious heritage of Nepal.One of the great things about this country is the way that people from the two main faiths Hinduism and Buddhism will often worship at each others temples showing a respect for the others way of life and religious existence.The tour is a short one and is quite intensive in its format.However, at the end of your short stay you will appreciate the complexity of both religions and you will have a deeper knowledge in just why religion in Nepal, still today, plays such an important part in the fabric of life here.The tour is led by a fully experienced guide who has a great depth of knowledge on the religious heritage and how this has shaped the culture within the country.
A. Itinerary in Detail ( Days)
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu.
Welcome and receive from airport and transfer to Hotel. Introduction and briefing about the tour.
Day 02: Full Day Sightseeing Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Patan City
About Kathmandu Valley
The Kathmandu Valley is indeed a unique type of valley, wearing an exotic setting. Twenty-five centuries back it stood as a large lake. It is completely surrounded by a tier of Green Mountain walls above which to the north tower the mighty snowcapped peaks during the winter. It consists of four major cities carrying great historic, artistic and cultural interest.
They include Kathmandu, Patan, Bhadgaon and Kirtipur. Ironically speaking, Kathmandu Valley was an empire containing four petty kingdoms till the 17th century. The four kingdoms of Kantipur, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and Kiritipur have today appeared as independent modern cities. The Valley with an approximate population of million and a half (i.e. counting the Tibetans and the Indians as well) covers an area of 218 square miles and is situated at an elevation of 4,423 feet/1348m above the sea-level as part of the Shangri-la.
Kathmandu Durbar Square :It is easy to be overwhelmed by the seemingly uncountable monuments in the Kathmandu Durbar Square. The house of the Living Goddess ( Kumari Ghar), the ferocious Kal Bhairab, the red monkey god, and hundreds of erotic carvings are a few examples of the sights at the Square! The buildings here are the greatest achievements of the Malla dynasty, and they resulted from the great rivalry between the three palaces of Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur. The Valley was divided among the children of Yaksya Malla. For visitors today, and for the Nepalese, it was serendipitous that they, and later their off springs, began an artistic warfare trying to outdo each other in splendid constructions. Kings copied everything their neighbours built in an even grander style. A visitor who wanders around the Square will see a round temple in the pagoda architectural style, the temple of Goddess Taleju (legend has it that She played dice with King Jaya Prakash Malla), and an image of Shiva and Parbati sitting together among the many monuments.
The Square teems with colorful life. Vendors sell vegetables, curios, flutes, and other crafts around the Kastamandap rest house. This rest house is said to have been built with the wood of a single tree and is the source from which the Kathmandu Valley got its name. Nearby are great drums which were beaten to announce royal decrees. All woodcarvings, statues, and architecture in this area are exceptionally fine, and Kathmandu Durbar Square is among the most important sights for travellers to see. The complex also houses the Tribhuvan Museum that carries the mementoes of
It is a Buddhist pagoda of considerable artistic beauty located in a holy courtyard called Jan Bahal, which is full of stupas and statues nearby Indra-Chowk. It consists of a two tiered bronze roof built by King Yakshta Malla in 1502 A.D. This authentic temple is surrounded by residential houses and busy shops. The chariot festival of White Karunamaya-the “God of Mercy” is annually celebrated in Kathmandu Valley.
Akash Bhairab Temple:
Also referred to as the Blue Bhairab sometimes, it is a three-storeyed temple in the principal market called Indra Chowk. The divine image of the Akash Bhairab is displayed outside for a week -long period during the great festival of Indra Jatra. The celebration of Indra Jatra honors Indra- the King of Heaven and the God of Rain.
This falls to be the historic seat of the past royalty, particularly belonging to the Malla dynasty. The Durbar Square, which is itself the old Royal Palace Complex dedicated to the Malla monarchs, is today classified as a World Heritage Site. The age-old temples and palaces epitomize the religious and cultural life-style of the people. The interesting things to view include Taleju Temple built by late King Mahendra Malla in 1549 A.D., a gigantic stone figure exposing the fearful manifestation of the Black Bhairab which the Hindus regard as the God of Destruction, the tall stone pillar on the plinth-top of which sits late King Pratap Malla his four children at the four small corners, the colossal image of the White Bhairab the lattice of which is removed for a week during the Kumari Yatra festival, the nine-storeyed Basantapur Palace (literally meaning the spring season palace), the Great Bell and the Great Drums. The main golden-gate is guarded by the Monkey-God called Hanuman. He is the king of the Monkeys and faithful servant to Lord Ram Chandra-the Hero of the Epic “Ramayan.” Being guarded by a sole protector, the gate itself has come to be known as Hanuman Gate. With a commercial umbrella suspended above his head and wrapped in a scarlet cloak, he squats on a stone plinth to be respected by hundreds of Nepalese Hindus plus Indian Hindus.
Temple of Kumari:
The temple and the holy quadrangle with a Buddhist stupa at the center form the residential quarters of the Chaste Virgin Living Goddess called KUMARI. The traditional building has profusely carved wooden balconies and widow screens. The non-Buddhist ant the non-Hindu visitors may enter the courtyard called the ‘bahal’ but may not proceed beyond upstairs. The KUMARI acknowledges their greetings from the middle window of the balcony particularly saved for her alone and snapshot is strictly prohibited.
Located nearby the Temple of Kumari, this is a unique type of wooden temple also known as Maru Satal. It was built in 1596 A.D. by King Laxmi Narsingh Malla. They say the timber used for its relevant construction was sawed out of a single tree. It is also believed that the capital of Kathmandu derived its new name from this very
Kastha Mandap.Today it housed the Hindu God namely Gorakh-Nath.
Buddhist Chaityas. It is said to be 2000 years old. The Chaitya which forms the main structure is made of a solid hemisphere of brick and clay supporting a lofty conical spire capped by a pinnacle of copper, gilt. Painted on the four sides of the spire bases are the never sleeping eyes of Lord Buddha. It is three kilometers west form Kathmandu city, and is situated on a hillock about 77m. Above the level of the Valley. The hill is a mosaic of small Chaityas and pagoda temple
Patan is 15 minutes drive from Kathmandu.The ancient city of Patan is situated on the southern bank of the river Bagmati and is about 5km. Southeast of Kathmandu. The city is full of Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments with bronze gateway, guardian deities and wonderful carvings. Noted for its craftsmen and metal workers, it is known as the city of artists. The major sightseeing places in Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square, situated in the heart of the city consitutes the focus of visitor’s attraction. The square is full of ancient palaces, temples and shrines, noted for their exquisitevings. The Patan Durbar Square consists of three main chowks or courtyards, the Central Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Keshav Narayan Chowk. The Sundari Chowk holds in its centre a masterpiece of stone architecture, the royal bath called “Tushahity”.
Built in the 17th century, the temple of Lord Krishna holds a commanding position in the palace complex of Patan. It is supposed to be the first specimen of Shikhara style architecture in Nepal. It is the only temple in Nepal having 21 spires and is completely made of stone.
A little further east from Patan Durbar Square lies this Buddhist temple made of clay bricks in which thousands of images of Lord Buddha engraved. The terra-cotta structure is one of the 14th century Nepalese architectural masterpieces.
Hiranya Verna Mahavihar:
Located inside, kwabadehal, this three storey golden pagoda of lokshwor (Lord Buddha) was built in the twelfth century by king bhaskar verma. Inside the upper storey of the pagoda,a re the golden image of lord buddha and a large prayer wheel.
Rudra Varna Mahavihar:
This unique buddhist monastery contains fine and amazing collection of images and statues in metal, stone and wood. It is believed that the kings in the ancient times were crowned in this monastery. Many of the treasures offered by the devotees can be seen here even today.
The Ashokan Stupas:
There are four ancient stupas popularly believed to have been built in 250 B.C. by emperor ahoka at the four corners of patan. The four stupas are situated in Pulchowk, lagankhel, ebahi and in teta (way to sano gaon) respectively. These stupas give evidence to the city’s ancient religious importance.
Temple of Machhendranath and Minnath:
The Pagoda of red Machhendranath built in 1408 A.D. is situated in Tabahal. For six months the deity is taken to its other shrine in Bungmati. The temple of Minnath is situated in Tangal on the way to Tabahal.
Day 03: Visit Bhaktapur City, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple & Boudhanath Temple. O/n Hotel
Bhaktapur is situated at an altitude of 1401m, is a home of medieval art and architecture. The urban city covers an area of 4square miles. Shaped like a conch-shell Bhaktapur means the city of devotees. Pottery and weaving are its traditional industries. The city lies about 14 km east from Katmandu.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square:
The main square of the city contains innumerable temples and other architectural showpieces like the lion gate, the statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, the picture gallery, the golden gate, the palace of 55 windows, the batsala temple and the bell of barking dogs, etc. The statue of the King Bhupatindra Malla in the act of worship is placed on a column facing the palace of the many statues available in Nepal this is considered to be the most magnificent.
The National Art Gallery:
Contains ancient and medieval paintings belonging to Hindu and Buddhist schools depicting Tantrism of various periods and descriptions.
The Golden Gate
The Golden Gate is the entrance to the main countyard of the palace of 55 windows. Built King Ranjit Malla, the gate is one of the most beautiful and richly carved specimens of its kind in the entire world. This gate is embellished with deities and monsters of marvellous intricacy.
The Palace of 55 Windows
The Palace of 55 Windows was built in the 17th century by King Bhupatindra Malla. Among the brick walls with their gracious setting and sculptural design, is a balcony of 55 windows. This balcony is a masterpiece of wood carving.
The Stone Temple of Batsala Devi which is also located in the Durbar Square is full of intricate carvings. This temple also sets a beautiful example of Shikhara style of architecture in nepal. There is a bronze be on the terrace of the temple which is also known as the “bell of barking dogs”. This colossal bell, placed in 1737 A.D. was used to sound curfew during that time.
This five storey Pagoda was built in 1702 A.D. by King Bhupatindra Malla. It stands in a five-terraced platform. On each of the terraces squat a pair of figures; two famous wrestlers, two Elephants, two Lions, two Griffins and “Baghini” and “Singhini” – the Tiger and the Lion Goddesses. This is one of the tallest Pagodas and is famous for its massive structure and subtle workmanship.
This temple was first built as a one storey pagoda but later changed into a three storey temple in 1718 A.D. by king bhupatindra malla. The temple is noted for its artistic grandeur. It is dedicated to lord bhairav- the god of terror.
Built in 1427 A.D. this temple is said to have been built from trunk of a single tree. Near this temple is a monastery with exquisitely carved peacock windows
Situated at the end of a long ridge which runs well into the valley, it is said to have been built by King Hari Dutta in 323 A.D. and said to be the oldest temple in the valley.
A Hindu temple dedicated to lord Shiva is one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world. It lies 5km east from the city on the bank of Bagmati River. Entrance of Pashupati precinct is permitted to the Hindus only. However visitors can clearly see the temple and the activities performed in the temple premises from the eastern bank of the Bagmati River. The temple is believed to be built before 400AD.
It is one of the biggest Stupa in the world, which is built by Lichchhavi king Mana Dev in the 5th century A.D. it is situated 8kn east of Kathmandu. The colossal and ancient Stupa of Boudha is 36 m high also a world heritage site. It is also known as Khasti or dew drops as it is said that the builders had to use dewdrops to mix the mortar because Kathmandu was suffering from a severe drought during its construction
Day 04: Mountain flight and departure
Early morning, enjoy the Everest Experience Mountain Flight which takes you above the great Himalayas including Mount Everest. As per your international flight schedule, fly to your next destination.