Kathmandu Valley Explorer – 8 days/7 nights

Tour Introduction: Nepal Private Tour - Bhaktapur (2n) & Kathmandu (5n).

A terrific way to really get to know the wide cultural heritage; village life and hiking in the greater Kathmandu Valley region. This tour can be taken any day of the year, subject to availability, with best months October to early June.

Nepal Land Tour Inclusions:

  • 2 nts at Hotel Heritage, Bhaktapur incl breakfasts
  • 5 nts Summerhill House, Kathmandu incl breakfasts
  • Necessary airport transfers in Kathmandu
  • Sightseeing tours/hikes with English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees as currently applicable (museum fees will be extra if visited except for the Hanuman Dhoka museum in Kathmandu which is already included in the above package cost – subject to changes)
  • Shivapuri National Park Fee

Nepal Land Tour Exclusions:

  • Meals except for breakfasts.
  • Entrance fees to sights and attractions.
  • Personal items (drinks; medications; laundry; telephone etc).
  • Travel insurance – this is essential for Nepal.
  • Airfares.
  • Visa fees US$ 30.00 pp. (valid 15 days)

Kathmandu Valley Explorer Land Package Costs – Price on Application:

OR CALL THE BHUTAN & NEPAL TRAVEL EXPERTS ON
AUS Toll free, James – 0412 416 111, Nicola – 0413 598 669

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu.

Drive to Bhaktapur

Arrival in Kathmandu. Meet and greet at the airport with traditional flower garland welcome. A short drive to the world heritage listed ancient city of Bhaktapur. Transfer to your hotel, just outside the old city area; check in and enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

Overnight at Hotel Heritage (Good 3+ star)

Day 02:

Tour of Nagarkote. Walk down to Telkote. Visit Changunarayan & Bhaktapur (B)

After breakfast drive to Nagarkote, one of the most scenic spots in the Bhaktapur region and renowned for its views of several snow-topped peaks of the Himalayan range of eastern Nepal. Walk to Telkote through cluster of villages with rice terraced fields and, on a clear day, the vista of the mountains as the backdrop (2 – 2.5hrs hike approx).

From Telkote, drive to Changunarayan. Visit Changunarayan temple which is a lavishly decorated two-tiered temple considered to be the oldest temple of the valley.

Continue to Bhaktapur “city of devotees”, the home of medieval art and architecture and a classic showcase of medieval Nepalese town life. A city of farmers, Bhaktapur is also known for it’s pottery and weaving. The intricately carved temples, alleyways and timeless atmosphere of this place are simply intriguing. The major sightseeing places in Bhaktapur include Durbar Square, the Golden Gate, Palace of 55 windows, Bell of the barking dogs, Nyatapole Temple, Bhairavnath temple etc.

Overnight at Hotel Heritage 

Day 03:

Tour of Dhulikhel and walk to Panauti. Drive to Kathmandu visiting Thimi en route (B)

This morning check out of your hotel and drive to Dhulikhel – set on a hill ridge of soil terraces and with magnificent views of the central Himalayan peaks. Visit Dhulikhel Bazaar, which is a typical historical Newar settlement. The Newars are an ethnic group of Nepal who mainly inhabit the Kathmandu Valley.

Take a delightful walk through paddy fields & farmlands to visit Panauti village which is located at the confluence of the Punyamati & Roshi Khola. Panauti was once an important staging post on the Tibet trade route with pre-Lichhavi origins. The banks of the river are crowded with temples, shrines and cremation ghats. Across the river lie the Brahmayani temple & the biggest Shivalingam in Nepal.

After the visit, drive back to Kathmandu visiting the potter’s town of Thimi en route. Thimi is a name derived from the word “Chhemi” meaning “Capable people”. Thimi is well known for its colourful painted masks, dolls; for its terracotta work including delightful peacock & elephant flower pots, moulded candle stands & ashtrays. Transfer on to Kathmandu and the delightful Summerhill House.

Overnight at Summerhill House (guesthouse). 

Day 04:

Tour of Kathmandu & Swoyambhunath. Visit Patan and walk to Sankhamul (B)

This morning visit the old Kathmandu city with its stone paved lanes, colorful bazaars and the Temple of the Living Goddess – Kumari who is considered to be the incarnation of the “Virgin Goddess”. The old Durbar Square consists of the old palace and innumerable temples of different architecture. Also visit the newly opened Hanuman Dhoka museum that houses old artefacts belonging to the Nepal’s erstwhile royal family.

Visit Swambhunath stupa, situated west of Kathmandu. It is a 2500 years old Buddhist stupa located atop a green hillock with the eyes of lord Buddha painted on its pinnacle believed to be overlooking righteous behaviour of the valley inhabitants. Around the stupa are hung multi-colored prayer flags whose every flutter releases holy prayers to heaven.

Visit Patan city, also known as Lalitpur or the “city of beauty”. Patan, the oldest city of the valley is the cradle of arts and architecture. It is well known for its intricately carved temples, narrow lanes and quaint shops. See the intricately stone-carved Krishna Mandir (temple), Patan Durbar Square and Hiranyavarna Mahavihar (golden temple).

Later walk to Sankhamul to visit the group of temples that were lying largely ignored on the banks of the Bagmati river. The main temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The wood carvings are being restored but the old pieces reveal very intricate work no longer found these days. The old brick mouldings too are some of the finest you may find anywhere in Nepal.

Overnight at Summerhill House

Day 05:

Visit Budanilkantha temple & hike to Nagi Gompa. Tour of Bodhnath & Pashupatinath (B)

This morning drive north to Budhanilkhantha to visit the massive black statue of the reclining Vishnu at the foot of the Shivapuri hills. The statue lies half submerged resting on a bed of snakes. Then walk to Nagi Gompa (retreat center and a nunnery) through small farming villages and a protected forest of Rhododendrons and orchids with small mountain streams running through it. After the visit of the Gompa, return back (3-4 hrs walk) and drive to Bodhnath.

Visit Bodhnath, the biggest stupa in Nepal located on flat land. This Stupa, set in a pattern of a “Mandala” is encircled by houses and monasteries where Rinpoches (enlightened Buddhist monks) reside. Around the base of this strikingly enormous and simple stupa is a ring of 108 images of the Buddha and 147 insets containing prayer wheels. 

Finally continue on to Pashupatinath Temple which is situated on the banks of the sacred Bagmati river. The temple of Lord Shiva, Pashupatinath, with a tiered golden roof and silver doors is famous for its superb architecture. The best view of the temple is from the terrace on the wooded hill across the river where you can witness the rituals at the cremation ghats first-hand.

Overnight at Summerhill House 

Day 06:

Tour of Dakshinkali, Pharping & Asura cave. Walk to Adinath temple. Visit Kirtipur (B)

This morning a drive 1 hour approx south of Kathmandu will bring you to Dakshinkali temple. 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 conducted every Tuesdays and Saturdays. Drive to Pharping village to experience the typical lifestyle of a Nepali village. Here it is believed that Padmasamba, the great master, attained his enlightenment at the upper cave in Pharping, also known as Asura cave which still bears his foot mark. There is a popular Buddhist retreat close to the cave.

Then drive to Chovar. On top of the hill – in the centre of Chovar village – is located a small but very picturesque Pagoda dedicated to Adinath, whose origin dates back to the 15th century. Walk up to the temple (appx 20 minutes each way). Of great interest is the presence of so many pots and pans which decorate the walls of the Pagoda. One of the explanations is that these items were placed there by newly-weds to bring good luck as they embark on their new life together. Drive further to the village of Kirtipur, perched on twin hillocks and clinging to a saddle on the ridge. Here, the villagers, dressed in traditional costumes work on ancient looms.

Overnight at Summerhill House 

Day 07:

Tour of Bajravarahi. Walk to Bungamati. Further visit Khokana. Return to hotel (B)

This morning drive to the temple of Bajrabarahi located south of Kathmandu valley. It is one of the four famous Barahi temples in Nepal and is surrounded by dense forests. The present structure of the temple stands where a pond existed, in the middle of the forest. It is believed that Shree Bajrabarahi Goddess was incarnated from the pond and later a temple was established in its place. Inside the temple, statue of Navadevta has been established on the left and the right side, along with that of Mahadev (Shiva).

After the visit, walk through fields, farmlands and villages to Bungamati, an old Newari village, and visit the winter home of Lord Rato Machhendranath, the protector God of Patan. The shrine of Karya Binayak is located between the two villages. Also visit Khokana where ancient oil presses can be seen at work in village houses.

Overnight at Summerhill House

Day 08: 

Departure transfer (B)

Check out and transfer to Kathmandu airport in time to connect your outbound flight.

Goodbye & Namaste! 

Please note, for all guests residing at Summerhill House there is always a free offer of going on early morning walks to see the inner Patan city come to life. Guests are taken through the inner lanes to visit small temples where ordinary city inhabitants come to pray and start the day in an auspicious note. You can also listen to older folks singing religious songs. Visit small local market places to see people buying fresh vegetables and meat for the day. Other morning walks include visits to typical old Newari villages south of the valley that still retain their medieval way of life subsisting on agriculture, wood-carving, brick-making, oil-pressing etc; ; These morning walks are escorted by the hosts of Summerhill House and in their absence by one of the staffs of the House.