Swoyambhu means “the self created land”. This is a conical shaped hill, 77 m. high from the ground. People affectionately call it “the monkey temple”. There are about 450 monkeys of rhesus macaques species found in this hill. The area has occupied 31 and half hectors of land.
Swoyambhunath is the cradle of Bajrayana Tradition. Tantric Buddhists consider it the chief “power point” of the Kathmandu Valley. The main stupa is in Tibetan architecture but there is Newari influence, the indigenous inhabitants of Kathmandu valley. The site holds great cultural, historical and religious value for Buddhists as well as Hindus from all over the world. This is the only one place where five different elements are placed in five different places named Shantipura for sky element, Agnipura for fire, Nagpura for water, Basupura for the earth and Bayupura for the air element. There are other two shikara styled Anantapura and Pratap pura, built by King Pratap Malla in 1655 A.D.
Dedicated to goddess Harati for Buddhists and Shitala for Hindus, the two tiered temple attracts worshippers for the protection of children against diseases. Harati is Ajima, the primal mother.Amitabha is the main deity of the chaitya, His image is in Dhyanamudra, a posture of meditation and represented in red color.
It is said that Emperor Ashoka paid a visit to the site over 2000 years ago. An inscription indicates that King Manadeva ordered work done here in 460 A.D. and certainly by the 13th century, it was an important Buddhist center. But unfortunately, the Mughal invaders from Bengal broke open the stupa in search of gold in 1349 A.D.
Kathmandu:This complex of palaces, courtyards and temples used to be the seat of the ancient Malla kings of Kathmandu.These monuments were built from the time of king Ratna Malla to king Prithivi Bir Bikram Shah. The palace complex come to be known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square.The complex has been flourished with Nasal chowk, Mohan kali chowk, Sundari chowk and Bhandarkhal garden.
Prime Minister Jung Bahadur Rana introduced the neo- classical architecture of Europe. Numerous temples wee built around the palace. It is here that the king of Nepal would be crowned and his coronation would be solemnized.
Boudhanath:This is one of the biggest stupa due to its height and expansion in South Asia. This is built in typical Nepali Architecture. Its old name is “Khaso Chaitya Mahakut” Sanskrit word means “This stupa can be seen from far”. Khaso means “Holy land”. This was the stupa built in 5th century A.D.by King Manadev.when we take an aerial view then it looks like a lotus flower or looks like Mandala due to its corners.
This stupa has four different sized prayer wheels small to the biggest, altogether 704 and 108 different images of Lokeshwara on the bottom of the dome.
Pashupatinath Temple:is a great Hindu temple, one of the trinity of Hindu gods. Pashupatinath means the lord of animals. Shiva, the supreme god of all gods and goddesses is being revered by both Hindus and Buddhists. Pasupatinath is 5 km. far from Thamel, situated on the bank of the Bagmati River. The Bagmati River is the holy river like Ganges in India. Bagmati is originated from the nearest hill named Shivapuri where there is the place called Baghdwar.
This is very spacious and has occupied 264 hectors of land. This world heritage site is the richest heritage site in Kathmandu. This is the second more earning Hindu temple after Tirupati in India. This site has covered jungle, stream, inns, many temples, other monuments, rest houses and Shivalayas. Tourists other than Hindus are not allowed to enter into the temple premises but they can observe the ceremonies and worshipping going on from the eastern bank above the steps. People can see the cremation Ghats where the dead bodies are cremated on the wooden pyre and one could feel the notion of life and death here. There are many caves in the northern part of the temple on the upper way of the Bagmati Rivers. Pilgrims from different parts of the country and India comes to visit here. Shivaratri is the biggest day celebrating here in Pashupati.
Bhaktapur is the city known as the city of devotees. It is situated at an altitude of 1401 m. Bhaktapur covers area of 4 square miles. It is shaped like a conch- shell. Pottery and the weaving are its traditional industries. The city lies of 14 km east of Kathmandu. There are four main courtyards like Dattatraya Square, Taumadhi Square, Pottery Square and Durbar Square. Bhupatindra Malla had played the vital role to build most of its monuments.
Changunarayan is another most important monument of Nepal. This is the oldest Vishnu temple in Nepal, dates back to 3rd century AD. In this period, Changu was a metropolis city with 700 houses and was named “Champapur Mahanagar”. The priests still use this name in religious worshipping. But the site is tremed with different names such as Dolagiri, Dolparvat,Dolashikhar, Champakaranya, and Changu is famous for at present. Changu is a Newari word where cha means name of tree of Champak (michelia) and gu means the hills. So it is said that the hill of Champak forests.
Changunarayan is situated 18 km. east of Kathmandu city. It is 1541 m. high from the sea level. This is the temple of beheaded Vishnu, believed standing on the single stone plinth. According to the legend Lord Bishnu while fighting with the demon king named Chand, killed a Brahman named Sumati. Guru Sukracharya, the teacher of the dead Brahman was angry at Vishnu and cursed him that he will be beheaded in the future. After this incident, Vishnu lived in the tree of Champak forest and had paid for the curse. In the time of worshipping, the artificial head is being installed and the ritual activities are being done. This two storied roofed temple has the four entrances being guarded by the life size pairs of animals such as lions, Sarabhas, griffins and elephants on each side of the entrances. This is the milestone in the Nepali temple architecture with rich embossed works.
The courtyard is found fascinating with many stone images of Vishnu in different postures, built in different time. The stone pillar has very ancient scripture, engraved in Pro- Lichhavi script and used Sanskrit language, by a Lichhavi King Manadev at 464 AD. We can have spectacular view of the Himalayas and valley in the eastern side, flowing Sali River.
Patan is another oldest royal city known as ‘the city of fine arts’. There are many exquisite artworks and architectural buildings scattered in and around in the Patan Durbar Square. These are mostly from 16th century and onwards. But the history of Patan goes back to Lichhavi Period. Siddhi Nar Singh Malla is the prominent king who had contributed a lot for the square. He was a spiritual man. He constructed Sundari Chowk which holds in its center the Royal Bath called Tushahity, a masterpiece of stone architecture. His other great contribution is Krishna Temple of Shikara style. There are three main Chowks: Mul Chowk, Keshav Narayan Chowk and Sundari Chowk.
Kumbheshwor (Banglamukhi), Golden Temple, Mahaboudhha, Rudra Varna Mahabihar, Minnath temple and Machhindranath temple are the other main places to visit.
Lumbini, the place where the Buddha was born in 623 B.C., is situated in the terai plains of southern Nepal. The nativity site is marked by a stone pillar erected by Indian emperor Ashoka in249 B.C. Listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO, Lumbini is being developed with international support as the supreme Buddhist pilgrimage and a symbol of world peace. The sacred garden where the Buddha was born converges on the Ashoka pillar which carries an inscription identifying the spot as the birthplace.
Chitwan National Park, one of the richest and most well known wild life reserves in Asia, is situated 165km. overland or 25 minutes by air to the south west of Kathmandu in the lowland of inner Terai on the foot hills of great Himalayas of central Nepal, the park covers an area of 932 sq.km. and conserves more than 43 species of mammals, 450 out of total estimated 750 species of birds in Nepal, many varieties of butterflies and 45 species of amphibians and reptiles.
Day 01:Arrival in Kathmandu (1,350 m) and Transfer to Hotel in Kathmandu
Day 02:Sightseeing of Swoyambunath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Boudhanath and Pashupatinath. Drive back to hotel
Day 03:Sightseeing of Patan Durbar Square and Changu Narayan then go to Nagarkot. Overnight stay at Nagarkot
Day 04:Wake up for sunrise. After breakfast, sightseeing of Bhaktapur and go to Chitwan. Overnight stay at hotel
Day 05:Morning Village Tour, Elephant ride, Canoe-ride, Elephant Breeding Center and Tharu Cultural Show in the evening
Day 06:After Breakfast heading towards Lumbini by private vehicle. Overnight stay At Lumbini
Day 07:Sightseeing around Lumbini
Day 08:Drive back to Kathmandu from Lumbini
Day 09:Transfer to the International Airport
Day 01Arrival in Kathmandu (1,350 m) and Transfer to Hotel in KathmanduUpon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, our representative from Himkala Adventure greets you and transfers you to the hotel at Thamel. You could hang around Thamel and see the touristic shops with many antique ethnic items, textile products, handicrafts, trekking equipments, and local venders. Overnight at Kathmandu
Day 02Sightseeing of Swoyambunath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Boudhanath and Pashupatinath. Drive back to hotel After breakfast, we begin our sightseeing to Swoyambhunath, one of the most popular and instantly recognizable symbols of Nepal. By the 13th century, it was an important Buddhist center. From Hilltop setting, Swoyambhunath offers the fine views over Kathmandu valley. This is the best point for viewing four hills surrounded Kathmandu valley and for sun rise and sun set. The stupa with big hemispherical shape, the monastery with great Buddha images, the place for burning butter lamps and the crowded pilgrims in the Harati temple in the western end give an exotic impression of this place. After this we descend down to the Kathmandu Durbar Square. It is the place where the city’s kings were once crowned and legitimized. The Square area is actually made up of three loosely linked squares like Basantapur, Durbar Square and Hanuman Dhoka. After visiting these places, we can proceed to the Boudhanath Stupa, world’s largest stupas, considerable population of Tibetan exiles. There are many monasteries around. One can enjoy the souvenirs items from Tibet. The last destination for today is the Pashupatinath temple, the supreme Hindu god. Pashupati is considered to have a special concern for Nepal and all the pilgrims from Nepal and India come to visit. We can see the burning ghat, golden roofed , pagoda styled Shiva Temple, Bagmati-the holy river, Shivalayas and the the Sadhus smearing ashes in their bodies lying in the open area. After this, we return back to hotel. Overnight in Kathmandu
Day 03Sightseeing of Patan Durbar Square and Changu Narayan then go to Nagarkot. Overnight stay at Nagarkot After breakfast, we start our day tour to Patan, lies in Lalitpur district. This is the famous city where the great artists of Nepal like Araniko, Siddhiraj and Avayraj were born. Patan Durbar Square is full of temples, moreover 600 stupas, and 185 bahals are scattered the fascinating back streets.Patan has a long Buddhist history, and four corners of the city are marked by stupas said to have been erected by the great Buddhist emperor Ashoka around 250 BC. There are three main chowks in the Durbar Square named Mul Chowk, Keshav Narayan Chowk and Sundari Chowk.The Krishna Temple in Shikhara style dominates the square with great stone work and the engravings on the wall, the story from Ramayana on the ground floor and the Mahabharat on the first floor. There are many things to explore like Manga Hiti, Back streets with many statues, thanka and pauva paintings, Banglamukhi temple, The Golden temple etc. After this we drive from Patan to Changunarayan which is about 16 km from Patan. The beautiful and historic temple of Changu Narayan stands on a hilltop at the eastern end of the valley, the temple is the oldest Hindu temple built by king Manadev which has been proved by the inscription on the stone pillar. There are number of stone statues placed around the courtyard of many different manifestations of Vishnu from Lichhavi period. From the top, we can view the beautiful valley with flowing Salinadi River. Then we move to Nagarkot, the beautiful hill station for the overnight stay. Overnight at Nagarkot
Day 04Wake up for sunrise. After breakfast, sightseeing of Bhaktapur and go to Chitwan. Overnight stay at hotel We get up early in the morning for the sun rise over the mountain ranges; Nagarkot is an ideal place for the Mountain View in the clear day.On clear morning’s dawn unveils a vista of the eastern and central Himalayan ranges, from towering Manaslu to the distant pyramids of Everest. The view far to the hills and the villages seem like it is your dreamland. We can see such views from the hotel where we stay (most of the hotels built facing towards mountains), further we can go the tower to view all around. Nagarkot, once a busy trade route to Tibet, it still maintains its popularity for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets over the Himalayas After having breakfast, we descend to Bhaktapur , the city of devotees where we can see many Hindu Temples, ponds, wells, rest houses, courtyards and still the people living in typical Newari life style.The city has been surrounded by boundary walls and a number of city gates. The city spreads over an area of 6.88 sq.km and it has a flying pigeon like shape. UNESCO honored this city with “The First Honorable Mention” and the Transparency International awarded it with “Island of Integrity”.The main four squares like Dattatraya, Taumadhi, Pottery and Durbar Square have offered many things to enjoy with its uniqueness. After Bhaktapur sightseeing, we drive to Chitwan. It takes about five hours drive on the Prithivi Highway along the bank of Trishuli River. We reach to Sauraha and check in the hotel. We will be given a briefing about our program. Overnight at Chitwan
Day 05Morning Village Tour, Elephant ride, Canoe-ride, Elephant Breeding Center and Tharu Cultural Show in the evening A visit to Chitwan National Park is to experience wild life, see the one horned rhino and other wild animals, do Jungle Safari, Jeep drive, visit Elephant Breeding center, Canoe ride and for village tour. The hotel provides well organized package program schedule. A cultural program performed by the Tharus will be another highlight of your visit. The Tharus, in their colorful, traditional costumes are bound to captivate you with their folktales, music and dancing. Overnight at Chitwan
Day 06After Breakfast heading towards Lumbini by private vehicle. Overnight stay At Lumbini After breakfast, we drive to Lumbini, 180 km. which is about 5 hours drive from Chitwan. This is all the way a plain land, the terai belt through farm land, viewing Tharu villages and the Sal forests. After we reach to hotel, we do check in and take rest. Overnight at Lumbini
Day 07Sightseeing around Lumbini Lumbini is the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautam, who got enlightened and became Buddha. Lumbini for Buddhists is like the Mecca for Muslims and the Jerusalem for Christians.The pilgrims deeply immerse themselves in the serene spiritual atmosphere of Lumbini. The major attractions of Lumbini is The Maya Devi Temple, The Marker Stone, The Puskarini Pond, The Nativity Sculpture, The Ashokan Pillar,and Nepalese and International Monasteries etc.
Day 08Drive back to Kathmandu from Lumbini After breakfast, the drive back the same way from Lumbini to Kathmandu. It is the beautiful scenic drive all the way savoring different geographical locations, and its diversities following the bank of Narayani, Trishuli Rivers, arrive at Kathmandu. Overnight at Kathmandu
Day 09Transfer to the International Airport Your 7 days tour In the UNESCO designated World Heritage Sites ends today. We depart you to the Tribhuvan International Airport 3 hours before the flight. You could enjoy the shopping in the local market according to your time schedule and then we leave you in the airport. We wish you have safe journey to your next destination. Namaste!!!