Nepal: Nepal Odyssey
Our Itineraries are provided as a preview of what to expect on our tours. Please, note, that itineraries are subject to change.
In the afternoon arrive at Kathmandu airport and you will meet our representative at the airport arrival gate and transfer to Hotel. From the airport to hotel is just 20 minutes’ drive in regular day traffic. Check into your hotel and spend rest of the day at leisure. Meals: Availability depends on the time of your arrival
Breakfast at hotel. Today, you will discover what it was like to live in towns in medieval times. You will cover two ancient kingdoms of Kathmandu valley, Kathmandu Durbar Square and Patan Durbar Square from the time of the Malla Dynasty. After driving for half an hour you will revel at this ancient satellite city exactly about the time when people are just starting their day. Patan, also known as ‘Lalitpur’, the city of artisans, and home to the valley’s finest craftsmen who have preserved such ancient techniques as the repoussé and lost wax process used to produce exquisite sculptures. The city retains much of the old charm with its narrow streets, brick houses and the multitude of well-preserved Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries (vihars) and monuments. As in Kathmandu, Hinduism and Buddhism have co-existed here for ages, influencing each other, and the religious harmony is exemplary. Patan Durbar square is one of the seven monument zones that makes Kathmandu valley UNESCO World Heritage site. You will visit Nepal’s living goddess Kumari in Patan. The word Kumari literally means “virgin” in Nepali. These living goddesses are young, pre-pubescent girls who are worshiped in Nepal by both Hindus and Buddhists as an omnipotent deity and the manifestation of the Hindu goddess of power, Durga. They live a sheltered life until they reach puberty. From Patan you will head straight to Swoyambhunath and follow the path of Hindu and Buddhist devotees, circling the holy stupa and spinning the prayer wheels. The mesmerizing wafts of incense, hypnotic chants of prayers and the surreal sound of ringing bells will provide a spiritual high. Perched atop a hill on the western edge of the Kathmandu Valley, the ancient Swayambunath Stupa (known to tourists as the Monkey Temple) is Kathmandu's most important Buddhist shrine. The sleepy, all-seeing Buddha eyes that stare out from the top have become the quintessential symbol of Nepal. Your next stop is Kathmandu's central meeting area, Durbar Square, a profusion of temples reflecting the different architectural styles dating from the eleventh century. The area also includes the Royal Palace with its gilded gates and elaborate statues, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. The square is alive with a multitude of nationalities, intermingled with stalls displaying a wide variety of Nepalese and Tibetan handicrafts. Later you will embark an exhilarating rickshaw ride of around 30 minutes from Hanuman Dhoka till Thamel through narrow alleys and observe local life from close range. Thamel becomes colorful & vibrant at this time of day with soft music played in shops, decorated shops with handicrafts, curio, silver jewelry, adventure gears and the list goes on. You will have some free time here to stroll around.
Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Check out and head to Chitwan. The Chitwan National Park lies in the Inner Terai lowlands and consists of Sal forests, tall elephant grasslands, hills, ox-box lakes and floodplains of the Narayani, Rapti and Reu rivers. Enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Natural) in 1984, the park spreads over an area of 932 sq.km. The park is home to 56 species of mammals, 49 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 525 species of birds. Wildlife found here include endangered species like the one-horned rhinoceros and the Royal Bengal tiger, gaur, wild elephant, four horned antelope, leopard, sloth bear, wild boar, rhesus monkey, gray langur monkey, wild dog, small wild cats, and many other smaller animals. Also found here are cobras, kraits, and pythons. The swampy areas and numerous oxbow lakes of Chitwan provide a home for the marsh mugger crocodiles. In a stretch of the Narayani River are found one of the few remaining populations of the rare and endangered fish-only eating gharial or Gangetic crocodile. Also found here is one of the world’s four species of freshwater dolphins. The park is a great place to watch colorful birds like a woodpecker, hornbill, Bengal florican and red-headed trogon. Winter birds such as waterfowls, Brahminy duck, pintails and bareheaded geese are drawn by the sanctuary of the park’s rivers. In summers, the forest is alive with nesting migrants such as the fabulous paradise flycatcher, the Indian Pitta, and parakeets. Winter birds include migratory birds from Siberia. In the afternoon, you will take an Elephant safari which remains a popular jungle activity in the Chitwan National park. Every elephant has a ‘Mahout,’ who serves as the animal’s caretakers, trainer and ‘driver.’ On the safari, the Mahout leads the elephant on a journey to seek out the forest’s wild animals in their natural setting. You may be lucky to go home with photographic proof of the prized one-horned rhino, or even the Bengal tiger! For those who do not want to ride an elephant, a 4×4 Jeep Safari in another option to see the forest from closer to the ground. A naturalist will accompany the safari. In the evening, experience the vibrant traditional cultural performances of the Tharu community. The performances depict their culture and the significance of their wardrobes in relation to their environment.
In the early morning, you visit the jungle to refresh your spirit of adventure on a guided walk through the national park, returning to the lodge in time for breakfast. You will follow a full day true jungle experience with the in-house expert naturalists including bird watching, Elephant bathing, and canoeing. You will also visit the small village of Tharu ethnic group to get a sense of what their world and lives are like through interactions with the locals.
After breakfast, you are driven to the quaint village of Bandipur. Upon arrival check - in at a local lodge, an old traditional house that has been restored to a heritage hotel. Bandipur lies on the midway on Prithvi highway between the capital Kathmandu and the lake city Pokhara. It is a picturesque Newar town that still retains much of its centuries-old appeal. Bandipur was once a prosperous trading stop on the India – Tibet trade route; the charming buildings with the neoclassical facade and shuttered reflects its refined civilization past. After lunch at the hotel, you will explore the old Newari town of Bandipur and enjoy the beauty of local lifestyles, tradition and cultural atmosphere with close range Himalayan views of Annapurna and Manaslu.
After breakfast, drive to Pokhara for approximately 3 hours. After check-in, you will have some time to freshen up before visiting the International Mountain Museum. This museum was conceived with an idea to work towards promoting the understanding of the mountains, it’s people and culture, flora, fauna and the proud mountaineering history. Established by the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), it is supported by various international and national groups. Pokhara is the third largest city in Nepal, located 200km to the west of Kathmandu. Three out of the ten highest mountains in the world, including the renowned Annapurna are within 30 miles of the city, making it Nepal’s top trekking destination. It is an ideal place to relax, take walks in the surrounding hills, or engage in the more energetic pursuits of trekking or white-water rafting Rest of the afternoon at leisure to explore the lakeside of Pokhara
Set off early this morning to Sarangkot to view spectacular sunrise. Sarangkot is most popular tourist destination from where the tourist can enjoy the great view of the Pokhara valley and the magnificent view of the Himalayan peaks. Sarangkot is situated at an altitude of 1592 M and is only 5 KM from Lakeside of Pokhara. It is the highest view point for Sunrise and is 5 degrees cooler than Pokhara. Sarangkot can be reached easily by 45 minutes’ drive from the hotel of PPokhara to the top than 45 minutes hike up to the main view point. Paragliding can also be done from Sarangkot. The sunrise view is subject to weather. After the excursion, you will be taken to a Tibetan house for Tibetan Breakfast. Now we get ready to another excursion of the day to World Peace Pagoda. The pagoda is a massive Buddhist stupa and is situated on top of a hill on the southern shore of Phewa lake. Besides being an impressive sight in itself, the shrine is a great vantage point which offers spectacular views of the Annapurna range and Pokhara city. There are three paths up to the pagoda and several small cafes once you arrive. You will walk down to the lakeside. Once there, take a rowing boat ride at Phewa Lake - the largest and most enchanting of the three lakes that add to the resplendence of Pokhara.
After breakfast, head back to Kathmandu. Remainder of the day at leisure.
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning, you will visit two of the most important heritage sites of Kathmandu. Starting with the Boudhanath Stupa (a UNESCO World Heritage site); the 2500 years old Buddhist stupa in the valley was built in the 5th century with four pairs of eyes of Lord Buddha in four cardinal directions keeping an eternal watch over the people and their doings. With a base of 82 meters in diameter, Boudhnath is claimed to be the largest Buddhist stupa in the world. Today, Bouddhanath bustles with Tibetan population, busy with carpet manufacture, trade, and prayers at the several monasteries belonging to different sects of Tibetan Buddhism. You will visit Thangka Gallery for an insight on the Buddhist Art of Thangka paintings. If available, we will take you to a Monastery for small interaction with monk over a cup of tea. Continue on to Pashupatinath Temple (a UNESCO World Heritage site); the two-tiered pagoda with golden roofs and silver doors houses the sacred linga, or phallic symbol, of Lord Shiva. Until recently Nepal was officially a Hindu Kingdom, and Pashupatinath, which literally means “lord of all animals”, was considered the main protector deity of Nepal. As one of the forms of Lord Shiva, one of the three main gods of Hindu trinity, Pashupatinath draws many pilgrims and devotees from around the world especially on Mahashivaratri (the night of Lord Shiva) during spring. Entrance to the main temple is permitted to Hindus only, yet visitors can clearly see the temple and the activities performed on the temple premises from the eastern bank of the Bagmati River and the Arya Ghat cremation grounds. Near the Pashupatinath Temple on the banks of the Bagmati River lies Guheswari, where, according to mythology, a portion of Sati Devi, Lord Shiva’s consort, fell when a grief-stricken Shiva wandered aimlessly across the earth carrying her dead body on his shoulders following her self-immolation. (The Bagmati River flows close by and the Arya Ghat cremation grounds are here. We strongly advise not to take photos of cremations and of bereaved families. Sadhus, sages who follow the lifestyle of Shiva, may be seen covered in ashes and loin-cloths. They ask for money in case you want to take their photos.) In the afternoon, you proceed to Bhaktapur - ``city of devotees`` in Nepali. Founded in the 12th century by King Ananda Malla, Bhaktapur rose to be city renown for culture, crafts and trading due to being a part of the ancient Indian trading route through to Tibet. The city retains much of its medieval charm and way of living and houses some of the best examples of Nepalese craftsmanship on wood and stone. Considered a living museum one can witness ancient traditions carried out even today in Potters square where the local potters use age-old techniques to make clay utensils. Bhaktapur Durbar Square is one of the seven monument zones that makes Kathmandu valley UNESCO World Heritage site. Farewell dinner with cultural performance in an authentic Nepalese Restaurant in Kathmandu.
Enjoy breakfast on your final day at your hotel. Depending on your departure time, you will be transfer to the hotel for your international flight.
• Meet and greet at the airport in Kathmandu
• Arrival and departure transfers
• 4 nights at Himalaya Hotel in Kathmandu or similar
• 2 nights in Chitwan at Machan Jungle Lodge Hotel or similar
• 1 night in Bandipur at Old Inn Lodge or similar
• 2 nights in Pokhara at Barahi Hotel or similar
• 13 meals: 9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 3 dinners
• All assisted transfers/sightseeing and excursions by air-conditioned coach/car
• Services of English-speaking Local guide
• Farewell Dinner in an authentic Nepalese restaurant with traditional dance show
• Entrance fees per itinerary
Passports & Visas:
Nepal Visa – is provided on arrival at the Kathmandu airport at a nominal cost of USD 30 per person. Please carry 2 passport size photographs for the same.
Useful info about our trips