Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal. Inhabited by approximately 2.9 million people and surrounded by the hills from all four sides extending 30 to 40 km east to west and 25 to 30 km (approx..) north to south. It looks like a basket. The ranges of hills which surround the Kathmandu valley are covered with the greenery and also make the perfect day hiking routes.
The human settlement in the Kathmandu valley is evidently found beyond 5thcentury BC. The myths, mythology and the cultural practices of the people are immensely intricate that in most of their cultural practices are explained in the plot of people directly and their interaction with God. Which can best be seen that there are temples at the corner and every junction of the road?
And every temple, rest house and palaces, stone carving, wood carving, and metal works reflect the cultural beliefs of the people. In Kathmandu valley, there are 7 UNESCO protected world heritage sites including the 3 palaces built during the medieval era, 2 Hindu temples and 2 Buddhist stupas.
Upon your arrival in Kathmandu (TIA), our representative from Hillstrek will be there to pick you up. You will be transfer to hotel by private vehicle. We discuss about our trip and you have time for refreshment. In the evening we are together again for welcome dinner in typical Nepalese restaurant with cultural program.
Kathmandu Durbar Square: kathmandu valley being invaded by the king of shah dynasty in 1858 . where the kings were crowned and where they ruled from. Kathmandu has its Durbar square at its heart; here charm of old town blends well with traditional architecture in a rich cultural aspects. The entire square was designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The massive complex consist of three main squares , palaces , temples, and courtyards .south Basantapur square is a former royal elephant stable , which today has souvenir stones and leads to freak street (the length still lives in the former glory of being the ultimate hippie destination during the flower power era). The temple of living goddess, kumara, is also on the southern end. Kumari is young Shakya girl from the Newar community, chosen through an ancient and mystical selection to become the human incarnation of Hindu goddess, Taleju. If you are lucky, you might get to get a glimpse of Kumari peaking out of an elaborately carved wooden window. On the northeast side the square consists of Hanuman Dhoka, the main entrance of the world Royal Palace. The Taleju Bhawani temple, the oldest of all the temples is situated in this area. Even though the old royal palace has been partially damaged, restoration process is going on. The square is slowly making progress to yet again revive its old mystic and glory of being a living museum with finest traditional architecture in the world.
Swoyambhunath Stupa :This most ancient and enigmatic of all the holy shrines in Kathmandu valley, Swayambhunath Stupa , is also known as the monkey temple. According to the historical records, the Stupa is over 2,500 years old. The name of Swayambhunath has been derived from Sanskrit words, Swayam (self), making swoyambhunath the ‘Self-Created One’. The surrounding of the Stupa consist a variety of shrines and temples, some dating back to the Licchavi period. The Stupa has Buddha’s eyes and eyebrows painted on each side and nose is made out as the number one in Devanagari script. The main Stupa can be reached from two access points; a long steep stairway with 365 steps (leading directly to the main platform), and a car road leading to a longer way from the south-west entrance. This Stupa too has been on the UNESCO World Heritage cultural sites list. This place offers an excellent view of the valley.
This ancient Stupa of Boudhanath, on top of massive mandala, probably is one of the largest in the world .There are over 50 monasteries around it and it was included on the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.It is built on the ages old trade route from Tibet to enter the Kathmandu valley. The traders made their settlement around the stupa so the settlement refelects the Tibetan culture. Under the wise eyes of Buddha gazing out from the gilded central tower seems to be watching over thousands of pilgrims gather daily to make a kora (ritual circumbulation) of the dome. The fullmoon day and the ritual worshipping day according to the Tibetan calendar gives this place an wonderful outlook
Pashupati is manifestation of Shiva and means ‘The lords of Animal’. This temple has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.The temple Premise consists of temples, ashrams, idols, and inscription added over century’s . The temple is precious destination for devotees during the Maha shivaratri Festival, where a crowd of thousand s gathers to pay homage to lord Shiva. The main temple within the complex is of pagoda shape with golden roof and silver doors on all four sides . the sanctum of the temple holds the Shiva linga with five face of Shiva, with five different names and significance .Pashupati is regarded as one of the most important places of Pilgrimages for Hindus. Thousand of Devotee from all around the world comes to Pashupatinath every day. However Monday is considered to be the special day to visit the temple.
Nagarkot: Nagarkot is the perfect hill station of scenic beauty and fresh air greenery. The village has various hotels for the best possible views of the Himalayan range. The wide view of the mountain ranges is the specialty of nagarkot. The sunrise view from here is the most spectacular part . The glistering range of Himalaya spreads across the horizon making it the perfect view to begin the day Explore Nagarkot and evening enjoys the sunset view from Nagarkot with a 360 degree panoramic view, which includes major peaks in the western Himalayan range: Langtang, Dorje lakpa, Gaurishankar, Choyu, sishaphangma, including Mt.Everest (subject to climatic condition).
Bhaktapur: In at earliest of 13th century the group of wrestlers fled from india after the invasion of a muslim emperor managed to come to the valley as a safest place to dewell . Using their skills , strengths and unity managed to make their first kingdom at Bhaktapur and ruled the kathmandu valley. This is the centre of evolution of the arts , crafts and architectures in the valley. Name of Bhaktapur literally translates to ‘City of devotees’. The best preserved of the three main medieval cities of the valley, Bhaktapur comprise some of the most breathtaking religious architecture in the entire country. It has three major squares, Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, and Dattatreya Square; studded with pagoda and shikhara-style temples. Bhaktapur is known for its cultural handicraft such as pottery, puppets, and masks. It is the perfect place to shop if you want light and easy to carry souvenirs. Main attractions of this city are 55 window palace, Golden gate, Lions Gate, mini Pashupati temple, Nyaatpola temple and Bhairabnath temple, among others.
Patan Durbar Square: Patan the city of artist, which is one of the three Royal cities in the valley. of fine arts and architecture will be delighted with the cities’ offering of various Buddhist and Hindu temples, and over 1000 monuments boasting of the finest wood and stone carvings. The city is known for its rich traditions of arts and handicrafts such as metal statues and ornate architecture. The square is mélange of old Royal palace artistic courtyards and pagoda temples .The former palace complex has been turned into a Museum. The square is dotted with some enchanting work of artistry in the form of temples, though the earthquake destroyed some of the centuries –old temples of all three cities of the valley. Patan was first rise above the rubble and open for the tourists. There are three main courtyards in the palace: Mul chowk, Sundari chowk, and Keshav Narayan chowk. The Sundari chowk is well known for a masterpiece of stone architecture, the Royal bath called Tushahity. Other main attractions are Krishna temple, Bhimshen temple, and Golden temple among others. Though patan Durbar square has faced destruction due to the earthquake, a full-fledged reconstruction process is going on and one can find traditional artisans busy with the process at a chowk within the museum.
Bungamati khokana and kirtipur cultural village walk :
The Newar are the ethnical community rich for their cultural life style since 13 th century . Their cultural settlement with the old houses narrow brick paved streets and their day to day living can be observed from this village walk.