Experience the Culture, Wildlife and Buddhist Roots of Nepal
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu
This morning, arrive Kathmandu, the beautiful capital city of Kingdom of Nepal. Upon clearing airport formalities, transfer to your hotel, get some rest and freshen up.
This afternoon, visit Boudhanath Stupa, meaning the ‘Lord of Wisdom’. This Tibetan Buddhist monument is the largest Stupa in Nepal and one of the largest in the world.
Also visit Pashupatinath Temple, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world, on the banks of Bagmati River. Although only Hindus are allowed inside the temple, visitors can clearly see the temple and the activities performed inside, from the eastern bank of Bagmati River.
Day 2: Day in Kathmandu (B)
After breakfast, visit Swayambhunath Stupa, one of the world’s oldest Buddhist Chaityas, acclaimed to be more than 2,500 years old. Situated on a hillock, 3 km west of Kathmandu this is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal.
Later this morning, drive to Bhaktapur (approx 1 hr. drive from Kathmandu), which was the former capital of the valley, and was once a flourishing city on the trade route to Tibet. Today, Bhaktapur is like an open air museum with large areas open to pedestrian access – it is a storehouse of mediaeval art and architecture. Interesting places to explore include the renowned Durbar square, Golden Gate at the Palace of 55 Windows, Potters square which houses the elephant headed Lord Ganesha temple who is believed to be the patron of potters in Nepal. Bhaktapur houses a variety of Hindu and Buddhist temples including Nepal’s largest Shiva Linga. You may also see artisans engaged in Bhaktapur traditional crafts of pottery and weaving.
On your way back to Kathmandu, visit the Patan Durbar Square Patan is known for its museum, temples and superb craftsmanship of its artisans. Patan Durbar Square has been acclaimed as one of the finest urban streetscapes in the world.
Day 3: Drive Kathmandu to Chitwan National Park (B)
After breakfast, embark on a scenic drive to Chitwan National Park, in the foothills of Himalayas.
Upon arrival, check in into your hotel and freshen up. This afternoon, enjoy an Elephant Back Safari to explore the jungle and its wildlife. Popular wildlife at Chitwan National Park includes the one-horned rhinoceros, several types of deer, monkey, wild boar, bison, sloth bear, and leopard, and tigers. Perched high on the back of your elephant, you’ll be safely out of reach of anything lurking in the tall grass. Each elephant seats 4 people.
Day 4: Day in Chitwan National Park (B,L,D)
Enjoy an early morning Nature Walk identifying birds, plants and other wildlife in the open grasslands and jungles of Sal Forest. Chitwan is most beautiful at dawn with the sun rising above the jungles and the glistening river.
After breakfast, join an Elephant Briefing Program, where you get an opportunity to visit elephant stables and learn more about these gigantic animals. For the more adventurous, you may also try your hand at giving these mammals a good scrub and wash!
After lunch, a traditional Dug-Out Wooden Canoe Cruise takes you on a silent trip down the Rapti River to view aquatic birds and crocodiles of the banks of the river (not available from March 15 – September 30).
This evening, enjoy Dinner around Camp Fire with the indigenous Tharu Stick Dance Show, whereby farmers from nearby villages showcase their traditional skills and dances.
Day 5: Drive Chitwan National Park to Lumbini (B)
Enjoy the morning at leisure soaking in the fascinating sunrise views at Chitwan National Park.
Later, embark on a drive to Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha. This is one of the most sacred place for Buddhists from all over the world.
Upon arrival, check into your hotel.
Day 6: Day in Lumbini (B)
Today spend the day discovering Lumbini. Emperor Ashoka of India made a pilgrimage here in the 3rd century BC and erected the world famous Ashoka Pillars with inscription stating “here the Buddha was born”. Several sites of religious significance like the holy tree and the pond related to Lord Buddha’s life, the Stupas and Shrines that dot the area make Lumbini an interesting place to explore the origins of Buddhism.
Apart from the monasteries and Stupas, also visit the temple of Maya Devi, Lord Buddha’s mother, which has been renovated under the vigilance of UNESCO.
Day 7: Fly Lumbini to Kathmandu (B)
This morning you will be transferred to Bhairawa (22 km / 1 hr.) to board your flight to Kathmandu.
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, check into your hotel and freshen up.
This afternoon visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, the historic seat of Nepalese royalty built between the XII to XVIII Centuries. The Durbar square is famous for its exquisite architecture, museums, temples and artistic embellishments. You also get an opportunity to buy some interesting souvenirs here.
Option for Dinner with Cultural Performance: In the evening, you have the option to savor some traditional Nepalese cuisine with cultural performances at a local restaurant. A great way to bid good bye to the people of Nepal! (at extra charge)
Day 8: Depart Kathmandu (B)
Option for Scenic Flight over Mount Everest: Nepal offers the unique experience of scenic mountain flights over the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest. Early this morning, you have the option to enjoy spectacular views of the snow capped Mount Everest and Himalayan ranges, aboard a small plane, with every seat having its own window! The hour long flight, takes off from Kathmandu Airport (at extra charge and subject to weather conditions)
Option for Helicopter Tour around Kathmandu Valley: When in Nepal you may opt for a birds-eye view of the beautiful surrounds! Take a helicopter tour to appreciate the snow capped peaks and natural beauty of Nepal. Helicopter flights take off from Kathmandu Airport (at extra charge and subject to weather conditions).
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch your flight for onward destination. Travelite Services terminate in Kathmandu.