Natural Beauty & Wildlife of Nepal
Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu
This morning, arrive Kathmandu, the beautiful capital city of Kingdom of Nepal. Upon clearing airport formalities, transfer to your hotel, take 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.
Later this evening visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, the historic seat of Nepalese royalty built between the XII and 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.
Day 2: Discover Kathmandu (and early morning excursion to Nagarkot) (B)
Early this morning, embark on a short drive north east of Kathmandu, to Nagarkot. Nagarkot is famous for its panoramic views of the snowy Himalayan peaks including a distant pyramid of Mount Everest (subject to weather conditions). Enjoy fascinating sunrise views from here.
After breakfast at Nagarkot, proceed on your return drive to Kathmandu. En-route visit Bhaktapur 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 store house 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 – Pokhara (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, embark on a scenic drive to Pokhara.
Option for Newari Village Visit: Enroute to Pokhara you may take a detour to visit Newari Village of Bandipur to get a glimpse of mountain village life. As you approach Bandipur, you feel like travelling back in time – the streets are narrow and cobbled and lined on both sides with the traditional wooden Newari houses. Visit Thani Mai Temple, perched on a hilltop with fantastic views over the mountains and the town. Stroll around the main bazaar road and also visit the Bindabasini temple, which is home of Bandipur patron Goddess Durga and decorated with intricate woodwork carvings (at extra charge)
Continue drive to Pokhara. Surrounded by beautiful snow-capped mountains, with a magnificent lake of crystal-clear Himalayan water, Pokhara is a serene hill town in the foothills of Himalayas. Pokhara offers fascinating view of Annapurna range including the fish tail peak of Machapuchare. The locals, called Pokhralis, will greet you with warm smiles and unforgettable hospitality. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel for 2 nights stay.
Day 4: Day in Pokhara (B)
Rise early this morning, for a short drive to Sarangkot, to view a spectacular sunrise over the Annapurna ranges. Later, drive back to Pokhara.
Option for Ultra Light Flight: Ultra Light flights (power-gliders) take off from Pokhara airport and offer spectacular views of the lakes, mountains and villages. This is an ideal way to discover the natural beauty of Pokhara. For those who wish they could fly like birds, this flight certainly makes some dreams come true!
Ultra Light flight experience is offered over flight duration of 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 1 hour. The flights take off from sunrise to 11:00 am and from 3:00 pm to sunset every day from 1 Sept. – 15 June. (at extra charge)
Option for Paragliding: Paragliding is an ideal way to experience the beautiful sights around Pokhara. During the flight, you will fly over rice fields, local country side and traditional villages. For first time paragliders, there are tandem flights where you get to fly in front of a trained pilot in complete safety. For the more experienced paragliders, you may be allowed to fly solo after you prove your skills with a small test so we can ensure your flight safety. Depending on your style and experience, you can customize a flight from a calm floating experience to acrobatic tumbling through the air.
Paragliding experience is offered over flight duration of 30 minutes and 60 minutes. The flights take off from sunrise to 11 am and from 3 pm to sunset every day from 1 Sept. – 15 June. (at extra charge)
Spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful town of Pokhara, visiting the Devis Fall and the nearby Gupteshwor Cave popular for the natural artwork forms made of limestone deposits. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a boat ride in Phewa Lake, the second largest lake of Nepal, offering splendid views of the surrounding Himalayan ranges.
Day 5: Pokhara 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 at 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 6: 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 forests. 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 15 March – 30 September)
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 7: Drive Chitwan National Park to Kathmandu (B)
This morning, embark on your return drive to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu, check in at your hotel.
Option to visit Kirtipur & Chobhar: As you enter Kathmandu valley, you may visit Kirtipur, an ancient hillside town 5 km southwest of Kathmandu, which is like an open air museum of religion, culture, tradition, and glorious works of Newari crafts and architecture. Some of the finest Temples, Chaityas and Stupas of the valley are scattered through this typically built Newari town. Bagh Bhairav Temple here is dedicated to God Bhairav in the form of a tiger. This god is regarded as the guardian of Kirtipur. The temple is located at a height of 1405m. Uma Maheshwor Temple is another famous temple of Kirtipur. It is also known as Bhavani Shankar Temple and lies on one of the highest points of the town at 1414m allowing magnificent mountain views. Another popular Hindu temple is the Shiva Parvati Temple also offering magnificent views over the valley. At the southern end of Kirtipur is Srikirti Vihara, a Thai Buddhist Temple built in 1989 and immaculately maintained by the resident monks. The main temple contains a golden Buddha statue. To the left of the main temple is a small four-door gallery depicting four major stages in Buddha’s life: his birth in Lumbini, his enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, his first sermon at Sarnath, and his death in Kushinagar.
Also visit the nearby village of Chobhar, featuring cobbled streets lined with old houses decorated with dried corn, small Buddhist statues and shrines and hand painted Buddhist art. Enjoy a short hike to the XV Century hill top temple of Adinath Lokeshwar, a unique temple sacred to both Buddhists and Hindus. The temple offers fascinating views over Kathmandu valley. At the temple see Buddhist statues and prayer wheels and be amazed at the hundreds of pots and pans adorning this temple. Various beliefs surround this temple, such as newlyweds believe that fixing a metal utensil to the temple walls will ensure a happy marriage! A more plausible explanation is that in Newari culture, offering of pots and pans is made to please the Gods. Also see Chobhar caves and the Chobhar gorge through which all the water of the valley drains. Legend has it that the Chobhar gorge was carved out by a mighty blow of the sword by Manjushree who wanted to drain the lake that filled Kathmandu Valley in ancient times. Even today, this is the place through which the Valley’s waters gush out to the plains beyond (at extra charge).
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 bird’s 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 at Kathmandu.