Cultural Quickie

Cultural Quickie - 4 days / 3 nights

In Nepal, a rich tapestry of cultural heritage is blended in the Kathmandu Valley. The Valley encompasses the three ancient cities of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur that together houses seven UNESCO World Heritage shrines that are together listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Culture). Kathmandu is a living museum of Nepali civilization and culture. It is also home to hundreds of other exquisite monuments, sculptures, artistic temples, and magnificent art – reminders of the golden era in Nepal’s architecture. In this short trip, embark upon some major landmarks scattered across temples, monasteries, and local streets of the capital city.

Trip facts:

Destination: Nepal

Theme: Culture Activity

Tour Difficulty: N/A

Max Altitude: 1,400 m/ 4,600 ft

Best Season: September – April

Highlights: • Explore Kathmandu, its ancient cities and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. • Witness the hustle and bustle of local markets and narrow alleys. • Visit religious monuments dedicated to Hinduism and Buddhism.

4 days/ 3 nights - Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu

Upon arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will be met by our representative and transferred to the hotel. Rest of the day can be spent on leisure. Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, is a mixture of rich culture, ancient traditions and hustling bazaars. Home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the city boasts of natural beauty, vibrant culture, unique cuisine, and an intense religious devout that are apparent by the variety of festivals celebrated throughout the year. Overnight at Hotel

Day 2: In Kathmandu

After breakfast at the hotel, explore Kathmandu City, Swayambhunath Stupa and Patan City. Visit Kathmandu Durbar Square. The word durbar means palace. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Kathmandu Durbar Square is an old royal palace from the Malla Dynasty. Consisting of small courtyards and shrines, the main highlight is the temple of the living goddess, Kumari. The Kumari Devi is the most important of several living goddesses in Nepal and can be seen on the temple’s balcony during the many ceremonial processions and festivals. A short walk through a vibrant alley takes you to an old part of Kathmandu which now bustles as a vegetable and spice market. Next, visit Swayambhunath Stupa. Swayambhunath literally means “self-created”. As legend goes, the entire Kathmandu valley was once an enormous lake, out of which grew a lotus. When Saint Manjushree, the Bodhisatva drained the lake with a single slash of his sword, the lotus settled on top of a hill and magically turned into the Swayambhunath Stupa. Later transfer to Patan, the city of artisans and a paradise of fine arts. It is a home to the valley’s finest craftsmen who have preserved the ancient technique of repoussé – the art of turning, chiseling and hammering a sheet of metal using the lost wax process to produce exquisite sculptures. The city retains much of its old charm with its narrow streets, brick houses and multitude of courtyards, or bahals, Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries. The narrow streets subsequently bring you to the heart of the city, the Patan Durbar Square, one of the great architectural vistas. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to ancient palaces, pagoda temples, stone baths, Hindu and Buddhist statues, engravings, and bronze carvings. One of the main attractions is the Royal Palace where the Malla Kings resided. The Patan Museum, also located here, is a popular place of interest. Transfer back to the hotel. Overnight at Hotel

Day 3: In Kathmandu

After breakfast, head out to visit the following places in Kathmandu. Visit Boudhanath Stupa, one of the most imposing landmarks of Kathmandu and a center of Tibetan Buddhism. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this stupa is built on a massive three level mandala and is one of the largest in the world. A popular tourist attraction, there are many shops around the stupa selling souvenirs, handicrafts, and a variety of exclusive Tibetan specialties and delicacies. Visit Pashupatinath Temple, one of the holiest Hindu shrines in Nepal. Set on the banks of the sacred Bagmati River, the major purpose of this religious site is cremation of Hindus, whose body is burnt by the eldest son of the family. The ashes from the dead body are swept into the Bagmati River that eventually joins the Holy Ganges. Pashupatinath Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dedicated to the Hindu god of destruction, Lord Shiva, in 1696, the temple with its astonishing architecture of gilded roof and richly carved silver doors, is thronged with devotees and pilgrims from all over the world. Access to the shrine is strictly limited to Hindus; however, others are permitted to view the temple from the east banks of the River Bagmati. Later, transfer to the medieval town of Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur or Bhadgaon, literally the ‘City of Devotees’ is a major tourist destination that takes visitors back in time. Bhaktapur lies on the Arniko Highway that connects Kathmandu to the Chinese border. This ancient city boasts of traditional art and architecture, historical monuments, rich culture, pottery and numerous festivals and is a world in itself. Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has the bestpreserved extraordinary temples and palaces from the Malla Dynasty. Although the earthquake badly damaged the Durbar Square in April 2015, the place still stands tall with the same charm and appeal. In Bhaktapur Durbar Square, visit the Nyatapola Temple, Bhairavnath Temple, The Golden Gate, and Taumadhi Tole. Transfer back to your hotel. Overnight at Hotel

Day 4: Final Departure Today you will be transferred to the airport for your onward journey. (DharmaAdv)
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