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Highlights of Nepal Himalaya


10 days 9 nights

Code NP-HN9

Category Nepal Classic Tours

  • Group Size 1-10 Person
  • Difficulty Level 3
  • Rating Popular
  • Highest Altitude 7,200 ft at Nagarkot
  • Trip Starts From Kathmandu
  • Trip Ends At Kathmandu
  • Accommodation Hotels
  • Type Tours
  • Destination Kathmandu Nagarkot Bandipur Pokhara Sarangkot Chitwan
Dates & Prices

Overview

This is a non-trekking trip with options of short day hiking and some mild adventures such as jungle safari, dugout canoe trip, boating etc. The trip begins with cultural exploration of UNESCO recognized world heritage sites of Kathmandu valley that includes medieval palaces, Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries. The trip gives opportunity to meet the locals as you travel to the traditional villages and experience their lifestyle. 

The hill resorts of Nagarkot and the medieval town of Bandipur offers spectacular views of the Himalaya mountains on clear weather days, terraced farmlands and pristine nature. You will also have opportunity of short day hiking if you wish.

Pokhara-a glaciated valley situated in the lap of mighty Annapurna mountains is known for its lake, gorges and serene nature. You will enjoy the fresh air, pristine nature and great mountain views.

There are no strenuous hiking or any serious stranger and anyone with average health condition can enjoy this trip.

Trip highlights

  • Ancient and medieval temples, palaces and stupas of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan.
  • Traditional Newari towns of Khokana, Kirtipur and Bandipur
  • Spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains and panoramic views of the valleys from Nagarkot and Bandipur
  • Walking tour through the villages, terraced farmlands and pine forests.
  • Jungle safari excursions in one of Asia's most famous game park - Chitwan National Park.
  • Enjoy the scenic beauty of Pokhara that includes lake, deep gorges, ridge top viewpoints etc.
  • Opportunities of hiking

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Arrive in Kathmandu

Kathmandu Altitude 1310 m/4, 297 ft.

Meet your guide upon arrival at Kathmandu airport. You can obtain Nepali visa upon arrival if you don't have it yet. Don't forget to bring one passport picture and US$ 25 cash to pay in visa fee. After clearing immigration and custom, meet our local representative outside the airport and transfer by van to your hotel in the city.

After wash and change, set out with our guide to explore the wonders of Kathmandu - this was formerly known as Kantipur, meaning the city of beauty. Begin from the 2000 year old Buddhist shrine of Swayambhunath Stupa situated on a hillock about 260 ft. above the valley floor. Revered by both Hindus and Buddhist, the monument is a glittering golden spire on a large white lofty dome. There are numerous shrines and monasteries around. We can also enjoy panoramic views of the valley and the mountains from here.

We descend and drive in to the heart of the city to visit the Durbar Square with former Royal Palace and an array of temples rich in wood carving, metal works and stone sculptures. While the interior of the palace that houses some museums is not so appealing, but the exterior and the environs are amazingly beautiful. We visit Kumari House, the residence of Kumari - the Living Goddess of Nepal who is the manifestation of Goddess Taleju - the patron of the rulers of Nepal! On request, the goddess gives a quick audience from her window. Kumari is replaced once she reaches puberty.

Some important parts of Durbar Square were destroyed in a recent earthquake one of which was this interesting and legendary Kasthamandap Temple believed to have been built from a single tree trunk and used to be a heart of the square. Unfortunately, this antique temple was totally collapsed. Yet there are many other things to see like Jagannath temple, Shiva Parvati temple etc.

We take tricycle rickshaw ride through the traditional bazaars of Indrachowk and Assan and end up in touristy Thamel where most budget lodging, restaurants, handicraft stores and bargain places are located. Tonight, you are joined by our local staff for a Nepali welcome dinner in a typical Nepali restaurant where you can also enjoy Nepali folklore dancing shows.

Overnight: Maya Manor Boutique Hotel
Meals : Dinner
Day 02~Kathmandu: Patan City, Khokana and Kirtipur

Optional: This morning, you can go for an hour-long Everest view flight. Everyone gets window seat from where you will enjoy eye level view of Mount Everest and other majestic peaks of the Himalaya. Currently, one hour long flight costs US$ 197 plus you need to pay the round trip airport transfer which costs $10.

After the flight, you will return to the hotel for breakfast and after that, we set out to explore the attractions of the valley that includes former palaces, temples and monasteries.

We firs visit Patan City - famed as the City of Arts and craft where we visit its Dubar Square with former palaces and medieval temples with intricate carvings. We browse through the narrow streets with handicraft stores, jewelers, crafters, thangka painters, lined up in both side and visit some of the olden temples and monasteries of Patan. We take chance to take a peek inside the workshops of wood carvers and metal crafters.

Khokana Village-a small typical Newari village that offers a window back in time, with houes made up of bricks and roofed with tyles, people busy in their daily chores such as women spinning wool or winnowing rice or making mattresses, farmers baling straw, tailors stitching, etc. In the main village square is the triple-tiered Shekala Mai Temple (also known as Rudrayani) with carved balconies covered by fretwork screens.

From here, we take short drive in the outskirts to visit the traditional village of Kirtipur where majority of the population are farmers. The village, despite being in close proximity with the capital, remains decades behind in time. We walk through the stone paved streets and visit Baghbhairab and Uma Maheshwara Temple. We will also sneak a peek into a private house and have some insight into their life. Kirtipur also provides a panoramic view of the valley and snow-capped mountains. We return to the hotel late afternoon.

Overnight: Maya Manor Boutique Hotel
Meals : Breakfast
Day 03~Pashupatinath, Boudhanath and Nagarkot

(Altitude 2000m/6, 560 ft., 32 km/20 miles)

Following breakfast, we check out hotel as we spend overnight in Nagarkot today. We visit a few attractions of the valley before we head out to Nagarkot.

We first visit the magnificent Boudhanath Stupa. With 328 m long periphery of octagonal shape and 125 f height, Boudhanath is among the largest Buddhist monument in the world. Originally built in the 5th century, the stupa is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhist people. The are is predominantly Tibetan as Tibetan refugees have made the area their home and there are several monasteries of different Buddhist schools.

Next, we stop in Pashupatinath Temple -that claims to be one of the holiest Hindu temples in entire South Asia. Situated on the bank of Bagmati River which is a tributary of sacred Ganges-the temple attracts Hindu devotees from all over the country and India. Admission to the temple is reserved for Hindus only, yet we can have a close up view of the temple and activities in the premises from other side of the river. The temple and the surroundings are vibrant with rites and rituals performed by Hindu devotees. We will also have opportunity to watch the Hindu cremation services in the bank of the river.

Our final stop before head out to Nagarkot is Bhaktapur - one of the three medieval principalities of Kathmandu valley and the best preserved one. Bhaktapur, with its Durbar Square with beautiful palaces and temples with intricate wood carving and fabulous stone sculptures and brick paved streets looks like an open air museum! The major attractions in Bhaktapur are the Palace of 55 windows, the giant Taleju Bell in front of the palace, the golden gilded gate with beautiful metal works in its semi-circular pediment, the royal bath tank inside the palace, 5 storied Naytapola temple - that survived quite a few major earthquakes, Duttratraya Temple, and Pujarimath complex with Peacock window - the masterpiece woodcarving in Nepal. We walk through the narrow alleys with private houses on both sides and visit potter’s square where we learn the traditional methods of pottery making. We will also take a chance to stop by a wood carvers’ workshop near Duttratraya.

Now exit the town and continue on a scenic to Nagarkot. The road zigzags up and climbs through the terraced farmlands, juniper and pine trees and beautiful villages to the ridge top of Nagarkot. On a clear weather day, we are greeted by superb views of the snow-capped mountains. We check in hotel and after some refreshment, we take relaxed stroll around.

Overnight: Club Himalaya Resort
Meals : Breakfast
Day 04~Travel to Bandipur

(Altitude 1100m/3608 ft., distance 55 miles, 3 hrs)

We get up early morning for sunrise views.The blushing mountains with the first kiss of morning sun and the panoramic views of the valleys create an exhilarating scene.Take leisurely walk in the environs and after breakfast, we pack and leave for Bandipur-a sleepy town of medieval flair in west Nepal.

We retrace drive via Kathmandu and after four hours along the winding road down, we will stop in Kurintar for cable car trip to the temple of Goddess Manokamana - known for fulfilling the wishes of her visitors! Every day, thousands of Hindu devotees flock into the temples with offerings that may include animal sacrifice of goats and chickens.

Leaving Kurintar, we arrive in Dumre-a roadside town (19 miles from Kurintar, 1hr 30m) and we take a road that branches to the left and climbs to Bandipur town (8 miles, 30 minutes or less)-a beautifully preserved village crowning a lofty ridge.

Check into your boutique heritage style accommodation and after wash up and change, take leisurely stroll through the town; its main street lined with traditional row houses. The town preserves with attractive 18th-century architecture, pedestrian zone and outdoor eating . At the north-east end of street is the temple of Bindebashini and opposite that is Mahalaxmi Temple. The temples carry the rich wooden carving and detailed brass-work and are replicas of those found in the many old pagoda structures of the Kathmandu Valley.

Overnight: The Old Inn
Meals : Breakfast
Day 05~Bandipur sightseeing and afternoon to Pokhara

(Altitude 2919 ft., distance 44 miles, 2h 30m)

On a clear weather morning, Bandipur offers spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains.
After breakfast, we proceed for sightseeing and exploration. We first visit the Khadga Devi Temple, the most sacred and auspicious temple in Bandipur. Then we head up to the Martyrs Memorial Area, which honors seven Bandipur sons who were killed during the anti-Rana insurrection of 1951; and then down to the shrine of Paarpani Mahadev (Shiva), important because it is he who receives appeals for rain from Bandipurays during dry spells.

We will also visit the Silk Farm, which is less than half an hour’s walk towards the west. The staff there will give you an interesting tour-and-talk on the history and method of silk-harvesting in the Nepali hills.

Afternoon, check out your hotel and continue our travel to Pokhara. We rejoin the highway in Dumre and proceed on a 2-hr 30 minutes scenic drive to Pokhara.

Check in your hotel and after wash up and change, take leisurely stroll the lakeside town of Pokhara.

Overnight: Atithi Resort and Spa
Meals : Breakfast
Day 06~Explore Pokhara

Early morning, we will go for sunrise view in Sarangkot (1,592m/5,222 ft.).On a clear weather day, Sarangkot offers spectacular views of the western range of the Himalaya and the valleys.

We will return to the hotel for breakfast and then proceed for the exploration of Pokhara and the areas around. We will first take a boating trip in Lake Fewa to visit the Island temple of Goddess Barahi. Fewa Lake is the second largest lake of Nepal (Rara Lake in Mugu District is the largest) and is the foremost attraction of Pokhara.

Next, we visit Bindhebasini Temple, the center of religious activities in Pokhara. This white dome-like structure dominates a spacious courtyard built atop a shady hillock. It is dedicated to Goddess Bhagawati, a manifestation of goddess Durga. The verdant grounds make a fine picnic area. On Saturdays and Tuesdays devotees flock there to offer sacrifices, and it takes on a festive scene.

Nearby is the colorful traditional Old Bazaar, with its ethnically diverse traders. The temples and monuments show close architectural connection with the Newari styles of Kathmandu valley. The market area is full of shops selling commodities ranging from edibles to cloth to cosmetics to gold. It is a pleasant and shady spot to stroll around.

There are quite a few other attractions that you can discuss with your guide and select for the visit. Perhaps, you want to see the startling gorge of Seti River at Mahendrapool, which provides a perfect view of the river’s surging rush and deep gorge created by its powerful flow. Amazingly, at certain places the river appears hardly two meters wide. However, its depth is quite beyond imagination, over 20 meters.

Note: Depending on available time and your interest, we may or may not visit all the attractions listed above.

Overnight: Atithi Resort and Spa
Meals : Breakfast
Day 07~Chitwan National Park

(Altitude 492 ft. distance 98 miles, 5-6 hrs).

After breakfast, we leave for Chitwan National Park. We retrace drive the same road we came until Mugling (56 miles. 4 hours) and then the road divides to Kathmandu and Chitwan National Park. From here, Chitwan National Park is another scenic drive of 42 miles which takes about 1.5 or 2 hours.

Upon arrival at the jungle resort, settle into you bungalow accommodation and soon after lunch, we go for elephant safari or a nature walk or for jungle drive depending on your arrival time in the resort. Elephant ride takes you deep into the jungle for viewing and photographing wildlife. Jungle walk is an opportunity to experience the abundant bird life and the flora and fauna of the park. If the water level in the river is low, we can take jeep safari. If you are lucky you may see the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger both during nature walk and elephant safari.

In the evening before dinner, the slide presentation about the flora and fauna of Chitwan National Park will be organized by the resident naturalists. You will have opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the flora and fauna of Chitwan National Park.

Overnight: Green Park or Jungle Villa Resort
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 08~Chitwan National Park

Early morning you will be mounted on elephant back and taken for a jungle safari for about 2-3 hours, penetrating through dense grasslands to view wildlife in their natural habitat. After breakfast, you are taken to our elephant stables where a senior naturalist brief about the interesting and unbelievable habits of elephant. Here one may witness the rare scene of the elephants at bath.

After lunch at the resort, you may choose to take rest or take a drive through the jungles in four wheel drive jeep followed by a canoe ride down the Rapti River. The river ride provides an opportunity of viewing the Gharial crocodiles as well as the mugger crocodiles, fresh water dolphins, otters and varieties of water birds. Or you may also go for a nature walk or birding with one of our naturalists to know more about the flora of the Chitwan National Park. Those on canoe ride are taken back to the resort by driving on a four wheel jeep from the end-point.

Note: Activities are controlled by the order and schedule of activities vary depending on the season and availability.

Overnight: Green Park or Jungle Villa Resort
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 09~Flight back to Kathmandu

After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport for flight back to Kathmandu. It's a 25 minute scenic flight offering views of snow-capped mountains.

Upon arrival at Kathmandu airport, you are transferred to the hotel. Rest of the day is open for you to pursue your own interests.

Overnight: Maya Manor Boutique Hotel
Meals : Breakfast
Day 10~Depart Kathmandu

After breakfast, you will get transferred to the airport in time.

Trip Map

Trip Info

Trip Includes

  • Accommodation on twin sharing in deluxe and top end hotels and resorts.
  • Meals: Kathmandu, Nagarkot and Pokhara with breakfast and Chitwan in full board.
  • All transfers and sightseeing by a private car.
  • English speaking guides for sightseeing.
  • Jungle safari trips in Chitwan Naitonal Park including National park entrance fee.
  • Sightseeing admission fees.

Trip Does Not Include

  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu, Nagarkot and Pokhara.
  • Drinks, tip and other expenses of personal nature.
  • Extra expenses due to nature and unforeseen events.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • International airfare to and out of Kathmandu.
  • Domestic airfares (price separately given) and airport taxes.
  • Nepal Visa Fee (US$ 25 for 15 days).

Trip Difficulty Level, Road and Transport.

This is basically motor vehicle based tour suitable for travelers of all ages with regular health condition. The highest altitude that we attain in this trip is 7,200 ft. at Nagarkot and so we can stay worry free about altitude sickness. Sightseeing involves no significant hiking. A typical sightseeing day would be 6-7 hour long with 1 hour lunch break. When we are traveling from one city to another, we will be on road for less than 6 hours and cover the distance of 200km (125 miles) or less. Roads are often cut into hills and follow rivers and some parts may be under paved or damaged. There can be landslides erosion blocking the roads temporarily when it rains heavily. Please, do not compare the South Asian roads with the ones in developed countries There are also flight options between Kathmandu and Chitwan (25 minutes) and also between Pokhara and Kathmandu (35 minutes). Let us know if you want to take flight option instead of road travel.

We provide good condition vehicles which are mid-size sedan car or SUVs or vans, depending on the group size. Drivers may speak little or no English. Chances of getting flat tires and mechanical breakdowns cannot be declined due to weather and road conditions but our drivers are capable of taking the situation under control. We just need your cooperation and flexibility, when something unexpected happens during the tour.

Accommodations.

Our preferred properties are first class (4* hotels) or similar. All accommodations are decent properties with private bath room with 24 hours running hot and cold water. Rooms are well furnished and you will have TV, refrigerator, phone etc. in your room except in Chitwan National Park where we will have simple bed room with attached bathroom.

Meals.

The tour cost includes daily breakfast in Kathmandu, Nagarkot and Pokhara. Breakfast will be American, Continental or Indian style. At Chitwan National Park, you will be in full board plan. You should budget $10 approximately per meal in the cities. The restaurants serve Nepali, Indian, Chinese and western style dishes.

Guides

Our guides are college educated locals, proficient in English and trained and licensed by local tourism authorities. Most importantly they are friendly and committed to deliver the best services. Guide and driver is not the same person.

International and internal airfares

You will book your international airfare on your own and provide us your flight information. We can also help you find good fares through our air ticket consolidator on your request. We will take care of internal airfares-flight from Bangkok to Paro or on the return from Kathmandu back to Bangkok. If your trip starts from Delhi or Kathmandu, we can book your internal airfare accordingly. All internal airfares are booked locally. Local airport taxes may or may not include in the fare.

Passport and Visa

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months at the time of travel and there should be enough blank pages for entry and exit seals. You can obtain Nepal visa upon arrival at Kathmandu airport or you can obtain it from nearest Nepali embassy abroad. Nepal visa costs US$ 25 for 15 days with multiple entry provision. A passport size photo has to be affixed on the application and if you want to apply visa upon arrival at Kathmandu airport, please pay visa fee in cash US$.

Best time for this trip

This trip can be undertaken throughout the year but definitely October and November are the best months when temperatures are mild, skies are clear and we have clear visibility. The second best season is from March through early May. Temperatures are still mild and we have rhododendrons and other wild flowers in bloom during this season.

Accomodation

maya manor kathmandu
Maya Manor Boutique Hotel Kathmandu, 4*
club Himalaya
Club Himalaya, Nagarkot
jungle villa resort
Jungle Villa Resort, Chitwan
athithi resort pokhara2
Atithi Resort, Pokhara
old inn
Old Inn, Bandipur

Add Ons

Everest View Flight

US$ 215

Mountain Flight

Buddha Air and other major domestic airlines of Nepal operate one hour daily mountain flight over the Himalayas - a wonderful opportunity to view Mount Everest and other majestic peaks without venturing into a laborious trekking. Of the fourteen peaks higher than 8000 meters, eight are in Nepal. Although there is no denying that walking up and down the hills for a close up view of the Himalaya is very much worth the effort, this we have to confess is not for everyone, due to the physical and time requirements. Buddha Air’s Everest Experience is meant especially for those who don’t want to leave Nepal without touching the sacred and majestic Himalaya. To get the best of the weather conditions in the mountains where strong winds start blowing gathering clouds and raising snow plumes which block the view as the day progresses ahead, mountain flights take place early in the morning. Mountain flight is something you don’t want to miss while you are traveling in Nepal.

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(Formerly Highland Asia Travel)

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