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Nepal with Karl Grobl – September 2019 | Trip full!

Overview

It is difficult to match Nepal for dramatic scenery. Home to the world-famous, 8,848 metre high Mount Everest, it is a Himalayan country with many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Most of these are ancient temples or palace complexes that display extraordinary craftsmanship. The Nepalis’ complex blend of religious beliefs and traditions is reflected in the exquisite thangkas, gold-painted stupas and intricate carvings seen at every turn.

Itinerary

Day 1:  (Sept. 4) 
On arrival, you will be met, greeted and transferred by our office representative to the hotel. With its ornate palaces, temples and squares, Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is a fascinating place. Ideal for exploring by foot, the city offers a startling array of market stalls and craft shops selling locally produced goods. What’s more, the people are considered to be amongst the friendliest in Asia. Evening tour orientation meeting at the hotel and overnight stay in Kathmandu.

Day 2:  (Sept. 5)
Early morning drive to Swayambhunath Stupa for sunrise view. After breakfast at the hotel, commence the sightseeing tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square. Swyambunath, The four seeing eyes of Swoyambhunath Stupa watch over the valley from the top of 77-m high hillock on western side. This most glorious Stupa in the world is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal. Kathmandu Durbar Square is the spectacular example of architecture and Newari artist in Kathmandu valley.

Kathmandu Durbar Square is historic place of royals where the kings in the past were crowned. It is crowded with ancient temples and palaces that reflect the royal history and religious and cultural life of people. The tallest temple of Kathmandu valley ‘Taleju Bhawani’ at the northern side of the palace was built in 1501 by Ratna Malla, the first king of the independent Kathmandu city. Kasthamandap, an open wood house, Kumari (living goddess) house, Jagannath temple with erotic carvings, and the Hanuman Dhoka (the royal palace) are situated in Kathmandu Durbar Square. Presently, the square is known as Hanuman Dhoka, a name derived from the status of Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, near the entrance of the palace. It holds the palaces of the Malla and Shah Kings who ruled the Kathmandu city for years. Evening is free to wander around the Thamel market. Overnight stay in Kathmandu.

Day 3:  (Sept. 6) 
After breakfast, full day sightseeing tour of Bouddhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple and Patan Durbar Square. Visit Boudha Nath Stupa, the focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal and lies 8km east of Kathmandu and is the largest stupa in the South Asia, looming 36m overhead. It is also listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Monument List and is also known as Khasti. The name ‘Boudhanath’ is composed of two different words Boudha and Nath. Boudha means wisdom and the suffix Nath stands for Lord. Thus Boudhanath means the Lord of wisdom. In this area there are more than 45 Buddhist monasteries located at the base.

Pashupatinath Temple: The temple of Pashupatinath is Nepal’s most sacred Hindu shrine and one of the subcontinent’s great Shiva sites. Pashupatinath, beside the sacred Bagmati River, is the holiest place in Nepal. Pashupatinath’s supreme holiness has two major parts. One is that Shiva linga enshrined in the main temple and its location on the banks of Bagmati. Hindu devotees plunge into the holy Bagmati River daily and recite the verse from the ancient Vedas. It is believed that plunging or bathing into the holy river releases from the cycle of rebirth. It is believed that sex organ of Shiva fell to Nepal. The main temple of Pashupatinath (meaning Lord of Beasts believed to be divine protector of Nepal) contains a lingam of Pashupati which is three and a half feet high and has four faces sculptured on it.

Arya Ghat: Pashupatinath is Nepal’s most renowned Hindu cremation site. In Hindu culture, after the person is dead, his/her dead body is wrapped in cloth and placed on bamboo litter and bodies are delivered by barefoot pallbearers accompanied by the male relatives. The eldest son from the family performs the cremation ceremony and the dead body is burnt. A few hours later the ashes are collected and swept in the river which will join the Holy Ganges eventually.

Afternoon visit Patan City to visit Patan Durbar Square, an enchanting mélange of Palace buildings, artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the former Royal Palace complex is the center of Patan’s religious and social life, and houses a museum containing an array of bronze statues and religious monuments. One remarkable monument here is 17th century temple dedicated to the Hindu god Krishna, built entirely of stone. Tibetan Refugee Camp: This camp was set up in 1960 under the initiative of the International Red Cross & the Swiss Development Corporation in corporation with HMG of Nepal. Its main objective is to help the Tibetan Refugees to do something nice & support themselves & some carpet industries & handicrafts have been operating. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 4:  (Sept. 7)
After breakfast, drive to Nagarkot en-route visiting Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Also known as city of devotees, Bhaktapur is the home of medieval art and architecture. Lying 9 miles east of Kathmandu City, this place was founded in the 9th Century and is shaped like a conch shell. The city is at the height of 4,600 ft. above sea level. In Bhadgaon, you will visit the Durbar Square with the Palace of 55 windows built by King Bhupatindra Malla. The famous five-storied Nyatapola temple on the terraces of which stands a pair of figures – two goddesses, two strong men, two elephants, two lions and two griffins is the tallest temple in the valley and was also built by King Bhupatindra Malla. It is one of the best examples of Pagoda styled temples. After the sightseeing tour ends at Bhaktapur Durbar square we will continue our awesome drive to Nagarkot with curvy roads and beautiful scenery of hills and Kathmandu valley.

Nagarkot: Nagarkot is one of the main attractions for the visitors. Situated at an altitude of 2100m above the sea level and this small hilltop is widely popular for its panoramic view of sunrise and sunset as well as the spectacular view of high snowcapped mountains. Visitors often travel to Nagarkot from Kathmandu to spend the night so that they can be there for the breathtaking sunrise. Nagarkot has become famous as one of the best spots to view Mountains as well as other snowcapped peaks of the Himalayan range of eastern Nepal. It also offers an excellent view of the Indrawati river valley to the east. Late afternoon/evening photograph the Sunset view of the mountains from the hotel. Overnight stay in Nagarkot.

Day 5:  (Sept. 8)
Early morning you can photograph a breath-taking view of the mountains, and the sunrise from the hotel itself. Nagarkot has become famous as one of the best spots to view Mount Everest as well as other snow-topped peaks of the Himalayan range of eastern Nepal. It also offers an excellent view of the Indrawati river valley to the east. With an elevation of 2,195 meters, Nagarkot also offers a panoramic view of the Valley. Rest of the day visit the local villages in the surrounding areas. Late afternoon/evening again photograph the Sunset view of the mountains and overnight stay in Nagarkot.

Day 6:  (Sept. 9) 
After breakfast, we drive to Kathmandu domestic airport and take a flight to Chitwan. Met upon arrival at the airport and transfer to the resort for check-in. Chitwan National Park is a large and beautiful nature reserve occupying 932 sq. km. of land inhabitant of endangered royal Bengal tiger and the one-horned Indian rhino. Chitwan National Park was protected since the 19th century as a hunting reserve for Nepali royals and foreign aristocrats. In a famous hunting expedition, King George V and his son Edward VIII managed to slaughter 39 tigers and 18 rhinos in a single blood-soaked afternoon. Unfortunately, habitat loss and poachers continue to decimate the number of tigers and rhinos.

Tharu Village visit: Tharu are indigenous people of the Terai. They have a distinct architectural style, building solely of the natural materials found in the area; straw, wood and mud. Even though by now almost all Tharu’s are Hindus some elements of their tribal religion can still be found. The villages are often peaceful, non-industrial havens, with the inhabitants engaged in a yearly agricultural circle.  Tharu Dance: A melodious tribal dance performed by men and women with rhyme or drums and the clashing of sticks embodies and projects how to keep away the rhino and other wild animals from the human habitat and their farming land. After dinner, you can enjoy your evening and watch the Tharu Stick Dance adjacent to the restaurant. Overnight in Chitwan.

 Day 7:  (Sept. 10)
Early morning commence for Bird watching, as Chitwan is an ornithologist’s delight and a must for any serious twitchier, as more than 450 species of exotic birds such as the Oriental Pied Hornbill, Paradise Flycatcher, and Lesser Adjutant Stork congregate at this biological hotspot of Asia. Our experienced guides will take you to select spots ideal for birding, where you can observe a breathtaking diversity of these beautiful feathered creatures.

Then we walk back to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast at the hotel there are many activities which are ready to be experienced today. First, a Dugout Canoe Ride: Floating down to Rapti River by dugout canoe is the best way to discover the habitat of crocodiles on the bank of the river. It is also a relaxing and better way to watch the different kind of birds and wildlife species when they come to the bank of the river to drink water.

Elephant Breeding Center: Elephant Breeding Center was established in 1985 at Royal Chitwan National Park (RCNP) and is the only EBC in Nepal. At the Elephant Breeding Program, 4km west of Sauraha, elephants are breed and trained. The best time to visit is in the afternoon when the elephants are fed. The Elephant Breeding Centre of Sauraha with great tourist attraction is said to be one of the only 3 such centers in the world. Elephant skin is extremely sensitive to sunburn and insect bites; they roll in dust and mud and throw dust on their backs to help protect their skin. This was one of such moments when this restless young Elephant tried to get rid of insect.

Elephant Safari: Seated high on the back of an elephant, gain a unique viewpoint of the Chitwan jungle. As an experienced mahout tracks animals through the dense jungle growth as you sit back on a howdah, you can imagine yourself being a Rajah or Rani going on a shooting trip (with cameras of course!) in the days of yore. An elephant safari allows you to go places that would be impossible to get to by foot or Jeep and get up close to the wild animals of the jungle that are normally wary, but at home with a fellow creature of the jungle. Overnight in Chitwan.

Day 8:  (Sept. 11) 
After breakfast, we will visit the tribal villages around the Chitwan National Park and the afternoon will be a jeep safari into the park. A jeep safari is the fastest way to explore wide area of the park. A whole 4-hours’ drive takes about 45 km in the park passing through the grasslands, riverine forests and Sal forests to Kasara (the National Park’s head office). Gharial Hatchery Farm where you will learn about how they collect crocodile’s eggs and hatch them and send them to river. So there are chances to see many animals.

Crocodile Breeding Center: It is one of the most enjoyable programs which is the part of the above Jeep safari in Chitwan National Park or can be done separately. The endangered program is receiving attention of Chitwan National Park. Along with the Crocodile you can enjoy viewing scary Mugger Crocodile. It is located in the isolated place from the crowd which is on the time frame of 20-30 minutes. The charming view of Crocodile from egg to giant one will make your visit fruitful. Our third and final night in Chitwan.

Day 9:  (Sept. 12) 
After breakfast, transfer to the Bharatpur airport for the flight to Pokhara. Met upon arrival at Pokhara airport and transfer to resort for check-in. Pokhara is a remarkable place of natural beauty. At an elevation lower than that of Kathmandu, it has much more tropical feel to it; a fact well appreciated by the beautiful diverse flowers that prosper in this environment. The enchanting city with a population of around 95,000 has several beautiful lakes and offers stunning panaromic views of Himalayan peaks.

The valleys surrounding Pokhara is home to thick forest, gushing rivers, emerald lakes and of course, the views of world famous Himalayas. The serenity of the lakes and the magnificence of the Himalayas rising behind them create an ambience of peace and magic. Pokhara is the most popular destination for visitors to Nepal. The city is also known as the center of adventure. There is little in its past by way of neither history nor culture impact and the only important role that the old Pokhara played was that it was along the route of trade between India and Tibet.

Afternoon boating on Phewa Lake to spend a quiet time boating in the ultimate lake where the reflections of Mount Annapurna and Machhapuchhare range falls. You will also see a variety of fishes while boating. An island temple is located at the middle of the lake. Thick forest lies on the adjoining southern slopes of the lake. It’s hard to escape the draw of Phewa Lake and any visitor with even a few spare minutes should endeavour to take a boat out on the water to fully experience the wonderful views of the reflected mountains. Overnight in Pokhara.

Day 10:  (Sept. 13) 
After breakfast transfer to Pokhara airport for flight to Jomsom, also also known as Dzong-Sampa or New Fort. It’s a town located at an altitude of about 2700 m in Mustang District, Nepal and extends over both the banks of the Kali Gandaki River. Along the banks of Kali Gandaki River there are rocks holy to the Hindus. The soaring peaks of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri form a backdrop. As the district headquarters, it is primarily an administrative and commercial center with government officials and merchants rubbing shoulders with the local residents of the region, known as Thakalis. A company of the Nepalese Army is stationed here.

Met upon arrival at Jomsom airport and transfer by jeep to Kagbeni for about 30 minute, and check-in to the hotel. Kagbeni is a village in the Upper Mustang of the Himalayas, in Nepal, located in the valley of the Kali Gandaki River. Administratively, Kagbeni is a Village Development Committee in Mustang District in the Dhawalagiri Zone of northern Nepal. At the time of the 1991 Nepal census it had a population of 1200 people residing in 260 individual households. It lies on the trail from Jomsom to the royal capital Lo Manthang, near the junction with the trail to Muktinath.  Overnight stay at Jomsom.

Day 11:  (Sept. 14) 
After breakfast at the hotel drive to Muktinath to see the Muktinath temple, the holy place, for Hindus and Buddhists. Muktinath is one of the holy places among four ‘Dhams’ of Hindu holy places being located in the mountain region. The most suitable time to visit Muktinath is from March to June, as the weather conditions would not be safe enough to travel in other months. The journey passes through many archaeological sites and temples. The 108 water taps and nonstop glowing fire are another attraction of this temple. Cultural trails in the region take into the homes of Gurungs in the lowlands, the hospitality of Thakalis around Jomsom, Manangis in the east and Tibetans in the arid north. The typical culture of people living in mountainous regions can be observed and enjoy fully in Mustang. Thakali food is another attraction of this culture and Mustang itself.  Afternoon drive back to Jomsom and stay overnight there.

Day 12:  (Sept. 15) 
After breakfast fly back to Pokhara, a famous tourist and scenic spot in the shade of Annapurna Himalaya with stunning Mt. Machhapuchhare “Fish Tail” the towers high into the blue sky, here at Pokhara you will have a short drive to Buddhist Peace Stupa which commands beautiful view of the mountains to relax and enjoy the view. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel and rest of the day is free or leisure on own to enjoy walking along the bank of Phewa Lake, admiring the stunning reflection of the Fish Tail Peak in the blue Phewa Lake waters.  Overnight stay in Pokhara.

Day 13:  (Sept. 16) 
After breakfast at the hotel commence the full day excursion to Gurung village which is in Dhampus and World Peace Stupa. Dhampus: This day hike to the Dhampus hill is short but quite a rewarding trek. Walking through sparse villages, farm terraces and forests we reach to the Dhampus hill after few hours of walk from Pokhara. A close face to face view of a long range of Annapurna and other mountains greets us on reaching Dhampus. We enjoy the amazing sunsets on the Himalayas in the evening and sunrise next morning, scenery that you will treasure for long. Besides the breathtaking mountain views, Dhampus will also offer you an opportunity to experience the peace and beauty of Nepalese countryside , watch the daily lives of the villagers, see them work on the farms and interact with local people.

World Peace Stupa: Pokhara Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist pagoda-style monument on a hilltop in Ananda hill of Pumdi Bhumdi Village Development Committee, in the district of Kaski, Nepal. Shanti Stupa in Pokhara was built by Nipponzan-Myōhōji monk Morioka Sonin with local supporters under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii, a Buddhist monk and the founder of Nipponzan-Myōhōji. Shanti is a Sanskrit word meaning peace, also widely used in Nepali and Hindi language, and Shanti Stupa means Peace Pagoda. Shanti Stupa is the shrine build as symbol of peace. The spot situated at the height of 1100 meters on the Ananda Hill was chosen by Nichidatsu Fujii and he laid the foundation stone as well with the relics of Buddha on the hilltop on 12 September 1973. Nepal has two of the eighty peace pagodas in the world: Shanti Stupa in Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha and Shanti Stupa in Pokhara. Shanti Stupa in Pokhara has also become a tourist attraction. It provides a panoramic view of the Annapurna range, Pokhara city and the Phewa Lake. Drive back to Pokhara city after the excursion ends.  Overnight stay in Pokhara.

Day 14:  (Sept. 17) 
Early morning we drive to the Sarangkot to have the sunrise views over the Himalayas. Situated at an elevation of about 1700 meters (5,576ft),is very popular for mountain scenery. Here you can see panoramic views of Annapurna (8091m/ 26,545ft), Manasalu (8165m/ 26,781ft), Ganesh Himal (7446m/ 24,422ft), Dhaulagiri (8167m/ 26,795ft), Machhapuchare (the sacred mountain) and 25 other mountains over 6000 meters (19,680ft) high. This area also offers you views of the Pokhara Valley with all its natural beauty. Drive back to the hotel for refreshment then commence the sightseeing tour of Davi’s fall, Gupteshwor Cave and Bindabasini Temple. Devi’s Fall locally known as Patale Chhango (Hell’s Fall), Devi’s fall (also known as Devin’s or David’s) is an awesome waterfall lying about 2 km south-west of Pokhara airport on the highway to Tansen.

Gupteshwor Cave, a sacred cave, lies 2 km from Pokhara airport on the Siddhartha Highway leading southwest from the city. The entrance is right across from Devi’s Fall and the cave is almost 3 km long. It has some big hall-size rooms and some passages you have to crawl on all fours.

Bindabasini Temple: Bindabasini Temple is one of the most popular shrines among the Hindu’s people. Locally, this temple is called Bindabasini Mandir. This temple is located on the hilltop and is at 3000 meters from the sea level. This temple is white pagoda styled and is located in the old bazaar of the Pokhara valley. This temple is devoted to the Hindu goddess Durga also known as Shakti or Maa Kali the symbol or the blood thirsty aspect of the goddess Durga. There is the daily worshiping up to 9 days during the greatest festival of the Hindus i.e. Bada Dashain as it is the victory of the truth over the untruth or the demons. So, the sacrifice is given to the goddess on Saturdays and Tuesdays. Just at the opposite side of the Bindabasini Temple, there is another temple called Krishna Mandir where the annual birthday of Lord Krishna is celebrated on the day called Krishna Janmastami. Other rituals such as marriage, Barta-Bandha are held on this religious shrine. And the scented fragrances of “Dhup” give the fresh and the cool environment.  Our final night will be in Sarangkot.

Day 15:  (Sept. 18) 
After breakfast, transfer to the Pokhara airport to fly back to Kathmandu. On arrival, transfer to the Kathmandu International airport to board the flight for back home.

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