Short Cultural Tour of Kathmandu Valley
Short Cultural Tour of Kathmandu Valley is a magical journey into the profusely rich culture and history of Kathmandu Valley. You will visit 7 monuments that have been listed in World Heritage Site list which includes three durbar squares namely Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Sqaures. It also includes two ancient Buddhist sites, Swoyambhu and Boudhanath and two Hindu religious sites, Pashpuati and Changu Narayan. Feel mesmerized by the exquisite collection of art and crafts of Kathmandu valley as you walk past courtyards, palaces, temples and narrow alleys. You will let yourself immersed in the medieval culture, folklore, myths and magic of Kathmandu Valley.
Day 1:Arrival in Kathmandu airport. Meet our representative and transfer to Hotel. Tour briefing over Dinner. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 2:Sightseeing in and around Kathmandu City. Places to Visit:
Swoyambhunath: Located approximately 4 kilometers west of tourist-hub Thamel, this Buddhist Stupa, also popularly called ‘Monkey Temple’ is said to be over 2000 years old. The dome shaped white washed Stupa is composed of brick and earth supporting a lofty conical spire capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt. The all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha rest on all four sides of the conical base. This hill is a mosaic of small Chaityas and Pagoda and is the most important Buddhist site in Nepal. Enjoy the views of sprawling Kathmandu from the top of this world heritage site monument.
Pashupatinath Temple: Situated 5 kilometers east of Kathmandu City, Pashupatinath temple is one of the holiest temples of Hindus, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Situated amidst a lush green natural setting on the bank of the sacred Bagmati River, the temple built in pagoda style has a gilted roof and richly carved silver doors. Visitors are permitted to view the temple from the east bank of the Bagmati River, as entrance to the temple is strictly forbidden to all non-Hindus. Pashupatinath is the center of the annual pilgrimage of thousands of Sadhus and pilgrims from Nepal and India on the day of Shivaratri which falls in the month of February/March. The temple has been inscribed in the World heritage list.
Boudhanath Stupa: This Stupa, 8 kilometers east of Kathmandu City, is one of the biggest Buddhist stupas. Similar in structure to Swoyambhunath Stupa, it is highly revered by Buddhists in Nepal and Tibet. The shrine is ringed by houses of Lamas or Buddhist priests.
Budanilkantha Temple: Budhanilkantha literally means “old blue throat’. Located approximately 10 kilometers from the center of Kathmandu near Shivapuri hill, the temple houses the sleeping statue of the Hindu god Vishnu on a pond of water. The statue which is 5 meters in length is carved out from a single block of black basalt stone. Vishnu’s legs are crossed and the eleven heads of Shesha cradle his head. Vishnu’s four hands hold objects that are symbols of his divine qualities: a chakra or disc (representing the mind), a conch-shell (the four elements), a lotus flower (the moving universe) and the club (primeval knowledge).During the festival of Haribondhini Ekadashi that falls in October/ November, pilgrims in large numbers visit the temple to worship and offer their respect to Lord Vishnu.
Kathmandu Durbar Square: Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the major attractions in the Kathmandu Valley. A world cultural heritage site, the Durbar Square carries a rich history in its exquisite art and architecture engraved in the struts, sculptures, palaces, courtyards and temples. Some of the major monuments within Kathmandu Durbar Squareare.
Kumari (The Living Goddess) Ghar: At the West end of the square is a beautiful house full of woodcarvings of different Gods and Goddesses. This house, called Kumari Ghar, is three storied high and is home to Kumari, the famous living Goddess of Nepal. Both Buddhists and Hindus equally venerate her. Kumari is a young pre-pubescent girl regarded as the manifestation of the goddess Taleju. She is chosen from a Buddhist family, especially from Shakya and Bajracharya clan of Newari community. During the festival of Indra Jatra, the head of the country visit the Kumari Ghar for blessings.
Kastha Mandap: One of the popular temples of Kathmandu Durbar Square is Kasthamandap, locally known as Maru Sattal, built in 12th century. It is believed the city of Kathmandu was named after Kasthamandap temple, which is one of the largest and well-known pagodas. Kastha means wood and Mandap means pavilion. And it is said that the whole temple was built from just a single Sal (shorea robusta) tree. A statue of Gorakhnath stands in the center of this temple while the statues of God Ganesh guard the four corners.
Kal Bhairav: Kal Bhairav is one of the largest stone idols in Kathmandu located in Hanuman Dhoka. The statue, which is 3.7m high, depicts the terrifying manifestation of Shiva. It is believed that people will die if they speak lie in front of this statue. The statute is believed to be sculpted in 5th or 6th century.
Day 3:Sightseeing in and around Patan and Bhaktapur. Places of interest:
Patan Durbar Square: Patan Durbar Square, located in Patan city, is an enchanting mélange of palace, temples, courtyards and graceful pagoda-style temples that dates back to 17th century. Listed as a World Heritage Site, Patan Durbar Square is an ancient Buddhist city consisting of 136 bahals or courtyards and 55 major temples belonging to both Buddhists and Hindus. Patan is a city of festival and feast, fine ancient art and a treasure trove of metallic and stone carvings. Founded by Kirat rulers, Patan’s ancient name is Yala after the Kirat King Yalamber. There are more than 1,200 Buddhist monuments of various shapes and sizes scattered in and around the city.
Golden Temple: Also known as Bhaskerdev Samskarita Hiranyabarna Mahavihara, the golden temple is a Buddhist stupa designed in pagoda style. This stupa is believed to have been built about 12th century and prominently houses the statue of Buddha. There are some truly exquisite wood carvings of deities and the golden roof is magnificent.
Krishna Temple: Built in the 17th century, Krishna temple is the most important temple in Patan Durbar Square. It is entirely made of stone in Shikhara style. Most of the important scenes from the ancient Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, have been engraved on the pillars. There are 21 golden pinnacles in the temple. Each of the floor is dedicated to different gods: the first floor to Krishna and Radha, second to Shiva, and the third to Buddha.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square: The main square of the city contains innumerable temples and architectural wonders such as lion gate, the golden gate, the statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, Dattatraya Temple etc. Bhatkatpur Durbar Square was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Monument List in 1979. The 55-window was built by King Yaksha Malla in 1427 and feature intricately carved wooden balcony and windows.
Nyatapola Temple: This five storied Pagoda Style temple was built by King Bhupatindra Malla in 1708 A.D. It is well known for its massive structure and subtle workmanship and is the tallest pagoda structure in the Kathmandu.
Day 4:Transfer to airport for final departure.