Stop At: Swayambhunath Stupa, Kathmandu
Your first stop will be the Swayambhunath stupa on the top of a hill. The stupa is referred to as the "Monkey Temple," as you can see many Rhesus monkeys roaming around freely. They might even pose for you to take a photo. There are two ways through which you can enter the stupa. One is an easy way from the back of the Stupa, and the other is a steep staircase with 365 stairs. On the main entrance, you can see a massive thunderbolt scepter and a large white dome with a gold-plated shining top with eyes that see far and wide on all four sides. As it is a Buddhist religious pilgrimage site, many Hindus also come for prayer, as you can see many temples and idols around the central area. Swayambhunath is valued by Buddhist Newars too.
After exploring the stupa, we will head to Amideva Buddha Park. The Buddha Park is at the opposite end of Swayambhunath hill. There are three monumental golden statues of Shakyamuni Buddha in different sizes. The middle one is 67 feet tall, whereas the left and right ones are 64 feet tall. After spending a few times there, we will head to Kathmandu Durbar Square.
- Distance: approx. 4km from Thamel
- Highest Altitude: 1406m/4613ft
- Duration: 15min
Stop At: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Kathmandu
Kathmandu Durbar Square (Basantapur Durbar Square) is one of the three oldest royal courtyards. We can see many historical and religious sites. We can explore the area and observe many temples and statues of various kinds in the region. You will see a massive sculpture of Kal Bhairav and Sweta Bhairav, the monument of "Hanuman" at Hanuman Dhoka, Ashok Vinayak Mandir, Taleju Temple, Vishnu Temple, Indrapur Temple, and Kotilingeshwara Mahadev Temple. There is also a courtyard called Basantapur, where many local people sell various handicrafts and arts. We will also visit Kumari Ghar and Kumari Chowk. The living Goddesses reside in the place. Kumari is a girl selected to be the town's living goddess until she reaches puberty. After the current Kumari reaches puberty, a new Kumari is designated.
- Distance: approx. 3.3km
- Highest Altitude: 1305m/4281ft
- Duration: 15 min
Stop At: Patan Durbar Square, Lalitpur
Patan Durbar Square lies in the center of Lalitpur, thus attaining the local cultures and touristy vibes. It has centered the essence of the whole city, as you can see historical cultures with modern attires and faces. You can find the marvels of Newari architecture and influences in every nook and corner, with old-style houses and temples all around the city. It consists of three primary courtyards. They are Sundari Chowk, Mul Chowk, and Keshav Narayan Chowk, with prominent buildings such as Krishna Mandir, Bhimsen temple, Vishwanath Temple, and Taleju Bhawani Temple. Keshav Narayan Chowk is also a museum to be the finest in South Asia. There are many facts about our tradition and history. And especially about historic Japanese civilization with Buddhist, Tantric, and Hindu artifacts.
Hiranya Varna Mahavihar Temple is the golden temple created in the 12th century as a pagoda style with bronze statues and silver and gold decorations. There is a golden image of Lord Buddha and a large prayer wheel in the higher layer of the temple. After exploring the whole area of Patan Durbar Square, we will drive to Bhaktapur, another Newari city, for a traditional-modern city experience in Kathmandu valley.
- Distance: 4.9 km
- Highest Altitude: 1313m/4308ft
- Duration: 22 min
Stop At: Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Bhaktapur
The drive towards Bhaktapur Durbar Square will take you east of Kathmandu valley. It depicts the culture in Nepal in the medieval ages and shows indigenous Newari culture, art forms in wood and pottery, and customs passed through the times. Some major attractions of Durbar Square are 55 Window Palace, Lion's Gate, Golden Gate, and Nyatapola Temple. You can also find many other temples in the vicinity. Bhaktapur is also famous for its curds, so be sure to try some if you have a chance in clay bowls. The architecture of the buildings is simply pagoda and shikhara style, and with vast cultural attributes, it looks like a museum.
The Nyatapola Temple is a five-story pagoda-style temple. It stands over 30 meters tall. The intriguing aspect of the temple is its exquisite architecture and cravings. The Dattatreya temple, located in Dattatreya square, is said to be made by a single tree. We can see three idols of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva on the left, middle, and right, with a massive tree at the back of those idols. The 55 Window Palace has 55 windows carved into the structure, thus called 55 Window Palace. Another feature of the palace is the Golden Gate at the entrance. And the Siddha Pokhari, a relaxed place to hang out, is a human-made pond at the gate of Bhaktapur. Siddha Pokhari is 171 meters long with a depth of 3 meters.
- Distance: 12km
- Highest Altitude: 1334m/4377ft
- Duration: 30min
Stop At: Changunarayan, Bhaktapur
Changunarayan is an artistic area where you will see the local inhabitants of Newars and their distinctive cultures and norms. The temple of Changunarayan is one of the oldest temples that date back to the Licchavi period of the records of Nepal. The Changunarayan temple is in a typical Nepali style of architecture that is only classic here and not found elsewhere in the world where any Hindu temple is situated. The temple is of Lord Vishnu. And many forms of lord Vishnu exist there in various monuments around there. After exploring the temple of Changunarayan and the village, we will head towards Pashupatinath Temple.
- Distance: 4km
- Highest Altitude: 1600m/5249ft
- Duration: 12min
Stop At: Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu
Pashupatinath Temple is the Hindu temple of Lord Shiva. This temple is 5 km northeast of Kathmandu and covers a wide range of land. Stretching on both sides of the holy river Bagmati, this large temple complex has a main pagoda-style temple where there is Shiva lingam. The main temple of Pashupatinath is pagoda style with intricate wood carvings and golden roofs. There is a giant bronze statue of a bull facing the entrance of the temple. You can also see many Sadhus living there for liberation. We can also observe the cremation of the Hindu people occurring near river banks.
- Distance: 16.5km
- Highest Altitude: 1317m/4321ft
- Duration: 45 min
Stop At: Bouddhanath Stupa, Kathmandu
Boudhanath is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Nepal. It is one of the largest stupas and is very important to the Buddhist community. With a height of 36 meters, the Boudhanath periphery houses Tibetan refugees who have witnessed the construction of many gompas around the area. Identical to Swayambhunath, the location is peaceful and full of a relaxing atmosphere with the smell of scented incense and churning prayer wheels. It is one of the most visited sites locally and by tourists too.
After your sightseeing, we will drive to your hotel.
- Distance: 3km
- Highest Altitude: 1331m/4367ft
- Duration: 10min