BOUDDHANATH, PASHUPATINATH, KATHMANDU DURBAR SQUARE
Spend the afternoon in Kathmandu visiting two of Nepal’s most revered holy sites, the enormous Buddhist stupa Bouddhanath, and the Hindu temple complex Pashupatinath, followed by a relaxed evening exploring the fascinating architecture of Kathmandu’s Durbar Square. We’ll start after breakfast with a visit to Bouddhanath, where we can witness the faithful circumambulating Nepal’s largest and most sacred stupa. With 45 monasteries in its proximity, this place is known to endow visitors with a feeling of peace and wellbeing. Next, we’ll visit Pashupatinath near the banks of the Bagmati River – known as the abode of Lord Shiva, this is one of Hinduism’s holiest sites. Thousands of sadhus make their pilgrimages to this sacred spot each year, especially during Shivaratri, the birthday celebration of Lord Shiva, held between February and March. We’ll explore the fascinating temple complex and see the ornately decorated pagoda housing the sacred linga of Lord Shiva, the colorful ceremony of devotees performing worship, and the sacred pyres near the riverbank where devout Hindus are cremated. We’ll ease our way on to Kathmandu Durbar Square, home to the ancient palaces of the Malla and Shah Dynasties, and a vast courtyard of fascinating Newari architecture and ornately decorated temples. Located nearby is Kumari Ghar, which houses the Kumari Devi or “Living Goddess” – a young girl who is worshipped as a source of supreme power in a tradition has continued from ancient times to the present.