PASHUPATINATH, KATHMANDU DURBAR SQUARE, NAGARKOT, BOUDDHANATH & SWOYAMBHUNATH
This two-day tour will introduce you to Kathmandu’s fascinating culture, with a visit to the beautifully scenic Nagarkot, for the most spectacular Himalayan panorama in Kathmandu Valley. We’ll begin our first day with a stop at Pashupatinath, one of Hinduism’s most sacred pilgrimage sites located on the banks of the Bagmati River. We’ll see the famous sadhus and watch the faithful engaging in their daily rituals, view the crematory pyres on the riverbanks, and see the holy pagoda where Lord Shiva’s sacred lingam is kept.
We’ll continue 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.
In the evening, we’ll take a short drive to Nagarkot, located only 32 km east of Kathmandu, but a world away in its peace and serenity. The view from Nagarkot is exceptional, including a horizon studded with the peaks of Ganesh Himal, Manaslu, Langtang, and even Mt. Everest on a clear day. After an amazing sunset, we’ll spend the night in a resort, waking up before dawn for an equally stunning sunrise.
Returning to Kathmandu, we’ll spend the afternoon at Bouddhanath, Nepal’s largest and most revered Buddhist stupa. With its enormous sandstone dome draped in Tibetan prayer flags, crowned with a spire decorated with the watchful eyes of Buddha facing the four cardinal directions, this site is not to be missed! We’ll have lunch and continue on to Swayambunath, Kathmandu’s famous “monkey temple”, a pilgrimage spot for both Hindus and Buddhists perched high on a hilltop overlooking the valley. We can climb the imposing 365 steps up a steep hill to the stupa, or enter on a shaded road from behind that meanders through a wooded area inhabited by an active monkey population. Around the stupa, we’ll find a number of shrines and inscriptions of both Buddhist and Hindu origin, as well as shamanistic and Tantric deities, and a great view of Kathmandu valley.