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Kathmandu valley tour - Kathmandu

Kings and Gods of the Valley

Kathmandu & Kathmandu Valley

Route: Kathmandu - Bhaktaphur - Patan - Kathmandu

If you really want to get a feel for Kathmandu and the Kathmandu Valley, our Kathmandu valley tour is a relaxing and unique way to start off your India and Nepal trip. You'll explore the energetic and atmospheric city of Kathmandu and its spectacular Swayambunath and Pashupatinath temple complexes as well as Bhaktapur and Patan, the picturesque medieval villages outside the colourful capital.

We will make reservations for a hire car and a guide, so that you won't have to go through the hassle of figuring out public transport in the Kathmandu Valley. Your guide will take you to all of the city's attractions on this Kathmandu valley tour. As you walk through Bhaktapur's and Patan's pedestrian area's you'll also catch a glimpse of Nepalese history and architecture. Need some advice or inspiration? Have a chat with one of our India travel specialists on 01273 322044.

Duration 4 days / 3 nights
Departs daily

Accommodation

Authentic centrally located hotel. Based on Comfort level 3 (see accommodation)

Price

£188 per person - based on 2 people sharing

Includes

Transfer on arrival, 3 nights of accommodation including breakfast, transportation and guided Kathmandu tours and excursions

Transport

Private car

Excludes

Admission fees temples and squares (approx US $25)

Day 1: Kings and gods of the valley - Kathmandu

On your arrival at Kathmandu Airport, you'll be collected by our driver and whisked away to your hotel just outside the centre of Kathmandu. You'll spend the next three nights of your Kathmandu valley tour enjoying the peace and quiet of this quaint hotel with its large courtyard garden and rooms decorated in traditional Nepalese style. There's a fantastic view across the rooftops of Kathmandu from the roof terrace.

When you've freshened up and recovered from your flight, take a stroll around the area to soak up the typical Nepalese atmosphere and find a good spot to eat. During your Kathmandu valley tour, definitely check out one of the many rooftop restaurants Kathmandu has to offer. The hotel has a fine restaurant, but you could just as well take a taxi cab or walk (20 minutes) to Thamel. This is a lively neighbourhood with modern bakeries and great restaurants. Even though you're in Nepal, you can dine on cuisine from many different countries. Enjoy Indian curries, Tibetan momo's or Italian pizzas!

Kathmandu valley tour - Holy man
Kathmandu valley tour © kin;aesthetic

Day 2: Kathmandu tours around the city

You'll have plenty of time on Day One of your Kathmandu valley tour to explore Kathmandu with your guide. First stop, Swayambunath, the oldest Buddhist temple in the Kathmandu Valley. At the foot of the long stairway out of the valley lay several temple buildings covered with colourful drawings and surrounded by brightly coloured statues. There are lots and lots of curious monkeys around scavenging for a bite to eat. Monkeys can be a bit temperamental so it's probably best to keep your distance from them. After you've seen all of the buildings and made you way through the hoards of merchants, beggars and guides, you can start climbing up the 365 stone steps. Alternatively, you can ask your driver to take you to the back entrance to avoid all the steps.

 

When you arrive at the temple complex you'll see dozens of prayer flags waving in the wind as well as the eyes of the Buddha painted on the stupa. The stupa is generally filled with an air of energy and excitement. Once you have had a wander around, continue on to the Bouddhanath temple, a Tibetan Buddhist monument and the highlight of today's Kathmandu valley tour. With a diameter of 100m it is one of the largest stupas in the world. The stupa is surrounded by a neighbourhood of Tibetan refugees called 'Little Tibet'. The many souvenir shops and restaurants make this the ideal place to have lunch with a view of the grand stupa. You may feel all templed-out at the end of the day but you'll definitely have a better idea of the huge role that religion plays in Nepalese daily life.
Kathmandu valley tour - Pashupatinath

After lunch you'll be driven to Pashupatinath for the next stop on your Kathmandu valley tour. Hindus come to honour Shiva in the shape of Pashupati (Animal God) here. Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the temple complex, however if you cross the Bagmati River and take a seat on the stairs you'll have a great view of the ghats, the ritual bathing and cremation locations. If you're 'lucky' you may see preparations for a cremation ceremony. There are many sadhus, or holy men, at Pashupatinath. Sadhus are nomadic Hindus who have rejected the cast system and do not follow normal traditions. They generally dress quite extravagantly; they wear orange robes or appear naked after having smeared themselves with left over ashes from cremations. 

The final stop for today is Durbar Square. Here, you'll find the temple of Kasthamandap. According to legend, this temple was built from the trunk of only one tree. There are many historic buildings located on this square, such as temples and the ancient royal palace Hanuman Dhoka. You'll also find the intricately carved wooden house of Kumari, the living Goddess.
 

Day 3: Bhaktapur - Patan - Kathmandu

On Day Three of your Kathmandu valley tour, you'll visit the Kathmandu Valley with your guide and driver. The drive to Bhaktapur should take about an hour. The city is one large open air museum, especially since large parts are pedestrian only. The city is great for shop-a-holics and those looking for a souvenir for someone back home, there are plenty of stores and stands to look through. Durbar Square is the oldest square in Bhaktapur but its not as beautiful as it once was. Most of the square was destroyed by the earthquake of 1934. However, the square is still quite grand and was even the backdrop of Bertolucci's movie 'Little Buddha'.

By late morning you'll arrive in Patan, where you'll have a bite for lunch. Patan, just south of Kathmandu is known for its many ancient squares where rice is laid out to dry and children run around playing with paper kites. You will also spot lots of old-fashioned water pumps throughout the city. It's like being in a medieval time-warp.
Kathmandu valley tour - Bhaktapur
Kathmandu Valley tours - Bhaktapur

Day 4: Departure from Kathmandu


After breakfast you'll check out of your hotel and your Kathmandu Valley tour will come to an end. A bus or private transfer will take you to where your next module begins.

If you'd like to head out on a trek around Kathmandu Valley, we'd recommend Trekking Across the Edge of the Valley as your next module. During this you'll get a good impression of Nepali history, culture and religion as you make your way through stunning valleys and between towering peaks.

A peek at your accommodation (click to enlarge)

 
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