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From the mountains to the plains discover Nepal’s rich diversity of history, culture, religion and landscape. Partake in a range of activities from sightseeing to jungle safaris, trekking and homestays.
Your three-day trek is easy, and although you do not climb very high, you are surrounded by the spectacle of the high Himalayas. A couple of days in Chitwan is a complete contrast. The sub-tropical jungle is home to tigers, elephants, leopards and the unique one-horned rhino. Staying in a homestay in Panauti, a Newar town in the Kathmandu Valley, you will see how different life is in Barauli, a Tharu village in Chitwan.
This trip gives you a bit of everything.
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International Airport Arrival transfer in Kathmandu.
Upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, our airport representative will be waiting to welcome you with your name written on a placard. Depending on traffic, you will be at your hotel within 20 minutes or so.
You have time to relax and enjoy the ambience and comfort of the hotel until your evening Group Meeting with your fellow group members. This is when your tour leader collects your insurance details and discuss how the trip will run for the coming days.
World Heritage Sightseeing, Pashupatinath ,Boudhnath and Patan Durbar Square
Today is spent visiting some of the major World Heritage Sites of Kathmandu.
Boudhanath; one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world. The stupa is raised according to Tibetan philosophy, but before the construction of the 118-foot stupa, the site was a resting point for every Tibetan merchant passing through Nepal. Here they would rest and offer prayers to Lord Buddha for many centuries.
Next visit Pashupatinath, one of the holiest Hindu temples in the world dedicated to Lord Shiva. Pashupatinath, which means Lord of all animals, is one of the many names of Shiva. Built-in 400 AD, but later renovated by the Malla Kings around the 6th century, inside the temple there exists the statue of four-faced six-foot lingam, phallic object as a symbol of Shiva, resting in the middle of a rimmed, disc-shaped structure, phallic symbol of Shakti – a concept or personification of divine feminine creative power.
Patan, once an independent Kingdom, lies only a few kilometers south of Kathmandu, but is quite different in atmosphere. Patan’s Durbar Square contains some of the finest Newari urban architecture in all of Nepal as well as Hindu and Buddhist monuments. It is a beautiful ensemble of temples and shrines beside the old royal palace that now serves as a little museum.
Drive Kathmandu to Panauti via Bhaktapur.
Starting the day with a visit to Bhaktapur, another World Heritage site, you then are taken to the charming old town of Panauti, where you will be made very welcome by your homestay host.A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bhaktapur is a brilliant illustration of Newari architectural skills, a city of pagoda roofs and harmonious blend of wood, mudbrick and copper and many locals continue to practice these crafts. From the 13th century Bhaktapur’s kings of the Malla Dynasty were so fond of wrestling that Malla (wrestler/wrestling) became the hereditary title of the heir to Bhaktapur’s throne. Continue to Panauti, a small, traditional agricultural town where travellers can experience authentic Nepali-Newari hospitality and enjoy local home-cooked meals. Lunch at Panauti Community Homestay.
Transfer from Panauti to Pokhara.
After breakfast, returning via Kathmandu (35km), you continue your drive along one of the country’s oldest and busiest highways. This highway is named after King Prithvi Narayan Shah. If weather permits you may catch glimpses of the Himalaya along the way. Driving first alongside the Trishuli River, a main tourist attraction for white water rafting, you then follow the massive Marshyangdi River. Along the way you will stop for photos and lunch. Arriving in Pokhara in the afternoon, the rest of the day is free.
Transfer from Pokhara to Nayapul. Trek to Ghandruk.
After breakfast, we drive to Nayapul where we will meet our porters and start our trek to Ghandruk (1940m). Trekking in Nepal is not all hard work – there is ample time to admire nature, views and culture including beautiful Himalayan vistas, waterfalls, icy rivers and small villages. The trail ascends steeply to Birethanti and follows the west bank of Modi Khola to Syauli Bazar before climbing to Ghandruk. Ghandruk is a Gurung Village from where you can admire the views of Machhapuchhre (6993m), Annapurna South (7219m), Hiunchuli (6441m) and of the upper Modi Valley (1951m).
Trek from Ghandruk to Landruk via Jhinu Danda.
Starting by a descent to the Modi Khola River, walking directly from Ghandruk to Landruk would take just a couple of hours. However, going to Jhinu and detouring allows you the chance to take a dip in the natural hot spring there. Please make sure you have your swimsuit and towel packed in your daypack.
On reaching Jhinu, you can order your lunch and you walk another 20 – 25 minutes to the hot spring. Here you can relax. After lunch, you continue another 2-3 hours trekking to Landruk where you spend the night.
Trek from Landruk to Dhampus.
The trail follows a ridge to Deurali, passing through forest and scattered villages. Along the way you are accompanied by spectacular views of Annapurna South and Hiunchuli. The village of Dhampus is a culturally rich village of Gurung people where you have a good opportunity for a closer look at the daily lives of the villagers.
Trek to Phedi. Drive to Pokhara
Today, your final trek is for 2 hours ending at Phedi. Later you bid farewell to your supporting porter and thank them for their support during your wonderful trekking at Annapurna Foothills. The drive from Phedi to Pokhara is approximately around an hour.
Free Day in Pokhara.
You have a free day in Pokhara. There are lots of things to see and do in Pokhara (at your own expense). You can choose to go boating or take the opportunity to try out paragliding, bungee jumping, take a tour to the Tibetan settlements and spend your leisure time.
Transfer from Pokhara to Chitwan (Barauli). Welcome program in Barauli.
It is about a five-hours’ drive to Barauli, very close to Chitwan National Park which is home to hundreds of species of birds and many endangered animals. On arrival, you are welcomed with a traditional cultural program that includes songs and dance by women dressed in their traditional Tharu attire. During your stay, you can sample the local food and experience the local lifestyle.
The Barauli Community Homestay was created to help the local Tharu people to preserve their rich culture and as a way for them to interact with the rest of the world and benefit more directly in tourism. Villagers take care of you in their Community Homestays where you stay in relative comfort. Each of the twelve cottages, made by the locals, is named after the housewife who owns it. All huts contain clean, ensuite bathrooms and a hot shower.
Jungle Activities: Jeep Safari, Cycling, Tharu Cultural Stick Dance.
Jeep Safari: With Barauli located on the edge of Chitwan National Park, jungle safaris are one of the many highlights of our homestay. We have our own jeeps and excellent naturalists. There is no chance that you will miss anything there is to see on your jungle safari.
Cycling: We assure you that cycling via small Tharu villages and fish farms to the shore of the Narayani River is an experience you will recount often. We recommend cycling towards evening when the sunset looks like a golden ball sinking into the Narayani River.
Cultural Dance: Tharu are proud of their culture, perhaps because they have one of the best cultures in Nepal. The famous Tharu stick dance; when women dance and sing, is simply amazing. The dancing takes place in front of our homestay, normally at night, to provide a bit of recreation and relaxation from the days’ activities. If guests enjoy the dance, then they are more than welcome to join in.
Chitwan (Barauli) to Kathmandu Transfer.
Returning to Kathmandu you will leave the lowlands, climbing into the Central Hills to join the Prithvi Highway at Mugling. It is then a slow journey towards east for approx. 6.5 hrs along the busiest highway in Nepal. It is however a scenic route with steep rice terraces making a dramatic backdrop to the river, funeral pyres, suspension bridges.
Free Day in Kathmandu.
You have this day on your own. Your guide may suggest some of the optional activities and tours to visit to some of the World Heritage sites in Kathmandu city.
Check-in is 2.5 hours prior to departure, and it is best not to skim on time as queues can be long and slow. Your booked airport transfer will be at your hotel ready to take you to the airport in time, allowing approximately 30mins driving time depending on time of day. At the airport security will check your flight ticket – either hard copy or on your mobile – along with your passport before you are allowed to enter the departure hall.