Nepal | Pokhara

Off-beat Nepal

Trip Overview

A trip which includes a few less-travelled spots as well as the main highlights of Nepal. Thus, you have the chance to appreciate peoples, places and cultures that have been less affected by contact with tourists.

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Kathmandu valley, the Buddhist pilgrimage site at Namo Buddha,  a Tibetan refugee camp, and the little-visited village of Nuwakot.

History, culture, people and their traditions all with a stunning scenic backdrop.

Trip Highlights
  • Experience ancient culture, heritage, history and traditions.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, Patan, Bhaktapur.
  • Namo Buddha, a peaceful Buddhist pilgrimage site.
  • Explore the culture, history and lifestyle of Nuwakot.
  • Pokhara, the city of lakes.
  • Visit a Tibetan settlement camp and meet refugees.
Itinerary

International airport arrival and transfer to hotel.

Namaste & Welcome to Kathmandu!

Depending on your travel history, your first impression of arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport may be an experience in and of itself. The time it takes will depend on whether you need to queue for a Visa-on-Arrival as well as immigration and customs. Luggage tags will be checked on exit so have your luggage receipt handy (usually attached to your boarding pass). Luggage trolleys are available and free to use. As you walk down the tunnel to the arrival lounge you will find many people showing various placards and waving anxiously. Please walk slowly checking the placards and do not get anxious – our airport representative will be waiting to welcome you with your name written clearly on the placard. They will assist you to your correct vehicle. Depending upon the traffic the drive to your booked hotel can take up to 30 minutes or more.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Kathmandu

Sightseeing – UNSESCO World Heritage Sites.

A full days’ sightseeing starting at Pashupatinath, one of the holiest Hindu temples in the world dedicated to Lord Shiva. Originally built in AD400. Inside the temple is the statue of a four-faced six-foot lingam, symbol of creation and that blessings of Shiva can be found in all four directions.

Next stop is Boudhanath; one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world. Before construction of the 118-foot stupa, the site was visited by every Tibetan merchant passing through Nepal. For centuries they rested here and offered prayers to Lord Buddha. 

Patan was once an independent kingdom. Its Durbar Square is surrounded by a fascinating array of temples built in various architectural styles representing different eras as well as the residence of the former royal family. The numerous temples display gods and humans together as in Nepal they have co-existed for millennia. In Patan, you also see a mixture of both Hinduism and Buddhism, with people worshipping both at the same time. Renowned for the “Birth to Death” shops, these are where to shop for every little item that Nepalese rituals require from birth to death.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Kathmandu

Kathmandu to Namo Buddha transfer with visit to Bhakatpur.

Enroute from Kathmandu to Namo Buddha take a detour via Bhakatpur. Bhaktapur is an important and fascinating World Heritage Site comprising three large squares filled with shrines, temples and activity; it is the essential Newari city with some of the finest architecture in Nepal. In its heyday (14th-16th centuries) Bhaktapur was the most powerful of the Kathmandu Valley kingdoms. Despite time and earthquake damage Bhaktapur retains a medieval feel and its neighborhoods are still caste oriented.
After exploring Bhaktapur head along quiet roads through lush green forest and small villages to Namo Buddha, a sacred Buddhist pilgrimage that offers peace and tranquillity together with spectacular views. 

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Namo Buddha
  • Driving Distance: 46 kms approx.
  • Duration: 2 hrs approx.

Namo Buddha to Nuwakot transfer.

The route to Nuwakot follows the Trishuli River lined with lush green forest for much of the way. Reaching Galchi turn off the paved highway to the historic hill town of Nuwakot located on a ridge above the river.

It is a tiny Newari village which served as the capital of Prithvi Narayan Shah before he conquered the Kathmandu Valley in 1768. The 7-storey fort (1762) served as his family palace and is also where the king died in 1775. There are also a couple of Hindu Temples you can explore.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Nuwakot
  • Driving Distance: 122 kms approx.
  • Duration: 4 hrs approx

Nuwakot to Pokhara transfer.

After breakfast head towards Pokhara. The road passes through a scenic mountainous region with terrace farms rising up the hillsides. Pokhara, a destination well-known as the starting point for trekking expeditions, is known for its natural beauty and majestic mountain views. Five mountains over 7200m and Machhapuchhre Mountain at 7000m are visible from the town. The local people believe that Machhapuchhre is sacred to the god Shiva and therefore is off limits to climbing. Arriving in Pokhara there’s time to relax and perhaps take a stroll around the lakeside market.

 

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Pokhara
  • Driving Distance:182 kms approx.
  • Duration: 5 hrs approx.

Pokhara Sightseeing- Pumdi Bhumdi and Tibetan Settlement Camp.

At Pumdi Bhumdi construction has begun on Nepal’s tallest statue of Shiva, the site also offers fantastic views over Pokhara and the surroundings.

After the monsoon rains the sound of Devi’s Falls can be deafening as the Pardi Khola disappears underground. 

Four refugee camps were established near Pokhara in the 1960s and have now become permanent settlements. Conveniently near Devi’s Falls is Tashiling, home to about 100 families. Learn about the history and lives of the refugees in Nepal as you visit the monastery, school and the carpet factory where you can see Tibetan weaving techniques and carpets in progress before visiting the showroom.

 

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Pokhara

Free day in Pokhara.

You do not have any scheduled activities today. There are lots of things to see and do in Pokhara – hire a bicycle, go boating on the lake, paragliding… the options are almost endless. Rising from the centre of Fewa Lake, like an island, is Barahi temple. The Pokhara International Mountain Museum is also interesting.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Pokhara

Pokhara to Kathmandu transfer.

Drive back from Pokhara to Kathmandu along the Prithvi Highway, relaxing and enjoying the passing scenery. Back in the capital you have time for some last-minute souvenir shopping.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Kathmandu
  • Driving Distance: 201 kms
  • Duration: 6 hrs approx.

International Airport departure transfer.

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.

 

Services Included
  • Transport by private air conditioned vehicle throughout the trip.
  • Sightseeing tours in Kathmandu and Pokhara with English speaking guide.
  • Sightseeing entry fees as per the itinerary.
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara including breakfast.
  • Accommodation in Namo Buddha and Nuwakot including dinner and breakfast.
Services Excluded
  • Meals other than specified in the itinerary.
  • Travel and medical insurance including evacuation and cancellation.
  • Expenses of personal nature including bar bills, laundry, telephone calls.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Any item not specified as included.
  • Expenses arising from unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of Royal Mountain Travel
Impact Footprints
  • Small groups boost local economies (and gain special insights) by using guides local to each area you visit without the problem of over tourism.

I immensely enjoyed this tour, which I thought was made so memorable by my tour guide, Shruti. She is knowledgeable, friendly, and makes the sites come alive. I highly recommend any tour that she leads.

Lucy