A sightseeing program that includes the major historic, cultural and religious sights of the three Newari cities of the Kathmandu Valley – Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur as well as a glimpse of Newari village life. Each of the three cities is centered around its Durbar Square which holds great religious and cultural importance for the Nepalese people. Here museums, temples, courtyards and plazas reveal the best of traditional art, crafts and architecture.
Sightseeing at Boudhanath, Pashupatinath, and Bhaktapur
First stop this morning 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.
Next visit 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, a 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. These are symbols of creation and that blessings of Shiva can be found in all four directions.
This monument is a fine display of religious harmony in the country.
Another 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 – especially notable is the Nyatapola Temple (Palace of 55 Windows).
Many locals continue to practice traditional crafts and you will join a pottery class to try your hand at replicating some of these marvels.
Transfer from Bhaktapur to ChanguNarayan Sightseeing in Patan
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. Many interesting festivals and traditions are observed here, Newari history and culture is apparent everywhere and the city is a source of great pride.
Visit Krishna Mandir, Bhimsen Temple, Vishwanath Temple, Taleju Bhawani Temple and the Patan Museum. You can also take a painting class.
Sightseeing in Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath
Teeming with life, Durbar Square is Kathmandu’s greatest tourist attractions. Here Kathmandu’s kings were crowned, lived and worshipped. Of the 50+ monuments the most famous is the Kumari Bahal, the richly decorated home to the Royal Kumari, Living Goddess and manifestation of the great goddess Durga. The 14th century Jagannath Mandir is the oldest temple in the area and nearby the Telaju Mandir is dedicated to the patron deity of the royal family, a wrathful form of Durga who once demanded human sacrifices.
You will be dropped at your hotel after the tour.
Our guide, Jamuna Khatri, was the perfect combination of being very well informed and a wonderful companion for the day. I intend to seek her out the next time I need a guide in Nepal.