Nepal | Annapurna

Valley to Mountains

Nepal

Valley to Mountains

Nepal
Trip Overview

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.

Trip Highlights
  • The cultural heritage of Bhaktapur & Patan Durbar Square.
  • Boudhanath & Pashupatinath
  • Serene & calm – Panauti & its local people.
  • Spectacular panorama of the Annapurna Range.
  • 3.5 day trek in the Annapurna region.
  • Lakes and bustling streets of the Pokhara Valley.
  • Jungle Adventures & Tharu culture.
  • The wildlife of Chitwan National Park.
Itinerary

International Airport Arrival transfer in Kathmandu.

This 14-day trip is the perfect way to get a taste of Nepal including major world heritage sites in the valley as well as Chitwan National Park, Pokhara and the traditional Newari town of Bandipur. Start by visiting Bhaktapur city in the Kathmandu Valley and savouring lunch in Panauti. Winding roads through rural landscapes then lead you south to experience the exotic wildlife in Chitwan – one of the best national parks in Asia. Chitwan is famous for Asian elephants, deer, One-Horned Rhinoceros and the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger as well as many species of bird. From here travel to Pokhara; the city of lakes and mountains. Pokhara is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, closely surrounded by beautiful, mesmerising mountains. En-route back to Kathmandu a short visit to the traditional town of Bandipur. A living museum, Bandipur will give you a glimpse of ancient Newari culture and architecture. Wildlife, incredible scenery, cultural traditions and history – this trip introduces the incredible diversity and magic Nepal has to offer.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Kathmandu

Kathmandu Sightseeing UNESO World Heritage Sites: Boudhanath, Pashupatinath 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. This monument is a fine display of religious harmony in the country.

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. Male and female phallic objects state the creation of all animals, and the four face statue has the meaning that the blessing of Shiva can be found in all four directions.

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. In Patan, you can see a mixture of both Hinduism and Buddhism, with people worshipping in 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. There are many interesting festivals and traditions that are observed here.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Kathmandu

Sightseeing of Bhaktapur and Panauti.

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. The Durbar Square is wide and open to entertain wrestling bouts and beefy carved wrestlers are the city’s trademark – also worshipped as guardians of holy temples. 

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. Established by local women, the program is a paradigm of successful female empowerment/entrepreneurship in Nepal. You are also supporting and motivating local female entrepreneurs just by appreciating their local culture and tradition. Local folklore holds that Panauti was an offering from a King of Bhaktapur to his sister as dowry. Surrounded by green hills and holy rivers, this spiritual town is full of both Hindu and Buddhist temples, making it special in Nepal.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Panauti Community Homestay

Panauti to Pokhara transfer.

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.

 

 

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Pokhara
  • Drive duration: 7 to 8 hours
  • Distance: 245 KM

Pokhara to Nayapul transfer. Trek from Nayapul 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).

 

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Ghandruk
  • Drive Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Trek Duration: 6 to 7 hours approx
  • Altitude: 1940m

Trek from Ghandruk to Jhinu Danda.

Starting with a descent to the Modi Khola River the hike to Jhinu Danda takes a few hours. Once you arrive, relax a little, freshen up, order lunch and grab your swimwear.

About 25mins walk from Jhinu is a natural hot spring where you can spend a relaxing afternoon before returning to Jhinu for the night.

 

 

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Jhinu Danda
  • Trek duration: 6-7 hours
  • Altitude: 1650 m

Trek from Jhinu Danda to Australian Camp.

Today the trail follows the ridge to Deurali, passing through scattered forests and villages and offers spectacular views of Annapurna South and Hiunchuli

You then reach the culturally rich settlement at Australian Camp, where you

 Can appreciate the daily lives of the villagers and magnificent close-up mountain views – especially of the Annapurna massif shining behind the traditional houses of the nearby settlement.

 

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Australian Camp
  • Trek duration: 5 hours approx
  • Altitude: 1650 m

Trek from Australian Camp to Kande. Drive to Pokhara.

This morning it is downhill to Kande passing small villages. On a clear day you will have unobstructed views of the Annapurna Range, Machhapuchhre, Manaslu Range and also beautiful green hills. At Kande say goodbye to your porters and greet your driver for the trip to Pokhara.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Pokhara
  • Altitude: 1770 m
  • Trekking Duration:1 to 1.5 Hours.

Free Day in Pokhara.

A free day in Pokhara for your own explorations and activities. 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 Chitwan (Barauli) Transfer. Welcome program in Barauli.

It is a 4.5-5 hour drive from Pokhara to Chitwan. On the way we will pass deep rocky gorges, and rapidly flowing rivers crossed by precarious suspension bridges. On arrival in Chitwan there will be a welcome program by the Tharu people of Barauli Community Homestay then, as evening approaches, cycle to the Narayani River to watch as the sunset looks like a golden ball sinking into the Narayani River. Dinner with your homestay hosts.

Accommodation is in twelve cottages especially built. They are simply, but attractively furnished and offer you everything you need for a comfortable stay – each has a modern attached bathroom and comfortable beds. The village women live close by and ‘own’ the cottages, with their names on a board outside. They take care of their guests as if you were staying in their own homes. The purpose of Barauli Community Homestay is to provide a platform for locals to generate extra income yet protecting their culture and traditional values whilst offering guests a close-up glimpse of typical village life.

 

Notes:
  • Driving Distance: 171 km approx
  • Duration: 4.5hrs Approx

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.

 

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Chitwan (Barauli)

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 and villages.

You will still have some free time for souvenir shopping. Maybe visit Thamel, the major tourist hub of Kathmandu where you can shop, visit cafes and restaurants – maybe stock-up on trekking gear for a future trip.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Kathmandu
  • Driving Distance: 177 km approx
  • Duration: 6.5 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 vehicle throughout the trip.
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu & Pokhara including breakfast.
  • Accommodation in Panauti Community Homestay with all meals included (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
  • Accommodation in Chitwan (Barauli) with Jungle activities and all meals included (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
  • Accommodation in basic tea houses during the trek (rooms only)
  • English-speaking local guides for sightseeing and trekking
  • 01 Porter for 2 trekkers/ maximum 15 kgs luggage per porter
  • Sightseeing entry fees as per the itinerary.
  • Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS).
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP Permit)
  • National Park fees
Services Excluded
  • Meals during the trek.
  • 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
  • Booking for accommodation at community homestays run by indigenous women in Panauti and Barauli directly supports their families and boosts their economy and living standards.
  • Local living experience at Newar community in Panauti acquaints you with their food & culture.
  • Use of locally owned accommodation on your trek.
  • Your experience at Tharu community in Barauli contributes to the women who run the households and helps in National Park conservation.

Our trip was perfectly organized. This is partly thanks to our great driver GOVINDA MANANDHAR. He drives very safely, is always on time, speaks good english, solves all the problems you present.

Elsenvanacht