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Haritalika Teej & Rishi Panchami Festival Tour

Festival Tours in Nepal

Tour Information

Teej is a festival celebrated by Nepali women for the long life of her husband and a long relationship between them until death in this life and in all lives to come. Teej is observed for marital happiness, the well-being of spouse and children and purification of the body and soul, and is the most popular festival among many Nepali women.

With the end of the Teej Festival, women worship the Sapta Rishis (the seven powerful sages). They take a ritual bath early in the morning, before sunrise, scrubbing themselves with mud that’s supposed to come from an elephant’s foot and the roots of the sacred tulsi and amala plants. They also brush their teeth using datiyon, the stem of a herbal tree, and use its leaves as sacred offerings. Figures of the seven sages are made using cow dung, and these are worshipped with great devotion. 

Inspired? If you are interested in our festival tours, have a look at what Royal Mountain Travel can also offer:

Mustang Tiji Festival

Janai Purnima and Jai Jatra Festival Tour

Bijaya Dashami Festival (Dashain) Tour

Bisket Jatra Festival Tour

Ram Navami Festival in Janakpur Tour

Day Trip to Bhaktapur and Panauti from Kathmandu

Temples and Stupas of Kathmandu Valley Tour

For more information about festivals in Nepal, have a look at Inside HimalayasModern Cultural Festivals  in Nepal You Can’t Miss; Major Festivals of Nepal in 2018

Itinerary Overview

DaysActivity
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu!
Day 2 Tour the holy sites of Kathmandu
Day 3 Tour Panauti and Bhaktapur
Day 4 Celebrate Teej at Pashupatinath Temple
Day 5 Swayambhunath & Kathmandu Durbar Square
Day 6 Celebrate Rishi Panchami at Pashupatinath
Day 7 Departure

Information

What's Included?
  • All land transportation by private AC vehicle as per group size
  • Necessary Entrance Fee
  • English Speaking Escort guide for the trip
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu & Pharping on twin sharing with breakfast
  • local lunch at Panauti with local family
What's Excluded?
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa and passport fees
  • International flights
  • Tips and gratuities

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About Us

Royal Mountain Travel is a community for Adventure & Local Experience offering the best indigenous and community-oriented tours and treks in Nepal. Experience the authentic lifestyles of Himalayan civilizations and trek in some of the most unique landscapes on Earth with us.
1

Day 1

Welcome to Kathmandu!

As you exit baggage claim/customs on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, your airport representative will be waiting to greet you and transfer you to your hotel. Please look for your name sign. The airport is close to the city centre (about half an hour’s drive), but traffic can make the journey a little slow, especially during peak hours.

O/N Hotel Traditional Comfort BB

2

Day 2

Tour the holy sites of Kathmandu

Start at Boudhanath Stupa, one of the holiest sites in Nepal, and the holiest Tibetan Buddhist site outside of Tibet. It commands admiration not only from Buddhists but also Hindus, who can also be seen paying their respects at this holy site. The stupa is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a symbol of peace and love. It used to be a resting point for Tibetan merchants travelling to Nepal and India. Tibetans and other Buddhists from around the world consider this a sacred destination.

Next, visit Pashupatinath Temple, which is dedicated to Hindu Lord Shiva, the God of Destruction and Lord of Animals. This temple is a final destination for Hindu devotees from all around the world, as many people come to die here and to have their ashes scattered. Built in around 400 A.D, the temple is located beside the holy river Bagmati, and is decorated with ancient arts and crafts. Four of the main gates of the temple are made of silver.

Pashupatinath Temple is also home to many Hindu sadhus. They can be spotted around the temple: they are the men with long dreadlocks who meditate by the banks of the Bagmati River. They can sometimes be seen smoking marijuana, as it is believed that Lord Shiva was fond of smoking marijuana at his adobe, Mount Kailash—so the sadhus at Pashupatinath impersonate him!

Later on, visit the old town of Patan. This is one of the Kathmandu Valley’s World Heritage Sites, and well worth a visit. Its origins are mysterious, but it has a long Buddhist history. It claims to have been the capital of the mythical Kiranti Dynasty and is associated with the great Indian emperor, Ashoka, who is credited with the building of the four grass-covered stupas surrounding the city in around 250 BCE. For many centuries, Patan’s importance eclipsed Kathmandu’s, and by the 7th century, it was a major Buddhist centre of Asia, attracting pilgrims, scholars and monks from India, Tibet and China. Medieval Patan was the largest and most prosperous of the three kingdoms in the Kathmandu Valley. The town was ruled by noblemen until the Mallas of Kathmandu took control of the city in 1597, for a while unifying the Kathmandu Valley. Most of Patan’s magnificent architecture dates to the late Malla era (16th-18th centuries).

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3

Day 3

Tour Panauti and Bhaktapur

Following the Araniko Highway out of Kathmandu, climb up and out of the valley to the village of Panauti, set at the confluence of sacred rivers (35km, 1-2 hrs).

Many families in Panauti village have come together to establish a homestay program. They provide comfortable rooms for guests in their own homes, as well as cultural programmes and sightseeing activities. Eat lunch with a local family in their homestay, a unique and memorable experience.

Next, drive to Bhaktapur for sightseeing. Bhaktapur is an important and fascinating World Heritage Site. It’s comprised of three large squares filled with shrines, temples and activity, and a typical Newari city (the original inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley) with some of the finest architecture in Nepal. In its heyday (14th-16th centuries), Bhaktapur was the most powerful of the Kathmandu Valley kingdoms, and its capital for 300 years.

Despite earthquakes and frequent rebuilding, Bhaktapur today retains a medieval feel. Its neighbourhoods are still caste-oriented and centred around the old ponds or tanks (built to store water for drinking, washing and religious ceremonies), and which continue to be a social focal point. Local people here are predominantly farmers or engaged in the traditional crafts of pottery, metalwork, art and woodwork, which continue today and have supported the city since its establishment in the 12th century to service the trade route between Tibet and India. It’s a fascinating place to explore.

In the evening, return to Kathmandu.

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4

Day 4

Celebrate Teej at Pashupatinath Temple

Teej is a festival celebrated by Nepali women for the long life of her husband and a long relationship between them until death in this life and in all lives to come. Teej is observed for marital happiness, the well-being of spouse and children and purification of the body and soul, and is the most popular festival among many Nepali women.

During the festival, both married and unmarried women throng the Pashupatinath Temple, lining up patiently for hours to worship Shiva (or more precisely, Shiva Lingam, the phallic symbol of the god of creation and destruction). They dress almost completely in red, dance and fast devoutly all day, not even letting a drop of water pass their lips. Teej is a festival that celebrates womanhood, and most Nepali women participate with great enthusiasm.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT TEEJ, PLEASE CLICK: https://goo.gl/je5pnf

TO SEE VIDEO ABOUT TEEJ, PLEASE CLICK: https://goo.gl/NXdNdL

 

5

Day 5

Swayambhunath & Kathmandu Durbar Square

Swayambhunath is one of the oldest and most revered shrines in Nepal. Perched atop a conical hill, its lofty white dome, glittering golden spire and all-seeing eyes is a not only a major landmark of the valley but also a symbol of Nepal. The stupa has been an important Buddhist pilgrimage site since the 5th century. Buddha Jayanti (Buddha’s Birthday), Gunla (a month-long festival) and Lhosar (Tibetan New Year) are celebrated with gusto here.

You reach the shrine by climbing 365 steps uphill, or by a winding road on the other side. You will see numerous temples and small stone chaityas in the complex, but look out for the mysterious Shantipur Temple, inside of which is said to live the 8th century Tantric Shantikar Acharya, whose meditation has kept him alive for many centuries! To the west of the main complex is one of the later additions: a giant 57-foot statue of the Buddha within a park area.

The Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage site (and one of eight in the Kathmandu Valley) is a cluster of ancient temples, palaces, courtyards and streets that date back to the 12th and 18th centuries. The square is known to be the social, religious and urban focal point of the capital city. Your visit to Durbar Square includes many temples like Kumari Chowk, Aakash Bhairav Temple, Temple of Lord Machhendranath and Itumbahal courtyard.

Itumbahal is an old Newari settlement set in a large courtyard and famous for its herb, spice and medicine traders. From here, continue to Indrachowk, one of Kathmandu’s most ancient and colourful local markets. We finish our tour with a walk to Ason Chowk, another market dedicated to spices and local vegetables, and the Annapurna temple, which is dedicated to the goddess of grains.

After sightseeing, drive from Kathmandu to Pharping, 19km south of Kathmandu but within the valley. Just above Pharping is Neydo Tashi Choeling Monastery, a Tibetan-style monastery that is home to approximately 140 monks from India and Nepal.

The monastery guesthouse provides accommodation in comfortable, well-appointed rooms (all with private bath, kettle and private balcony). Wide balconies provide stunning views across the valley, and the attractive, comfortable sitting area is a lovely place to relax, chat and read, while excellent meals are provided in the dining room.

The monks are happy for visitors to join them for their early morning and evening ceremonies in the main hall, watched over by a towering image of the Amitabha Buddha. The monastery is a favourite retreat setting as it offers meditation and courses on Tibetan literature, Buddhist philosophy and ethics.

Profits from the guest house contribute to the day-to-day expenses of the monastery.

O/N Neydo Monastery BB

6

Day 6

Celebrate Rishi Panchami at Pashupatinath

After joining the monk’s early morning prayers at the monastery, return to Pashupatinath to witness the last rituals of Teej. With the end of the Teej Festival, women worship the Sapta Rishis (the seven powerful sages). They take a ritual bath early in the morning, before sunrise, scrubbing themselves with mud that’s supposed to come from an elephant’s foot and the roots of the sacred tulsi and amala plants. They also brush their teeth using datiyon, the stem of a herbal tree, and use its leaves as sacred offerings. Figures of the seven sages are made using cow dung, and these are worshipped with great devotion.

Free time in the afternoon to return to a favourite site in Kathmandu, or go shopping for souvenirs.

O/N Traditional Comfort Hotel BB

TO SEE VIDEO ABOUT RISHI PANCHAMI, PLEASE CLICK: https://goo.gl/iiNUPw

7

Day 7

Departure

Today, we bid you farewell at Kathmandu airport, or arrange transfers for your onward travel in Nepal.

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