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Kathmandu is the capital of the kingdom, situated in a valley which is an open air museum of famous sites, ancient temples and shrines, golden pagodas and are inspiring deities, is a city of inexhaustible historic artistic and cultural interest. Several beautiful and interesting villages and towns surrounding the valley offer ideal destinations for mini treks. The dazzling Himalayan peaks are visible from several points on the mountains around the valley.
The capital is quite upto date in terms of comfort and convenience boasting luxury hotels, bars, restaurants, shops and casinos. Transportation is convenient and inexpensive. Medical service is quite good. Shoppers may purchase unusual gifts and souvenirs from an interesting assortment of items such as handicrafts, carpets, wooden art works, bronze casting and metal work, thankas, Nepali paper prints and readymade garments.
Upon arrival at Kathmandu International Airport, transfer to hotel in Kathmandu. Evening dinner with cultural show Hostess by Himalayan Aster Treks and overnight at hotel.
Boudhanath Stupa: The base of the stupa takes the shape of a msandala (symbolising earth): on this four tiered base sits the dome (symbolising water): then comes the spire (symbolizing fire): the umbrella (symploising air); and the pinnacle (symbolising ether). The Buddha’s watchful eyes gaze out in four direction from the square base of two normal eyes and the ‘nose’ is not a nose at all but the Nepali number one, signifying the oneness of all life. The spire is made up of 13 steps, representing the 13 stages on the journey to nirvana.
Pashupati Nath: The most important Hindu temple in Nepal. It’s one of the most important Shiva temples on the subcontinent and draws numerous devotees from all over India, including many colourgful sadhus, those wandering ascetic Hindu holu men. Shiva is the destriyer and creator of the Hindu Pantheon and appears in many forms. His ‘temple’ forms are probably brst known, particularly his appearances in Nepal as the cruel and destructive Nhairabs, but he also has peaceful incarantion including those of Mahadev and Pashupati, the lord of the beasts. As the shepherd of both animals and humans, Shiva as Pashupati shows tis most pleasant and creative side.
Swayambunath: The Buddhist temple of Swayambunath, situated on the top of a hill west of the city, in one of the most popular and instantly recognizable symbols of Nepal. The temple is colloquially known as the ‘monkey temple’ after the large tribe of handsome monkeys which guards the hill and amuses visitors and devotees with tricks, including sliding gracefully down the double banisters of the main stairway to the temple. Geologists believe that the Kathmandu valley was once a lake and legends relate that the hill one which Swaymabhunath stands was an island in that lake. It is said that emperor Ashoka paid a visit to the site over 2000 years ago. An inscription indicates that King Manadeva ordered work done on the site in 460 CE and by the 1200s it was an important Buddhist center. In 1346 Mughal invaders from Bengal broke open the stupa to search for gold under the Mallas various improvements were made and the great stairway to the stupa was construcked by King Pratap Malla in the 17th century
Patan Durbar Square: Patan is separated from Kathmandu only by the Bagmati River and is the second largest town in bally. It is sometimes referred to as Lalitpur, which means ‘city of beauty’ Patan has a long Buddhist history and the four comers of the city are marked by stupas said to have been erected by the great Buddhist emperor Ashoka around 250 B.C. Later inscriptions refer to palaces in the 5th century B.C. although Patan’s great building boom took place under the Mallas in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Patan’s central Durbar Square is absolutely packed with temples: it’s an architectural feast with a far greater concentration of temples per sq. meter than in Kathmandu or Bhaktpur. Numerous other temples of widely diverse style as well as many bahals (Buddhist monasteries) are scattered around this fascinating town.
Kathmandu Durbar Square: Durbar in Nepal ‘palace’ and in Patan and Bhaktapur, as well as Kathmandu, there are Durbar squares in front of the old palaces. The King no longer lives in the old Royal Palace in Kathmandu: the palace was moved north to Narayanhiti about a century ago. At that time it was on the edge of the city, now it’s close to the popular tourist area of Thamel. Clustered around the central Durbar Square and the old Royal Palace (Hanuman Dhoka), numerous interesting temples, the Kumari Chowka or Kumari Bahal (House of the Living Goddess) and Kasthamandap (House of wood). It’s easy to spend hours wandering around Durbar Square and the adjoining Basantapur Square. This is very much the center of old Kathmandu and watching they would go by from the terraced platforms of the towering Maju Deval is a wonderful way to get a feel for the city. Although many of the buildings around the square are very old, the great earthquake of 1934 caused a great deal of damage and many were rebuilt, not always in their original form.
Kirtipur: Strung out along a ridge south- west of Kathmandu, the small town of Kirtipur is a relatively neglected and timeless backwater despite its proximity to the capital. At one time it was associated with Patan and then became a mini- kingdom in its own right. During the 1768 conquest of the valley by Gorkha’s King Prithivi NarayanShah it was clear that Kirtipur, with its superbly defensible hilltop Position, Would be the key to defeating the Mall kingdoms sot it was here the Gorkha king struck first and hardest. Kirtipur’s ridge is actually two hills, with a lower saddle between them. The Chilanchu Vihara tops the southern hill and has a central stupa with four smaller stupas, numerous statues and bells and Buddhist monastery buildings around it.
Chobar: The picture square little village of Chobar tops a hill overlooking the Bagmati River where it flows through the Chobar Gorge. Although the gorge is a regularly visited attraction, far fewer people come to Chobar itself. Perhaps they’re put off by the steep hill. The views of Himalaya and town are outstanding.
Bungamati and Khokana: we drive to cultural hamlet Bungmati – 16th century Newari Village flanking Patan. The elevated village that overlooks Bagmati River has been the home to nation’s best wood carvers for generations. Narrow and paved streets of the village with outlets selling wooden souvenirs and workshops occupied by busy wood carvers- intersting view for your eyes and unique shot for the lense. After Bungamati we drive to Khokana, another cultural village in the neighborhood dominated by Newari tribe. Enjoy the spicy environment of the village as this traditional village is a cluster of typical Newar houses with the rooftops filled with the garlands of red chillies, garlic and corn. Khokana also produces the most famous for mustard oil in Kathmandu Valley.
Bhaktapur: The third of the valley’s ancient cities is another century-long rival of Kathmandu. It has an impressive number of artistic treasures: it is rightly called “a living museum” as well as the most medieval city of the valley.
The oldest part of the town is around Tachupal Tole (Dattatraya Square), to the east. Bhaktapur was the capital of the whole valley during the 14th to 16th centuries and during that time the focus of the town-shifted west, to the Durbar Square area. Much of the town’s great architecture dates from the end of the 17th century during the rule of King Bhupatendra Malla.
Changu Narayan: The beautiful and historic temple of Changu Naraya Stands on a hilltop at the eastern end of the valley, about four km north of Bhaktapur. Although the temple dates from 1702, when it was rebuilt after a fire, its origins go right back to the 4th century and there many important stone images and sculptures dating from the Lichhavi period.
Nagarkot Hill, located at height of 2175 m/ 7134 ft from sea level, Nagarkot is a hilly place for refreshing and views of valleys as well as panoramic mountains. you will ranges of mountains from west to east including
Our journey in Nepal comes to an end today! Himalayan Aster Treks representative will drop us off at the airport approximately 3 hours before our scheduled flight. OR You have the option to extend your trip to continue onto Chitwan jungle safari, rafting adventure, Kathmandu valley shopping tour, scenic Everest flight, mountain biking and other activities.