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Leisure & Heritage 7N/8D

Description

Kathmandu, Chitwan, Lumbini & Pokhara

Itenary Glance

Day 1: Kathmandu

Day 2: Chitwan

Day 3: Chitwan

Day 4: Lumbini

Day 5: Pokhara

Day 6: Pokhara

Day 7:Kathmandu

Day 8: Depart Kathmandu

End of the Tour

Detailed Itenary

Day 1: Kathmandu

Arrive Kathmandu. On arrival at Kathmandu airport you will be met and greeted with flower garland by AK Holidays representative and transferred to hotel. Rest of the evening is at leisure.

Welcome to an ancient Himalayan Country that offers a fascinating culture, incredible scenery, very warm and friendly people, great trekking opportunities, and a whole lot more. With the exception of congested Kathmandu, Nepal have charming, laid back cities and towns, along with picturesque wildlife parks that are home to many endangered species. The unfortunate picture (of the effects of the 2015 earthquake) painted by the media, like much of what they do, is severely exaggerated. For example, the three ancient temples, all UNESCO World Heritage sites, in Kathmandu received very little, or no, damage. The three Durbar Square’s (all of which are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites) in the queen cities of the Kathmandu Valley did receive fairly heavy damage, but most of their monuments are still standing and still provide wonderful insights into the local culture.

Overnight stay in Kathmandu

Day 2: Chitwan

Early morning, enjoy Mount Everest Scenic Flight Tour of one hour (optional)

Kathmandu – Chitwan National Park (Approx. 159 Kms / 6 hrs drive) Proceed to Chitwan National Park. Arrive and check into the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Later in the evening visit Elephant Breeding Centre, or part of one of the programs arranged by the lodge. Evening enjoy a local Tharu Cultural Dance Show. Overnight at the hotel in Chitwan.

Chitwan National Park is a large and beautiful nature reserve occupying 932 sq. km. of land inhabitant of endangered royal Bengal tiger and the one-horned Indian rhino. Chitwan National Park was protected since the 19th century as a hunting reserve for Nepali royals and foreign aristocrats. There are more than 50 species of mammals in Chitwan including monkeys, tigers, leopards, sloth bears, wild boar, hyenas, deer, elephants and rhinos. There are also 450 different species of birds and 67 species of butterflies. The main attraction of Chitwan is the Elephant Safari. It is a unique experience to explore the jungle on the back of a trained elephant. While you are not likely to see the Bengal tiger, you should be able to see the Indian rhino and enjoy one of the nicest nature reserves of the Indian sub-continent.

Day 3: Chitwan

This morning experience an exciting safari at the jungle in southern Nepal, where we ride on elephant back in search of one horned rhino and many other wild animals. Later in the afternoon you will take a canoe ride along Rapti River. This is an excellent opportunity for bird watching and you might even see two rare species of crocodile: the Marsh Mugger and the Gharial Crocodile.

Overnight stay in Chitwan.

Day 4: Lumbini

After breakfast, drive to Lumbini. It is an 3 hours drive (135 kms)

On arrival at Lumbini, proceed for a half day sightseeing tour of Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha.

Lumbini

Lumbini is the place where Queen Maya Devi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama in 563 BCE. Siddhartha Gautama, who achieved Enlightenment sometime around 528 BCE, became Lord Gautama Buddha and founded Buddhism. Lumbini is one of many magnets for pilgrimage that sprang up in places pivotal to the life of Gautama Buddha. Listed in the World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 1997, Lumbini has a number of temples, including the Maya Devi Temple and several others. Many monuments, monasteries and a museum- the Lumbini International Research Institute, are also within the holy site. There is the Puskarini, or the Holy Pond, where Buddha’s mother took the ritual dip prior to his birth and where he had his first bath. At other sites near Lumbini, earlier Buddhas were, according to tradition, born, then achieved ultimate Enlightenment and finally relinquished their earthly forms. Among the pilgrims in the ancient times was the Indian emperor Ashoka, who erected one of his commemorative pillars there. The site is now being developed as a Buddhist pilgrimage centre, where the archaeological remains associated with the birth of the Lord Buddha form a central feature.  Lumbini is one of the holiest places of one of the world’s great religions, and its remains contain important evidence about the nature of Buddhist pilgrimage centers from as early as the 3rd century BC.

Ashoka Pillar: built in the year 259BC, this pillar was built by King Ashok, who was Buddhist. When he constructed this pillar, the King exempted the villagers from paying tax and gave out 100 golden coins to the people. In the seventh century, the pillar was struck by lightning and split into two parts. The site was lost for six centuries and covered with dense forest before being re found in 1895. The place was cleared and the pillar reconstructed.

Maya Devi Temple: This temple is supposed to be dedicated to Maya Devi, who is Buddha’s mother, which seems natural as Lumbini in famed as the birth place of Buddha. The temple was built during the 2nd century. Next to the temple there is a pool where Maya Devi used to bathe, now days the Japanese Buddhist Federations is re constructing new temple at this site.

The Crane Sanctuary: a sanctuary is being built for the protection and breeding of endangered cranes in this area. It’s an interesting place to visit.

The Sacred garden: is the beautiful area around the Asoka pillar where you can spend time in peace relaxing and wondering around.

Monasteries: many countries have built monasteries in this area, it’s possible to walk around and visit them as you like.

Overnight stay in Lumbini

Day 5: Pokhara

Drive to Pokhara (170 Kilometers by Siddhartha Highway- 5 hrs)

Pokhara is a remarkable place of natural beauty.  At an elevation lower than that of Kathmandu, it has much more tropical feel to it; a fact well appreciated by the beautiful diverse flowers that prosper in this environment. The enchanting city with several beautiful lakes offers stunning panaromic views of Himalayan peaks. The valleys surrounding Pokhara is home to thick forest, gushing rivers, emerald lakes and of course, the views of world famous Himalayas. The serenity of the lakes and the magnificence of the Himalayas rising behind them create an ambience of peace and magic

Overnight stay in Pokhara.

Day 6: Pokhara

Early morning, you will be driven to Sarangkot for a sunrise tour.

Sarangkot is the small hilltop which is famous for its breath taking view of sunrise and Annapurna range and Fishtail (Virgin Mountain). From here, you can see a panoramic sweep of Himalayan peaks, from Dhaulagiri (8167m) in the west to the perfect pyramid that is Machhapuchhare (6997m) and the rounded peak of Annapurna II (7937m) in the east. Most people come here at dawn or dusk, when the sun picks out the peaks in brilliant colors.

After breakfast, start sightseeing tour of Pokhara City.

Devi’s fall, locally known as Patale Chhango (Hell’s fall), is an amazing waterfall lying about 2 km south-west of Pokhara airport on the highway to Tansen. It was named after Devi, a Swiss lady who was swept away when the floodgates were accidently opened, never to be seen again.

Seti River Gorge is one of the important places to visit in Pokhara. The Seti Gandaki flows right through the city. The river flows underground at many places and up to 250 meters deep at some places. There is a local myth that the entire Pokhara valley floats on the Seti River.

Gupteswor Mahadev is a beautiful cave just opposite to David Fall. A giant stalagmite within this cave is honored as a Shiva lingam and the devout flock here to pray. Entry tickets allow you to enter the temple. For some extra money you can also obtain entry to the tunnel behind, which comes out at a wet cavern right behind the gushing Devi’s fall. Once inside the cave, look up at the ceiling and you will see detritus and branches in cracks in the rock. These have actually been pushed up there by flood waters that fill the cave during the monsoon.

Bindabasini Mandir is of great religious importance to Hindus living in the Pokhara region. It is a vital hub of religious fervor. The temple itself is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga, who is Pokhara’ s chosen guardian deity. Durga, also known as Shakti or Kali has numerous manifestations and at the Bindabasini temple she is seen as Bhagwati, a blood-thirsty aspect of the goddess. Durga appears in the form of a Saligram. A Saligram, according to Hindu mythology is a propitious stone. It is said that the temple was created after the goddess ordered king Khadga Bum Malla to set up her statue here. The Bindabasini temple was then founded in BS 1845. Since its establishment, Bhagwati has been an object of worship here on a daily basis. Animal sacrifices are typically presented at the temple on Saturdays and Tuesdays. The Hindu festival of Dashain sees large numbers of believers coming to offer sacrifices at Bindabasini Mandir. Indeed, there is little space for tourist during the festival of Dashain.

Boat ride at Phewa Lake: Spend a quiet time boating in the ultimate lake where the reflections of Mount Annapurna and Machhapuchhare range falls. You will also see a variety of fishes while boating. An island temple is located at the middle of the lake. Thick forest lies on the adjoining southern slopes of the lake. It’s hard to escape the draw of Phewa Lake and any visitor with even a few spare minutes should endeavour to take a boat out on the water to fully experience the wonderful views of the reflected mountains.

Overnight stay in Pokhara

Day 7:Kathmandu

Pokhara–Kathmandu(Approx. 200Kms / 7hrs drive). Arrive Kathmandu and check into the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Overnight stay in Kathmandu.

Day 8: Depart Kathmandu

Today morning, you will visit Pashupatinath Temple, the most sacred of Hindu Temples.

Pashupatinath

Pashupatinath is the holiest Hindu pilgrimage destination in Nepal. There are linga images of Shiva along with statues, shrines, and temples dedicated to other deities in the complex. A temple dedicated to Shiva existed at this site in AD 879. However, the present temple was built by King Bhupatindra Malla in 1697. A gold-plated roof, silver doors, and woodcarvings of the finest quality decorate the pagoda construction. Guheswari Temple, restored in AD 1653, represents the female “force”. It is dedicated to Satidevi, Shiva’s first wife, who gave up her life in the flames of her father’s fire ritual.

 

A circuit of the Pashupatinath area takes visitors past a sixth-century statue of the Buddha, an eighth-century statue of Brahma the creator and numerous other temples. Some other places to visit are Rajrajeswari Temple, built in 1407, Kailas with lingas more than 1,400 years old, Gorakhnath temple, and the courtyard of Biswarup. There are rows of Shiva shrines and Hindu pilgrims from all over South Asia offering puja worship to Shiva, tile Lord of Destruction.

The Bagmati River flows close by and the Arya Ghat cremation grounds are here. We strongly advise photographers not to take photos of cremations and of bereaved families. Sadhus, sages who follow the lifestyle of Shiva, may be seen covered in ashes and loin-cloths. They ask for money in case you want to take their photos. The main Pashupatinath courtyard may be entered by those of Hindu faith only.

 

Depending on your departure flight schedule, you will be transferred to Kathmandu airport to board your flight back home.

End of the Tour