Highlights of Nepal

Discover the best of Nepal with us as you come face to face with friendly locals living in medieval-style towns, ride an elephant through a popular national park, encounter an intriguing collection of sacred Buddhist and Hindu shrines and enjoy multiple views of awe-inspiring Himalayan peaks. Your guided tour of Nepal will include:

  • an opportunity to explore historical Kathmandu and the preserved ancient city of Bhaktapur as well as experience the rural charm of the hilltop village of Bandipur;
  • an elephant ride through Chitwan National Park;
  • a visit to the birthplace of the Buddha;
  • a chance to enjoy various activities in the lakeside city of Pokhara at the foot of the awesome Annapurna ranges.

The Kathmandu Valley, with its three traditional cities of Patan, Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, is a UNESCO world heritage site. The rich history of the valley spans nearly two thousand years. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in the nation’s capital, Kathmandu. The city is said to have more gods than people and more temples than houses. Wandering through the narrow streets, you will see devotees paying visits to open temples, a daily ritual for locals. After visiting several Hindu and Buddhist shrines, you will develop your understanding of the theoretical links between the two ancient religions, including the famed concept of karma.

The ethnically rich hilltop town of Bandipur, with its well-preserved, old-time rural atmosphere, hosts various traditional Newari and Magar festivals which make for fascinating cultural experiences in instances where tours can be appropriately timed. Numerous Magar and Gurung men, additionally, have served in the fabled Gurkha regiments. Bandipur’s elevation provides an excellent view of the Himalayan mountains – including Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal and Langtang Himal – as well as the sacred Manakamana Temple perched upon a distinguished ridge 1,302 metres above sea level. From Bandipur, the Marshyangdi Valley, home to a fast-flowing alpine river, can also be viewed in all its magnificence.

Chitwan National Park, another world heritage site of Nepal, is renowned for its elephant jungle safari on which you will discover a lost world of signature species including the one-horned rhinoceros, the Bengal tiger and the mugger crocodile.

The pilgrimage and UNESCO world heritage site of Lumbini is the birthplace of the mystical Buddha. The holy site features ruins of ancient monasteries, a sacred Bodhi tree, an ancient bathing pond, the Ashokan Pillar and the Maya Devi Temple where the precise place of the Buddha’s birth is located. From early morning to early evening, pilgrims from various countries engage in chanting and meditation at the site. Lumbini, where the Buddha lived until the age of 29, is one of four pilgrimage sites that sprang up in places pivotal to the life of the famous sage, the others being at Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya and Sarnath in India.

The lakeside city of Pokhara offers numerous fun activities, including boating on and cycling around Phewa Lake, paragliding, white water rafting, farmstays and hiking – all against the backdrop of the incredible Annapurna ranges.

To view the itinerary, please click here.

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Chitwan, oh what an adventure!

Chitwan is enjoyable all year round. I was there in early November 2010 with Binaya, our trekking/tour hero. The most memorable to me is a long lasting sunset on the far end of plain land on a never ending drive along the mustard fields blooming in yellow. Next was the sunset over the river so calm to make you feel spiritual immediately. Later on the bone fire and barbecue lightened our night on chit chat with tourists and ourselves.

The elephant safari early in the morning was a unique experience, however, less rewarding for our group in terms of numbers of animals we spotted. A dug out canoe ride right after it was far more rewarding and adventurous. I set out in the community forest side which was quieter and lush green. It was a great birdwatching trip and bonus were spotting an elephant on bathe, one baby crocodile sun bathing, another big crocodile doing the same few meters away and finally a couple of crocodiles on the river bank. One among the two was a Ghariyal, a fish eating crocodile with elongated mouth found only in some parts of Asia.

Lucky, our timing was right – no crocodile in the water underneath our canoe.

Eating weird food in nearby Narayanghat Bazzar was another adventurous experience – fried intestine of goat, boiled head parts and especially fried meat locally called ‘Taas’.

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