Sightseeing tours of Kathmandu valley include the three unique syncretism of queen city, bearing unmatched architectural aesthetic and antique abode, which are the grandeur to soak in with thoughts and emotion on a 2 days guided tour of Kathmandu Valley. However, the presence of medieval towns in Nepal, where time has stood still is undergoing rapid gentrification. But the changes have not affected the ancient values, and so are practically recognizable as we stroll down the traditionally paved alleys on a city sightseeing tour of of 7 world Heritage Sites in Kathmandu City, Bhaktapur City and Patan City.
Kathmandu Valley Guided Sightseeing Tour of seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites; On this city guided tour of Kathmandu Valley, you can find the unique Hindu and Buddhist cultures highlight the ethics of bygone era standing vividly compelling.
07:30 AM: Drive to Changunarayan temple that reveals beginning of Nepal history. Perched on the end of a ridge extending from Nagarkot, it's striking and scenically beautiful setting adds extra appeal to this important shrine.
The temple is actually believed being constructed in the 4th century and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. A stone slab discovered in the temple area dates back to the 5th century, and is the oldest such stone inscription discovered in Nepal.
09:30 AM: Reach Bhaktapur Newari medieval town, once the capital of Nepal during the great Malla dynasty until the second half of 15th century, Bhaktapur preserves tons of hidden prosperity. History source of Bhaktapur is barely traceable but it could be anywhere from the third century. Back in time Bhadgaon was the medieval name of this culturally instinct town and is also declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO for its rich culture, temples, wood, metal and stone artwork mainly pottery.
Highlights of Bhaktapur City; much of picks are under renovation
Durbar square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the city as it highlights the ancient arts of Nepal. The golden effigies of the kings perched on the top of stone monoliths, the guardian deities looking out from their sanctuaries, the wood carvings in every place-struts, lintels, uprights, tympanum, gateways and windows all form a well-orchestrated symphony.
The golden gate is the entrance to the main courtyard of the Palace of 55 windows; this gate is mainly regarded as the world's most beautiful and richly carved specimens of its kind.
Nyatapol Temple is 30 meters tall, and is the tallest temple in the Kathmandu valley. It was then built by King Bhupatindra Malla in 1708 AD. Each of its five terraces holds a pair of figures, starting from bottom wrestlers, elephant, lion, griffins and goddesses.
The Bhairavnath Temple built as a one-story pagoda during the reign of King Jagat Jyoti Malla, later changed into a three-storey temple in 1718 A.D. by King Bhupatindra Malla, this temple now stands for its artistic grandeur. The Bhairavnath temple is dedicated to Lord Bhairav - the god of Terror.
Dattatraya Temple built-in 1427 AD, the temple believed built from a single tree. A Monastery having exquisitely carved peacock windows is near the temple.
Enjoy lunch at many exclusive eateries in Bhaktapur.
01:30 PM: Drive to Patan City (another medieval city and Newari town). One of the three royal cities of Kathmandu Valley, Patan officially called Lalitpur Metropolitan City has a rich cultural heritage known for its fine crafts, clear at first sight with its elaborated architecture, stone carvings, and metal statues found all over the city. A center of both Buddhist and Hindu culture, Patan is home to more than 1,200 monuments. UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979
Highlights of Patan City (significantly damaged):
Patan Durbar has many famous sites and unique architectures. Bhimsen temple, Hiranya Varna Mahabhiharare are just a few among the temples offering you an ecstasy of paintings, wood and metal carvings. One of the most stunning is the Krishna Mandir, a single stone temple built-in the 16th century. Patan Museum displays traditional sacred art of Nepal. It's home is an old residential court of Patan Durbar, one of the royal palaces of the former Malla kings of the Kathmandu Valley.
The museum’s exhibit cover a long-span of Nepal’s cultural history and some rare objects are among its treasures. Their meaning and context within the living traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism are well explained. Most of the objects are cast bronzes and gilt copper reposes work, traditional crafts for which Patan is famous.
The Mahabaudha temple is dedicated to Buddha. It was built by Pandit Abhaya Raj, a Buddhist architect, and more interesting fact about the temple is that every single brick has Buddha engraved in it. There are nearly one thousand bricks of Buddha Pictures in the temple.
Rudra Varna Mahavihar is a Buddhist monastery containing a collection of images and statues in stone, wood and metal and also the treasures offered by king's devotees. In ancient times, Nepal's kings were crowned in this monastery.
Hiranya Varna Mahavihar this three storey golden pagoda is located about 650 feet from the Patan Durbar Suare. It has the images of Lord Buddha and large prayer wheels. The pagoda is also known as Kwa Bahal or Suwarna Mahavihar or Golden temple.
Kumbheshowr is a five storied temple in Patan portraying fine arts. An annual festival is held here once every year.
The Jagat Narayan temple of Lord Vishnu made of red bricks. It has fine images on stone and an artistic metal statue of Garuda on a stone pillar.
Ashoka Stupa known to have been built in 250 BC by Emperor Ashoka
04:30 PM Drive back to Hotel: Free Evening, Overnight Hotel
Day 02: Full day Guided Tour:
08:00 AM Drive to Pashupatinath (the only unaffected UNESCO World Heritage Site by the earthquake) home of the Lord of the animals illustrate symbol of faith. This richly ornamented monument existed back in 400 A.D and dwells the sacred Lingam or phallic symbol of Lord Shiva. Moreover, known as temple of Living Beings has a cremation site on the south.
This is the holiest cremation ground (burning Ghats) of Nepal and most distinctive attraction for tourists. The setting of this site dedicated to Shiva signifies supremacy of Nepali architecture and craftsmanship.
We extend the temple visit over a short hike (1/2 an hour) through Slesmantak Jungle into Guheshwori Temple. The hike is Rejuvenating and encouraging for anyone, even seniors and kids. Guheshwori is known as foundation of strength for all life form mainly being consort of Lord Shiva. It was then built during ruling period of King Pratap Malla in 1654 A.D. It’s gorgeously attractive with golden doors and windows framed by devotees in the latter periods. However, among many spiritual masterpiece of structural design it’s of a different kind.
10:00 AM Visit Boudhanath - Little Tibet of Nepal:
Boudhanath Stupa was built during Licchavi period (King Śivadeva) and is the largest spherical Stupa of Asia and centre of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. Representation of its strong influences with the sight of Monks walking in maroon robes and spinning prayer wheels in their hands while following the rituals of prostration by walking clockwise around the Stupa is instant. According to history, there was severe drought during construction of this holiest Buddhist site in Kathmand, so dew was alternately collected to mix mortars for its construction and for this reason it is also called Khasti (dew drop). Kassapa Buddha's remains are entombed in this marvelous structure that over shadowed the viciousness of Nature (partially damaged now repaired).
The Stupa is originally centered in once the main trading path between Nepal and Tibet. Since it was convenient for movement between two countries, the nineteen fifties saw dramatic influxes of Tibetan refugees around its site due to Chinese invasion of Tibet. And, the political turn around made the refugees to stay back and urbanized the vicinity into "Mini Tibet" modern-day perfection, why it is famous. The white mound with its eyes on all four corners is thirty-six meters high and has remained UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979
12:00 PM Return to Hotel / free for lunch.
02:00 PM walk the old market and inner streets to Kathmandu old city, Kathmandu Durbar Square or the epicenter of 60's hippy era. This is the residing place of the only officially Living Goddess in the world. The square is a groovy setting of old and new richly carved architectural features, temples, shrines, statues, palaces and courtyards some with touch of English architecture and curving roofs built during 12th and 18th centuries by ancient kings of Nepal. Stone lions guard the gates to the Old Royal Palace with a number of courtyards. It features a 17th-century stone inscription written in 15 languages against setting in the walls.
On other side of the square, Kasthamandap is an open pavilion topped by a pyramidal tower created from the wood of a single tree (destroyed). It purportedly the Valley's longest-existing building. Likewise, Kathmandu derives its description because of this historical temple.
Akash Bhairab Temple also referred as Blue Bhairab, is a three-storied temple in the principal market called Indra Chowk. The divine image of the Akash Bhairab is displayed outside for a week-long period during the great festival of Indra Jatra.
Temple of Kumari is the holy quadrangle with a Buddhist stupa at the center form the residential quarters of the Chaste Virgin Goddess Kumari.
04:00 PM Visit Swayambhunath
Swayambhunath Stupa is a 5th century golden spire, symbols the source of Kathmandu valley's mythical beginning. It crowns a hill adorned with colorful fluttering prayer flags offering extraordinary views over the valley. Its dazzling white hemispherical mound represents a road to nirvana symbolized by an umbrella on top.
The temple complex is lively scattered with shrines and statues of Buddhist and Hindu deities characterizing the country's unique religious harmony. It's particularly striking in early evening when the city is under soft glow of light. There are 365 stone steps leading to the top and walking on these steps is additional value of visiting Swayambhunath. It is believed the eyes on four corners of the Stupa silently observe and empowers its devotees. These steps are specifically constructed to a rule each bearing symbolic meaning. UNESCO World Heritage Site
05:00 PM Drive back to Hotel and its the end of the 2 days kathmandu valley guided tour.