Culture, Wildlife and Treks of Nepal
Route : Kathmandu Chitwan National Park Pokhara Kathmandu
This morning, arrive Kathmandu, the beautiful capital city of Kingdom of Nepal. Upon clearing airport formalities, transfer to your hotel, take some rest and freshen up.
This afternoon, visit Boudhanath Stupa, meaning the ‘Lord of Wisdom’. This Tibetan Buddhist monument is the largest stupa in Nepal and one of the largest in the world.
Also visit Pashupatinath Temple, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world, on the banks of Bagmati River. Although only Hindus are allowed inside the temple, visitors can clearly see the temple and the activities performed inside, from the eastern bank of Bagmati River.
Discover Kathmandu with excursion to Bhaktapur (18 Kms / 30 Mins – one way)
After breakfast, visit Swayambhunath Stupa, one of the world’s oldest Buddhist chaityas, acclaimed to be more than 2500 years old. Situated on a hillock, 3 kms west of Kathmandu this is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal.
Later this morning, drive to Bhaktapur, which was the former capital of the valley, and was once a flourishing city on the trade route to Tibet. Today, Bhaktapur is like an open air museum with large areas open to pedestrian access - it is a store house of mediaeval art and architecture. Interesting places to explore include the renowned Durbar square, Golden Gate at the Palace of 55 Windows, Potters square which houses the elephant headed Lord Ganesha temple who is believed to be the patron of potters in Nepal. Bhaktapur houses a variety of Hindu and Buddhist temples including Nepal’s largest Shiva Linga. You may also see artisans engaged in Bhaktapur’s traditional crafts of pottery and weaving.
On your way back to Kathmandu, visit the Patan Durbar Square. Patan is known for its museum, temples and superb craftsmanship of its artisans. Patan Durbar Square has been acclaimed as one of the finest urban streetscapes in the world.
Drive Kathmandu to Chitwan National Park (185 Kms / 5 Hrs)
After breakfast, embark on a scenic drive to Chitwan National Park, in the foothills of Himalayas.
Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and freshen up. This afternoon, enjoy an Elephant Back Safari to explore the jungle and its wildlife. Popular wildlife at Chitwan National Park includes the one-horned rhinoceros, several types of deer, monkey, wild boar, bison, sloth bear, and leopard and tigers. Perched high on the back of your elephant, you'll be safely out of reach of anything lurking in the tall grass. Each elephant seats 4 people.
Day in Chitwan National Park
Enjoy an early morning Nature Walk identifying birds, plants and other wildlife in the open grasslands, and jungles of Sal forests. Chitwan is most beautiful at dawn with the sun rising above the jungles and the glistening river.
After breakfast, join an Elephant Briefing Program, where you get an opportunity to visit elephant stables and learn more about these gigantic animals. For the more adventurous, you may also try your hand at giving these mammals a good scrub and wash!
After lunch, a traditional Dug-Out Wooden Canoe Cruise takes you on a silent trip down the Rapti River to view aquatic birds and crocodiles of the banks of the river. (not available from 15 March – 30 September)
This evening, enjoy Dinner around Camp Fire with the indigenous Tharu Stick Dance Show, whereby farmers from nearby villages showcase their traditional skills and dances.
Drive Chitwan National Park - Pokhara (160 Kms / 4 Hrs)
This morning embark on a scenic drive to Pokhara. Surrounded by beautiful snow-caped mountains, with a magnificent lake of crystal-clear Himalayan water, Pokhara is a serene hill town in the foothills of Himalayas. Pokhara offers fascinating view of Annapurna range including the fish tail peak of Machapuchare. The locals, called Pokhralis, will greet you with warm smiles and unforgettable hospitality.
Spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful town of Pokhara, visiting the Devis Fall and the nearby Gupteshwor Cave popular for the natural artwork forms made of limestone deposits. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a boat ride in Phewa Lake, the second largest lake of Nepal, offering splendid views of the surrounding Himalayan ranges.
Trek to Tirkhedunga (1540 M - 4 Hrs)
After breakfast your driver will pick you up for the 2 hour drive to Birethanti (1135 M). On the way, you will see Himalayan peaks looming in the distance as the road winds its way up to the starting point of your short Nepal trek. Packed with your camera, warm sweater and some water you'll head off, accompanied by your guide and local porters. The villagers wave goodbye as you slowly begin your ascent.
The path leads through a thick bamboo forest to lush green fields where cows with red plumes on their heads graze. There's plenty of opportunity to stop for some pictures or a drink on the way. After about 4 hours you arrive in Tirkhedhunga, a small village with a couple of shops, a wobbly hanging bridge across the river and waving children that follow you full of curiosity.
Overnight at lodge / teahouse.
Trek to Ghorepani (2855 M - 6 Hrs)
After a hearty breakfast it's time to pack your things and head off on the trek. The first stretch is fairly easy as you walk downhill into the valley. As you cross the river Burungdi Khola make sure to stop and admire this spectacular mountain river. The freezing cold meltwater flows down from high up on the mountain. Then it's the most strenuous part of your short Nepal trek. Heading up some stony steps you slowly make your way to 2000m.
At the end of this strenuous climb you'll be rewarded with an amazing view of the snow-capped mountains rising up above the surrounding hills. The last part of the trek is pretty level and leads through a colourful and aromatic rhododendron forest. On arrival in Ghorepani put your feet up, have a drink and relax. As you look around you'll see the colourful prayer flags blowing in the wind at the many temples and snowy mountain peaks in the background
Overnight at lodge / teahouse.
Early morning excursion to Poon Hill (3210 M – 1 Hr Climb) Trek to Thadapani (2640 M – 4 Hrs)
Start your day with an early morning excursion to Poon Hill about an hours climb, which provides fascinating unobstructed views of Himalayan peaks. Once you reach the top, watch as the sun slowly colours the white peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri in shades of deep orange – this is one of the most spectacular sights of Nepal.
Then continue your trek to Thadapani. The trail climbs on a stone staircase about one and half hour on to the ridge and then goes downhill to the village of Banthati through dense oak forests, and firs and rhododendron tree lines. The village of Banthati is located in the shadow of a huge rock face where we stop for our hot lunch. Beyond Banthati, the trail starts climbing, leaving the moist, high mountain forests and entering a field of cane. The trail climbs steeply about half an hour before reaching Tadapani. Upon arrival, put your feet up and enjoy the views!
Overnight at Lodge.
Trek to Ghandruk (1950 M – 4 Hrs)
Today we trek to Ghandruk, as the trail descends steeply through thick forests to Deurali. A short, steep descent continues gently past some gorge streams, finally leading out on a ridge towards Ghandruk at 1950M. Ghandruk stands beautifully against the backdrop of snowy Himalayan peaks including the famous Annapurna and Machhapuchhre (Fish-tail).
Overnight at Lodge
Trek to Nayapul (1135 M – 4 Hrs) Drive to Pokhara (850 M – 2 Hours)
This morning, trek to Nayapul (1135M) all the way downhill, taking approx 4 hours. The trail drops at first on a stone staircase, then traverses high above the river on wide stone paved lanes. The trail keeps heading downhill through terraced fields and on to a suspension bridge over the Sadhu Khola, finally arriving alongside Modi Khola in Shauli Bazaar where we stop for lunch. The trail is now on the bottom of the river valley, passing through a lovely birch forest, then following alongside the river on a rough trail to extensive rice terraces. After about 2.5 hrs walk from Shauli bazaar, we arrive at Nayapul. From here, we drive back to Pokhara (approx 2 hours drive).
Upon arrival check in at your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure in Pokhara.
Pokhara to Kathmandu (210 Kms / 6 Hrs)
After breakfast, embark on your return drive to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and freshen up.
This afternoon visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, the historic seat of Nepalese royalty built between the 12 - 18 centuries. The Durbar square is famous for its exquisite architecture, museums, temples and artistic embellishments. You also get an opportunity to buy some interesting souvenirs here.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch your flight for onward destination. Travelite services terminate at Kathmandu.