Kathmandu Valley Tour Packages
In the prehistory, Kathmandu valley was a lake. Manjushree from Tibet came and cut Chovar hill with her sword. The water drained out through a gorge at Chovar and Kathmandu became a habitable zone in the passing of time. Kathmandu Valley Tour Packages offer best insight to the archaeological and cultural heritages of Kathmandu Valley. Kathmandu Valley tour is designed especially for first time travelers in Nepal. Some of the highlights of Kathmandu are Durbar Squares, Bagmati River, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath, Pashupatinath, Basantapur, Budhanilkantha in addition to the spectrum of the most diverse cultures, traditions and religions of the mixed ethnic groups that inhabit Kathmandu having come from different parts of Nepal.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
The palaces, courtyards and temples here are built between 12th and 18th centuries during the time the country was under the rule of Malla Dynasty. There is a famous stone inscription that was stalled in 17th century and the inscription has writing in 15 languages. Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites which is archaeological, social, and religious focal point of the town. There are palaces inside the buildings which have art and architectures as the glorification of the kings of that time. Kathmandu Durbar Square offers the art and architecture that showcases the skills and craftsmanship of Newar artists over the centuries. The Durbar Square Area includes palaces of Malla and Shah kings who ruled over the city.
The square surrounds quadrangles revealing courtyards and temples. Kathmandu Durbar Squrae is also known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square named after Hanuman, a large monkey at the entrance. The name Hanumand Dhoka is established by the king Pratap malla in 1672 AD. Basantapura Durbar Square is built by Prithvinarayan Shah in 1770. The whole complex is known as Kathmandu Durbar Square. The wood carvings, rich history, wooden temples, stone paved ways and wooden sculpture are picturesque.The Durbar is divided into two courtyards , the outer Kasthamandap Kumari Gahr and Shiva Parvati Temple and inner section consisting of Hanuman Dhoka and the main palace. This is where the coronation of the kings used to take place here when Nepal was under monarchy.
Major Highlights of Kathmandy Valley Tour Packages
Swayambhunath is an antique religious as well as archaeological architecture and stunning craftsmanship atop a mound in the west of Kathmandu city. The term ‘Swayambhu’ might have derived from ‘Singhu’ in Nepal Bhasa, which means self-sprung. According to legends and myths, Tibetan Buddhist deity named Manjushree visited Kathmandu Valley which was then a lake. Taken aback by the beauty of the lake and a lotus in a corner, he cut Chovar hill with his flaming sword and sent the water out. The valley became habitable and the place where lotus was seen turned out to be a mound, which now is the hill where the holy shrine stands. This is the oldest stupa built in 13th century by Vrisadev, the father of Mandev. The base of the Swayambhunath is surrounded by the prayer wheels.
Swayambhunath was said to have been constructed by Vrisadev, the grandfather of King Mandev(464-505 CE). The stupa has a dome as a platform for Budda Eyes looking in all four directions. The stupa is a storehouse for several artifacts inside it. The dome means the entire world. From the dome, there are thirteen steps till the pinnacle which means one has to go through thirteen phases to reach enlightenment phase, the pinnacle. The pair of eyes stand for wisdom and compassion. Swayambhunath basically belongs to Buddhism but there are small Hindu temples build around the Buddhist shrines, which signifies the beautiful harmony shared by the two different religions. Sightings of the amusingly frolicking monkeys is phenomenal here and therefore it is also known as Monkey Temple.
Highlights of Swayambhunath
-Swayambhunath is the hallmark of both Hindu and Boudha religion.
-Amusing sight of monkeys frolicking in the Swayambhunath Premise.
-The view of Kathmandu Valley from the top of the Swayambhunath
-The Swayambunath Stupa, the oldest stupa in Nepal built in 13th century by Vrishadev, father of Mandev.
-Recreational activities like throwing coin into a pot in the Swayabhunath premise.
-The experience of peace and tranquility that pervades the air
Budhanilkantha is a religious as well as touristic site that lies below Shivapuri Hill at the northern outskirt of the valley. What is iconic about this site is Lord Vishnu lying on his back on the aesthetically carved stone statue of interwoven cosmic serpents. It is a Hindu open air temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The statue of Lord Vishnu on the coil of serpents here is the largest stone carving in Nepal.
Budhanilkantha Temple is also called Narayanthan Temple. The statue here is carved out of a single piece of big rock, approximately five meters tall around 16.4 feet long. The statue is right in the middle of a pool of water. The statue of Lord Vishnu is well decorated with arms and amulets while Lord Vishnu holds a Sudarshan Chakra. The temple is simultaneously venerated by both Hinduism and Buddhism followers.
As myth states, long time ago, as a farmer with his wife was plowing the field, they got stuck at something which was of course the statue of Lord Vishu buried underground. They unearthed it by clearing out the soil and the statue sits where it is today. Another surprising legend states that king Pratap Malla had a prophetic dream that told that kings who visit the place will die right away. Since then not a single member from the palace has visited the temple.
Hinduists can approach the statue of Vishnu and touch his feet which is a part of worship. The statue looks like it is floating on the water while the heads of serpents form a hood right over the forehead of the Lord Vishnu. In the close distance, there is scenic Balaju Garden for get together and picnic spot that has twenty two ever-running stone faucets and fountains amidst the colorful garden.
Highlights of Budhanilkantha
-The aesthetic statue of the Lord Vishnu sleeping on a cosmic statue.
-Exuberating peace and tranquility in the temple premise.
-The beautiful carving of aesthetic serpents interwoven as a bed for the Lord Vishnu
-Surreal myths and legends related to the temple and the royal family of Nepal
-The twenty two rock faucets at Balaju Garden
Located at approximately 5 kilometers north-east of Kathmandu, Pashupatinath is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sits as enlisted in 1979. Myths state that a long time ago a cowherd’s missing cow was found to be pouring its milk over a certain point in the jungle on everyday basis. Wondering what it could be, they dug the ground and found Shiva Lingam buried underground, that was eventually followed by a construction of the Pashupatinath Temple at the same spot. Today millions of spiritual travelers and devotees annually pay visit to this holy temple.
Pashupatinath is one of the biggest religious sites in Asia dedicated to Lord Shiva. Constructed in 5th centry and renovated by kings of Nepal over the period of time, the historians state that he construction of the temple started as a Shiva lingam was discovered in the place wehre the temple of Pashupatinath stands today. This is the largest temple complex in terms of area it covers. Sadhus from Nepal and India can be spotted here in bizarre dress code.
The temple lies on the bank of Bagmati river that has cremation sites attached. The major pagoda styled temple has glided roof with four sides wrapped in silver and wood carving. The river backs have funeral platforms where Hindusts set a funeral pyre to organize the funeral activity. Inside the temple, there sits the major Shiva lingam. The vehicle of the Lord Shiva, a bull sits at the entrance of the temple. In Mahashivaratri, hundreds and thousands of Shiva devotees flock to the temple especially from Nepal and India.
The cultural, religious and spiritual sensation pervades the atmosphere of Pashupatinath Area. The temple premise encapsulates other religious sites like Jaya Bagishwori, Gaurighat, Gaushala, Kutumbahal, Sleshmantak forest and Deupatan. There are approximately 492 temples, 15 Shiva Lingams, and 12 jytotirlingas. There are handicraft and flower shops dotted around the Pashupatinath Area. Right behind the cremation site, there is an elderly home where the old people are put in an asylum.
Highlights of Pashupatinath
-Pashupatinath Temple, which is the largest Hindu Temple in Asia.
-Sadhus that wear unique attire and roam around the temple.
-cultural, religious and spiritual sensation that pervades the atmosphere.
-Sightings of the temples, shiva lingams, Shivalayas and jyotirlinga
-Bagmati river that flows by the temple
-The jungle segment where troops of monkeys can be spotted.
-Handicraft shops that sell religious appliances.
Dakshinkali temple was built by Supushpa, the first Lichhavi Ruler of Nepal. It is one of the most famous temples in Nepal. AS mentioned in Hindu scriptures, Dakshinkali Temple is dedicated to Kali, the fearful form of Lord Shiva’s wife. ‘Dakshin’ is Nepali word for ‘South’and ‘Kali’ means the Goddess. So Dakshinkali means the Goddess existent in the South. Dakshinkali temple is located at forty five minutes South to Kathmandu. There is a long held common belief that anyone who prays the Goddes Kali asking for her blessing by making her happy with sacrifice will bring fortune to one’s life.
Dakshinkali Temple construction has an interesting legend. The Kali appeared in the dream of a king and ordered him to get a temple constructed in her name for his own well being and prosperity. In Dakshinkali Temple, hundreds and thousands of devotees as well as tourists flock every year to make animal sacrifice and beseech her blessings for well being and prosperity. There is a trident: the three spears , the first symbolizes mother, second father and third spear symbolizes the Guru. A damaru attached to the trident produces a sound that is believed to open the inner ears to learning and knowledge acquisition. There is a narrow path that meanders through hills and mountains, crossing a suspension bridge, from where the view of the surrounding looks stunning. Even Pharping village can be spotted from this point.
Close-up picture of Kali is prohibited and non-Hindu are not allowed for the entry to the temple. It is sad that a celebrated scholar of Sanskrit language, Kalidas was blessed by Mahakali with wisdom and knowledge. Kalidas was basically a foolish guy with zero common sense and because of which he constantly got criticized by his learned wife. Saddened by the constant criticism, as he was about to sacrifice himself to the temple, Kali, the Goddess appeared and blessed him with invincible wisdom. On the way back from Dakshinkali, a brief stop at Chobhar will be relaxing. There are ancient temples and caves in Chobhar in addition to natural panorama it offers. Chobhar is a hill that was cut by Manjushree to drain the water of Kathmandu Valley out to make Kathmandu a habitable place.
Highlights of Dakshinkali Temple
-The beauty of the temple that is dedicated to Kali, the fearful Goddess
-Peace and tranquility that is there just a short distance away from Kathmandu
-The traditional ac of the animal sacrifice that is made there to please the Goddess Kali
-Views from the top of suspension bridge.
-Interesting legend of the Goddess Kali related with Kalidas.
-Sightings of the caves and temples in addition to a short visit to Chovar Gorge.
Patan Durbar Square is one of the three Durbar Squares in Kathmandu Valley. Patan Durbar Square is one of the UNESCO Word Heritage Sites in Kathmandu Valley. Malla Kings have constructed aesthetically striking palaces here which have been iconic tourist sites here. The temples and the palace built here are ancient that reflect the craftsmanship of Newari people of the past in Kathmandu. Patan Durbar Square is also known as a symbol of beautiful harmony between Buddhism and Hinduism.
Ancient palaces , aesthetic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples are touristic icons. The artistic heritage of Patan is well known touristic icon. Patan city is surrounded by four stupas which are, as legends state, constructed by the renown emperor, Ashoka. The town is studded with Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments. The aesthetically prominent shrines, carvings and temples are the major attractions here. Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Keshav Narayan Chowk are the three main courtyards and a well known stone masterpiece stands at Sundarichowk.
Bronze statues and objects at Patan Museum, Hiranya Varma Mahabirhar, a tolden teimple of Lord Buddha known as Lokeshwor and prayer wheels constructed by Bhaskar Verma in 12th century attracts the tourists. In addition, Golden window, Mahaboudha temple with five gold pinnacles and gold and bronze pinnacles of deities carved aesthetically are phenomenal attractions of the Square. Moreover, the stone built Krishna Temple opposite to Patan museum is spectacular. It is said that the whole of the temple has been built out of a single piece of rock. The temple contains statues of the Lord Krishna and his beloved Radha. The temple is built in Shikara style.
A day is not sufficient to explore Patan if you are an avid connoisseur of ancient art and architecture. Patan is also known as Lalitpur.Golden temple, Durbar Square, Mahaboudha temple, Rato machhendranath temple, Kumbheswhor temple, Peace gallery, statue of Yogendra Malla, Bhimsen temple, Uku Bahal, Minnath temple, Taleju Bhawani temple and the bell, Gauri Shankar temple, Tibetan monastery, Akasheswhor temple, Hari Shankar temple, Bidhyapith temple and many more are there that embody the archeological heritages that belong to Malla Rulers of Nepal.
Highlights of Patan Durbar Square
-Iconic Krishna temple that is entirely built from a single piece of stone
-Observation of the ancient Newari art and architecture.
-Bronze and gold statues of Hindu deities dotted around within the Square.
-The iconic Patan Museum and the Buddhist stupas
-Best suggested site for art and architecture fanatics
-Several temples with carvings of the statues related to Hinduism and Buddhism.
Kwa bahal is also known as the Golden temple which is basically a Bddhist Monastery Courtyard established during 12th century. The building is decorated with wood carvings. Aesthetic statues are dotted around the courtyard and people flock here for the worshipping of the deity. The shrine is a magnificent example of courtyard architecture. There are two elephant’s statue thtat stand at the doorway as a sumbol of protection. And the façade is covered with gleaming Buddhist figures. The indoors are not allowed for the photos.
Artistic statues of Green Tara and Shakyamuni can be witnessed inside the shrine. The main temple is adjacent to a domy of Swayambhunath Chaitya. Lowkeswor’s Statues are there at the four corners along with monkey statues. On the upper storey, there is a Tibetan wall paintings in addition to a wheel of life. At the exit in the east, there is a beautiful mandala on the wall. With a little distance towards South to Durbar Square, there are teimples build in Shikara style along with a Buddhist shrine. This shrine also known as Hiranayavarna Mahabihar is three-storied temple that was constructed by the then king Vashkar Verma.
Highlights of Kwa Bahal
-Golden image and prayer wheel on the second floor of the shrine
-Wood carvings and aesthetic statues
-Stunning architecture that embellishes the whole shrine
-Tibetan-styled wall paintings on the ceiling.
The central zoo is the only zoo in Nepal established in 1932 by Prime Minister Juddha Shumsher Rana. The zoo had been under the care of government for a long time before it opened for the public to visit in 1956. The zoo area covers 6 hectors of land. There are 870 species of mammals and 109 species of reptiles. The zoo has been a touristic icon as it offers lots of recreational activities like boating in a tiny lake at its center along with observation of the animals, insects and birds that are existent in the zoo.
The zoo operated by National Trust of Nature Conservation receives over a thousand visitors in a year. Asam elephant, assam macaque, spotted deer, wild boar, four-horned antelope, sloth bear, common leopard,large Indian civet, red panda, barking deer, blackbuck, blue bull, common langur, clouded leopard, Indian crested porcupine, Himalayan black bear, blue sheep, hippopotamus, Jackal, Jungle cat, leopard, Bengal tiger, rhino, spotted deer, hyena and squirrel are some of the mammals existent in the zoo.
Emu, emerald dove, lesser adjutant, Peacock, cockatiel, Ruddy shelduck,stork, rose-ringed parakeet,zebra finch, pheasant,satyr tragopan,red avadavat, scaly brested munia, loved bird, while pelican, hornbill, spiny babbler, black kite, Himalayan griffon, grey heron, goose, ostrich, eagle, owl,dove, woodpecker,parro and pigeon are some of the birds that can be observed in this zoo. There are libraries in the zoo premise and visitors can enjoy dry picnic since cooking is prohibited. Fishing in the lake is allowed within the terms and conditions of the Zoo Management. The zoo remains open throughout the entire week.
Highlights of the Central Zoo
-Recreational activities like boating in the cetral lake.
-Viewing the birds , mammals and reptiles.
-Dry picnic in the zoo area
- Libraries for reading and fishing in the lake.
-Photo-taking of the animals
-Peaceful atmosphere inside the zoo.
-Amusing activities of the monkeys and peacock dance.
Taumadi Durbar Square– Reachable through a narrow brick paved the lane. The towering five-storied temple named Nyatapola represents five elements –the fire,water,soil, air and the sky. Each of the five stages has statue of deities each ten teimes more powerful than the one immediately below.
Dattatreya Square– The Temple of Dattatreya is dedicated to three headed combination of Brahma(the preserver), Vishnu(the creator), and Shiva(the destroyer). The temple is said to have been constructed in 1427 and a single tree was used up in the construction. The temple is three storied and carving of the erotic images makes it phenomenal.
Pottery Durbar Square– The pottery square is a site where pot makers make the pots and leave them out in the sun to dry. Pottery is an income generation source as well as continuation of tradition for Newar ethnic groups here. Taumadi Pottery Square, South of Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a commercial pottery square.
Siddha Pukhu: Siddha Pukhu is named after a pond that dates back to Lichhavi Period. The pond is a touristic icon which offers peace and tranquility in the serene atmosphere. There are stone images of Hindu and Buddhist deities. It is also called Indra Daha and taking a dip into the pond is believed to make the goddess of the pond happy.
Suryabinayak Temple: The temple of Suryabinayak is situated at Suryabinayak Area. Parents with sick children specially dumb and deaf. The parents believe that the God will cure them. The temple of Suryabinayak is located at the top of the hill offering a panoramic view of the places in the proximity. The idol of the lord Ganesha, the God of wisdom and confidence is phenomenal here.
Changunaran Temple: The temple is located at the hilltop of Changu. Th shrine is dedicated to the Lord Vishnu and it is venerated especially by Hindus. Changunaryan Temple is naed after a Kashmiri girl named ‘Champak’ married to the prince of Nepal. Changunarayan Temple is considered the oldest temple of Nepal and it is a masterpiece of ancient art and architecture.