NEPAL & BHUTAN
(7 NIGHTS/8 DAYS)
Namaste and welcome the most exotic destinations in the Himalayas.
Located between India and Tibet, Nepal offers a fantastic array of attractions for tourists. It is best known as the home of the Mt. Everest but there is much more to the country than just one mountain. Nepal is a fascinating land of ancient history, vibrant cultures and people and scenic grandeur. It is also one of the richest countries in the world in terms of bio-diversity due to its unique geographical position and latitudinal variation. Nepal has a rich and a most diverse culture because of its unique location between the world’s two largest and ancient civilizations.
Nepal is the holy land of Lord Pashupatinath and Gautam Buddha, where the Hindus and Buddhists have coexisted for centuries in total harmony. Lord Buddha, the ‘light of Asia’, was born in Lumbini in Nepal’s southern plains, which makes Nepal a sacred pilgrimage destination for all Buddhists as well. The temple of Pashupatinath is Nepal’s most sacred Hindu shrine and one of the four most important sites in the world for Shiva worshippers.
Bhutan often referred to as the last Shangri-la, is a land of outstanding people, remarkable scenery & natural wonders and a proud & vibrant culture. This unique and rare place remained isolated from the rest of the world and no tourism existed until 1974 preserving the rich natural environment and lively Buddhist culture. This kingdom with mystery has finally opened its doors to visitors. Today Bhutan has become one of the most exotic destinations for many international travelers.
Day 01: Arrival Kathmandu (-/-/-)
Arrival in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu is the largest city and the capital & heart of Nepal. Once thought to be the fabled and inaccessible Shangri-La, Kathmandu is a growing vacation spot catering to all budgets. In the distant dawn of unrecorded time, so legend tells us, the valley of Kathmandu was a turquoise lake with a wondrous lotus flower resting on it. Manjushree (Padmasambav), a patriarch saint from China sliced the valley wall with his flaming sword of wisdom at Chovar and let the dry land appear. The lotus flower settled on the valley floor over which Manjushree built the great stupa of Swayambhunath.
The Kathmandu valley comprises the three ancient Royal cities of Patan, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu having their own palaces and ornate palace squares each listed as World Heritage sites. There are cobbled lanes of the palace squares with a fascinating maze of temples, shrines, market places and the life revolving around it.
Meeting and assistance at the airport and transfer to your hotel.
Overnight at your hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 02: Kathmandu (B/-/-)
Morning, sightseeing tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swoyambhunath Stupa.
Kathmandu Durbar Square is located in the heart of old city Kathmandu. The founding of the Durbar (Royal Palace) dates back to Licchavi times. With considerable renovations by Malla rulers and later the Ranas, construction was accomplished progressively over many centuries. There are around 50 temples in the vicinity. Visit the 17th Century Durbar complex, Hanuman Dhoka, Paravati temple, great Bell and Drum, Bhairav, Taleju Temple and array of temples grouped around it. A few steps away are the Temple of the Living Goddess, where the clients may catch a glimpse of the Kumari at one of the open windows overlooking the inner courtyard. All around the splendor of historical monuments is the hustle & bustle of the market place. Vegetable vendors, trees of flutes, salesmen with their wares displayed on their person, souvenir hawkers, and street shop selling imported goods and tucked away in a quiet corner the glittering bead market for custom made bead necklaces.
Atop a green hillock west of Kathmandu stands the great stupa of Swayambhunath, a site over 2,500 years old marking the point where the legendary patriarch Manjushree discovered the lotus of the ancient Valley Lake. Swoyambhunath offers a bird’s eye view of the Kathmandu city. This huge stupa is one of the holiest Buddhists sites in Nepal and its establishment is linked to the creation of the Kathmandu. The faithful circumambulate of the stupa clockwise, turning the banks of prayer wheels and even prostrating full-length are done in reverence.
Afternoon, sightseeing tour of Patan Durbar Square.
Patan is also known as Lalitpur or the "city of fine arts" and is the oldest city in the valley. This Buddhist City is said to have been founded by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC. Patan is the cradle of arts and architecture of the valley, a great center both of the Newari Buddhist religion and of traditional arts & crafts with 136 bahals or courtyards and 55 major temples. Well known among these are the Krishna Mandir, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar,
Overnight at your hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 03: Kathmandu – Paro – Thimpu (2350m) (65kms/1.5hrs drive) (B/L/D)
Morning, transfer to the airport and fly to Paro.
Arrive at Paro International Airport. Paro is situated in a beautiful valley and is a fitting introduction to this charming kingdom. It is one of the most fertile valleys in the Kingdom, producing a bulk of the famous red rice from its terraced fields.Your guide will meet you and take you on a drive along the Paro and Thimphu river valleys to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital. Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan, lies at an elevation of 2,300 meters in a valley traversed by the Wang-chu (Thimphu River).
Later, visit the Memorial Chorten (temple) built in memory of the late 3rd King. Visit Changangkha Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the valley offering a nice view of the valley. Also visit the zoo where national animal, Takins are kept and drive to visit the largest and newly built statue of Buddha offering magnificent view of entire Thimphu valley. Visit the fortress of Thimphu, Tashichho Dzong, which houses the throne of the king.
Overnight at your hotel in Thimpu.
Day 04: Thimpu (2350m) (B/L/D)
Visit the School of Arts and Crafts where students learn 13 different arts used predominantly in Bhutan, walk to Folk Heritage Museum which is located next to the school and end with the visit to nearby National Library.
Afternoon, visit Taschichho Dzong, the main secretariat building, houses the throne rooms of the King and is the summer residence of central monk body, the Painting school of Buddhist art, the National Library, which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts and the Indigenous Hospital, where centuries old healing arts are still practiced.
Later, walk around town and soak in the atmosphere of this magical capital with its busy shops and bazaars and photogenic citizens in national dress.
Overnight at your hotel in Thimpu.
Day 05: Thimpu – Paro (2250m) (B/L/D)
Morning, drive back to Paro.
Afternoon, visit Paro Dzong (Rinpung Dzong) on foot and continue walking through the oldest wooden bridge still in use. Visit Ta Dzong (the watch tower) now housing the National Museum. Built on top of the hill above Rinpung Dzong, it was originally used to defend Rinpung Dzong and the Paro valley during times of war. Its unusual circular construction resembles a conch shell and it now contains a magnificent collection of Bhutanese artifacts – costumes, religious paintings, arms, textiles and a fascinating collection of Bhutan stamps.
Continue further to stroll around the old Paro town and peep into some local handicrafts stores. You could get some opportunity to see the traditional game, Archery match going on.
Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
Day 06: Paro – Taksang (2950m) – Paro (2250m) (B/L/D)
Morning, hike to Taktsang meaning “Tiger’s Nest”, a place of pilgrimage for local people. It is built around a cave in which Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhav) mediated, clings seemingly to a cliff of rock at 3,000 ft above the valley floor.
The legend has it the Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown to the site of monastery on the back of tigress from Tibet and mediated in the cave there for three months.
Day 07: Paro – Kathmandu (B/-/-)
Early Moring, pick up from you hotel and transfer to the Paro airport in time and fly back to Kathmandu.
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to your hotel.
Rest of the day is free.
Day 08: Kathmandu - Departure (B/-/-)
Free till departure.
Transfer to the airport in time to connect your international flight.
<<End of the program>>Overnight at your hotel in Kathmandu