"NEPAL & TIBET "
NEPAL & TIBET
(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.
Tibet is the land of ancient Buddhist culture, awesome landscapes, artistic monasteries and century old caravan trails. The image of Tibet has been portrayed as 'Shangri-La" in the western world because of geographical inaccessibility. This magical and mysterious land was opened to tourism in 1985 only. Before this, it avoided influence from the West and developed its unique culture and religion independently. A visit to this land of unforgettable curious nomads, mysterious monasteries and vast breath-taking panoramas is a much rewarding holiday experience.
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 –Lhasa (3650m) (B/-/-)
Morning, transfer to the airport and fly to Lhasa.
Upon arrival in Lhasa, transfer to your hotel.
Lhasa is the best place to explore the monasteries and Palaces once occupied by religious heads of Tibet. Tibet's nation, language, diet, climate and geography are unique and deeply religious. Tibetans are open spontaneous people admirably good humored and quick to joke. Being the capital city, with 1,300 years of history, Lhasa, which means holy land of Buddha's land in Tibetan, is the political religious economical and cultural centre of Tibet.
Rest of the day is free for acclimatization.
Overnight at the hotel in Lhasa.
Day 04: Lhasa (3650mts) (B/-/-)
Full day sightseeing tour of Potala Palace, Drepung Monastery, Norbulingka
The Potala is considered one of the great wonders of the world. It is held sacred by Tibetans as the former residence of successive Dalai Lamas, and is one of Tibet's most holy pilgrimage sites. A palace was originally built in the 7th century by King Songtsen Gampo, and was believed to have been nine stories high, but around the 9th century it is believed to have been destroyed by a big fire. The present Potala Palace was constructed by the great fifth Dalai Lama in the 17th century after he became ruler of Tibet. The Potala Palace is divided into two sections, the White Palace (completed in 1653) and Red palace (completed 1694). It has more than one thousand rooms and is thirteen stories high. The White Palace was secular in nature and mainly used for government administration, whilst the Red palace was mainly used for religious functions and still has numerous chapels, including those containing reliquary stupas of the successive Dalai Lamas which are richly decorated in gold, silver and semi-precious stones.
Drepung monastery is the largest monastery in Tibet, built in the 15th century by Jamyang Choeje who is one of Tsongkapa’s foremost disciples. The monastery is beautifully located up in a hill at the distance of 7 Km from the old section of the city and it is the biggest monastery in Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery has four main colleges with numerous small chapels and house chapels, known as Khangtsen in Tibetan. There are around six hundred monks nowadays.
Norbulingka is the first summer Palace which was founded by the seventh Dalai Lama in 18th century and the first Palace Kelsang Podrang were also constructed as the same name as the 7th Dalai Lama, Kelsang Gyatso. The eight Dalai Lama Jampel Gyatso (1758-1804) did more initiated work on the Norbhulinkha, expending the gardens and digging a lake which can be found south of the new summer Palace. The thirteenth Dalai Lama (1876-1933) was responsible for the three Palaces in the North West corner of the park and the fourteen the Dalai Lama built the new summer Palace in 1956. Nowadays there are some monks who are taking care of the Palace.
Overnight at your hotel in Lhasa.
Day 05: Lhasa (3650mts) (B/-/-)
Full day sightseeing tour of Sera Monastery, Jokang temple & Bharkor Street/market.
Sera Monastery was founded in around 15th century by Jamchen Choeje who is another famous disciple of Tsongka pa and it is the second largest monastery of Tibet. There are three big colleges with numerous chapels and house chapels. The most attraction to visit this monastery is to see the monks debating which hold from 3-5Pm everyday apart from Sunday.
The Jokang is Tibet’s most sacred temple, the main point of pilgrims from the entire Tibetan plateau. Located at the heart of the ancient town of Lhasa, it was built in the 7 th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo’s queen Bhrikuti on a site identified by Queen Wencheng according to her geomantic calculation. The temple is 3 stories high and it is constructed with enormous chapels including the most sacred statue of Budhha Shakyamuni, enshrined. It has around 70 monks nowadays.
Ancient Bharkor street is the most sacred pilgrimage site in Lhasa and it is full of pilgrims from down till dusk. There are four huge prayer flags situated in Bharkor street which surrounds the Jokang, known respectively as Gadhen Dharchen in the northeast, Juyak Dharchen in the west, Kelsang Dharchen in the southwest and SharKyaring Dharchen in the southeast. The Bharkor street is the most active market in all Tibet and it is possible to purchase traditional Tibetan artifacts, religious implements, antiques, modern goods, books, music, clothing, spices, fresh meat and vegetable.
Overnight at your hotel in Lhasa.
Day 06: Lhasa (3650mts) (B/-/-)
Commence on a day excursion to Ganden Monastery.
Ganden Monastery is the first monastery of Gelug Sect which is located on Wangbur Mountain, on the southern bank of Lhasa River in Tagtse County, 47kms from Lhasa City. It stands at an altitude of 3,800 meters above sea level. It is one of the earliest and largest Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, and stands atop of the six famous temples of Gelugpa - a branch of Tibetan Buddhism. Its significance as a religious, artistic, political and cultural relic led to it being preserved by the National Key Cultural Relic Preservation scheme in 1961, and is now known as being one of the 'Three Great Temples', together with the Sera Monastery and the Drepung Monastery . Every year, one of the grandest of Buddhist activities - Buddha Painting Unfolding Festival - is conducted here, attracting thousands of visitors and disciples.
In the early 15th century, Tsong Khapa called for the Reformation of Religion, advocating the rooting out the previous disadvantages in religious orders and initiated the Gelugpa. This sect also became known as the Yellow Hat sect, as its disciples were always wearing yellow hats. This order went on to become the biggest sect in Tibetan Buddhism, leading to Tsong Khapa establish the Ganden Monastery. Since dharma is essential to the teachings of the sect, the whole layout of the monastery is built on its principles.
The temple is comprised of over 50 structures. The main halls in the temple are the Main Assembly Hall (or Coqen Hall), Zhacangs, Khangtsens, and Myicuns.
Day 07: Lhasa - Kathmandu (B/-/-)
Early morning, pick up from you hotel and transfer to the Gongaar airport in time and fly back to Kathmandu.
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to your hotel.
Rest of the day is free.
Overnight at your hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 08: Kathmandu – Departure (B/-/-)
Free till departure.
Transfer to the airport in time to connect your international flight.