KATHMANDU VALLEY, MOUNTAINS AND NEPALI CULTURE WITH TIHAR FESTIVAL

An eclectic mix of city, countryside and mountains gives you a broad picture of what Nepal is all about. A hectic sightseeing schedule in the vibrant capital city with marvelous monuments and rich culture; lazy days in lakeside Pokhara for a relaxing time in a peaceful ambiance; a spiritual high, get up close with the snow-capped mountains!

This mystical trip takes you on a whirlwind journey from the bustling city of Kathmandu to the relaxing lakeside Pokhara, to laid back villages high up in the Himalayas with close-up views of mountains. Take part in an important Newari festival and gain insight into the mysterious culture of the valley; then let your hair down to go on a mountain bike ride and float down the raging river on a raft. Do it all, don’t hold back!

We first set out to explore Kathmandu valley’s monuments and hidden treasures: visit revered Swoyambhu and Boudha (the two oldest Buddhist stupas in the valley) and go on to Pashupatinath (a 12th century Hindu site dedicated to Shiva). These two important religions have existed side by side in perfect harmony for centuries. Then visit a different world altogether: Bhaktapur, the city that refuses to change with time with its brick-paved roads and traditional red-brick architecture. Then experience the colorful Tihar festival in Panauti, a charming old settlement where traditions seem cast in stone.  Spend a comfortable night in a homestay.  

Then for the final leg of the journey, we head for Pokhara. The two days in the lake town will be full of fun and excursions in the villages in the shadow of Mt. Machhapuchhare!

HIGHLIGHTS
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kathmandu Valley.
- Country walks to discover inner Nepal.
- Views of the Himalayas from Luwang, Dhulikhel, Pokhara and Bandipur.
- Tihar, the festival of lights.
- Homestays in Panauti and Luwang.
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Gallery

Itinerary

  • Level of Trek: Easy
  • Best Period: 25 October - 05 November 2019
  • Duration: 12 Days
  • Number of walking days: 3
  • Highest Altitude: 1800 Meters
  • Flights: Pokhara - Kathmandu
  • Accomodation: Hotel in Kathmandu & Lodge/Homestay during trek

For your next trek with us in the Himalayas, travel light and aware: Base Camp offers you a biodegradable soap made in Nepal, to leave no trace ...

Day
Airport pick-up, transfer to hotel and check-in. Free time rest of the day.
- Accommodation: Nepali Ghar Hotel on BB Plan
- Meals on your own
Our tour begins with a 5 km drive to Kirtipur. Perched on a ridge overlooking the city of Kathmandu, this small town still retains a peaceful ambiance, and still a bit out of step with the capital. Standing on the top of Kirtipur, enjoy a captivating spectacle sprawled out below: Kathmandu with the Himalayas in the background. Then we head for Pharping, located 19 km south of the capital, a wealthy traditional Newari village. The area is famous for its pilgrimage sites, once dominated by Hindu culture but today Tibetan Buddhist monasteries are predominant.
- Accommodation: Same as the previous day.

A day of enchantment as you walk through the corridors of time, admiring the architectural gems that take you back centuries into Kathmandu’s past. The first stop is at the great stupa of Boudha, a famous pilgrimage site surrounded by numerous Buddhist monasteries. Not far from here we visit Pashupatinath, one of Hinduism’s holiest Shiva shrines dating back to the 12th century. This is where Hindu cremations take place and pilgrims flock to bathe in the holy Bagmati River.
- Accommodation: Same as the previous day
- Meals on your own

In the morning we drive to Namobuddha, an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists. High on a hill overlooking terrace hillsides, Namobuddha has a small stupa commemorating the site where a Bodhisatva sacrificed his own flesh to a starving tigress and its cubs. Visit the monastery situated further up the hill. Then, you have the option to walk down to Panauti.
In the evening, participate in the ceremony of Mha Puja (worship of self) with one of the local Newar families. This is Tihar, the ‘festival of lights’ and a time for rejoicing and receiving blessings. It always coincides with the new moon of Kartik (Nepali month) and ushers in the Newari New Year according to the old Nepal Sambat calendar. Tihar is celebrated for five days.
- Accommodation: Homestay with full board

These five days of rituals are undertaken to avoid being called back by Yama (the god of death) during the new year. This coincides with the harvesting of rice. Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and fortune is worshipped and is welcomed into each household during the day of Laxmi Puja (one day in the five-day festival). The first day of the New Year begins with the cleansing of the body during a ceremony where the gods are thanked. Then each individual asks that all his/her organs continue to function well.
Traditional dinner with the family and overnight at homestay.
- Accommodation: Homestay with full board.

Sightseeing of Panauti in the morning. At noon, we drive down to Bhaktapur to enjoy the sights and sounds of a city that refuses to change with time. Only 15 km away from Kathmandu, it is a world apart with brick-paved roads and traditional red-brick buildings, the most beautiful of the three imperial cities of the valley. Visit and overnight in Bhaktapur to savor the tranquility when other visitors have left the city!
- Overnight in Khwopachen on half board.

Drive to Bandipur, a village of Newari traders that caters to tourists. Superb view of the Himalayan range. Overnight at a homestay with simple rooms near the residence of our host.
- Duration of drive: 3 ½ hr
- Accommodation: Old Inn on Half Board
We start the day with an easy hike between Bandipur and Chirkini passing through a traditional Magar village of Ramkot. Later, we drive down to Pokhara where we spend the night in a charming and peaceful hotel overlooking  Phewa Lake.
- Duration of drive: 2 ½ hr
- Duration of hike: 3 hr
- Accommodation: Lake Side Retreat on  BB Plan

Morning transfer (45 min.) to Khoramukh (1000 m.). From the bridge, we take a short nature walk climbing up the steep steps to reach this beautiful Gurung village of Luwang (1,460 m.). The village specializes in tea culture and also enjoys superb views of the valley and surrounding villages. You are also rewarded with a north-facing panorama of Mardi Himal, Machhapuchhare and Annapurna III.
- Ascent: + 460 m.
- Duration of hike: 1 ½ hr
- Accommodation: Homestay

After enjoying a beautiful sunrise over Mardi Himal and Lamjung Himal, we start on a half-day trek through the hillside rhododendron forest to reach the Gurung village of Dhampus. We stop for lunch after which we start a steep descent to Phedi, where our vehicle awaits our arrival to take us back to Pokhara. Late afternoon: free.
- Ascent: + 200 m.
- Descent: - 520 m.
- Duration of hike: 3 hr
- Accommodation: Lake Side Retreat on BB Plan

Morning flight to Kathmandu. Free day
- Accommodation: Nepali Ghar on BB Plan

Transfer to TIA (Kathmandu Airport) for your return flight.
End of our services.

What's included

- All transfers by private vehicle according to the program
- 5 nights at Nepali Ghar Hotel on a B&B basis in Kathmandu
- 2 nights at Lake Side Retreat in Pokhara on a B&B basis
- 1 night at Khwapa Chen on half board in Bhaktapur
- 1 night in Panauti homestay with full board and participation in the festival of lights
- 1 night at the Old Inn in Bandipur with half board
- Trek of 2 half days full board at homestay
- Staff Insurance
- Annapurna National Park Permit (ACAP and TIMS)
- Domestic airport taxes
- Entrance tickets according to Kathmandu visits
- 1 h of boating on Phewa Lake in Pokhara
- French-speaking tour guide during the whole trip

What's not included

- Meals in Pokhara and Kathmandu
- Visa for Nepal to get at the airport
- Flights
- Compulsory repatriation insurance
- Paragliding in Pokhara, rafting (optional activities)
- Tips, personal expenses, drinks, sleeping bag, hot shower during the trek, etc.

Suppliments

> Flight supplement Pokhara - Kathmandu: $.122 / person (variation possible without notice)

> Single room supplement: $.375 / single room

> Trishuli rafting supplement option : ($.35) / person (on the way from Katmandu to Bandipur)
Question? Make an inquiry or call (977-1) 441 55 73