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Route Map

Nepal & Bhutan Cultural Tour

Cultural Tours

15 Days

THE TOUR AT THE GLANCE

This is the ultimate vacation on the Himalaya. You will enjoy the unparalleled natural beauty as well as exotic cultures of two greatest Himalayan Kingdoms - Nepal and Bhutan. You will first explore Nepal where you will spend 6 full days to visit the three most popular destinations in Nepal - Kathmandu Valley (Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan), Pokhara and Chitwan National Park. Then take a flight from Kathmandu to the Land of Happiness - Bhutan. You will spend three and a half days to travel from Paro to Punakha via Thimphu, then back to Paro to visit the famous Tiger's Nest Monastery before your departure.

EXPERIENCES AND VISITS IN THIS TOUR JOURNEY

  • The ancient royal city of Kathmandu’s historic squares lined with temples and other beautifully intricate examples of Nepalese architecture.
  • Takes you around Kathmandu Valley to see the medieval wonderful World Heritage Sites (Durbar Squares, temples, stupas, palaces...) which will enlighten you on the arts, culture, architecture, religion and history;
  • An inside look into the lives of monks at a Buddhist Monastery in Kathmandu
  • Option to join monks during daily chanting sessions and lighting butter lamps in Kathmandu
  • Visit the first bamboo school in Nepal. 
  • Spectacular views of the Annapurna mountain range in Pokhara
  • An interactive session with Sherpa, Pokhara
  • Have a chance to see the breathtaking view of the Himalayan range and a beautiful sunrise at Pokhara;
  • Enjoy a scenic boat ride in Phewa Lake, Pokhara
  • Enjoy a magnificent sunrise / Sunset over Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, at Nagarkot
  • Take a guided tour of Thimphu, Paro, Punakha to explore and immerse into the happy living of Bhutanese people and enjoy the natural beauty there
  • Evening take an exploratory leisure walk around Thimphu Main Street. 
  • Visit a traditional farm house and meet a village family where tea / coffee will also be served in Paro

VIEW FULL ITINERARY

Arrive Kathmandu/Nepal:  You would be met by our representative in the arrival hall who would assist in all formalities to complete the immigration and visa requirements and transfer to hotel - arrive and check in.

Afternoon at leisure / independent activities.

Evening walk experience the hustle and bustle of the ancient markets of Asan Tole and Indra Chowk

- Overnight at Hotel
- Breakfast ( Continental Plan )

Morning visit Kathmandu Durbar Square in the heart of old city Kathmandu.Visit Swoyambhunath - a UNESCO World Heritage site, believed to have been established more than 2,500 years ago and now an important Buddhist learning site

Later visit Pasupatinath “Nepal’s most important Hindu temple stands on the banks of the holy Bagmati River”.

Afternoon Heritage walk to Boudhanath. The Stupa is located in the area of ancient trade route to Tibet where the Tibetan merchants used to rest and offered prayers for many centuries.

Visit a Buddhist Monastery near Boudhanath and experience a glimpse of Buddhism and watch the monks pray. Have an interactive session with a High-Monk (depending upon availability).

Later take a Rickshaw ride from Kathmandu Durbar Square to Thamel passing through the old Kathmandu city and local bazaars filled with local people.

Optional: Welcome dinner at the Krishna Arpan Restaurant at the Hotel Dwarika served in a traditional Nawari style and cuisine.

- Overnight at Hotel
- Breakfast ( Continental Plan )

Optional: Wake up early and after a quick cup of tea/coffee, transfer to Kathmandu domestic airport for Mt. Everest experience. We celebrate with a champagne in mid-air.

 

Drive to Bhadgaon - enroute visiting a Bamboo School- Educating poor youth in Nepal with innovative and affordable private schools.

Arrive Bhadgaon or Bhaktapur (Place of devotees) was the largest of the 3 Newar Kingdoms of the Kathmandu valley and was the ancient capital. 

Visit Pottery Square, where you will see demonstrations by local workers, and buy all the souvenirs you can carry. Visitors also enjoy the sight of open space being covered with potter’s rolls and rackets of clay pots drying in the sun.

Taumadhi Square is the main entrance of Bhaktapur Darbar Square, and you will get to explore the top class wood carving houses and meet the charming inhabitants. Visit 55 Window Palace is located on the center of Bhaktapur Darbar Square.

Visit Golden Gate to explore some of Nepal’s finest shaped metalwork. Then Visit National Art Gallery to see the wide collection of Tantric cloth paintings.

Afternoon visit Patan city – founded in 3rd century and later expanded by the Mallas of Nepal.  It is known as a rich cultural heritage city for its tradition of arts and crafts.  Visit of Patan Durbar Square, Patan Museum, Krishna Mandir Temple, Royal Palace, Golden Gate & walk in Mangal Bazar.

- Overnight at Hotel
- Breakfast ( Continental Plan )

Today, travel by road to Chitwan , which is famous for Chitwan National Park.  In 1984, UNESCO designated

Royal Chitwan National Park a Natural World Heritage Site. The Park offers protection to 56 species of

mammals including the one-horned rhinoceros, Bengal  tiger, leopard, sloth bear, wild elephant, striped hyena,

Gangetic dolphin and wild bison. There are estimated to be 470 species of mammals, over 500 species of birds,

126 species of fish, 150 species of butterflies and 47 species of reptiles in the park! A recent study also points

out that  over a third of Nepal's tigers are in Chitwan.

During lunch, your tour guide will have a briefing about Chitwan National Park. Before arriving at Chitwan, you

will go to enjoy the Sunset view from Rapti River Beach and  walk nearby villages - where you will learn more

about the life and lifestyle of the Tharus.

- Overnight at Hotel
- Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner ( American Plan )

Early morning walk in the Park with naturalist. 

Return to hotel for breakfast

Later Jungle safari by Jeep (open Land Rover) with accompanying naturalist. You Can visit the elephant camp where elephants are free to roam.  The elephants are still working elephants providing an interactive encounter with the guests walk alongside them on the jungle walks.  They can also witness the elephant bathing and feeding activities.

Afternoon: Jungle activities Canoe Ride: Canoeing at Rapti River is also a great adventurous experience. You are able to observe crocodiles basking motionlessly under the sun with their snouts wide. It is also possible to see the exotic species of birds sipping at the waters. It takes about 45 minutes usually. Elephant Safari: Exploring Chitwan National Park on the back to lumbering elephant offers you a safe and splendid vantage point high above the towering bushes. You may even take a bath with an elephant and learn how to wash your elephant!

- Overnight at Hotel
- Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner ( American Plan )

Get up in the early morning and go to Sarangkot to enjoy breathtaking sunrise. When the sun picks out the peaks, they are transformed from a purple-pink to a celestial gold. As the day breaks thoroughly, you can admire a wonderful panoramic sweep of Himalayan peaks from west to east, which is praised as one of the most beautiful picture in Nepal. After the spectacular sunrise and landscape weeping at Sarangkot, you will drive to Peace Temple to see the brilliant World Peace Pagoda. - Constructed by the Buddhists from Japanese Nipponzan Myohoji organization, World Peace Pagoda expresses the good wishes of world peace. While seeing the enchanting natural sights around, you will also get a feeling of inner peace as well.

In the afternoon you will visit Devil’s Fall, locally known as Patale Chhango (Hell’s Fall). It is an awesome waterfall lying about 2 km south-west of Pokhara Airport on the highway to Tanmen. Then, pay a visit to the nearby Gupteswar Gupha, which is a sacred cave. It has some big hall-size rooms and some passages where you have to crawl on all fours. Afterwards, you will have a relaxed journey in Phewa Lake which is the second largest lake in Nepal. Enjoy a relaxing biking around the lake. You will then visit the most important religious monument in Pokhara. Then  walking by the lake side visiting local bazar and local shops selling handicrafts including a visit to the Tibetian refugee camp.

Optional: Evening High tea with a Sherpa (90 minutes)

Sherpa is one of the ethnic communities inhabited in the mountain regions. Sherpa’s are highly regarded as elite mountaineers and experts in their local terrain. This will be a good experience for the visitors to have interaction with Sherpa’s and to know their experiences in mountain climbing. 

- Overnight at Hotel
- Breakfast ( Continental Plan )

Get up in the early morning and go to Sarangkot to enjoy breathtaking sunrise. When the sun picks out the peaks, they are transformed from a purple-pink to a celestial gold. As the day breaks thoroughly, you can admire a wonderful panoramic sweep of Himalayan peaks from west to east, which is praised as one of the most beautiful picture in Nepal. After the spectacular sunrise and landscape weeping at Sarangkot, you will drive to Peace Temple to see the brilliant World Peace Pagoda. - Constructed by the Buddhists from Japanese Nipponzan Myohoji organization, World Peace Pagoda expresses the good wishes of world peace. While seeing the enchanting natural sights around, you will also get a feeling of inner peace as well.

In the afternoon you will visit Devil’s Fall, locally known as Patale Chhango (Hell’s Fall). It is an awesome waterfall lying about 2 km south-west of Pokhara Airport on the highway to Tanmen. Then, pay a visit to the nearby Gupteswar Gupha, which is a sacred cave. It has some big hall-size rooms and some passages where you have to crawl on all fours. Afterwards, you will have a relaxed journey in Phewa Lake which is the second largest lake in Nepal. Enjoy a relaxing biking around the lake. You will then visit the most important religious monument in Pokhara. Then  walking by the lake side visiting local bazar and local shops selling handicrafts including a visit to the Tibetian refugee camp.

Optional: Evening High tea with a Sherpa (90 minutes)

Sherpa is one of the ethnic communities inhabited in the mountain regions. Sherpa’s are highly regarded as elite mountaineers and experts in their local terrain. This will be a good experience for the visitors to have interaction with Sherpa’s and to know their experiences in mountain climbing. 

- Overnight at Hotel
- Breakfast ( Continental Plan )

Today, travel by road to Nagarkot, -Nagarkot is one of the most beautiful places in Nepal as well as a

quieter place to escape from Kathmandu’s hustle and bustle.

Evening enjoy Nagarkot is famous for exceptional view on the Himalayas at sunset. if time and weather permits.

Overnight Ι Breakfast

Day 09:   NagarkotKathmandu by surface & Kathmandu – Paro by flight & Paro - Thimphu by surface [± 55 Kms. ± 2 Hrs]

Get up early in the morning to catch the precious moment to watch the breathtaking sunrise over Himalayan Mountains. You can see five of the world’s tallest mountains – Everest (8,848m), Lhotse (8,516m), Cho Oyu (8,201m), Makalu (8,463m) – and many other lesser summits in clear days.

Transfer to Kathmandu airport to board flight for Paro. Upon arrival at Paro, you will be greeted by our guide / Representative, who will make us discover all the riches of the kingdom of Bhutan. Transfer to Timphou, capital of the country.

On the way, we will make a stop at the spectacular Buddha Dordenma, a gold-covered statue whose location offers a breath-taking view of the valley.

 In the evening take an exploratory leisure walk around Thimphu Main Street. 

- Overnight at Hotel
- Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner ( American Plan )

Get up early in the morning to catch the precious moment to watch the breathtaking sunrise over Himalayan Mountains. You can see five of the world’s tallest mountains – Everest (8,848m), Lhotse (8,516m), Cho Oyu (8,201m), Makalu (8,463m) – and many other lesser summits in clear days.

Transfer to Kathmandu airport to board flight for Paro. Upon arrival at Paro, you will be greeted by our guide / Representative, who will make us discover all the riches of the kingdom of Bhutan. Transfer to Timphou, capital of the country.

On the way, we will make a stop at the spectacular Buddha Dordenma, a gold-covered statue whose location offers a breath-taking view of the valley.

 In the evening take an exploratory leisure walk around Thimphu Main Street. 

- Overnight at Hotel
- Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner ( American Plan )

Morning visit National Library, which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion: (Closed on Weekends & Govt. Holidays) 

Also visit nearby National Institute for Zorig Chusum: Commonly known as Arts & Crafts School or Painting School (closed on Saturday, Sunday & Government Holidays). On a visit, one can see students learning the various skills taught at the school.Textile Museum: This Textile Museum is operated by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs of Bhutan. The Museum has a good collection of exclusive and antique Bhutanese textile artifacts an objective to promote encourage weavers to continue the weaving of traditional Bhutanese textile, (Closed on Sunday). Simply Bhutan:  Simply Bhutan is an exclusive project under the Bhutan Youth Development Fund (YDF), built to offer a unique experience to its visitors. It is a living museum and studio encapsulating the cultural heritage of the Bhutanese people. (Closed on Sunday)

 In the afternoon visit to Trashichhoed zong: This impressive fortress / monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and central monk body. Further visit King's Memorial Chorten continuously circumambulated by people, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity.

End the day with a visit to the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, to browse through example of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry, interesting items made from local materials.

- Overnight at Hotel
- Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner ( American Plan )

Today, travel by surface to Punakha, across Dochula pass (3100 m). In Bhutan, the passes are marked by a large Bhutanese Chorten and prayer flag. Dochula pass offers the most spectacular view over the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas on a clear day. Arrive Punakha and check in at hotel.

Proceed to visit PunakhaDzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. It was the capital of Bhutan until 1955, and still serves as the winter residence of the monk body.

Later in the day excursion to ChimiLhakhang (from hotel it is about 15 minute drive till motorable road and then walk starts through paddy fields and villages. This is total about 1.1/2 hour walk, including both way). 

The ChimiLhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley is known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers.

Evening can be spent exploring Punakha village located right on the bank of river. 

- Overnight at Hotel
- Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner ( American Plan )

Morning: hike up through fields of chilies, cabbages and rice along the banks of the Mochhu to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a stunning monument recently built by the Queens and consecrated in 1999.  

 In the afternoon proceed to visit Sangchhen Dorji LhuendrupLhakhang nunnery:  Perched on a ridge amid pine trees and overlooking valleys of Punakha and Wangduephodrang, gleams the magnificent structures of Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang (Temple). The temple houses a 14-foot main bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara (Chenrigzig Chagtong Chentong). Other statues include those of Guru Padmasambawa, Gautama Buddha, ZhabdrungNgawangNamgyel, TselaNamsum, the 21 Taras and Tsepamay (Buddha of longevity). The Avalokiteshvara statue, one of the biggest in the country, was the handiwork of entirely local Bhutanese artisans.  The temple complex also houses a permanent higher learning and meditation centre for nuns where, apart from religious trainings, it provides life skill training such as tailoring, embroidery, statue making and thangka painting.

- Overnight at Hotel
- Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner ( American Plan )

Today, travel by surface, back to Paro, descending back down from Dochu La, follow the way back up the dramatic Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu river valleys, before crossing through Paro Town towards the north end of the valley. 

 En route visit Simtokha Dzong, the place of profound tantric teaching, this Dzong now houses a school for the study of the Dzongkha language.

Later in the day after checking into hotel, proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.

Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning (fortress of the heap of jewels), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala

- Overnight at Hotel
- Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner ( American Plan )

Excursion to Taktshang Monastery (approx. 5 Hrs walk):  It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendour.

On the way back to town stop at Drukgyel Dzong a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, "mountain of goddess'' can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong. 

Along the way, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.

Today in the evening visit a traditional farm house and meet a village family where tea / coffee will also be served. It provides opportunity to mingle with local family particularly the farming community and understand their cultural. 

Later explore local market of Paro.

- Overnight at Hotel
- Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner ( American Plan )

Later in time transfer to airport to board flight for Kathmandu / Delhi. Upon arrival meet and transfer to connect flight back home

- Overnight at Hotel
- Breakfast ( Continental Plan )

WHAT YOU WILL RECEIVE IN YOUR TOUR COST

  • Accommodation for (total 13 nights) sharing double / twin room as per program
  • Meals: as per mentioned (Bhutan Part & Chitwan  on full board basis, rest of the cities on Bed and breakfast basis.
  • Transfers, sightseeing/excursions as per the program by air-conditioned vehicle.
  • English speaking local guide in Nepal as per program
  • English speaking accompanying guide in Bhutan
  • Monument entrance fees as per the itinerary.
  • Blessing by High Lama in Boudha and lighting butter lamp in Kathmandu
  • Rickshaw ride from Kathmandu durbar square to Thamel
  • Enjoy a scenic boat ride in Phewa Lake, Pokhara
  • Meeting & High tea with a Sherpa in Pokhara
  • Bhutan, Government royalty and taxes.
  • Jeep Safari & boat ride in Chitwan
  • All visa fees for Bhutan & Nepal.
  • Visit Bamboo School in Kathmandu
  • meet a village family where tea / coffee will also be served in Paro
  • Company representative for assistance on all arrival and departure transfers.
  • All presently applicable taxes including the GST charges levied recently by the Government.
  • Two bottles of mineral water each day during sightseeing.

TOUR COST WILL NOT INCLUDE FOLLOWING EXPENSES

  • International / Domestic  Airfare 
  • Any new admission fees / taxes / fuel surcharges
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Travel and medical insurance.
  • All personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, trip cancellation and personal insurance, gratuities, excess baggage fees
  • Early check-in/late check-out (except as noted)
  • Camera/video fees at monuments
  • Evacuation charges, damage of any nature.
  • Communication costs
  • Any additional expenses due to unforeseen problems like natural disaster, war or strikes, cancellation or misconnection of flights or last-minute change of timings etc.
  • Any other service, which has not been specified as "included".


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