DAY 01: ARRIVE KATHMANDU
Arrive Kathmandu, our representative will meet you in the arrival area of the airport after you clear all immigration and custom formalities and greets you by offering a *Mala” (a traditional ceremonial garland common Hinduism culture, it symbolizes the purity and compassion).
On the way to hotel our representative will brief about your program and will help to check in at hotel (Hotel Check in Time is: 14:00 Hrs. only – Before Subject to Availability) and briefed about the program. Overnight in Kathmandu
Day 2: Full Day Pashupatinath Temple, Bouddhanath Stupa & Bhaktapur Durbar square
After breakfast: Proceed for Full day Sightseeing tour to Bouddhanath Stupa Boudhanath Stupa is the one of the oldest and the biggest Buddhist monuments built in Nepal in 5th century. The site is considered very much like Mecca for the Tibetan Buddhists and every year tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the Himalayan region visit the stupa.
We proceed to Pashupatinath Temple, One of the biggest Hindu Shrine. As the literal meaning of “Pashupatinath” is lord of all the animals of the universe, it is supposed to have control over all the living beings, human and non-human alike. There are many temples surrounding the Pashupati Area and the most important place is the crimination place where you can see how Hindu criminates their body.
Bhaktapur: Name of Bhaktapur literally translates to ‘City of devotees’. The best preserved of the three main medieval cities of the valley, Bhaktapur comprise some of the most breathtaking religious architecture in the entire country. It has three major squares, Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, and Dattatreya Square; studded with pagoda and shikhara-style temples. Devoid of traffic and pollution, Bhaktapur by far is definitely the cleanest city in the Valley. Narrow stone paved streets snake through red brick houses, leading you to hidden temples, water sprouts, and courtyards. The city proudly displays its cultural life through daily lifestyle; artisans have been continuing traditional works like weaving, pottery, and wooden work for generation and you can catch skillful people busy with their work on the roadsides. Locals gather in the communal courtyard to bathe, collect water, do their laundry, and some to just socialize. Bhaktapur is known for its cultural handicrafts such as pottery, puppets, and masks, it is the perfect place to shop if you want light and easy-to-carry souvenirs. Main attractions of this city are 55 Window Palace, Golden Gate, Lion’s Gate, Mini Pashupati Temple, Nyatapola Temple, and Bhairavnath Temple, among others. The reconstruction of Asi Dega and Batsala Temple which were completely destroyed by the earthquake is going on. When you get tired of the walk around this mesmerizing city, enjoy the delicious Juju Dhau ‘King’s curd’ for some needed refreshment. Overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu
Day 3: Half Day Kathmandu, Breakfast & Cultural Dinner
Breakfast at Hotel
After breakfast walk to Nagarkot view tower. The Nagarkot View Tower is a magnet for nature lovers who reach there to capture the scenes of rising sun in the morning and when it is setting in the evening. Be it the majestic view of the rows of snow-capped mountains or the bird’s eye view of the Kathmandu Valley seen from the View Tower located at the highest point of Nagarkot, tourists adore the views. The tower is located at an altitude of 2100 meter and offers a panoramic view of Kathmandu valley as well as most parts of Kavre and Sindhupalchok.
Visit Swyambhunath Stupa and Kathmandu Durbar Square,
Swyambhunath Stupa: Perched on top of a conical hill is a white dome with glittering golden spire is visible from all sides of the valley for many miles. This most ancient and enigmatic of all the holy shrines in Kathmandu Valley, Swayambhunath Stupa, is also known as the Monkey Temple. According to the historical records, the stupa is over 2,500 years old. The name of Swoyambhunath has been derived from Sanskrit word, Swayam (self), making Swoyambhunath the ‘Self-Created One’. The surrounding of the stupa consists a variety of shrines and temples, some dating back to the Licchavi period. The stupa has Buddha’s eyes and eyebrows painted on each side and nose is made out as the number one in Devanagari script. The main stupa can be reached from two access points; a long steep stairway with 365 steps (leading directly to the main platform), and a car road leading to a longer way from the southwest entrance. This stupa too has been on the UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Sites list. This place offers an excellent view of the Valley. Though the temples around the stupa had some minor destruction and one of the temples beside the stupa collapsed during the 2016 earthquake, the process of reconstruction is ongoing.
Kathmandu Durbar Square: Durbar, which means palace, is where the kings were once crowned and where they ruled from. Kathmandu has its Durbar Square at its heart; here charm of old town blends well with traditional architecture in a rich cultural backdrop. The entire square was designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The massive complex consists of three main squares, which is home to palaces, temples, and courtyard. South of Basantapur square is a former Royal elephant stable, which today has souvenir stalls and leads to Freak Street (the lane still lives in the former glory of being the ultimate Hippie destination during the Flower Power era). The temple of Living Goddess, Kumari, is also on the southern end. Kumari is a young Shakya girl from Newar community, chosen through an ancient and mystical selection to become the human incarnation of Hindu Goddess, Taleju. If you are lucky, you might get to get a glimpse of Kumari peeking out of an elaborately carved wooden window. The main Durbar Square is the most affected area by the 2015 earthquake. Three main temples of the area, Kasthamandap, Narayan temple, Trilokya Mohan, and Krishna Temple has been completely destroyed, while other have been partially damaged. On the Northeast side, the square consists of Hanuman Dhoka, the main entrance to the old royal palace. The Taleju Bhawani’s temple, the oldest of all the temples is situated in this area. Even though the old royal palace has been partially damaged, restoration process is going on. The Square is slowly making progress to yet again revive its old mystic and glory of being a living museum with finest traditional architectures in the world.
Visit Kumari Ghar: Kumari – The Living Goddess: Not only does Nepal have many gods, goddess, deities, Bodhisattvas (near Buddha’s), avatars and manifestations, which are worshipped and revered as statues, images, paintings and symbols, but it also has a real living goddess. The Kumari is a young girl who lives in the building known as the Kumari Ghar, right beside Kathmandu’s Durbar Square.
From time immemorial the practice of worshipping an ordinary pre-pubescent girl as a source of supreme power has been an integral part of both Hinduism and Buddhism, a tradition which continues even to this day virtually in every household. They call this girl Kumari Devi and worship her on all the religious occasions.
The predominance of the Kumari cult is more distinctly evident among the Newar community inside the Kathmandu Valley as she has become an inevitable feature of their worship almost in every Vihar and Bahal and including the nooks and corners of Newari settlements. However, it was the Vajrayana sect of Mahayana Buddhism that was responsible for establishing the tradition of worshipping a girl from the Sakya community as the royal Living Goddess.
The selection of the Living Goddess is a highly elaborate tantric ritual. Upon passing the preliminary test, this is merely concerned with their 32 attributes of perfection, including the color of her eyes, the shape of her teeth and the sound of her voice. Her horoscope must also be appropriate. The 4 to 7 year poor girls from the Sakya community are made to confront a goddess in the darkened room. The sight of the Buffalo heads scattered around, the demon- like masked dancers, the terrifying noises they encounter scare some of these innocent babies. The real goddess is unlikely to be frightened, so the one who is calm and collected throughout the tests is the only girl who is entitled to sit on the pedestal for worship as the Living Goddess. Then as a final test similar to that of the Dalai Lama, the Kumari then chooses items of clothing and decoration worn by her predecessor.
Goddess Kumari Ghar is a store-house of magnificent intricate carvings where the Living Goddess performs her daily rituals. During her tenure in the god-house, Guthi Sansthan, the government trust fund bears her entire expenses including that of her caretakers. Under normal circumstances, her days in the god-house come to an end with her first menstruation, but if she turns out to be unlucky, as they say, even a minor scratch on her body that bleeds can make her invalid for worship. She then changes back to the status of normal mortal and the search of a new Kumari begins. It is said to be unlucky to marry an ex-Kumari. Afternoon free & easy for Shopping in Thamel.
Evening Farewell dinner with cultural dance at Bhojan Griha. Overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu
Day 4: Departure from Kathmandu
Breakfast at Hotel, free until departure transfer to Airport for flight to next destination/back home.
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