If you are interested in exploring all the cultural heritage sites of Kathmandu Valley, then this tour is for you. Three Days Sightseeing Tour of Kathmandu Valley comprises of all the major destinations inside the Valley, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This Private Tour of Kathmandu prioritizes all aspects of the best – Hindu & Buddhist culture mixed with historical monuments manifesting artistic opulence of medieval Nepal.
This sightseeing tour takes you to biggest Hindu shrine Pashupatinath, 2 mega Buddhists Stupas – Boudhanath & Swayambhunath plus all 3 Durbar Squares of Kathmandu, Patan & Bhaktapur, which were built during Medieval & Ancient War Art.
There are main 3 historical Durbar Square in Kathmandu Valley. They are Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, which have been listed in World Heritage Site UNESCO in 1979. They have been used as Royal Palace until 20th Century. These Royal palaces have been ruled by different Malla King since 12th century to 18th century. Most of the palace, courtyard, temples etc have been built at the time of Malla period. Mostly these palaces have got beautiful courtyard, temples, art works, wood carvings, craft works etc.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
But particularly in Kathmandu, the main attraction in Kathmandu Durbar Square are Living Goddess Kumari, whose place have been built near the main palace. The temples around the palaces are the largest and tallest temple of Taleju } Royal Goddess Of Malla King}, Jagannath temple and Mahendreswor }Shiva temple} built by one of the Malla King Mahendra Malla in 16th century. In Kathmandu Durbar square, you can visit Hanuman Dhoka Durbar square. In the main entrance, the statue of Hanuman, the monkey god has been established by King Pratap Malla in 17th century to protect from evil, bad things getting inside the palace. That’s why Kathmandu Durbar Square is also known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square. The another attraction is very impressive courtyard known as Nasal Chowk where you can visit 9 storyed palace, throne, palanquin, 5 storyed temple of 5 faces Hanuman etc.,this is popularly known as Coronation Palace. Nasal Chowk is the main place to visit. There are some other courtyards but those courtyards are not opened for public and some are closed after the earthquake whereas some are open once a year. For example Mul Chowk is the courtyard that’s open once in a year for the public and there many animals like water buffalo, goals,sheep etc. are sacrificied. The main attraction of this palace is Living Goddess Kumari, who is worshipped by every Nepali including King,President etc.
There is 2 important Buddhist Pilgrimage sites in Kathmandu. And Boudha is one of them. Bouddha is also popularly known as Bouddhanath, Khasti etc. There is no any exact date when the stupa was built but believed that was built during 5th to 7th century between 200 years. Bouddhanath is mainly the trade point between Kathmandu and Tibet. You see many Tibetans, the Sherpas who live in the Himalayas. The main temple was built on 3 platforms. It has got big dome which is regarded as womb and represents the universe. It has got relics of Kashyap Buddha inside big dome. Above that there is cube with eyes of Buddha kept in all 4 directions which means Buddha is watching us from all 4 sides. There is a 3 eye which means Eye of Wisdom. There is a symbol below the eyes which signifies the unity. Above Harmika there are 13 steps for Nirvana. You can see Lotus flower which means symbol of puerty. At the top you can see umbrella which protects Stuoa and also 3 Gems of Buddha which are Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. At the top there is a pinnacle, which represents the King of Mountain, Mt. Sumeru. If you see the Stupa from the top you see builded like Mandala. There are lots of Monastries around the Stupa.
Swoyambhu consists of 2 words, Swoyam and Bhu which means self-originated. Everything has own legendary story. Swoyambhunath also has got its one which is associated with Kathmandu valley. According to legend, Kathmandu valley was once a huge lake and it was a serpent king and acquatic animals. One of the saints came to visit the lake and he threw some lotus seed into the lake which got blossom as huge Lotus with 1000 of petals with self-existence light or flame of light. The Boddhisatva from Tibet known as Manjushree cut the hills called chovar and drained out the water and made it inhabitaval, Lotus got stuck in the hill as present day Swoyambhunath temple and Santikar Acharya covered that lotus by huge stone. From east side there are 365 steps.
Pashupati is consists of two words. Pashu and Pati, which means lord of animal or master of animal. There are many legendary stories. Among them there is very popular story behind the existence of Pashupatinath. Accordng to the legend, a holy cow named Kamdhenu used to come to the mount and used to pour her milk at the same place everyday. Her cowherd was surprised not to get enough milk from her. So he followed her one day and found her giving milk to the very place. Being curious, he excavated the place and found the blaze of light ]Jyotilinga]. And one of the King by using the tantric priest covered that blaze of light by building a temple. In that way the temple came into existence but still nobody knows about the exact date when the temple was build. Once the temple ws destroyed by the Mugal King Samsudin Illias at 14th century along with other important temples and monuments. Different King contributed different things inside the temple in different period of time. In Nepal, we have many festivals for God Shiva but among them two are very popular. Shivaratri and Teej. Pashupati is very important temples for Hindu like Macca for Muslims. Behind the temple, the holy river Bagmati flows which also is the tributary to the Ganga river. There is also cremation platforms at the bank of the river called arya ghat. This is open cremation area and anybody can see.
We begin our sightseeing tour with a visit to Boudhanath – the largest Stupa in Nepal & centre of Tibetan culture within Kathmandu. The Stupa is designed like a giant mandala (a representation of the Buddhist cosmos). Our next destination is Pashupatinath Temple. Pashupatinath is dedicated to Hindu deity Lord Shiva & is regarded as the most sacred Hindu shrine in Nepal. Here you can witness cremation ritual of Hindus at ‘Aryaghat’ the cremation area. Next stop is Bhaktapur. Spread over an area of 6.88 sq km, 12 km South-East of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur showcases the splendor of the Golden Age of Nepali art & architecture. Built by King Anand Dev Malla in the 9th century, the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site 1979. It has remained a model for heritage conservation since then. At the Bhaktapur Durbar Square, you will find many fine examples of sculpture, woodcarving & pagodas dedicated to different Gods & Goddesses – the Nyatapol & Dattaraya Temples, Golden Gate, Palace of 55 windows etc. As the evening approaches, you get ready to proceed to Nagarkot.
We enjoy the magical sunrise from Nagarkot, seeing the Sun as it rises over the Snowy Himalayan peaks. Following a tasty breakfast we drive back to Patan Durbar Square. Patan is one of the 3 medieval cities in Kathmandu & a destination for connoisseurs of fine arts. We take a tour of the Patan Durbar Square, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the square is the Patan Museum (originally a Malla palace), Krishna Mandir – a stone temple of Lord Krishna with its 21 spires & bas-relief art depicting scenes from the Mahabharat & Ramayana epics, Royal Bath or ‘Tushahity’ surrounding Hindu & Buddhist temples. The evening is yours to rest.
After breakfast we take a short drive to Swayambhunath or the Monkey Temple. “Swayambhu” means “self-created” refering to the belief that the hill emerged spontaneously from the great lake that once covered Kathmandu Valley. Our next stop is Basantapur Durbar Square. Listed as a cultural World Heritage site, Kathmandu Durbar Square is a cluster of ancient temples, palaces, courtyards & streets that dates back to the 12th & 18th centuries. At the square you will find Hanumandhoka Palace Museum, Taleju Temple, Kumari Ghar (House of the Living Goddess), Kasthamandap & many other temples old as the city itself. Then on to Patan for further exploration..