Nepal Cultural Tour -14 Days

Arrival On : Kathmandu Nepal
Max Altitude : 2,194m/7,200ft, D
Accommodation Types : Hotels, Eco Resort
Trip Duration : 15 Days
Meal Arrangement : 12 x breakafasts, 8 x lunches, 8 x dinners
Difficulty : Easy
Land Only Joining City : Kathmandu
Departure From : Kathmandu Nepal

Trip Overview

After breakfast you will drive to Bhairahawa airport for the short 35 minute flight to Kathmandu. Here you will be met and driven out of the city to the small resort town of Nagarkot, built on the rim of the valley and famous for its fine mountain views. On the way you will visit bthe ancient temple of Changu Narayan located on a hilltop above the town of Bhaktapur. This temple is thought to be one of the oldest in Nepal and is built in traditional Nepali Hindu temple style and features many fine traditional sculptures and carvings. Although damaged in the 2015 earthquake the temple has been restored. The Changu Narayan Temple is one of seven structures cited by UNESCO as demonstrating the historic and artisti  achievements that make the Kathmandu Valley a World Heritage Site.Nepal has long been famed for its spectacular high mountain scenery but equally entrancing are the rolling Himalayan foothills and the open lowland Terai. These more accessible regions are where most of Nepal’s historic towns and UNESCO World Heritage sites are to be found, set amongst the countryside where local people still go about traditional rural life.

On this trip you will be introduced to the architectural and artistic achievements of Newari craftsmen in the cities of the Kathmandu Valley, sample local cuisine, visit Pokhara with its stunning lakeside scenery, people watch in Newari Bandipur, one of the prettiest villages in Nepal, and search for wildlife on safari in the jungles of Chitwan. You will also take in far-reaching mountain views from the rim of the Kathmandu Valley and visit Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, UNESCO World Heritage listed, and one of the most important Buddhist sites in the world.

Your busy, but carefully paced tour begins in the ancient city of Bhaktapur where you will learn about the Newari people, the indigenous people of the Kathmandu Valley with their remarkable architectural achievements and long tradition of amazing woodcarving, stone sculpture and fine thankha painting. After exploring an array of fine palaces and temples, you will join a cookery class where local women in traditional wear will introduce you to some of Kathmandu’s gastronomic delights.

Next you travel to the Annapurna region, exploring lakeside Pokhara with its lovely mountain scenery. After taking in some of the must-see sights you head up into the foothills. Here you visit the Gurung village of Chandrakot, witnessing the daily life of a traditional Nepalese village and learning how people from villages such as this travelled far and wide and became renowned as Gurkha soldiers.

Then it’s on to Bandipur, one of the prettiest villages in Nepal and a veritable living museum of Newari architecture which offers an authentic taste of everyday life. Next comes the town of Gorkha which features a distinctive palace/fort located on the ridge top. Nepal was once made up of many small warring kingdoms. Back in the 18th century the army of King Prithvi Narayan Shah marched from Gorkha to conquer the peoples of the Kathmandu valley and beyond, unifying the kingdom to create the country we now know as Nepal.

Leaving this ridge-top eyrie you will drive south for a total contrast, with a visit to the jungles of Chitwan. Chitwan is home to a fantastic diversity of wildlife, including elephants, rhinos and even the fabled Royal Bengal Tiger. It is also a wonderful place for birdwatching. You will have two full days to relax here and explore, with activities included throughout your stay. From Chitwan you drive further south still towards the Indian border, to the town of Lumbini, famed as the birthplace of the Lord Buddha.

Returning to Kathmandu by air, you now stay above the capital city in nearby Nagarkot famous for its fine mountain views and visit the city of Patan for an introduction to the magnificent craftsmanship of the town. You end your holiday with some sightseeing in Kathmandu city itself and a superb six-course farewell dinner in Dwarika’s traditional Krishnarpan restaurant.


  • Tour the ancient cities of Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, Patan and visit Lumbini  the birthplace of Buddha.
  • Enjoy village walks with stunning Himalayan views of the Annapurnas and Everest.
  • Go wild at Chitwan National Park with two full days of wildlife watching activities.
  • Stay in top quality hotels and lodges including Dwarika’s fabulous Heritage Hotel.

Short Itinerary

Day 01-02:

Fly to Kathmandu. Transfer to Bhaktapur.

Day 03:

Sightseeing tour of Bhaktapur. Newari cookery demonstration with local women.

Day 04:

Fly to Pokhara. Boat ride on Phewa Tal Lake. Visits to Devis Falls and the Peace Pagoda.

Day 05:

Village walks and lunch with a local family.

Day 06-07:

Drive to Bandipur. Village walks with mountain views of the Annapurnas. Visit Gorkha Fort and drive to Chitwan.

Day 08-09:

Wildlife viewing activities at Chitwan National Park.

Day 10-11:

Drive to Lumbini and visit Buddha’s Birthplace. Fly to Kathmandu and transfer to Nargakot.

Day 12:

Ridge walk for Everest views. Drive to Patan. Visit traditional Newari craftsmen.

Day 13-14:

Guided tour of Kathmandu. Farewell dinner. Overnight flight to London.


Day 01 Fly to Kathmandu
Overnight: In flight

Depart London on your overnight flight to Kathmandu.

Day 02 Arrive Kathmandu. Group transfer to Bhaktapur, 1,329m/4,360ft.
Overnight: Heritage Hotel, Bhaktapur

On arrival in Kathmandu you will drive the short distance to the city ofn Bhaktapur to your first hotel. If there is time you might like to take stroll to explore some of the fascinating streets of the old city.

Bhaktapur is one of three major cities built in the Kathmandu valley by the old Malla kings who ruled the Kathmandu valley hundreds of years ago. These cities, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur are repositories of traditional Nepalese architecture and local Newari craftsmanship where you will find ancient Hindu temples, Buddhist stupas, crumbling shrines, picturesque Rana palaces and crowded bazaars. Many of the buildings in Bhaktapur have their origins in the 15th Century and the side streets, being mostly brick paved, still have a really medieval feel to them. There is still plenty of evidence of the damage caused by the devastating 2015 earthquake, but although restoration has been slow this hasn’t spoiled the Bhaktapur’s ancient charm. This is still very much a lived in city, and, with much of it closed to traffic, walking around is a pleasure and you will get a feeling for how things must have been in medieval times. Bhaktapur is quieter than Kathmandu city and still has quite a rural feel to it. The local people are predominantly farmers and the town is famous for its home-made yoghurt, as well as for its pottery made from the local red clay – you can see this production going on in the so-called ‘pottery square’ and other side streets.

Day 03 In Bhaktapur – sightseeing and Newari cookery class.
Overnight: Heritage Hotel, Bhaktapur

Today you will have a tour of Bhaktapur. This city, located just nine kilometres from Kathmandu, is a real cultural gem. Built in the 15th century by the Malla kings who reigned up until the 18th century Bhaktapur has many outstanding examples of the exceptional architecture and craftsmanship of the local Newari ethnic group. You will see fine palaces and temples with gilded roofs, open courtyards and elaborate windows carved in wood. The main focus for the town is the central Durbar Square where many of the finest buildings are found, including the famous Palace of 55 Windows which shows some of the best examples of elaborately carved windows and doors. Bhaktapur is a centre for craftsmanship and teaching, and later you will have a cookery class where women in traditional dress will demonstrate how to cook some local specialities including the preparation of homemade yoghurt.

Day 04 Fly to Pokhara,1,400m/4,593ft, and transfer to your hotel.
Overnight: Barahi Hotel or Similar, Pokhara

Sightseeing in and around Pokhara.
After breakfast you will transfer to the airport for the short domestic flight to Pokhara, Nepal’s second city. Pokhara has a wonderful location, being set on the banks of picturesque Phewa Tal (lake) and enjoying magnificent views of the Annapurna range of mountains.

Day 05 Visit Chandrakot village, 1,580 m/ 5,182 ft.
Overnight: Barahi Hotel or Similar, Pokhara

On a clear day, there are astounding views of the Annapurna range of mountains from your hotel, including famous Machhapuchare, the ‘Fishtail’ Mountain. It is well worth while getting up early to see sunrise on the mountains, as the moment when the peaks first flush pink is truly stunning; you might ask the hotel reception to arrange an early morning call for you so that you do not miss it.

Day 06 Drive to Bandipur, 1,030m/3,379ft, explore on foot.
Overnight: Gaun Ghar Hotel, Bandipur

Today you will leave Pokhara and drive eastwards to the village of Bandipur. Once a thriving Newari town on the trade route to India, Bandipur was left stranded when the main Pokhara to Kathmandu road was built far below in the valley. Nowadays Bandipur has found a new lease of life and is proud of its environmental credentials. The houses of the village have been carefully restored but at the same time a traditional lifestyle still continues. It’s very pleasant to stroll around Bandipur as it is mainly pedestrianised and cafes, lodges and small hotels coexist with traditional temples and houses. The village commands panoramic views of the Himalaya and on a clear day, you can see the whole Annapurna range, as well as peaks in Langtang to the east and Dhaulagiri in the west. It is a real pleasure to just sit at a cafe and watch daily village life going on around you.

Day 07 Drive to Gorkha, 1,000m/3,281ft - 53km, 1½ hours. Visit Gorkha Fort. Drive to Chitwan, 100m/330ft - 63km, 2½ hours.
Overnight: Barahi Jungle Lodge, Chitwan

After breakfast you will drive down from Bandipur to join the main Pokhara/Kathmandu road and then drive east, eventually taking a small road up to the town of Gorkha. Gorkha is famous as the birthplace of King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who unified the rival kingdoms of Nepal in 1769, founding the Shah dynasty that endured until the birth of the Republic of Nepal in 2008. Gorkha Durbar, the former palace of the Shahs, is perched on a high ridge top overlooking the town. It is a bit of a haul up steps to the palace but the views from there of the Annapurna range and over the valley of the Trisuli River are magnificent. Gorkha Durbar was built in the 16th century and is a fort, palace and temple all in one and it is regarded as a crowning achievement of Newari architecture. The annual festival of Dassain officially begins here with a procession to Kathmandu, and the town remains an important pilgrimage destination for Newar people.

After your visit to the fort you will return to the main road and drive through Mugling, and head south alongside the river to reach the town of Narayanghat before continuing to your Chitwan lodge.

Day 08 Activities in Chitwan National Park.
Overnight: Barahi Jungle Lodge, Chitwan

Chitwan is located in the lowlands Terai region of Nepal. The Chitwan National Park is home to a rich diversity of wildlife with elephant, rhinos, leopard, sambar, spotted deer, wild boar and Royal Bengal Tiger all being found in the park, along with sloth bear, gaur (wild cattle) and crocodiles. Chitwan is also a wonderful place for birdwatching especially in the spring when the park rings to the calls of several different kinds of cuckoo.

Day 09 In Chitwan.
Overnight: Barahi Jungle Lodge, Chitwan

You have a second full day to relax in Chitwan, and for further jungle related activities.

Day 10 Drive to Lumbini, 150m/492ft - 130km, 3-4½ hours. Visit Buddha’s birthplace.
Overnight: Buddha Maya Garden Or Lumbini Hokke Hotel Or Similar, Lumbini

Today you leave the jungle behind and drive further south to Lumbini, close to the Indian border. It is said that Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, was born here in 623 BC. Lumbini is now a major pilgrimage centre for Buddhists from all over the world – indeed by the time of the Indian Emperor Ashoka, an early convert to Buddhism, it was already a place of pilgrimage and his visit in 249 BC is commemorated by an inscribed pillar. The actual spot where Buddha was born in is marked by the Mayadevi Temple, named for his mother Queen Mahamayadevi. In addition to the many archaeological sites in Lumbini, Buddhists from all over the world have built temples and monuments here, and come to study and meditate.

Day 11 Drive to Bhairahawa - 22km. Fly to Kathmandu. Transfer to Nagarkot, 2,194m/7,200ft. Visit Changu Narayan. Afternoon at leisure.
Overnight: Hotel Country Villa, Nagarkot or Similar

After breakfast you will drive to Bhairahawa airport for the short 35 minute flight to Kathmandu. Here you will be met and driven out of the city to the small resort town of Nagarkot, built on the rim of the valley and famous for its fine mountain views. On the way you will visit the ancient temple of Changu Narayan located on a hilltop above the town of Bhaktapur. This temple is thought to be one of the oldest in Nepal and is built in traditional Nepali Hindu temple style and features many fine traditional sculptures and carvings. Although damaged in the 2015 earthquake the temple has been restored. The Changu Narayan Temple is one of seven structures cited by UNESCO as demonstrating the historic and artistic achievements that make the Kathmandu Valley a World Heritage Site.

Day 12 Morning in Nargakot then visit Patan. Drive to Kathmandu city.
Overnight: Dwarika's Hotel, Kathmandu

You will want to be up early this morning for the fabulous mountain views, including, if you are lucky, a distant view of Everest. You might also take an interesting early morning walk through the village of Telkot.

Day 13 Morning at leisure. Afternoon sightseeing with visits to Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath Temple. Farewell dinner at Dwarika's.
Overnight: Dwarika's Hotel, Kathmandu

After a morning at leisure you will enjoy some sightseeing in Kathmandu City in the afternoon. Your tour will visit Kathmandu’s historic Durbar Square with its many superb ancient temples and palaces where you will see Hanuman Dhoka (the old Royal Palace) and the palace of the Kumari, the so called ‘Living Goddess’, where you may catch sight of the goddess looking down at you from one of the carved windows of the palace. You will also see many other wonderful masterpieces of Newari architecture and wood carving. You then stroll through the ancient bazaar and the labyrinthine back streets of the old city and travel the short distance
to Swayambhunath, the so called “Monkey Temple,” an ancient shrine situated on top of a hill to the west of the city and commanding a superb view of the valley. The four sides of this ancient structure are painted with the eyes of Buddha with between the eyes a mystical third eye symbolizing true wisdom. The nose, appearing as an incomplete question mark, is the Nepalese number of one, a symbol of unity.

In the evening you will have a six-course farewell dinner in Dwarika’s superb traditional Krishnarpan restaurant.

Day 14 Sightseeing in Kathmandu – Pashupatinath and Boudhanath. Transfer to the airport for evening flight.

You will have some more sightseeing in Kathmandu today. Firstly you drive the short distance from your hotel to the important Hindu temple complex of Pashupatinath. Here there is a large temple to the god Shiva and nearby, on the banks of the sacred Bagmati River, are burning ghats where Hindus bring their dead to be cremated.

Day 15 Arrive Any where.





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