Kathmandu & Pokhara


14 Days / 12 Nights

LUMBINI

Situated in the foothills of the Himalaya, Lumbini is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Rupandehi district of Nepal and is renowned as the place where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to the Gautama Buddha. It is one of four important pilgrimage sites linked to various periods of the Buddha’s life. The great Emperor Ashoka, who once ruled over most of the Indian Subcontinent, visited Lumbini in 249BC and constructed four stupas and a stone pillar with a figure of a horse on top. Neglected for centuries, Lumbini was rediscovered in 1895. Further exploration and excavation revealed the existence of a brick temple and a sandstone sculpture within the temple itself, which depicts scenes of the Buddha’s birth.


NUWAKOT & BANDIPUR

In the heart of Nepal, the quaint village of Nuwakot is one of the country’s best-kept secrets. The ruins of the crumbling 18th-century Saat Tale Durbar (seven-storey fortress) highlights the strategic location of Nuwakot in the past. The fortress ruins are a poignant reminder of the consequences of the various military campaigns launched by King Prithvi Shah to unify Nepal.

To the west of Nuwakot, perched high along a ridge, is the picturesque Newari town of Bandipur. Its location along the ancient trading route between India and Tibet once made it prosperous, evident in the remaining Newari mansions with exquisitely carved wooden windows.


POKHARA

The peaceful town of Pokhara lies on the shores of Nepal’s second largest lake, Phewa Tal, and is surrounded by the majestic snow-capped Annapurna mountain range. Pokhara once belonged to the independent kingdom of Kaski, and the ruins of ancient stone fortresses stand on the surrounding foothills, backed by some of the world’s highest peaks including the Dhaulagiri massif, the Annapurna and, most spectacular of all, the soaring spire of Machhapuchhre, also known as Fish Tail. All of this, combined with a gentle climate, makes Pokhara an ideal place to simply relax and take walks or more energetic hikes in the surrounding hills. The town serves as a major launching point for treks into the popular Annapurna region.


CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK

Until the 20th century, Chitwan valley was a hotspot for hunting expeditions, but just over 40 years ago Nepal’s administrators passed legislation to protect the primeval forests and remaining wildlife, including dwindling tiger and rhinoceros populations. Today, the park is a Unesco world heritage site made up of sal forest and rolling grasslands that support a unique and varied wildlife population.

The park is home to a great number of Asian one-horned rhinos, wild boars, gaur, rhesus monkeys, a small yet healthy population of leopards and more than 450 species of birds. Elephants are also common, while marsh crocodiles, rare gharials and Gangetic dolphins lurk in the rivers.

LUMBINI

Situated in the foothills of the Himalaya, Lumbini is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Rupandehi district of Nepal and is renowned as the place where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to the Gautama Buddha. It is one of four important pilgrimage sites linked to various periods of the Buddha’s life. The great Emperor Ashoka, who once ruled over most of the Indian Subcontinent, visited Lumbini in 249BC and constructed four stupas and a stone pillar with a figure of a horse on top. Neglected for centuries, Lumbini was rediscovered in 1895. Further exploration and excavation revealed the existence of a brick temple and a sandstone sculpture within the temple itself, which depicts scenes of the Buddha’s birth.


NUWAKOT & BANDIPUR

In the heart of Nepal, the quaint village of Nuwakot is one of the country’s best-kept secrets. The ruins of the crumbling 18th-century Saat Tale Durbar (seven-storey fortress) highlights the strategic location of Nuwakot in the past. The fortress ruins are a poignant reminder of the consequences of the various military campaigns launched by King Prithvi Shah to unify Nepal.

To the west of Nuwakot, perched high along a ridge, is the picturesque Newari town of Bandipur. Its location along the ancient trading route between India and Tibet once made it prosperous, evident in the remaining Newari mansions with exquisitely carved wooden windows.


POKHARA

The peaceful town of Pokhara lies on the shores of Nepal’s second largest lake, Phewa Tal, and is surrounded by the majestic snow-capped Annapurna mountain range. Pokhara once belonged to the independent kingdom of Kaski, and the ruins of ancient stone fortresses stand on the surrounding foothills, backed by some of the world’s highest peaks including the Dhaulagiri massif, the Annapurna and, most spectacular of all, the soaring spire of Machhapuchhre, also known as Fish Tail. All of this, combined with a gentle climate, makes Pokhara an ideal place to simply relax and take walks or more energetic hikes in the surrounding hills. The town serves as a major launching point for treks into the popular Annapurna region.


CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK

Until the 20th century, Chitwan valley was a hotspot for hunting expeditions, but just over 40 years ago Nepal’s administrators passed legislation to protect the primeval forests and remaining wildlife, including dwindling tiger and rhinoceros populations. Today, the park is a Unesco world heritage site made up of sal forest and rolling grasslands that support a unique and varied wildlife population.

The park is home to a great number of Asian one-horned rhinos, wild boars, gaur, rhesus monkeys, a small yet healthy population of leopards and more than 450 species of birds. Elephants are also common, while marsh crocodiles, rare gharials and Gangetic dolphins lurk in the rivers.

ITINERARIES

Day 1 Fly to Kathmandu (N)
Day 2 Kathmandu : Arrive and transfer to the Hotel Himalaya for 3 nights. (N)
Day 3 Kathmandu : Morning sightseeing tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath Stupa. Afternoon tour of Patan Durbar Square. (B)
Day 4 Kathmandu : Morning sightseeing tour of Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Afternoon sightseeing of Pashupatinath and Boudhanath. (B)
Day 5 Pokhara : Drive to Pokhara for an overnight stay at Pokhara Grande. (B)
Day 6 Birethanti : Travel by road with your guide and porter to the trek start point. Follow the ridgeline in the lower foothills of the Annapurnas for 3-4 hours. Lunch and overnight at Ker Downey’s Sanctuary Lodge with views of Fishtail Mountain. Optional afternoon walk to the village of Birethanti. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Ghandruk : Walk through small hamlets, terraced rice fields and forests for 5-6 hours before reaching Ghandruk and the Himalaya Lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Lhandruk : After a leisurely breakfast, descend to the banks of the Modi river and the base of the cliffs where the famed Nepalese honey hunters climb on ropes to collect honey. Trek to the village of Lhandruk with its glorious Himalayan views. After lunch enjoy a walk through this mountain village. (B, L, D)
Day 9 Majgaun : Pass through rural landscapes on a 4-hour trek to Majgaun and Gurung Lodge. After lunch take part in an optional afternoon hike in the surrounding villages. (B, L, D)
Day 10 Dhampus : Trek through the unspoilt village of Patlekhet, through sub-tropical forests that include rhododendrons and magnolias. See the Tibetan traders in Pothana before arriving at Basanta Lodge. After lunch, optional afternoon walk through the village of Dhampus with its magnificent views of the Annapurna range. (B, L, D)
Day 11 Pokhara : Walk through wooded hillside and terraced farmland to the valley floor and return by car to Pokhara for 2 nights at Pokhara Grande. (B)
Day 12 Pokhara : Half-day sightseeing tour of Pokhara including Bindabasini temple, Seti gorge, Devi’s Falls, Tibetan village and a boat ride on Phewa lake. (B)
Day 13 Kathmandu : Half-day sightseeing tour of Pokhara including Bindabasini temple, Seti gorge, Devi’s Falls, Tibetan village and a boat ride on Phewa lake. (B)
Day 14 Fly home (B) :