If you have a few extra days in Kathmandu before or after your trek to Everest, Langtang or Annapurna region, why not spend a day or more exploring the historic sights of Kathmandu or Bhaktapur or pay a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Chitwan National Park.
Start in the morning with a short hike up the Swayambunath temple (‘monkey temple’) and enjoy an amazing panoramic view of the city at the same time. The stupa itself dates back to the 5th century AD and is one of the most important religious sites in the Kathmandu. Our next stop is Bouddha stupa, a pilgrimage site for many Buddhist and a traditional stopping point for merchants plying the trade route between Nepal and Tibet. It’s the largest stupa in Asia and one of the most popular sites in the city. Next is the holy Hindu temple, Pashupatinath temple, a collection of temples laid out along the Bagmati River. Cremation ceremonies along the banks of the river are common. The final stop takes us to the historic Kathmandu Durbar Square, featuring a collection of ancient temples (ancient royal palace) of the Malla period, which belongs to the Nepali Golden Age.
OUR PROPOSED 3-DAY ITINERARY
Start in the morning in Kathmandu, the first medival city-state, with a visit to the UNESCO HERITAGE Swayambunath stupa (‘monkey temple’) on top of a hill and enjoy an amazing panoramic view of the city at the same time. The next stop is Budhanilkhanta to witness the giant floating statue in water of Narayan, the creator of the Univers. The stupa itself dates back to the 5th century AD and is one of the most important religious sites in the Kathmandu. Then continue to the historic and UNESCO HERITAGE Durbar Square, featuring a collection of ancient temples (ancient royal palace) of the Malla period, which belongs to the Nepali Golden Age. The last stop takes us to Patan, the second medival city-state and UNESCO HERITAGE too.
Start in the morning with a visit to the sacrificial altars of Dakshinkali. Continue your trip with a visit to Bouddha stupa ideally before the sun sets. Finally, witness the cremation ghats and the whole celebration of life and death at Pashupatinath temple by the Bagmati River.
Day trip to the UNESCO HERITAGE town of Bakhtapur, the third of the medival city-state and the best preserved of all. The next stop is the beautiful UNESCO HERITAGE outdoors museum Changu Narayan temple presenting carvings and sculptures that belong to the Licchavi dynasty and that date back to the 4th to 9th century.
OUR PROPOSED 8-DAY ITINERARY
After the 3 days suggested above, extend your trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Chitwan National Park for wildlife spotting.
Optional extension to the laid-back city of Pokhara for row out to the middle of the lake (phewa tal), a hike up to the World Peace Pagoda and enjoy the atmospheric bars and restaurants by the lakeside.
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If you want to check out the Lonely Planet Guide Book of Nepal, click HERE.