Home to a multitude of unique ethnicities, religions, languages, customs, costumes, and festivals, Nepal is culturally rich. Adventure Club Trek’s Kathmandu Cultural Tour-2 days introduces you to the lifestyle, religion, and culture of the different groups of Nepal as Kathmandu is home to Nepalese from all corners of the country. You will get acquainted with the city’s rich history and explore the unique architectural style of the two medieval cities, Kathmandu and Bhaktapur. The Kathmandu Valley is made up of three cities-Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan/Lalitpur.
Walk along the cobblestone paved roads of the Kathmandu Durbar Square as you explore the palaces of the Malla and Shah dynasty and the many temple complexes and monuments inside these palaces. Get to know more about the Buddhist culture as you make your way to the Boudhanath Stupa, one of world’s largest, and Swayambhunath Temple. The temple of Pashupatinath is the center of Hindu culture. You can pick a corner and observe the daily life of Kathmandu at Ason where you can see local vendors, their customers, passersby, animals, and vehicles add beauty to chaos surrounded by centuries-old temples and houses. Ason market is in close proximity to Kathmandu Durbar Square and Thamel.
Thamel is the ultimate tourist hub with bustling souvenir shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels, vendors selling trekking gears and quaint alleyways. Enjoy strolling through the streets of Thamel in the evening. For those seeking a longer introduction to Nepalese culture, Adventure Trek Club also provides Nepal Explore tour-15 days, and Kathmandu and Pokhara Tour-7 Days packages.
A representative from Adventure Club Trek will receive you at the airport and transfer you to your designated hotel. Freshen up and rest for a while before we head out for a guided tour of Ason Bazaar & Thamel, two of the most happening places in the city. We stroll the quaint streets of Thamel, the tourist hub of Kathmandu. Most the times the streets are packed with foreigners and young Nepalese people. It is one of the few places in the city with a happening nightlife. From a variety of shops selling handicrafts to other local handicrafts and souvenirs, Thamel is bursting with life. It also houses a lot of pubs, restaurants, and clubs. Ason is another place always crowded with people and once you enter the bazaar the smell of spices and incense burning in the surrounding temples hit your senses. Today, the hustling and bustling market area of Ason is filled with vendors selling everything from vegetables, flowers, clothes, utensils, to whatnot, but in the past, it used to be a stopping point for traders passing through the old Tibet trade route. You can choose to dine at a typical Nepali place with traditional dances and music or indulge in any other cuisine.
Today, we will spend our time exploring different historical sites in Kathmandu. We start our day after breakfast.
Listed as a World Heritage Site, the two storied pagoda style temple is one of the most sacred temples in the Hindu religion. Devotees from different countries come to worship the god Pashupatinath (incarnation of Lord Shiva). Tourists are not allowed inside the premises. However, they can see the temples from the top of Biswarup. Tourists are, however, allowed to enter the temple’s backyard premises where open cremation on the banks of holy river Bagmati takes place.
It is South Asia's largest stupa. Legend says that Kasyapa Buddha's bones are buried under the base of the stupa. The first stupa at Boudhanath was established after AD 600- after Songtsen Gumba, the Tibetan king converted to Buddhism. As per legend, the king built the stupa as atonement after he killed his father. Mughal invaders wrecked the first stupa in the 14th century, Boudhanath, as we know it today, is a more recent construction, but just as pure and holy.
The whitewashed dome and the gilded tower painted with Buddha’s eyes which are known to see it all is a three-dimensional reminder of Buddha’s path to enlightenment. The plinth of the stupa represents Earth, the dome (Kumbha in Nepali) represents water, the square tower ( harmika) means fire, the spire is air, and the umbrella featured at the top symbolizes ether beyond space or the void. There are 13 levels to the spire, and they represent stages a human must pass through to attain nirvana.
You will see that there are 108 small images of Dhyani Buddha Amitabha around the stupa’s base and a hoop of prayer wheels which you are supposed to turn clockwise making three rounds of the stupa. We will explore the highly symbolic stupa and its surrounding with a well-informed guide.
Swayambhunath is also listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The ancient architecture complex is swarmed with monkeys as it sits on a hilltop surrounded by numerous trees hence it is also famously known as the ‘Monkey Temple.’
The complex has a white stupa in the center and also hosts a temple making it equally significant for Buddhists and Hindus. Besides being a historically and religiously significant site, the Swayambhunath also gives a great view of the sunset over Kathmandu city
The stupa at Swayambhunath is only second to Boudha for Tibetans and followers of Tibetan Buddhism. We will enjoy the site with briefings from our experienced guide.
Basantapur Durbar Square
Experience the unique architecture of Nepal as you walk the premises of Basantapur Durbar Square (also called the Kathmandu Durbar Square) filled with pagoda-style temples and palaces built in the Malla and Shah dynasty. You can also witness the renovations being done to the buildings that suffered major damages during the 2015 earthquake.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar Square lies in the medieval city of Bhaktapur and is an excellent example of the Newari architectural style. Away from the main city, the culture and lifestyle of the local people still revolve around pottery, handicrafts, and agriculture.
The 55 windowed palaces, Nyatapola, Golden Gate, Dattatreya Temple, Bhairavnath Temple, and Vatsala Temple among others are some of Bhaktapur Durbar square significant attractions. You can even taste the local Newari cuisine and the famous King curd while you are here. It concludes a day of sightseeing and also our Kathmandu Cultural Tour-2 day’s package. Our representative will drop you to the airport according to the timing of your flight.
Birendra, the man who helped us on every aspect of our journey, was so great! He and his crew helped us with literally everything, from the airport, finding a hotel, making our plan, to taking the actual journey. He is very knowledgeable, super friendly and made us feel right at home.
I recommend Adventure Club Treks fully I Will see you next year on our third trip to Nepal!
I came to volunteer in a small village and I only had a short amount of sightseeing time. Birendra arranged a wonderful tour for me. I had a marvelous young man for a Guide. He took me around and showed me the sites of Kathmandu, he was very knowledgeable, and he never rushed me. Not only did we talk about the historical aspects of the city, but the cultural ones as well. Our driver was very reliable and I requested him the next day when I went to Nagarkot. The car was very comfortable and the ride very pleasant. I felt safe and secure. The weather did not cooperate as well as I would've liked and the mountains were very hazy. Still, I did get to see them and the sunrise was magnificent. Birendra was prompt…, More prompt than I, and very patient. He was completely reliable. I loved Nepal and would really like to go back. I would definitely contact Birendra again to arrange my travel.
Birendra may be one of the best guides to get you al around nepal in comfort, efficiency, and good company. Highly recommended!
Abu Dhabi, United Arab
Note: Your safety is of the utmost concern whilst you are traveling with Adventure Club Trek. We will make every effort possible to follow the original itinerary but we reserve the right to change that itinerary if a segment of it becomes a safety issue. Certain mountain regions are remote, natural disasters can happen, weather conditions can decline and there can be illness or an injury. To avoid dangerous situations we may occasionally have to make changes to the itinerary to ensure everyone’s safety. That having been said, Adventure Club Trek will strive to provide you with the best possible trekking experience and to keep your safety our number one priority. We thank you for your understanding.
Prior to all the treks and expeditions, Adventure Club Trek hosts a pre-trip meeting in Kathmandu. The primary purpose of the meeting is to provide an opportunity for individuals to ask questions about the forthcoming trek and to introduce other team members. The meeting covers topics as diverse as personal equipment and acclimatization and usually involves a hike and some skills training. Pre-trip meeting is very important in order to have a better preparation of the trekking.