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For many visitors the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal conjures up images of snow-capped mountains and rolling green hills, indeed it is a mountaineer's dream, but this small country which is sandwiched between India and China and was cut off from the rest of the world until the 1950's, has so much more to offer than just high mountains.  The land is diverse geographically as well as ethically and is rich in scenic splendours and cultural treasures.  You find vibrant traditions, exquisite temples and monuments, fast flowing rivers providing world class rafting opportunities and tropical jungles teeming with exotic game including the Royal Bengal tiger and the one-horned rhino.  The Kathmandu Valley alone boasts seven world heritage sites.

Kathmandu CityIn Nepal's capital city, there is something of interest everywhere you look - perhaps a small ancient temple tucked away in a row of shops, an old stone figure set in the middle of the pavement, or a religious Sadhu in bright saffron robes meditating on the steps of a building.  In Durbur Square there are dozens of buildings, monuments and shrines of interest within less than a square mile.  Among the most impressive structures is the 16th century padoga-Durbar Sqstyle Taleju Temple and the old Royal Palace.  Nearby is the Swayambhunath Stupa.  This splendid white stupa with it's all seeing eyes and gilded spire is believed to be the oldest Buddhist Temple in the valley at 2000 years old.  On the east side of the city is the 600 year old Pashupatinath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shirva, this is one of the holiest Hindu temples.  Nearby is the stupa of Boudhanath, one of the largest in the world of its kind, with four pairs of eyes keeping watch for righteous behaviour and human prosperity.

BhaktapurAlso known as Lilipur, Patan is enclosed within four stupas and believed to date from the 3rd century AD.  It is best known for its fine artistic heritage and traditional crafts, especially bronze and silverware.

Meaning the city of devotees, Bhaktapur was founded in the 9th century and is in many ways the most medieval of the three major cities in the Kathmandu Valley.  It retains a timeless air with rituals of daily life seemingly unchanged for centuries, together with palaces, temples, monasteries and museums, you can see carvers, bronze casting, potters throwing pots and many other traditional crafts.

Pokhara is an enchanting valley in the Himalayas with its combination of snow clad peaks and snow fed lakes and river it is one of the most picturesque natural attractions in the kingdom.

RhinoThe Royal Chitwan National Park
Situated in a lush valley at the foot hills of the Churia ranges this is one of the most exceptional wildlife conservation areas in Asia.  It is home to a rich variety of mammals including the one horned rhinoceros, the Royal Bengal tiger, leopard, sloth bear, sanbur, chital and wild boar.  There are also over 450 species of migratory and resident bird, reptiles, butterflies and insects.

Nepal is a country which offers something for everyone whether you have a few days or a few weeks.  It's a country that lingers in your dreams long after you leave which is why so many travellers return.

White Water Rafting
RaftingNepal is a rafting paradise with a wide choice of trips away from roads and in magnificent mountain surroundings with warm water, impressive geography, exotic culture, wildlife and friendly welcoming people.  Rafting here is a wilderness experience in that most rivers don't have highways alongside them - but its a soft tame wilderness with beaches for camping and blue rivers and no 'nasty bugs'!  Nepal has earned a reputation as one of the best destinations in the world for white water rafting.  Nepal's thundering waters coming from the glaciers of the mighty Himalaya provide unmatched thrills.  The rivers range from a grade 3, which provides a safe thrill for the novice, to 4, 5, and even 6 for the very experienced.  The Trisuli River is the closest to Kathmandu and white water rafting day trips can be arranged.  Several rafting programmes are available most ranging from 5 to 14 days.

To see the Kathmandu Valley you would need 4 days, but the 3 main areas of Nepal can best be seen by taking a tour, a suggested 7 day itinerary could be as follows:

6 night / 7 day

SwayambhunathDay 1     Take a half day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu city.  The tour includes a visit to Durbur Square, located in the heart of the city, a complex of beautiful palaces, temples and shrines, both Hindu and Buddhist, that epitomise the religious and cultural life of the people.  It is here that kings of Nepal are crowned and their coronations solemnised.  The tour also includes the temples of the Living Goddess, who acknowledges the greetings of the devotees from the balcony of her temple residence; Kasthamandap, the source of the name Kathmandu and supposed to be made from the timber of a single tree and Swayambhunath, a splendid Buddhist temple.

Day 2     Take a half day tour to include the Pashupatinath Temple, one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Lord BoudhanathShriva.  Situated amidst a lush green natural setting on the bank of the scared Bagmati River the 600 year old temple, built in pagoda style, has a gilded roof and richly carved doors.  You will also visit Boudhanath, this stupa, one of the biggest in the world of its kind, was built by King Man Deva on the advice of Goddess Mani Jogini.  It was built in an octagonal base inset with prayer wheels; the shrine is ringed by houses of Lamas or Buddhist priests and shops selling traditional crafts.

Day 3 & 4     On day 3 leave Kathmandu and drive to Pokara.  On day 4 take a half day tour of Pokhara city with a one hour boat ride on Phewa Lake.  The tour should include Pokhara bazaar, Davin's Fall and Seti Gorge.

Day 5 & 6     Leave Pokhara on day 5 for the drive to Chitwan.  On day 6 explore the Royal Chitwan National Park.

Day 7     Return by road to Kathmandu.

Prices on request

When to go

Nepal is a country of extremes. The low-land plains can have tropical temperatures, the Himalayas can get to sub-zero. There are 4 seasons with average temperatures in spring from 16°C - 23°C, summer from 23°C - 25°C, autumn from 15°C - 24°C and winter from 9°C - 12°C in Kathmandu. The monsoon season is between June and August but it can rain at other times of the year.

Additional Information

Time Difference Local Currency Local Language Average Flying Time
GMT/UTC + 5.45 Nepalese Rupee Nepali 4 hours 40 mins