Private Day tour to Ancient Kathmandu Valley offers an incomparable scope to connoisseurs of art and culture to see and study the different aspects of fine arts in its painting, sculpture, woodcarving and architecture. The main historic cities of Kathmandu with numerous historical monuments, old palace and palace squares, shrines and temples. The tour covers Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, Soyambhunath Stupa, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Kathmandu Valley Private Day Tour
We start our tour at 9:00 AM from Utmost Adventure office in Thamel. We will visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, Soyambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple), we finish our tour around 5 pm afternoon.
- Trekking days - 1
- Total days - 1
- Min. Altitude - (1400m./4593ft.)
- Max. Altitude - (1400m./4593ft.)
- Overal walking - 6 hrs P/D
- Trip Nature - Day Tour
- Difficulty - Easy
- Min. group size - 2
- Age Limit -
- Best Time - January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Ancient Kathmandu Day tour
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square is in the heart of old city Kathmandu in Basantapur. The complex was residence to Nepal's royal family before the construction of the Narayanhiti Palace. The king no longer lives in the Hanuman Dhoka (old Royal palace) in Kathmandu â€“ the palace was moved north to Narayanhiti about a century ago. The founding of the Palace dates back to Licchavi times. With considerable renovations by Malla rulers and later the Ranas, construction was accomplished progressively over many centuries.
There are around 50 temples in the vicinity including The Taleju Temple (The tallest of all structures, built by King Mahendra Malla in 1549 AD), The Jagannath Temple (Built in 16th century is known for the fascinating erotic figures carved in the wooden struts), The Kala Bhairav (one of the largest 17th century stone statue in Kathmandu, represents terrifying aspect of Lord Shiva), Swet-Bhairav Temple (the temple opens once in a year during Indra Jatra Festival), Kumari Temple (The 17th century temple of living goddess is an example of highly developed Nepali craftsmanship), Kasthamandap (from which Kathmandu derives its name, is said to be built from the timber of a single tree), Nautalle Durbar, Pancha-mukhi Hanuman Temple and Chasin Dega. Although many of the building around the square are very old, a great deal of damage was caused by the great earth quake of 1934 and many were rebuilt, not always in their original from.
The Durbar is divided into two courtyards, the outer comprising Kasthamandap, Kumari Ghar, and Shiva-Parvati Temple, and the inner consisting of Hanuman Dhoka and the main palace. It also houses two museums. Important ceremonies, including the coronation of the Nepali monarch, are held in the Kathmandu Durbar Square. Most parts of the palace premise are open for tourists throughout the week during office hours.
Pashupatinath is one of the four most important religious sites in Asia for Shiva devotees. Pashupatinath, dedicated to Shiva the Destroyer, is the holiest Hindu pilgrimage destination in Nepal. Although the Pashupatinath Temple was only built in the fifth century and later renovated by Malla kings, the holy site is said to have existed from the beginning of the millennium. It holds a very strong religious belief. If a Hindu takes his/her last breath at Pashupatinath and her/his body is cremated here and ashes are sprinkled in the holy water of Bagmati it is believed that her/his soul is released from the cycle of rebirth and finds the ultimate nirvana or salvation.
A gold-plated roof, four silver doors, and wood carvings of the finest quality decorate the pagoda temple of Pashupatinath. Temples dedicated to several other Hindu and Buddhist deities surround the temple of Pashupatinath. Nearby is the temple of Guheshwori dedicated to Shiva's consort Sati Devi. Behind the temple is the River Bagmati. On the banks of Bagmati are raised platforms used as cremation sites for Hindus. Only Hindus are allowed inside the Pashupatinath courtyard. UNESCO designated Pashupatinath temple as World Heritage Site in 1979.
The largest Stupa in South Asia situated 6km east of the city center Bouddhanath is one of the most auspicious pilgrimage sites for Buddhists. The huge Stupa stands 36m high on the ancient trade route to Tibet. It is believed that Bouddhanath Stupa was built in the 5th century and entombs the remains of a Kasyap sage who is respected by both Hindus and Buddhists. The Tibetan refugees, who migrated in 1950s to Nepal, settled around Bouddhanath and today it has become the center of Tibetan Buddhism in the world where one can still observe the Tibetan lifestyle in Bouddhanath. Tibetans and monks in maroon robes with prayer wheels in their hands still practice the rituals. Devotees still hold big functions during celebratory in particular occasions, Buddha Jayanti â€“ Buddhaâ€™s Birthday. UNESCO listed Bouddhanath in World Heritage List in 1979.
Because of its location and size, it seems much larger than the Swayambunath Stupa, with the same hemi-spherical dome symbolizing the emptiness from which everything emanates. On top is the harmika painted on each side with the eyes of the Buddha symbolizing awareness, and above the spire with its 13 stages to the canopy. At ground level there is a brick wall with 147 niches and 108 images of the meditation Buddha inset behind copper prayer wheels. Early morning and evening are the times to visit Bouddha to join the local residents in kora (walking the pilgrim's circuit, sometimes with Tibetan pilgrims on their hands and knees).
Swayambhunath Stupa is the most ancient and mysterious of all the holy shrines in Kathmandu Valley. Swoyambhu literally means 'Self-Existent One.' Swoyambhunath is believed to have been established more than 2,500 years ago. An inscription dated 460 A.D. states that the construction was carried out by King Manadeva. By the thirteenth century Swoyambhunath had developed into an important Buddhist learning site.
The history of Kathmandu Valley is said to have started with the beginning of Swoyambhu. Its origin is related to the visit of Manjushree â€“ a Bodhisatva sage who created the Kathmandu Valley from a primordial lake. According to a legend of 15th century Swayambhu Puran, it is believed that past Buddha planted a lotus that miraculously blossomed from the lake. Manjushree, while meditating at the sacred mountain, had a vision of the brilliant but mysterious light radiated by the lotus and flew across China and Tibet to worship it. In order to make it accessible to the pilgrims, Manjushree drained out water from the lake and thus, the lotus was transformed into a hilltop and the light into Swayambhunath Stupa. Hence, the derivation of the title Swayambhu, which means self-creation. This superior white mound and glittering golden spire is visible from all sides of the valley. Both Hindus and Buddhists equally worship Swayambhunath eve though it is a Buddhist Stupa. Everyday people ascend the 365 steps to pay a visit to the deity. Every part of the Stupa holds a religious belief; according to Buddhism the thirteen gilded circles of the spire symbolize the thirteen steps that lead to nirvana or ultimate salvation “ Moksha; the eyes on each of Stupa’s four sides symbolize the God’s all-seeing perspective that the God is looking everywhere to distinguish justice from injustice. The third eye on each face of the Stupa symbolizes wisdom. It is also believed that the only way to salvation is through Buddhism. The largest image of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Nepal is in a monastery next to the stupa. Behind the hilltop is a temple dedicated to Manjusri of Saraswati - the goddess of learning. Statues and shrines of Buddhist and Hindu deities dot the stupa complex.
Large numbers of Buddhists and Hindus alike visit Swoyambhunath. Swoyambhu is perhaps the best place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal. The stupa is atop a hill, and requires considerable walk. There is also a road that leads almost to the base of the statue.
- 1 Days | Easy | Nepal