Day 01: Arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal
Welcome to the land of Himalaya! On arrival in Kathmandu Airport, you will be met by our representative who will be waiting with an Icicles Adventure sign. Upon meeting our company’s representative at arrival terminal at the airport, you will be transferred to your respective hotel in our private comfortable vehicle. Accommodation: Kathmandu Hotel. Included Meal: B
Day 02: Experience Mountain flight and then visit UNESCO World Heritage sites of Kathmandu -Durbar Square, Swoyambhunath, Pashupantinath, Bhouddhanath
In the early morning we will go for a scenic Mount Everest flight. On the flight you will fly over one of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Sagarmatha National Park which houses some of the highest peaks in the world, climaxing with getting up close to Mount Everest. Late in the morning, we start a guided tour to four of the historical and spiritual UNESCO World Heritage sites in Kathmandu to provide you an insight on the history, religious significance, architecture, and culture of prosperous Kathmandu. Major sites we visit are Pashupatinath, Swoyambhunath, Bouddhanath and Durbar Square.
Pashupatinath, scared Hindu Temple of Pashupatinath dates back many hundreds of years and makes it one of the most important Shiva locations across the Indian subcontinent. Besides being a place of worship, it is also the most important cremation site for the Hindus in Nepal. Here you will see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing, and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats.
Durbar Square is a complex of historic palaces, courtyards and temples, built between the 12th and 18th centuries, used to be the seat of the ancient Malla kings of Kathmandu. An intriguing piece here is the 17th century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages.
Next we will visit Swoyambhunath Stupa, popularly known as Monkey temple due to abundance of monkey found in the shrine area is a 2000 years old stupa situated on a hillock. It is world’s most glorious Buddhist shrine and its main temple is capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt and is painted on the four sides with all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha.
Next come Bouddhanath which is a Buddhist shrine and one of the large Stupas in the world. You will visit Bodhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where you can observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa. The shrine has unique octagonal Mandala design with hundreds of prayer wheels and the 108 images of the Buddha are set into the niches around the huge structure. The area of Bouddhanath is also famous for over 50 Tibetan monasteries, thus the area is also known as ‘Little Tibet’. As you wander round the shops surrounding the stupa, you will find yourself interacting with monks in their maroon and saffron robes, and traditionally dressed Tibetan refugees who live here at the religious center for Himalayan Buddhists. You can join the locals to circumambulate the stupa, bargain for handicrafts in the shops or sit on a rooftop restaurant and absorb the atmosphere. Accommodation: Kathmandu Hotel. Included Meal: B
Day 03: Patan and Bhaktapur UNESCO Heritage Sites Sightseeing
After breakfast You will also visit Patan Durbar square at the center of Latitpur city which is a marvel of Newari ancient architecture. Temple of Krishna, Golden Temple, Bhimsen Temple, Vishwanath Temple, etc. Patan is famous for arts and craftsmanship, so you might buy some beautiful souvenir from this city of artist. You will then drive on to Bhaktapur, which was once the capital of Nepal and the Great Malla Kingdom during the 15th century. Its rich heritage, inspiring temples and artisanal history played a big part in Bhaktapur being named a UNESCO World Heritage site. Spend the day exploring Bhaktapur’s famous temples, starting at Durbar Square, which is reputed to be the most beautiful piece of art in Nepal. Durbar Square is home to the majestic Lion Gate and Golden Gate. We spend a night in the ancient town of Bhaktapur at the proximity of Durbar Square and soak up the incredible atmosphere of the temple complex of Bhatapur Durbar Square in the evening, or just relax in your hotel. Accommodation: Hotel in Bhaktapur. Included Meal: B
Day 04: Drive to Changunarayan UNESCO Heritage site Sightseeing and drive to Lumbini
After breakfast, we drive Changunarayan temple, an ancient Bishnu temple perched atop a narrow ridge due north of Bhaktapur. The beautiful and historic temple of Changu Narayan is a living museum of carvings from the Licchavi period. The temple is a Unesco World Heritage Site and truly so, because the statues, and the temple itself, are genuine works of sculpture. Despite being only 6km from Bhaktapur and 22km from Kathmandu, the temple attracts relatively few visitors, which is part of its appeal. Built in the two-tiered pagoda style, the main shrine here is guarded on all sides by pairs of mythical beasts – lions, elephants and ram-horned griffons – and its roof struts feature some amazingly intricate carvings of Tantric deities. The statue inside shows Vishnu as Narayan, the creator of all life, but the beautifully decorated metal-plate doors are only opened for rituals and only Hindus may enter. Facing the west door is a kneeling figure of Garuda said to date from the 5th century. In front of this statue is the oldest stone inscription in the valley, dating from AD 464, which recalls how the king persuaded his mother not to commit sati (ritual suicide) after his father’s death. Two large pillars carry a conch and chakra disc, the traditional symbols of Vishnu. Dotted around the courtyard are a series of extraordinary carvings dating from the Licchavi era, showing Vishnu in his various avatars (incarnations). In the southwest corner of the compound, Vishnu appears as Narsingha (his man-lion incarnation), disemboweling a demon with his fingers, and as Vikrantha (Vamana), the six-armed dwarf who transformed himself into a giant capable of crossing the universe in three steps to defeat King Bali (look for his outstretched leg). To the side of these images is a broken slab showing a 10-headed and 10-armed Vishnu, with Ananta reclining on a serpent below. The scenes are divided into three sections – the underworld, the world of man and the heavens. In the northwest corner of the compound is an exquisite 7th-century image of Vishnu astride Garuda, which is illustrated on the Rs 10 banknote. The squat temple in the southeast corner of the complex is dedicated to the Tantric goddess Chhinnamasta, who beheaded herself to feed the bloodthirsty deities Dakini and Varnini. Down the steps leading east from the temple complex are the one-storey Bhimsen Pati, with its stone guardians, and the remains of a Malla-era royal palace. If interested in throwing a glance on traditional life of the locals, you may visit the Changu Museum nearby. We then drive towards Lumbini. We arrive Lumbini after about 8-9 hours of drive. Accommodation: Hotel in Lumbini. Included Meal: B
05: Explore the Lumbini UNESCO World Heritage site
It was in Lumbini, around the year 563 BC, that one of history’s greatest and most revered figures, Siddhartha Gautama – better known as the Buddha – was born. It’s no great surprise to learn that the World Heritage–listed Lumbini is of huge religious significance and attracts Buddhist pilgrims from around the world. Located 205 KM West of Kathmandu, the spiritual heart of Lumbini is Maya Devi Temple, which marks the spot where Queen Maya Devi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama In the adjoining sacred garden you’ll find the pillar of Ashoka, ancient ruins of stupas, and maroon- and saffron-robed monks congregating under a sprawling Bodhi (pipal) fig decorated with prayer flags.
Maya Devi Temple is set in the middle of the large 4km by 2.5km park grounds known as the Lumbini Development Zone. Designed by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange in 1978, it’s still a work in progress that comprises landscaped lakes and numerous monasteries that have been or are being constructed by Buddhist communities from around the world.
Most people rush through Lumbini, allowing only a few hours to look around. However, you could easily spend one or two days exploring the zone and its monasteries, and soaking up the peaceful atmosphere. Accommodation: Hotel in Lumbini. Included Meal: B
Day 06: Drive to Kathmandu
Early morning we set off on our journey to Kathmandu. If you have time, we suggest you to extend your trip to Chitwan National Park for a night which is on the way to Kathmandu. Chitwan National Park is a natural UNESCO Heritage site which houses a number of near to extinct faunas. Its good to have a relax time, with an opportunity to jungle walk, elephant safari, cultural village walk at Chitwan National Park. If not decided to stop there, we drive back to Kathmandu. Accommodation: Hotel in Lumbini. Included Meal: B
Day 07: Trip conclusion, shopping and final departure
Today your Archeological UNESCO World Heritage sites tour comes to an end. You may extend your trip as Nepal has many places still waiting for you and many things are there which you must see before you die. But if you decide to go you may explore around Kathmandu yourself if before your flight or spend time shopping and strolling around the Thamel area. Finally, you will be transferred to International airport 3 hours prior to your flight time. Included Meal: B