|Fitness Level||: Easy||Max-Altitude||: 3120m / 10236.10ft|
|Country||: Nepal,Bhutan||Group Size||: 2-12 people|
|Trip Start||: Kathmandu, Nepal||Trip Finish||: Paro, Bhutan|
|Meals||: Breakfasts in Kathmandu, Pokhara including and all meals in Chitwan and Bhutan|
|Accommodation||: Superior hotels at all locations|
The tour of Nepal and Bhutan will definitively instigate true spiritualism, deep within you. Pack your bags and join us on an enchanting odyssey, step inside the borders of the Himalayan abode and discover the mysteries that linger behind the mountains.
See smiling faces as you take a walk across the frenzied city streets in Kathmandu. The whiff of incense in the air, the ringing temple bells and the sporadic sights of the ancient shrines that stand between modern structures, the city will definitely win your heart. View Kathmandu from a different vantage point atop the “Swayambhunath Stupa” or watch the devotion of the Hindus at the “Pashupati Temple.” Take a journey through the jungle at “Chitwan National Park” and try to take a picture of the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger. Take a break beside the “Phewa” Lake in Pokhara City and watch the world go by. Nepal welcomes you with a “Namaste” (Greeting).
Mystified! Is the only word which can describe the sensation that you will have as you enter the enchanting Kingdom of Bhutan. The kingdom still possesses untouched natural beauty in abundance and is probably one of the least polluted countries in the world, totally disconnected from the rest of the world, it opened its doors to tourists in the 1960’s, so there is a lot to discover in Bhutan. We are sure some of the popular landmarks like the Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest), the Punakha Dzong will enchant you to no end. Share stories with the Monks at Paro, you will be astounded by the stories they tell you.Come with us and unearth the mysteries. The trip takes you on an epic journey to experience the tradition, culture and heritage of two mythical countries.
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So, once you have landed at the airport grab your bags and head off to the arrival gates, where Wind Horse representative will be waiting for you, with your name on the placard. “Namaste” is the way we greet in Nepal. Rest a while and revive your disrupted circadian at the hotel.
Take a glance at where you have landed yourself in; as your bewilderment finally subsides you will find it easy to weave through knotty traffic system here. The classic lines of the city pops in at every alley and turn you take, like the occasional shrine that stands amidst the modern buildings is an interesting sight. Eventually the soothing ringing of the temple bells, the vivid fragrance of burning incense and the warm friendly faces all around you will make you feel at home.
Take a taste of authentic Nepalese cuisine in the evening; the scrumptious platter of Nepalese dishes will definitely make you happy. The “Daal-Bhat” power will keep you energized for 24 hours. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Wake up to new sightings in a new city. The archetypal neighborhoods of the old Kathmandu City can still be seen around, the medieval houses and the elaborate palaces are now mostly transformed into government buildings. Kathmandu the edifying city is vibrant, colorful and culturally enveloped.
Make way to the “Durbar Square” where the former kings of the past resided, the old palace still holds an aristocratic air about it. Grey cobblestone paved floors lend an authentic retro look, and the path leads you to the “Kumari Ghar” House of the Living Goddess “Kumari,” she will bless you with her innocence. The old “Freak Street” at Jhonchhe Tole, has the same atmosphere, since it followed the hippie trail in the 1960’s. The National Museum in the vicinity enlightens you with the history of Nepal.
The compact view of the Kathmandu City from atop the “Swayambhunath Stupa,” or the monkey temple situated on a hill is breathtaking. Watch the red caped monks perform religious rites ask for their blessings and you will find peace, all the while the monkeys of the temple will taunt you.
The devotion of the Hindu at “Pashupatinath” Temple will surely put you in awe, the“Babaji’s” or the holy men with their unkempt dreadlocks and colorful robes, smile at you! The Pashupati is considered the holiest temple in Nepal, so don’t be surprised if they ask you to remove any leather clothing you may have on you.
Another short drive takes you to “Boudhanath,” one of the largest Buddhist stupa in the world. The Tibetan settlers there illustrate their life as in Tibet. The street around the stupa is seen lined with trinket shops, they sell Tibetan artifacts and handicraft, haggle with the shopkeeper for the best prices!
These cultural, historical and religious structures are listed as UNESCO heritage sites.
Ease back and enjoy a dinner of your choice in the evening! “Thamel” is the place to meet people from different parts of the globe, there’s a heady mix of music from the Eastern and Western world. The bars are up and lively until midnight, so have sometime to yourself and relax. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.
Time to bid goodbye to Kathmandu. The drive from Kathmandu to Chitwan is scenic and the abrupt changes in landscapes cut out the monotony. Enter the land of the “Tharus” the indigenous people of Chitwan, with the hills and mountains in the background you will now explore the jungle with a rich eco-system.
If you have not ridden atop an elephant before you are in for a treat, the anxiety that creeps in when you climb on to the back of the gentle giant, eventually gives way to excitement. The elephant ride takes you closer to the wild; it is the safest way to spot the various wild animals that live in the forest. The elephant takes you across marshlands, rivulets and densely wooded areas, where you might even spot the most elusive Royal Bengal Tiger or the shy one-horned Rhino.
Perhaps you can taste the authentic “Tharu” cuisine in the evening, although most Nepalese staple are quite similar in content, the difference is in the preparation. Lull yourself to sleep to the sounds of the jungle in the evening. Overnight in Chitwan.
Start another exciting day with a hearty breakfast; you can burn the carbs with a walk through the jungle that will take you to the banks of “Rapti” river, you will be amazed when you spot various aquatic life while canoeing through the calm waters, the Gharial (alligator) and the Mugger crocodiles are the creatures to look out for.
Find out more about the lifestyle of the ethnic “Tharu” community that inhabit the area, observe how they live in harmony with the wildlife, just beside their homes.
Chitwan consists of tropical and subtropical forests. The park is also home to more than 50 mammal species, over 525 birds, and 55 amphibians and reptiles. There is also a list of endangered animals found in the Park, The One-horned rhinoceros, Gaur (deer), Royal Bengal tiger. Wild elephant, four horned antelope, Pangolin, Golden monitor lizard, Python, Giant hornbill, Black stork, White stork, etc.
A lunch break inside the park will provide you with a sweet break from your walk. Thereafter, join us on an adventure jeep drive or elephant ride (if the jeep ride won't be feasible) through the jungle. The jeep is more comfortable and the trip you will go deeper in the jungle and here you will have more chance to see tigers. The driver will stop to show places and animals. You will have a great opportunity to get some good pictures this way. During the trip, the guide will hang at the back of the vehicle to spot animals. He will also give information about the environment and the wildlife.
Afterwards try bird watching; you will know more about the different species of our feathered friends. The last drive will take you to the Gharial (alligator) farm; feel the responsibility of saving these creatures from total extinction.
Watch the sunset over the river and let the cool night air of the jungle stimulate you. Enjoy the traditional “Tharu” stick dance in the evening and set you in a mood for dancing the night away. Overnight in Chitwan.
Journey along the adventurous highway to Pokhara. Unwind yourself after that drive in Pokhara, take a break and head off to the “Lakeside” area. The bars are open till midnight and the live music is a mix of West and traditional Nepalese folk songs. The locals are friendly and have cheerful chats with them, sink into the comfortable bed at the hotel and enjoy a slumber. Overnight in Pokhara.
Pokhara” the City of Lakes is a natural charmer. Dotted with placid lakes, the view of” Phewa” Lake with the view of the mighty “Fishtail” mountain in the backdrop, will surely inspire and leave you in admiration.
There’s a lot to do in Pokhara, keep yourself entertained throughout the day with fun activities like boating, bird watching, kayaking, swimming, canoeing. Hear the stories from the locals and share yours; the colorful boats that line the shore takes you to the “Varahi” temple in the middle of the lake, go forth and seek blessings.
The photos you take at Davis falls will definitely adorn your facebook wall, “Patale Changgo” (Waterfall) in Nepali; the Davis falls is actually an underground waterfall. The water flows under the ground through its natural tunnel of 500 feet from the fall made by the water currents beneath the land.
The view of the “Seti Gandaki” from atop the Mahendra Pul (Pul: Bridge) is worth watching. The river flows right through the city, and runs completely underground at places. Incredibly, at certain points the river appears hardly two meters wide, but it is well over 20 meters!
The ethnic market or the Old Bazaar it is a vibrant place, just about 4kms from Lakeside. A lovely spot lined with shops selling everything from clothes to cosmetics and gold! The “Bindyabasini” Temple, right in the center of the bazaar is dedicated to goddess “Durga” the deity of supreme power. The 16th century architecture of the place is sure to delight you.
Nichidatsu Fujii a Japanese Buddhist monk, established several peace pagodas around the world, he did it for world peace. Of Course! He set up the World Peace Pagoda or “Shanti Stupa,” atop a hill in Pokhara with the same intention, the white pagoda does depict peace. Your will find your inner peace, as you view the Annapurna range in the background, which simply takes your breath away.
By evening you must be hungry and looking forward for a feast, while in Pokhara we recommend the “Thakali” dinner prepared with love by local ethnic mothers, it is a balanced diet and a top favourite among the locals. There’s lot more to do in Pokhara, just stride down to the Lakeside area in the evening. Overnight in Pokhara.
After breakfast, a thirty minute flight takes you to Kathmandu. Meet at the airport, and then drive to the ancient city of Patan across the main city. As you see the whitewashed arched gateway you feel at you are rolling back in time. The gateway welcomes you to “Patan,” past the gate, you enter a square lined with cafes, grocery stores and newspaper stalls and mostly medieval neighborhoods of the ancient city. The antique stupas in various shapes and sizes will mesmerize you. Patan holds a spiritual stance, you will know this as you hear an occasional towing of the big iron bell, the chanting of the prayers echoing out of the temple, the wonderfully adorned temples, and the brick walkways add to the charm. The intricately carved out “Krishna Mandir” was once a single piece of boulder. Take a rest on one of the protruding ledges of the temples and the old buildings, the area is largely populated by the “Newar” people. The Patan Palace nearby was constructed with bricks, still stands proud, it now houses the Patan Museum, and opens a window to the past. The city has been added to the list of UNESCO heritage sites. Have your cameras ready!
It’s time to witness yet another ancient city, a relic that stands in its true historical identity. The 30 mins drive takes you to Bhaktapur, another UNESCO heritage site. The ancient city still has a rustic charm about it and is home to the larger population of “Newars” in the valley. The brick-laden walkways, intricately carved out images of the deities in the temple pillars are an example of the ancient craftsmanship. The “Nyatapol” Temple built in the 17th century still stands strong and watches over the sleepy town. The 55 embellished windows of the palace were used to keep watch over the activities in the square, by the royals in the past, the “Golden Gate” gives you access to the inner areas of the palace. The numerous pagoda styled temples and monuments that dot the square, gives a perfect example of the expressive and complex design of Nepalese architecture back in ages.
Locally produced handicrafts on sale are sure to delight you, grab a few before you depart; it makes good memorabilia and gifts for your loved ones. Take a last stroll around the streets of Kathmandu, as the evening sets in for tomorrow, you will be flying off to explore the mysteries in Bhutan. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Our friendly representative will welcome you at the airport, Paro, a historic town has many hallowed sites and structures scattered throughout. If you are a nature lover, you are in for a treat, after you realize that Paro valley is recognized as the most beautiful place in all of Bhutan; it is verdant, spacious and adorable. Welcome to the land of the “Dzongs” (fortress).
Accentuating the natural beauty are the many elegant, traditional-style houses that dot the valley and surrounding hills. The town has begun embracing modern transition in recent years and there are a lot of amenities like restaurants, bakeries and cafes to choose from. The central square is festooned with a large prayer wheel and a small auditorium at which events such as concerts are often organized. The town is for folks who like to have some quiet time for themselves, without too many distractions.
Dive into the history of Bhutan at the National museum set in “Paro Ta Dzong,” an ancient watchtower marvel over the Bhutanese artifacts and artwork including traditional costumes, armor, weapons and handcrafted implements for daily life. “Drugyel Dzong” or The Fortress of the Victorious Bhutanese is another interesting sight; this Dzong was constructed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 to honor his victory over the raiding Tibetan armies. Though the fortress was destroyed by fire in 1951, the ruins remain an impressive and imposing sight. Aren’t you a little wiser now? Overnight in Paro.
Pack in some carbs for the trek ahead, as today you are going to witness a sight that will latch on to your mind for the rest of your life, we are sure you will be saying “I’ve been there,” even after 10 years.
Among the 155 Buddhist monasteries that dot the area, the most iconic landmark in the whole of Bhutan is the Taktsang Monastery, popularly known as the “Tiger’s Nest.” About the 10 km from the town of Paro, the trek takes you across scenic and lush landscape. Finally when you reach there, we are sure you will feel your jaws hanging loose, as the monastery is quite literally constructed on a cliff-face, several hundred meters above the oak and rhododendron forests on the valley floor.
It’s a beautiful sight, you will feel yourself rejuvenated and you would definitely want to stay back here and meditate. Now, it’s time to head off to Thimpu the Capital city of Bhutan, where more exotic sights await you. Overnight in Thimpu.
You will be surprised to learn that Thimpu was a typical Buddhist settlement set around a Dzong (Fortress) until recently until 1961. It is still undergoing a massive makeover and slowly embracing the contemporary lifestyle, now it is virtually a modern city with shopping malls, tree-lined streets and parks, however the city still holds back to its cultural roots and many low roofed pagoda styled houses still line the streets.
Stroll around the picturesque thoroughfare of Norzin Lam lined with hotels, shopping complexes and restaurants. Try out some authentic Bhutanese Cuisine, we recommend the “Jasha tshoem”, Bhutanese chicken curry with mixed red and white rice, it is wholesome and healthy.
You can’t hold back your amazement when you know that the Bhutanese are governed directly under the King; don’t be surprised if you don’t see any traffic lights around, it is the only capital city in the world without traffic lights, the drivers are courteous and there is virtually no need for the lights.
After your lunch you can visit the Tashicho Dzong, which is the main building that dominates the town and houses the secretariat, ministries, National Assembly and other government departments. However it is important because it also houses the office of the king and the main throne court. It is also the summer residence of the monk body. The awe inspiring “Thanka Paintings and a two storey high statue of Buddha adorn the walls of the National Assembly.
Later the 2-3 hrs drive from Thimpu to Punakha is scenic and mesmerizing, as the road cuts from winding mountains, verdant forests and delightful settlements along the way. As you finally arrive you will be greeted by the scenic view of the distant Himalayas, Punakha was a former capital city of Bhutan until the responsibility was moved to Thimpu in 1955. However, it is still regarded as the winter getaway for the chief abbot “Je Khenpo.” Since it is located at a lower elevation Punakha is blessed with abundant crops and a seasonal fruit, as the fertile soil is deposited by the two main rivers the “Pho Chhu” and “Mo Chhu.”
There are places of interests in plenty, like the Punakha Dzong, which is strategically built in confluence point of the two rivers; it was originally built to serve as the administrative and religious center of the region.
While you may think that fertility to reproduce offspring is an innate matter, the “Chimmi Lhakhang” temple states otherwise, it is usually visited by couples who have not had the chance at parenthood.
As the setting sun blankets the village with an orange glow, it gives you a sense of belonging, the view is simply spectacular. Try some traditional Bhutanese rice dishes, and fill your soul. Overnight in Punakha.
After breakfast you visit The “Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery” -a temple complex which also houses a meditation center and a school of spirituality for Buddhist nuns. Apart from the spiritual teaching they also provide vocational training to the nuns like tailoring, statue making and the ever inspiring “Thanka” Painting. You might also feel intimidated by the imposing statue of “Avalokiteshvara” the Buddhist deity who looks down, it is one of the biggest statue in the country.
For a country, which depends on rice as a staple diet, it is obviously revered as important. Observe the traditional lifestyle of the Bhutanese village in “Ritsha.”The “Ritsha” village is typical model rice-growing community, where all the houses are only two-storey high and the village is surrounded by rice fields. Taste some organic seasonal fruits as well, while you are there.
Drive through the scenic beauty of the land, the drive from Punakha to Paro is blissful and enchanting. The road makes way up to the mountains and valleys, take pictures on the way to cherish forever. Take a leisurely walk, along the streets in Paro and discover more of the ways of local lifestyle. Overnight in Paro.
We are sure that you will wipe a silent tear from your eyes as you approach the airport, yes leaving behind this wonderful, mystical kingdom with a heavy heart is quite difficult. Our cheerful representative will drop you off at the airport three hours prior to your departure. We are sure you will come back again to discover more, one day.
Want to customise this trip? You can contact us
The given prices are per person and exclude international flights. Given below are the departure dates available for online booking. If the given date is not favorable then please contact us and we will happily customize your trip on dates more appropriate for you.
Wind Horse Adventures also organizes trips on small groups, so we recommend you to reserve a seat for yourself by booking with us right away. Hurry! The adventure awaits you.
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