Himalayan Kingdoms

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BHUTAN & NEPAL

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Beautiful temples, religious sites, Tibetan Refugee Camp, Krishna Temple and more…

Days
9

Style
Land & Air

From
$3460

Himalayan Kingdoms

With Brave Women Travel Nepal and Bhutan Tour you will be guided to the towns of Kathmandu, Nagarkot, and Talkot. In the countries capital city, Kathmandu, travelers view the many beautiful temples and religious sites of the Hindu and Buddhist people and then escape to the outskirts in a more secluded, Zen locale.

Shop the local crafts made by the Nepalese, visit a Tibetan Refugee Camp, experience the incomparable highlight of Shikara, the Krishna Temple, and experience authentic cuisine made by some of the best chefs in Nepal, all with the backdrop of the iconic Himalayan Mountains behind you.

The second part of this memorable getaway takes place in Bhutan, where travelers will visit Thimphu and Paro, both unique in their own right for their celebration of Himalayan culture and religion. Visit the 15th Century Temple, Tschogang Lhakhang, and the humble town of Thimphu, where you’ll see women lining the streets weaving handicrafts that are for sale. In addition to the various Government buildings, Temples, and stunning homes, Thimphu is home to “Buddha Point,” where the largest Buddha statue in the region is located.

Then visit Paro where you will visit the 15th-century temple, Tschogang Lhakhang.

Domestic Airfare: Kathmandu – Paro/Paro – Kathmandu Total pp: $450 USD Please note airfare pricing and availability are not guaranteed until ticketed!

 

Tour Highlights

  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most sacred temple to the Hindu Lord Shiva; Pashupatinath Temple

  • See a Tibetan Refugee Camp and learn about the history of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Uprising

  • Discover the stunning religious and historic Shikhara style Krishna Temple, located in Patan Durbar Square

  • Experience the stone and bronze carvings of the Royal baths used by the ancient people

  • Climb up to Buddha Point overlooking Thimphu Valley and see one of the largest Buddha statues in the world

  • Tour the Tashichho Dzong Temple in Thimphu, a magnificent fortress that houses the Royal Throne

Full Itinerary

Arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport in the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu. In Nepal the lofty heights of the Himalayas, a land of eternal beauty and attraction surround you. It’s colorful cultures, ancient history, and people, and picturesque scenery offers some of the most unique and memorable travel experiences.

Overnight in Kathmandu – Shangri-La Hotel

After breakfast, you will explore Kathmandu Valley and its various important religious centers. Here you will visit the Hindu Temple, Pashupatinath, which is a dedication to the Hindu God, Pashupati. Nearby the temple, along with the banks of the sacred Bagmati River and its surrounding cremation and burial sites will be seen. This landmark is a beautiful display of the religious and cultural beliefs of the Nepalese.

Next, you will head to Boudhanath, the largest stupa in the world and the center for Tibetan school of Buddhism.

After viewing the architecture of the city, a short drive will transport you on to Bhaktapur, the medical city of Devotes and the best preserved of all the ancients cities of Kathmandu Valley.

In Bhaktapur, you will experience the Women ’s Thanka Painting School. Here, you will have the chance to learn about the traditional Newari & Nepali cuisine, and attend a cooking session with local ingredients and recipes.

Lunch will take place in Bhaktapur. After a busy day of exploring, we take a relaxing drive to Nagarkot where you will admire the stunning scenery of Himalayan sunset.

 

Overnight in Nagarkot – View Point Hotel

Awake to the beautiful sunrise from your hotel before breakfast, taking in once -in-a-lifetime vistas of the Himalayan Mountains. After enjoying the views, you and your guide will embark on a short walk to the viewing tower of Nagarkot; here, you will spend some additional time for pictures, relaxation, and admiration of the natural beauty.

On your way from Nagarkot to Telkot, you will see the local countryside, Tibetan Refugee Camp, and the art of carpet weaving by the Tibetan women.

We then visit Patan, a famous city known for its rich cultural heritage that is celebrated through the creative arts and crafts of its people. You will have the opportunity to view ancient art and stunning architecture of the city.

Next, a highlight of your visit to Nepal will be visiting Shikhara, the Krishna Temple. Sites such as Patan Durbar, the Royal Baths, and Hiranya Varna Mahavir, a Buddhist Monastery will be seen. These sites are located in the famous Patan Dunbar Square, where hundreds of years ago royalty set foot in these architectural wonders. The square is also UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In the evening, you’ll be transported to your traditional Nepalese Dinner by rickshaw. Your dinner will take place at a local restaurant, Thamel, before going back to the hotel to turn in.

Overnight in Kathmandu

We begin the day with a journey to Kathmandu, where we will spend the first part of our day seeing the sites of the valley and Kathmandu Dunbar Square. At the square, you’ll view the Palace of the Malla, the Shah Kings of Nepal, and Kumari Temple. The temple was the house of the virgin goddess Kumari.

We will visit Swoyambhunath, a stupa on the top of the hill where you have photo ops overlooking the scenery of Kathmandu Valley.

In Kathmandu, continue your exploration at the Ason Bazar where travelers can partake in shopping for the beautiful, colorful, traditional garb of the local people like Sari or Kurta dresses. The Bazar is rich with local spices perfect for souvenirs to take home as a memory of your travels.

Overnight in Kathmandu – Shangri-La Hotel

After several days exploring Nepal, it is time to embark on the second leg of your trip with a flight and transfer to Bhutan. The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular in the entire Himalayas. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkatta, the journey offers fascinating views and an exciting descent into the Kingdom.

Bhutan’s first gift to you as you disembark from the aircraft will be cool, clean fresh mountain air you meet your tour guide who will accompany you for your Bhutan adventures

On arrival in Paro, your Indus Travels representative will meet you and transfer you to your Bhutanese home for the next few nights – a traditional style hotel in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. En-route to the town take a short stop at Chuzom, the confluence of Thimphu and Paro rivers. Three different styles of stupas, Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese, adorn this confluence.

Shortly before reaching Chuzom, you will see on Tschogang Lhakhang, “the temple of the excellent horse.” This private temple was built in the 15th century, as the result of visitation from Balaha, the excellent horse, a manifestation of Chenrezig, the compassionate Buddha.

On arrival in Thimphu, check into the hotel before spending the afternoon on foot exploring the local marketplace.

After spending some time in Thimphu, you’ll take a brief drive to Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang) where you can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha. Here sits the largest Buddha statue in the country. Some time is spent on walking and exploring the area. You will have the opportunity to meet local, resourceful people. A lecture will be conducted that presents topics like Bhutanese culture and Gross National Happiness to give you a greater understanding of the land, people, and heritage of Bhutan. This one-hour presentation is followed by a question and answer session.

KATHMANDU- PARO BY FLIGHT KB 205 (1425/1550 HRS) TRANSFER TO THIMPHU (55 KM, 1.5 HOURS DRIVE)

Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu – Hotel Druk/Namgay Heritage Hotel (Altitude 2400m).

Your morning will begin with a city tour, where you will take in many sites and landmarks of the city.

The National Library, which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts. Many texts date back several hundred years, but there are also modern academic books that inform on Himalayan culture and religion. ( Closed on Weekends).

Also visit the nearby Institute for Zorig Chusum, commonly known as Arts & Crafts School for Painting School (closed on Sat, Sun & Government Holidays), the Institute offers a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. On a visit, one can see students learning the various skills taught at the school.

Experience the Textile Museum, which opened in 2001, that tells the fascinating testimony of Bhutan’s living traditions. (Closed on Sundays).

Next, a visit to Trashichho Dzong, the fortress /monastery housing the Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King, and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and the central monk body.

Then, visit the government-run Handicrafts Emporium & Local Crafts bazaar, to browse through examples of Bhutan’s fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangka paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and woodcarvings, jewelry, and other interesting items made from local materials.

Traditional Bhutanese Hot Stone Bath, known as Dotsho in local language has been practiced in Bhutan for centuries as a medicinal soak. Many Bhutanese believe that the bath helps in curing joint pains, helps in relaxing and other medical problems. River stones are heated and then put in water to heat the water; sometimes medicinal herbs are added to the water before it is ready for the soak.

After your fun -filled, informational explorations of the day, you’ll end your evening by sharing dinner with a local family. At the dinner not only will you savour the local delicacies but also experience and exchange views on Bhutan’s culture

Overnight in Thimphu

In the morning after breakfast, you and your guide will drive to Paro with a visit en -route to Simtokha Dzong. (125 KM, APPROX 4 HOURS DRIVE) This dzong, built in 1627 is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies.

Upon arrival in Paro, check in at your hotel.

Your afternoon in Paro will be filled with more amazing sites, beginning with Ta Dzong (closed on Government Holidays). Once a watchtower, Ta Dzong was built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century; Ta Dzong was inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum in 1968. It holds the fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangka paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps. The museum’s circular shape augments its varied collection displayed over several floors.

Afterwards, walk down a hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, which has a long and fascinating history. Built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk through the bridge, over a stone inlaid path, offers a good view of the architectural wonder of the Dzong as well as life around it. It is also the venue of Paro Tshechu, the festival of dances held once a year in the spring.

Take in a Tshewang Ceremony, where the Puja aiming at peace, prosperity, and happiness can be organized at a monastery in Paro /Thimphu. This is a special prayer ceremony held at the monastery by a team of monks for the peace, prosperity and good health. Please note that guests are required to lite a butter lamp at monastery alter.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2200m)

Your morning is filled with an excursion to Taktshang Lhakhang (approx. 5 hours walking excursion with your guide). Taktsang Lhakhang is perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro Valley floor, it is undoubtedly one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries. Lore has it that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery, thus inspiring the name “Tiger’s Nest.” This site has been recognized as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of the building, yet this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendor and stands for admiration and prayer.

On the drive towards Paro, we stop to visiting Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries of the Kingdom reflecting the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. Here you will take in a cooking demonstration held at a local restaurant where a team of chefs will instruct and demonstrate how local Bhutanese delicacies are prepared. Guests can also try their culinary skills. Bhutanese food is heavily seasoned with red chilies and can be quite hot. Tasty and fiery ‘Emma Datshi’ made with chilies and local Bhutanese cheese is the national dish of Bhutan. Guests can have fun participating in the preparation of these and more local Bhutanese delicacies.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro

Early this morning you will be transferred to Paro International Airport for your flight back to Kathmandu where your tour ends.

KATHMANDU BY FLIGHT KB 205 (0800/0845 HRS)

Inclusions

Transport

  • Return Airport transfers
  • Transportation through out as per the itinerary

Activities

  • English speaking female guides
  • Cooking classes in Bhaktapur & Paro

 

Meals

  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners from Day 02 to 09

Entrance Fees

  • 35% Royalty taxes in Bhutan
  • Tourism Development Fund
  • Local hotel taxes and service charges
  • Bhutan Visa Fees
  • Sightseeing & entrance fees

Accommodation

  • Twin-sharing accommodation at listed hotels or similar

Exclusions

Insurance

  • Travel Insurance is mandatory for all Brave Women Travel tours. Please forward a copy of your signed policy to our office.

Meals

  • Meals not mentioned as being included
  • Beverages with meals
  • Items of a personal nature and souvenirs
  • Optional tours

Transport

  • International and domestic flights

Gratuities

  • Tips & gratuities

This tour is operated by
Indus Travels

5 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating

Departing: October 14, 2017

From: $3460 USD

Days: 9

Style: Land & Air

Physical Rating: +3 Moderate

At A Glance

  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most sacred temple to the Hindu Lord Shiva; Pashupatinath Temple

  • See a Tibetan Refugee Camp and learn about the history of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Uprising

  • Discover the stunning religious and historic Shikhara style Krishna Temple, located in Patan Durbar Square

  • Experience the stone and bronze carvings of the Royal baths used by the ancient people

  • Climb up to Buddha Point overlooking Thimphu Valley and see one of the largest Buddha statues in the world

  • And more!

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