Explore the sacred sights and culture of the Kathmandu Valley on a full-day tour of the temples of Durbar Square, the stupas of Swayambhunath, and the Hindu Temple of Pashupatinath with its gleaming golden roof and silver doors.
What to Expect
Develop a deeper understanding of the sacred cultures of Nepal on a full-day tour of Kathmandu Valley. Meet your guide at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport and drive to the central Durbar Square, where you will see the palaces of medieval kings who ruled over the Kathmandu Kingdom in ancient times. The palaces represent the finest examples of Hindu and Buddhist architecture.
Some of the most significant are Taleju Temple, tallest of all structures built by King Mahendra Malla. Jagannath Temple, built in the 16th century, is known for its fascinating erotic figures, carved in the wooden struts and eaves. See Kal Bhairav, one of the largest stone idols in Kathmandu, representing the terrifying aspects of Shiva. Admire the statue of King Pratap Malla in praying gesture to Digu Taleju, and the 17th century Kumari Temple, with its highly developed Nepalese temple design.
Marvel at Kasthamandap, built from the timber of a single tree. Then, go to the towering Nautale Durbar, overlooking the beautiful cityscape and vast Basantapur Square, known for its intricately carved wooden doorways, roof struts, and massive lattice windows full of mythical figures.
Continue to Swayambhunath, one of the world’s most enigmatic Buddhist chaityas, dating back more than 2,000 years. Situated on a hill, Swayambhunath - literally “The Self-Created or Existent” - is a mosaic of small stupas and pagoda temples constructed over time by a succession of kings and noblemen.
The main structure of the stupa is made of a solid hemisphere of brick and clay, supporting a lofty conical spire, and capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt. Painted on 4 sides of the base of the spire are the “All Seeing Eyes” of Lord Buddha.
Located east of Kathmandu City, Pashupatinath is one of the holiest temples in Nepal, and another stop on this amazing tour. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it sits on the bank of the sacred Bagmati River and is built in a pagoda style with richly carved silver doors. The structure is famous for its superb Newari architecture, and although entrance to the temple is only permitted to Hindus, visitors can clearly see the temple complex from the eastern bank of the river.
The final site on the tour is the colossal stupa of Bouddhanath, one of Nepal’s most unique monuments that attracts Nepalese pilgrimage of Tibetan stock from as far as Dolpo and Mugu as well as Tibet, Ladhak, and Bhutan. With the all-seeing eyes of the primordial Adi Buddha on all 4 sides of the stupa, Bouddhanath is said to hold the remains of Kasyapa, Buddha of previous times.
- Transportation by private air-conditioned car
- English-speaking guide
- All entrance fees at heritage attractions
What's Not Included
- Tips for driver and guide
- Food and drink