Arrive Kathmandu, upon arrival meet assist and transfer to the Hotel. O/N at Kathmandu ( Sunday or Thursday )
Full Day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swoyambhunath Stupa, and Patan Durbar Square ( Monday or Friday ) -> We can apply urgent Tibet visa only on Monday, Wednesday or Friday ) O/N at Kathmandu
Kathmandu Durbar Square
This complex of palaces, courtyards and temples, built between 12th and 18th Centuries, used to be the seat of ancient Malla Kings of Kathmandu. It is the place where kings of Nepal are crowned and their coronations solemnized. An intriguing piece here is the 17th century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages. Kumari Temple: Kumari temple is the residence of the Living Goddess. Kumari, known as Virgin Goddess has got some specialties, she must be chosen from a typical Newari cast with no body marks & injuries & will be replaced by another Kumari after puberty. Kasthamandap: Kasthamandap is believed to be constructed from the wood of a single tree in the sixteenth century situated near to the Kumari Temple. The name Kathmandu was named after this temple.
The four seeing eyes of Swoyambhunath Stupa watch over the valley from the top of 77-m high hillock on western side. This most glorious Stupa in the world, is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal and its establishment is linked to the creation of Kathmandu valley out of a primordial lake. The surroundings of the Swoyambhunath are covered with small Chaityas & monasteries as well as some Hindu temples.
Patan Durbar Square: Patan Durbar Square is an enchanting mélange of Palace buildings, artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the former Royal Palace complex is the center of Patan’s religious and social life, and houses a museum containing an array of bronze statues and religious monuments. One remarkable monument here is 17th century temple dedicated to the Hindu god Krishna, built entirely of stone. Tibetan Refugee Camp: This camp was set up in 1960 under the initiative of the International Red Cross & the Swiss Development Corporation in corporation with HMG of Nepal. Its main objective is to help the Tibetan Refugees to do something nice & support themselves & some carpet industries & handicrafts have been operating.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport & fly to Lhasa. Upon arrival at Gongar Airport, drive to Lhasa.
After breakfast, explore the Lhasa city. Today, we will visit:
The Potala Palace
The Potala is Lhasa’s cardinal landmark and a structure that deserves a place as one of the wonders of eastern architecture. The Potala is a structure of massive proportions, an awe-inspiring place to explore as Potala lies dormant like a huge museum, and this nine storey structure was completed on 3 years. You can see Throne Room, Meditation Room, Bedroom of the Dalai Lama, Chapels of different Buddhist Gods & Goddesses.
Drepung Monastery is situated about 8 KM to the west of central Lhasa, and was one of the world’s largest monastery, with a population of around 10000 monks. Drepung was founded in 1416 by a charismatic monk. Inside the Drepung Monastery you can observe: Ganden Palace, Main Assembly Hall, Ngagpa College, Loseling College & other Colleges.
Jokhang is the most revered religious structure in Tibet. Although little remains Of its 7th century origins and most of the sculptures that adorn its interior post date the Cultural Revolution, the Jokhang bustling with worshippers and redolent with mystery, is an unrivalled Tibetan Experience.
Inside the Jokhang temple are the Four Guardian Kings, two on either side. Beyond this point is the main assembly hall or Dukhang, a paved courtyard that is open to the sky. At the end of the courtyard and just before the entrance to the interior of the Jokhang itself is a long altar marked by a row of flickering butter lamps. You can also find the chapels of different gods & goddess inside the Jokhang.
The Norbulingkha, the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lamas, situated in the western part of the town. The first summer palace was founded by 7th Dalai Lama in 1755. You can see the Palace of 8th Dalai Lama, Summer Palace of 13th Dalai Lama inside the Norbulingkha. Norbulingkha means Jewel Park.
Drive to Gyantse via Yamdrok Lake, one of Tibet’s holiest lakee & important centre for pilgrimage. Gyantse (3950 m), in the Nyang Chu valley 254km south-west of Lhasa, is one of the least Chinese influenced towns in Tibet and is worth a visit for this reason alone
Visit the main attractions:
The town’s principal attractions are the Gyantse Kumbum, a magnificent tiered structure that has only one ruined and remote contemporary in the Buddhist world, Pelkor Chode Monastery and the Gyantse Dzong. It is easy to spend a couple of days in Gyantse.
Drive to Shigatse & en-route visit Shalu Monastery. Shigatse (3900m) is the second largest town in Tibet and the traditional capital of Tsang. Visit Tashiluhnnpo Monastery, spectacular chapels and tombs of the Panchen Lamas & the Shigatse Free Market.
Drive to Shegar via Lhatze.
Drive through the nomad and Yak hightablends. to Zhangmu via Nyalam (3800 m), Lalung La pass (5050m) with panoramic view of Himalayan Peaks. With good weather conditions is possible to see the Mt. Everest, Cho Oyo, and the Shisha Pangma.
Drive to Kathmandu through the Sunkosi river valley, following the old salt route from India to Tibet
After breakfast set for the another day’s sightseeing:
Bouddhanath Stupa not only takes you to the journey to the ancient and world’s biggest Stupa or to Buddhist Pilgrimage sites but also exposes you to the Tibetan communities within Nepal. Along with monasteries and devotees chanting religious hymns and playing prayer wheels you will also get to be close with the young boys and girls devoted to be Buddhist Monk which gives you a different perspective about life.
Pashupatinath, one of the holiest temple of Hindu deities Lord Shiva, has a golden roof and silver doors and is built in pagoda style. The temple is in the mid of green forest and the river Bagmati on whose bank Hindus are cremated is flowing on its side. People except Hindu are not allowed to enter the main courtyard of the temple but can be viewed from the eastern bank of the river. It is the centre of the Hindu pilgrimage and annually thousands of devotees flock into the temple during Shivaratri and Teej which occurs in the month of March and August respectively.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
This durbar square will mesmerize you with the beauty of different temples and palaces. You will not only be able to see the spectacular view of 15th century architecture but also will be acquainted with the palaces and the courtyard of the ancient times. The golden gates, wooden palace studded with 55 windows, Batsala temple, Shiva temple and the National Art Gallery are the major attractions of this square. Moreover, you might not want to miss out the five storied Nyatapola Temple built in 17th century; adding on to its structure are the pair of two wrestlers, two elephants, two lions, two griffins and goddess’s tigress & lioness in each storey making it the most tallest pagoda style temple exhibiting the immense creativity and craftsmanship of Nepali in those centuries.