This action packed trip combines city tours, rafting, jungle safari and trekking all into one fun filled trip. It is suitable for families as it is neither very strenuous, nor does it go to a very high altitude. Everyone will enjoy this package.
Kathmandu City Tour: Kathmandu Valley was once a lake. According to legend, a Buddhist saint named Manjushree slashed a passage through the hills at Chobar, which drained the water. Over the millenniums, the civilization which emerged was based on a unique fusion of Hinduism and Buddhism.
Wood carvings, crafts, statues and architecture crafted by Newar artisans during the Malla dynasty portray the affluence of their kingdoms and the skill of the ancient artisans. Until the 1800s the Kathmandu Valley was separated into three royal kingdoms with palace complexes called ‘Darbar Squares’- Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Each kingdom had ancient palaces enclosing great temples where devotees still pay homage.
There are seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Valley, although several of them suffered severe damage in the April 2015 earthquake.
Kathmandu Durbar Square teems with vendors, tourists and local devotees visiting the temple of the Living Goddess, the Kumariand paying homage to deities such as the ferocious Kal Bhairab, Hanuman, Shiva and Parbati. Patan Darbar Square is interesting in that the architecture of the shrines and temples tell the story of the Historical merging of Hinduism into the beliefs of the Newari population who had been Buddhist. Bhaktapur Darbar has been made into a museum.
The 5th century Swayambunath temple is thought to be the oldest Buddhist shrine. Pilgrims climb up the 365 steps to the temple but there is an easier route by road around to the back, followed by a shorter climb. The all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha are painted on four sides of the base and keep a protective watch over Kathmandu Valley. Swayambhunath is located on the west side of Kathmandu city, so looking east, one can see the entire Kathmandu valley. Swayambhunath is often called the "monkey temple" as a large population of monkeys lives on the premises.
Boudhanath, on the east side of Kathmandu, standing on a huge octagonal base is one of the biggest stupas in the country. Like Swayambhunath, the stupa is also inset with prayer wheels and the all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha looking out in four directions. Worshippers are constantly circling the stupa and spinning the sacred prayer wheels. Boudha is the focal point for Buddhists from all over the country to celebrate Buddhist festivals and take part in the sacred rituals.
Pashupatinath, located in the north-east of Kathmandu, is the holiest of all Hindu shrines in Nepal and is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the destroyer and is the abode of lord Pashupatinath. The Pashupatinath temple is a large double-roofed pagoda plated with gold and brass with silver plated gates. It contains the sacred lingam of Pashupatinath. Along the wide but shallow Bagmati river are cremation ghats. The annual festival of Shivaratri (February/March) attracts thousands of devotees, including a large number of pilgrims from India.
The Rafting Trip-We drive about 3 hours to Charaudi where we begin our rafting adventure down the Trishuli River. The rapids are gentle and our expert rafting guide will make sure this is super fun and safe. The riverside scenery is beautiful as we pass terraced fields and rural homes. About half way we stop at a lovely place for a picnic lunch. We disembark at Kurintar and drive the remaining 2 hours to Pokhara.
The Jungle Safari – What better way to see the wildlife of Chitwan National Park than sitting on the back of an elephant and pushing through jungles and dense grass called Elephant grass that grows up to 8 meters high? The guide will help you to spot rhino, antelope or even the Royal Bengal Tiger. A gentle glide down the Rapti River in a dug-out canoe is another great way to see the native crocodile or ‘gharial’ as well as wildlife that come to drink. There are said to be over 450 species of birds in the park. Most people enjoy joining the Elephants in their river bath when visiting the Elephant breeding centre.
In the evening we will watch a cultural performance by the indigenous Tharu tribe including the Tharu stick dance. The beating of drums and clashing of sticks was a traditional way of keeping the rhinos and other wild animals away. The Tharu tribe lived in harmony with nature for centuries and in fact are ‘nature-worshippers’ from ancient times.
Pokhara City Tour –Pokhara is an incredibly beautiful resort town idyllically nestled below the Annapurna Range. The most dominant, and magnificent mountain that towers over Pokhara is Fishtail or, as it is called in Nepali, Machhapuchhre, 6977m. However, almost the entire Annapurna massif can be seen, including Annapurna I, 8091m, to IV and Annapurna South.
The tourist area, Lakeside, stretches along the eastern shores of the peaceful Fewa Lake. It’s a lovely atmosphere to stroll along to the tune of Buddhist chants and explore the tempting menus at endless restaurants, coffee shops and do some souvenir shopping as well. Pokhara is the gateway to many trekking destinations in Annapurna Mustang, Manaslu, Chitwan, Dolpa, Jumla, Humla as well as the holy Mount Kailash, Lumbini, Tansen, and Gorkha, so most people enjoy relaxing here, especially at the end of a trek.
There are several natural wonders and famous religious shrines to check out. Seti River gorge, Davis falls and Gupteswor cave. Davis or Devi’s Falls are calle Patale Chhango (Hell’s Falls) in Nepali. According to legend, a trekker named David fell and disappeared into an underground passage in the falls. Nearby Gupteswor Cave is almost 3 km long. It has some big hall-size rooms and some passages where you have to crawl on all fours. This cave holds special value for Hindus since there is an ancient phallic symbol of Lord Shiva here. Taking pictures inside the cave is prohibited. In the evening we can take a boat ride to a small island in the middle of Fewa Lake where the Barahi Temple sits, and admire the World Peace Pagoda standing tall on a hill on the opposite side. The ACAP Natural History Museum is also interesting and nearby Sarankot has a splendid sunrise view and is a popular place for paragliding.
The Ghorepani- Poon Hill Trek – This short but amazing trek is a favorite in the Annapurna Region. Besides the fantastic scenery on the trail, it leads to the favorit viewpoints for the Annapurna Range. The view from Poon Hill is a wide Himalayan panorama that stretches from Dhaulagiri, 8167m, (the world's 7th highest peak), to Manaslu 8156m (the world's 8th highest peak) in the east, with the mighty Annapurna range in between them.
The trek starts at Nayapul, about a one hour drive from Pokhara. The trail follow the Modi Khola for 15 minutes to Birethanti Village, 1015 meters, and then starts climbing along the bank of the Bhudhigandaki Khola through terraced fields and waterfalls and rhododendron and bamboo forests alive with birds and butterflies. We stay overnight at the village of Hile, 1495m. The next day is a steep climb up flagstone stairs to Ulleri, and then becomes more gradual up to Ghorepani, 2940m.
We get up before dawn and climb almost an hour to the top of Poon Hill, 3200 m for the magnificent sunrise. The path can be slippery in places. Back down to Ghorepani, for breakfast. The trail to Tadapani, 2610m, passes through Rhododendron forest with several ups & downs. The next leg of the journey is short and mostly downhill to Ghandruk, 1940m, extra lovely views of the mountains along the way. Ghandruk is a traditional Gurung village. Many men from this village have served as brave Gorkha soldiers for Britian and India. It’s an easy downhill to Nayapul, where we started our trek.
Day 1 : Home-Kathmandu
Day 2 : Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour: Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhu
Day 3 : Sightseeing Tour: Patan & Bhaktapur
Day 4 : Drive to Chitwan National Park
Day 5 : Spend the day in Chitwan National Park and enjoy a Jungle Safari
Day 6 : Drive to Pokhara
Day 7 : Sightseeing in Pokhara
Day 8 : Drive to Nayapul, 1010m, and trek 3 hrs to Hile, 1400m
Day 9 : Trek 7 hrs to Ghorepani, 2855m
Day 10 : Trek 5hrs to Tadapani, 2610m
Day 11 : Trek 4hrs to Ghandruk, 2012m
Day 12 : Trek 3hrs to Nayapul, 1010m, and drive to Pokhara
Day 13 : Pokhara to Kathmandu 6hrs by Road
Day 14 : Depart Kathmandu
Destination : Nepal
Duration : 14 Days
Price : US $1250 p/p
Trip Grade : Easy
Single Supplement:USD $350
Group Size:2-12 Persons
Activities:Combines Touring, Rafting, Jungle Safari and Trekking
Hotel in Kathmandu:4 Nights B&B plan (Bed & Breakfast)
Hotel in Chitwan:2 Nights with Full Board Basis
Hotel in Pokhara:2 Nights B&B plan (Bed & Breakfast)
Accommodation during trek::Local lodges 5 days (4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners, tea, coffee and twin-share rooms with beds with comfortable foam mattress and pillows included)
Starting / Ending:Kathmandu
I did the above mentioned trip in December 2016. The trip was perfectly planned and everything went smoothly. The itinerary allowed for perfect acclimatisation, especially having two nights at Island Peak Base Camp. Tashi, the trekking guide for the trip picked me up at the airport and helped me through…Lukas
A friend and I worked with Annapurna Foothills Treks to be guided trekking on the Annapurna circuit from Besi Sahr over the Thorong La pass to Jomsom, with a guided climb of Chulu West on the way. Our trekking guide Dawa was outstanding all the way to Pisang, and provided…Craig
Our 14 day Poon Hill and Annapurna Base Camp trek, guided by Tashi was an outstanding experience. We enjoyed his local knowledge while making the trip a joy. From the trip's booking to departure from Nepal, all aspects of the trip were carefully organized and well executed-something we appreciated very…Kathy