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Take a walk around the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Sites and see the history come alive. Kathmandu Ancient City Tour lets you explore some of the city’s ancient heritage sites. Discover the medieval cities of Patan and Bhaktapur and visit Nepal’s oldest Hindu temple, Changu Narayan. The city of Kathmandu is made up of three medieval cities – Patan, Bhaktapur, and Kathmandu. While Patan is also known as the ‘City of Artisans’, Bhaktapur is the ‘City of Devotees’. The Durbar (royal) Squares of these ancient cities hold some of the finest and well-preserved pieces of traditional art and architecture.

Take a leisurely stroll around the splendid Patan Durbar Square and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Once the power centers of the Malla dynasty, the two palace squares are filled with pagoda-roofed temples and palaces, latticed wooden windows; ornately carved pillars, doorways, arches, and statues. Krishna Temple, Patan Palace Museum, Golden Temple, etc. are the attractions at Patan Durbar Square. Bhaktapur’s cultural gems include the five-tiered pagoda-roofed Nyatapol Temple, Palace of 55 windows, Bhairavnath Temple, Pottery square, etc. These old cities are full of ancient wonders and mysticism. Wind up your Kathmandu Ancient City Tour with a delightful drive to Changu Narayan Temple. Set deep in the woods, this hilltop Hindu shrine is Nepal’s oldest temple. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple’s grounds are filled with ornately sculpted wooden, stone and metal artifacts. Here you will find the oldest inscription in the country dating back to 464 AD. Come and explore these ancient wonders by booking this Kathmandu Ancient City Tour! Take a walk around these ancient UNESCO World Heritage Sites and see the history come alive.

Trip Facts

Departure Time:

9 AM

Duration:

1 day (6 hours approx.)

Starting & Ending Point:

Your hotel

Destinations Covered: 

Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Changu Narayan Temple

Trip Highlights

  • Visit the medieval palace squares in the old cities of Patan and Bhaktapur
  • Discover ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples and pagoda-roofed palaces
  • Stroll around the old cobbled streets of Bhaktapur and watch the local artisans at work 
  • Peek from latticed windows and set your eyes on exquisite works of art 
  • Set foot on the oldest Hindu temple in Nepal, Changu Narayan, during your Kathmandu Ancient City Tour

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights
Day 1 Kathmandu Ancient City Tours, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktpur Durbar Square and Changu Narayan Temple Visit


Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu Ancient City Tours, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktpur Durbar Square and Changu Narayan Temple Visit

Patan

Our guide will be there at your hotel in the morning. Take a drive to the ancient city of Patan. Also known as the ‘City of Artisans’, temples and stupas in various shapes, sizes, and antiquity fill this old city. The city is populated by Newars considered as the original inhabitants of the Kathmandu valley. After some time you reach Patan Durbar Square is where the main highlights of this tour start. The grey stone temple of Krishna Mandir dominates the entrance of the square. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, this is one of the most significant Hindu temples. The Patan Palace Museum is the former palace of the Malla kings and now houses a museum. Admire the gold, silver, and bronze artwork at the Golden Temple of Hiranya Varna Mahavihar. 

Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur, known as the ‘City of Devotees’ has a rustic charm. This city takes you back in time. The royal square is divided into three squares- the Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, and Dattatreya Square. The brick-laden walkways lead you to temples with intricately carved-out woodwork. As you reach the square witnessed the only five-tiered pagoda-roofed temple in Nepal, Nyatapol. It was built in the 17th century.  Walk ahead and peek from the latticed wooden windows of the Palace of 55 Windows. Gaze in wonder at the wonderful metal repousse work of Golden Gate. Further ahead you access the inner areas of the palace. The abundant pagoda-styled temples and monuments that dot the square, give a perfect example of the expressive and complex design of Nepalese architecture back in the middle ages. Stroll around pottery square and observe the potters busy at work -  spinning their wheels, firing their kiln, and molding clay into beautiful artifacts. 

Changu Narayan Temple

Drive further to the ancient Hindu temple of Changu Narayan. Located deep in a verdant forest the temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple dates back to the Licchavi period (450 AD-750 AD) and is dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Vishnu. The temple’s grounds are filled with ornately carved wood, stone, and metal artifacts dating back to Licchavi and Malla periods. Here you will find the oldest inscription (464 AD) found in Nepal. Carved in a stone pillar, the inscription is in Sanskrit and describes an episode from the Licchavi King Manadeva’s life.  The temple lies in a secluded and peaceful area. Walk around and soak in the peaceful ambiance, gazing at the historic works of art.  Finally, wrap up your tour with a drive back to your hotel.




Trip Reviews

Travel experiences of our clients who recently returned from their trips.
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Based on 3 reviews
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Fabiola Bellucci
flagsItaly
Dec 22, 2019
Perfect Day Trip in Kathmandu
Spent a day in Kathmandu valley... exploring Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Changu Narayan Temple. While my husband was on a trip with his college friends, I wanted to skip my work-day and visit Nepal. I had heard alot about Kathmandu and Nepal, always wanting to go there and finally I did it. It kinda feels amazing traveling far from home but what keeps you excited is the trust-worthy Travel Agency, who would work for you and your satisfaction and Third Rock rocked here. I am surprised how they operate trips and I could feel every team member who was connected with me for my trip to Kathmandu. And for this I am thankful for them for making my one-day tour a fantastic tour. If I have to talk about Kathmandu, it is chaotic but a must-visit city. You can literally spot temples and monasteries around every corner- how amazing! I wandered around the corner Patan and Bhaktapur, people called them ancient cities, and loved to see everything coming to surprise me. People were ever smiling and greeting namaste! Loved it. I am pretty sure I will visit Kathmandu again with my husband.
Mason Theodore
flagsAustralia
Dec 22, 2019
Magical Charming!
I was in KTM for a day to explore the beauty of Patan Durbar Square and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Strolled around the ancient city of Patan and Bhaktapur brimming with histories and culture around every corners. People there wore traditional newari attire and I loved to see them. Namaste and Namaste were heard every time I greeted them with the same word. I love the word, Namaste. My day-tour guide was fantastic, she explained every little details of the tour, the city and the people. I could capture hundreds of never-seen religious stuff. In a nutshell, this trip was awesone. A day well spent in the heart of Nepal.
Michael Alderson
flagsSingapore
Aug 20, 2018
Kathmandu City Tour- A walk through history
I recently came to Kathmandu on a business trip. The deal got wrapped up sooner than expected and I was left with a couple of extra days before my scheduled departure. Since this was my first visit to Kathmandu, I decided to do some sightseeing. I did not want to end up getting lost by going off by myself, so I chose to book a guided tour with an agency. I Googled and came across Third Rock Adventures’ website. The company seemed genuine and reliable and I ended up booking a 1-day tour with them. I made an online booking and within minutes received a confirmation. I also received an email from them informing me that the guide will pick me up from my hotel at 9 AM sharp. The next day, Kamal, my guide arrived punctually at the said hour. We sat down for a briefing and he told me briefly about the places we were to visit. Being a history buff, I couldn’t wait for the tour to begin. First off we drove to Patan, an old city located a few kilometers from central Kathmandu. The Patan durbar square was fascinating. Some of the old temples and palace buildings were badly damaged by the earthquake but restoration work was in progress. Patan Museum showcased some interesting artifacts. I fully recommend a visit to this museum for people interested in oriental culture and Buddhism. There’s so much for you to discover here! Then we took a long drive to Bhaktapur. The scene at Bhaktapur Durbar Square was somewhat similar to that of Patan. The earthquake had destroyed some of the old temples, but those that were left standing were majestic. The repousse work on the Golden Gate was simply marvelous. I spent a good hour or so studying the stone griffins, pagoda roofs and the filigreed woodwork. Kamal took me to the Potters’ Square where a community of potters was busy making terracotta pots the traditional way. Our last stop was Changu Narayan Temple, the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu. It was saddening to see what the earthquake had done to this historic site. But the main temple was still standing and there were plenty of delightful sights to keep one engaged. It was also good to see that the damaged monuments were getting restored. This was an insightful tour and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended for those interested in discovering the city’s heritage and culture
I went through the reviews posted by travelers and everyone had something positive to say. I thought if these many people are talking good about this company then it must be genuine and providing good service.
Yes, definitely. I had a great time and would recommend this company to anyone interested in taking a trip to Nepal.
I choose this particular tour as I wanted to visit and learn more about the heritage sites around Kathmandu.
I enjoyed the whole tour, walking around the ancient palace squares built by the Nepalese kings. I would say the major highlight was the Patan Museum. The museum is housed in a part of the palace complex and has a good collection of ancient artifacts and relics. Bhaktapur was also fascinating.
There is so much to see and do in Nepal. The people are friendly, the sights are amazing and the food incredible. One should visit this country at least once.

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