Explore Kathmandu’s heritage sites- pagoda-roofed palaces, temples and monasteries
  • Group Size: 2-12
  • Min. Age: 6
  • Max. Altitude : 1400 m / 4593 ft
  • Arrival on: Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Departure from: Kathmandu, Nepal
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A one day tour in Kathmandu that lets you discover the city’s ancient heritage sites

Kathmandu Heritage Site Tour takes you on a journey of discovery to some of the city’s iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spend one day in Kathmandu experiencing its rich cultural heritage. Visit a medieval palace square and ancient spiritual sites that are as old as the city itself. Explore Kathmandu Durbar Square, the royal seat of Malla dynasty that once ruled over the medieval kingdom of Kathmandu. It is one of the most visited places in Kathmandu. Temples, royal quarters, courtyards and the house of Kumari, the Living Goddess dots the royal square. Intricately carved wooden struts, windows, and brass detailing decorate pagoda-roofed temples and royal buildings. These historical monuments showcase Kathmandu’s rich art and architecture. Moreover, the durbar square is an important socio-cultural site of the valley’s Newari community.

Swayambhunath Temple’s origin is closely linked to the creation of Kathmandu Valley. The compassionate eyes of the Buddha watch over the city from the top of the stupa. Sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists, the hilltop temple offers panoramic views of the city. The ancient Hindu temple of Pashupatinath is one of the most important Hindu shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. ‘Pashupatinath’, means ‘protector of all living beings’. The Hindu cremation site of Arya Ghat lies nearby, on the banks of the holy river Bagmati. Hindus believe that the souls of those cremated here find their way straight to heaven. Additionally, complete a kora (circumambulation) around Boudhanath Stupa, the biggest Buddhist stupa in Nepal. Boudhanath, apart from being an iconic landmark, is an important pilgrimage center for followers of Tibetan Buddhism. The large dome of the stupa sits atop a giant mandala. Discover the valley’s rich cultural treasures by joining this Kathmandu City Tour.  If you are looking for a longer tour and want to visit all the popular tourist destinations in the country, you can try our Best of Nepal Tour. For a complete Himalayan cultural tour visit the cultural gems of both Nepal and Bhutan by booking our popular Jewels of Bhutan and Nepal Tour

Departure Time: 9 AM

Duration: 1 day (6 hours approx.)

Starting & Ending Point: Your hotel

Destination Covered:

Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, Swayambhunath

Activities: Historical, Cultural and Religious tour

Why you will love this trip?

  • Visit four UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Stroll around Kathmandu Durbar Square, a medieval palace square
  • Discover exquisite works of art and architecture at the old Kathmandu city
  • Walk to the hilltop shrine Swayambhunath, a temple sacred to both Buddhists and Hindus
  • Complete a loop (kora) around Boudhanath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist stupas in the world
  • Visit Pashupatinath Temple - the holiest of Hindu shrines in Nepal and get blessed by dreadlocked sadhus (Hindu ascetics)

 Is this trip suitable for you? 

  • This tour takes you to historic monuments and religious shrines. 
  • You will spend ample time with your guide exploring old palaces, Hindu temples and Buddhist stupas.
  • Anybody can do this trip. Involves easy walking on even paths. At Swayambhunath, you will have to ascend a flight of stairs to reach the main stupa.

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Day to Day Itinerary

Arrival on: Kathmandu, Nepal | Departure from: Kathmandu, Nepal

DAY 1:

One Day Kathmandu City Tour Activities expand
Tour Duration: 6-7 hours

Basantapur/Kathmandu Durbar Square

Built by Malla kings during the 15th and 16th centuries, the gems of the palace square include  Kumari Bahal or the House of the Living Goddess, Hanuman Dhoka Palace Museum, Taleju Temple, Mul Chowk, Nasal Chowk, Nau Taale Durbar, shrine of Kaal Bhairav etc. The House of Kumari or the Living Goddess, built by King Jaya Prakash Malla in 1757 AD, lie in the southern part of the durbar square. Worshipped as the manifestation of Goddess Durga, the Kumari is a pre-pubescent girl from the Newari community. Nepalese seek her blessings believing that the goddess resides in her body. Inside the Hanuman Dhoka Palace are courtyards and living quarters of the Malla and Shah kings. One can view artifacts and photographs of the Shah royals and Rana aristocrats at the Hanuman Dhoka Palace Museum. The pogoda-roofed Taleju Temple, dedicated to Goddess Taleju (patron goddess of Nepalese royals) lies near the old palace.

Swayambhunath Temple

Drive to the base of a green hill and climb the steps to Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple). According to a popular legend Kathmandu was once a huge lake. Boddhisattva Manjushri built Swayambhu after draining this lake. Several Buddhist and Hindu shrines surround the large white dome of the stupa. Dotting the temple complex are shrines of Harati Mai (the goddess of children and smallpox), Saraswati (the goddess of learning) and Shantipur (the resting place of a Tantric guru).  A Buddhist Monastery and a museum also lie in the temple precint.

Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath tour takes you to one of the holiest sites for devotees of Lord Shiva. Lying beside the sacred Bagmati River, the gilded pagoda-roofed temple dates back to 400AD. The Pashupatinath temple was renovated in the seventeenth century after the original structure was destroyed by termites. A large bronze statue of Nandi the ‘Bull’, the sacred vahana(vehicle) of Lord Shiva guards the entrance. According to legend as Lord Shiva is the protector of cattle, especially cows, his vehicle is ‘Nandi’, the Bull. Nandi is also worshipped and he grants boons and fulfill wishes of his devotees.  Several smaller temples and ashrams surround the main temple. The Hindu cremation site of Arya Ghat lies below the temple. Hindus believe that cremating the dead at Arya Ghat helps the dead attain salvation. 

Offer prayers at the main shrine if you are a Hindu. Non-Hindus can view the pagoda-roofed temple and the cremation site of Arya Ghat from the eastern bank of Bagmati River. Ponder about the impermanence of life while observing the cremation rites. The temple is also home to several ash-smeared sadhus in colourful garb. Seek their blessings and take pictures with them. During the devastating 2015 earthquake, Pashupatinath Temple was the only world heritage site in Kathmandu which did not suffer any damage. While many of the ancient heritage sites suffered significant damages, this Hindu temple stood firm and tall. Hindus believe it was because of divine intervention. The importance of this holy site has increased since then. 

Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa is one of the sacred sites for Buddhists. According to local legend the remains of Kasyapa Buddha; an incarnation of Lord Buddha; lie beneath the stupa. Walk around the white stupa in a clockwise direction spinning the prayer wheels (147 in total). Light a butter lamp and say a little prayer. Step on the giant mandala and take pictures beneath the fluttering prayer wheels. Here you will come across a lot of Tibetan pilgrims as this is an important centre of Tibetan Buddhism. Curio shops, restaurants and a Buddhist monastery surround the stupa.


Inclusion

What's Included

  • All ground transportation by comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary
  • Professional English-speaking tour guide with government license
  • Monument entrance fees.
  • All Local and Government taxes, administrative charges
  • Third Rock Adventures’ T-shirt and Map

What's not Included

  • Breakfast Lunch and dinner (Meals)
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Nepal Visa fee
  • Excess baggage fee
  • International flights
  • Personal expenses (laundry, drinks, beverages, snacks, private calls, souvenirs, hot showers etc.)
  • Tips for guide and driver
  • Expenses not listed in the ‘Price Includes’ section

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times

 Departures available every day, throughout the year, for private groups as well as independent travelers. The above itienerary is flexible and can be customized as per your needs. To book a 'Private Tour' please go to the top right-hand corner of this page. 


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 We are here to plan your perfect vacation. If you have queries regarding any of our trips or destinations, please do get in touch with us by filling up this form. You can also send us  email or call us at +977-9851196875

Trip Note

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Essential Trip Information

TRAVELLER'S REVIEWS

Seema G
flagsUnited States of America
Jul 01, 2018

Five Star service end-to-end

Pre-trip Info
Meals
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Transportation
Accommodation
Value for Money
We got introduced to Third Rock Adventures through my best friend and I can't recommend them high enough! We were two ladies travelling alone and one of us was elderly. TRA came up with the perfect itinerary for us for sightseeing in Kathmandu. They were very responsive to emails and planning the trip was a breeze. Everything was stress free and we were well taken care of and felt totally safe. Our guide Mr Mukesh was well knowledgeable about the area and was ever so pleasing and helpful. We met Mr Pranaya on our last day who provided some delightful insights into Buddhism and local traditions. Overall it was a lovely experience and we wholeheartedly thank the entire TRA team for making it so. TRA would be my first choice for tours if at all I am in that part of the world again...
Best Destination,Good Value,I like itinerary,Recommended by Friend,Best and Selected Tours,
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QUESTION AND ANSWER

What is the state of the heritage sites after the earthquake?
The 2015 earthquake in Nepal was devastating. It took many lives and destroyed a couple of ancient buildings and heritage sites. The good news, however, is that there are plenty of other historically important architecture and heritage sites that still stand strong.
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