Nepal Heritage Tour with Day Hikes - 12 Days

Nepal Heritage Tour with Day Hikes is an engaging tour of the cultural heritage sites from the central hills to the western lowlands of Nepal. The twelve-day tour explores the beauty of some of the most famous tourist destinations like Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Nagarkot, Balthali, Gorkha, Bandipur, Chitwan, Lumbini, and Pokhara. The major highlight of this tour is exploring the diverse cultures across distinct ethnic communities, visiting the ancient palaces, museums, and witnessing the sunshine along the verdant hills and mountains.

The tour starts in the city of temples, Kathmandu, to explore the different temples and beautiful courtyards. The tour progresses to the hill station of Nagarkot and then to Balthali village to explore the countryside and peaceful lifestyle, followed by a hike to one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimages of Namo Buddha. From there, an exciting day awaits to explore the ancient Shah kingdom palace of Gorkha then towards the Newari town of Bandipur.

From Bandipur, you'll get the opportunity to visit different heritage sites in the following popular destination is Pokhara. Taking an early morning drive the next day to Sarangkot hill station offers exceptional mountain and sunrise views. A tour of the heritage sites of Nepal would not end without a visit to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha.

Following the insightful day, you proceed on to enjoy the ethnic Tharu cultural show, jungle safari, canoeing, bird watching, and other adventurous activities in Chitwan National Park. The tour finally concludes after a visit to the holy Manakamana temple back to Kathmandu for final departure.

Nepal Heritage Tour with Day Hikes is a leisurely overland driving tour with only short hikes in between, so it is suited for a broad age group. It is indeed one of the best culture and city tours that offers a wide range of experiences for individuals, families, and all group sizes.

Trip Highlights

  • Culture walk at the UNESCO heritage sites of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Swayambhunath stupa, and Pashupatinath temple
  • Hike to the Nagarkot hill tower to witness the vivid views of Mt. Jugal, Ganesh Himal, and Langtang range
  • Explore the Nepali countryside lifestyle and culture of the ethnic communities in Balthali village
  • Visit the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage site of Lumbini and Namo Buddha with archaic evidence of Lord Buddha's birth and incarnation
  • Explore the birthplace of the ancient reigning Shah dynasty Kings in the Gorkha Durbar Palace
  • Walk on the cobblestone streets of the architectural Newari village of Bandipur
  • Visit the culturally endowed ancient Magar and the Shah Kingdom of Tansen
  • Witness the ethnic Tharu culture and traditions in Chitwan
  • Engage in an adventurous Jungle safari, canoeing, and bird watching in the vast landscape of the Chitwan National Park
  • Panoramic views of the Annapurna Massif, Macchapuchrey, and Lamjung Himal from Sarangkot Hills
  • Take a cable car ride to the holy Manakamana Temple and witness rituals, and pay your respect to goddess Bhawani

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights
Day 1 Arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu
Day 2 Cultural tour in Kathmandu City, Evening drive to Nagarkot (2,175m/7,136 ft, 32 km)
Day 3 Drive from Nagarkot to Bhaktapur then Balthali Village (40 km)
Day 4 Hike from Balthali to Namo Buddha (1,750m/ 5,741ft, 3 hours hike)
Day 5 Drive to Gorkha Durbar Palace, then to Bandipur (1,030m/3,380ft, 200 km)
Day 6 Drive from Bandipur to Pokhara (822m/ 2,697ft, 75 km, 2 hours 30 minutes)
Day 7 Morning drive to Sarangkot Hill then drive to Tansen (1,350m/ 4,430ft, 122 km, 4 hours 30 minutes)
Day 8 Drive from Tansen to Lumbini (150m/ 450ft, 85 km, 1 hour 30 minutes)
Day 9 Drive from Lumbini to Chitwan (415m/1,360ft, 175 km, 4 hours)
Day 10 Jungle Safari and other adventures in Chitwan National Park
Day 11 Drive to Kathmandu via Manakamana Temple (175km)
Day 12 Final Departure from Kathmandu


Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu

Upon your arrival in Kathmandu, you will be welcomed by our representatives and driven to your hotel located in Thamel. Thamel is a significant tourist hub just 5 km away from the airport. After taking some rest and refreshments at the hotel, you can head out for a stroll around the lively streets. Depending upon your arrival time, you can head to our office and meet our team.

Later in the evening, you will enjoy a warm welcome dinner with authentic Nepali food to entice your taste buds.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 2: Cultural tour in Kathmandu City, Evening drive to Nagarkot (2,175m/7,136 ft, 32 km)

Nagarkot View from Nagarkot

Nothing beats the cultural beauty of the ancient city of Kathmandu. Filled with hundreds of religious sites in the city, Kathmandu is known as the city of temples. On this day, you will drive in and around the city, making stops at UNESCO world heritage sites, temples, and stupas.

Your first stop will be the nearby Kathmandu Durbar Square, also known as Basantapur or Freak Street. After strolling in the courtyards of the square, you will also visit the Palace of the past ruling Shah dynasty, which has now been turned into a museum called Hanuman Dhoka Museum.

After that, you will drive to the western hills of Kathmandu to visit the famous Swayamnbhunath Stupa. You can overlook the city in a panoramic view from the peaceful jungles near the stupa.

The next stop is Pashupatinath temple which is known to be one of the most revered Hindu religious sites around the world. The temple dedicated in the name of Lord Shiva has a main pagoda-styled temple and more than hundreds of shrines in and around its vicinity. Although non-Hindu tourists cannot visit the main temple, they can explore the nearby areas in the temple.

Following the enjoyable day, we will drive you to Nagarkot, a hill station located east of Kathmandu. You can enjoy the chilly night with some warm dinner and campfire.

Overnight stay in Nagarkot.

Day 3: Drive from Nagarkot to Bhaktapur then Balthali Village (40 km)

Balthali Village Balthali Village

Early in the morning before dawn, begin your hike up to the hill tower of Nagarkot to enjoy the amazing sunrise over the verdant hills surrounding the valley. Additionally, on a clear day, the views of Mt. Jugal, Ganesh Himal, and the Langtang range, along with other adjoining mountains, will be visible.

After having breakfast, you will set your journey forward to Bhaktapur, the oldest city in Nepal. It is renowned for its well-preserved culture and heritage reflected through the architectural houses, ancient palaces, and temples. Make sure to visit the temple in Bhaktapur Durbar Square and enjoy 'Juju Dhau' - the King curd.

Following your escapade, you will head to Khopasi, where you will hike to Balthali village. The 40 minutes hike to Balthali is exciting and refreshing as you will get to witness ancient houses built alongside dirt roads and hills. It lies just beyond another old village of Panauti. You will get to see the typical Nepal countryside with a peaceful environment, terraced farmlands, dried corn and vegetables, thatched houses, and the most welcoming people. After the village tour, you can enjoy your evening with a local family to understand their traditions and way of life.

Overnight stay at Balthali.

Day 4: Hike from Balthali to Namo Buddha (1,750m/ 5,741ft, 3 hours hike)

Namobuddha Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery (Namobuddha)

On this day, a thrilling hiking adventure awaits you to the most surreal places in Kathmandu valley. After having your breakfast, a short hike will begin to one of Nepal's most renowned Buddhist Pilgrims. Passing by different villages along dirt roads and farms, you will reach Namo Buddha, visiting the holy Buddhist monastery of the same name. Immediately as you enter the monastery after climbing a flight of stairs, you will witness the surrounding views of the city down below that look peaceful and calm.

It is also believed that Lord Buddha set his foot in Namo Buddha after his enlightenment, and the pilgrims believe that he had sacrificed his life here in his earlier incarnation. You can explore the different status of Buddha and the unique paintings on the walls.

After your hike, you will head to a nearby local accommodation to spend the night and enjoy some local food.

Overnight stay in Namo Buddha.

Day 5: Drive to Gorkha Durbar Palace, then to Bandipur (1,030m/3,380ft, 200 km)

After having your breakfast, your day begins with a long drive passing Kathmandu on the way, taking the Prithvi highway to Gorkha Durbar. Passing by the Trishuli River, Manakamana Temple, Muglin bazaar on the way, you will finally reach the Gorkha Bazaar. Gorkha is woven in many historical events that contributed to the formation of modern Nepal.

You will visit the Gorkha Durbar Palace, located on a hilltop. The Palace was established in the 16th Century and is famous for being the birthplace of Prithvi Narayan Shah, the reigning king of the past who unified Nepal. You can visit the museum with armory and painting, the Gorakhkali temple, and even the Gorkha temple. The buildings are an accurate picture of the Newari architecture.

Following the visit, you will drive further west to visit the Newari village of Bandipur. Bandipur is peaceful, with panoramic mountain views on the sides and cobblestone streets with architectural houses surrounding it. You can walk along the vehicle-free streets and take some fantastic pictures. In the evening, enjoy some authentic Newari meals and drinks.

Overnight stay in Bandipur.

Day 6: Drive from Bandipur to Pokhara (822m/ 2,697ft, 75 km, 2 hours 30 minutes)

Fewa Lake Fewa Lake, Pokhara

You will be heading further up west to Pokhara after breakfast. The city of lakes, Pokhara, is a popular tourist destination due to its scenic beauty. After being dropped off at your hotel in Baidam, near the Phewa Lakeside, you can relax then head out in the afternoon for some adventure. First up, you can enjoy boating in Phewa Lake and visit the island temple of Barahi. You may witness some couples getting married in Nepali traditional ways at peak marriage season. You can then drive to the Gupteshwor Cave and the Bat Cave. You can even explore Davis falls. If you want to explore the mountaineering history, tools, garments, and other such records, then you can visit the International Mountain Museum.

Enjoy some Thakali meal if you prefer to taste local delicacies in the evening.

Overnight stay in Pokhara.

Day 7: Morning drive to Sarangkot Hill then drive to Tansen (1,350m/ 4,430ft, 122 km, 4 hours 30 minutes)

sunrise from sarangkot sunrise from sarangkot, Pokhara, Nepal

Before dawn, you will take a drive to the majestic Sarangkot hill, which is a perfect viewpoint. After reaching the foot of the hill, you will begin your hike up to the top and get to witness the incredible sunrise if you arrive on time. As the sun rises, the views of the mountains become even more evident.

You can witness up-close views of Mt. Machhapuchhre, Annapurna Massif, and other adjoining mountains in a clear sky. As you have breakfast, you can also witness the show of paraglides in the sky.

From there on, you will head down and drive to Tansen, which is the hill town of Palpa district. There are numerous temples in the town, so it has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tentative List for the culture. The old houses and temples have been well preserved and depict an ancient time during the Magar Kingdom and Shah Kingdom reign.

As the ethnic Magar community populates the town, you can explore their cultures and traditions by visiting and interacting with local families.

Overnight stay in Tansen.

Day 8: Drive from Tansen to Lumbini (150m/ 450ft, 85 km, 1 hour 30 minutes)

Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini

On this day, you will leave Tansen and head further west to the lower south to visit Lumbini. Lumbini is the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage globally as it is the birthplace of Lord Buddha before his enlightenment. Upon your arrival in Lumbini, you will head to the Lumbini Garden.

There is a lot to explore in the large vicinity, starting with the Maya Devi temple, which contains the archeological findings of Gautam Buddha's birth. Right beside the temple is a small pond where small tortoises are swimming. Another crucial cultural finding is the Ashoka Pillar which has inscriptions as evidence that the emperor of the Maurya empire, Ashoka, visited Lumbini in the 3rd Century to identify the birthplace of Buddha. You can also take a peaceful boat ride along the canal and explore the area.

Overnight stay in Lumbini.

Day 9: Drive from Lumbini to Chitwan (415m/1,360ft, 175 km, 4 hours)

Chitwan is your next stop on the intriguing tour. From Lumbini, you will drive back to the east towards Chitwan, known for its rich jungles and wildlife. You will be transferred to your hotel in Chitwan, where you can relax and freshen up. In the afternoon, you can visit the Elephant Breeding Center to witness the protected Elephants along with other animals. From thereon, you can enjoy the Tharu Cultural Show in the evening, where you will see dramas, cultural stick dances, and traditional dresses.

At night make sure you try out some of the local Tharu dishes like duck meat, snail soup, and drinks.

Overnight stay in Chitwan.

Day 10: Jungle Safari and other adventures in Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park Chitwan National Park

You can not leave Chitwan without a great Jungle Safari adventure tour. We will drive you to the Chitwan National Park to enjoy some bird watching as it is known to have more than 550 species; some among them are the Great White-Fronted Goose, Kashmir Flycatcher, Kalij Pheasant, and more.

Following that, you will take a half-day or a full day Jungle Safari either on a Jeep or on an Elephant's back, depending upon your preference. You will find abundant deers, antelopes, Wild Elephants, pangolins, the mighty one-horned Rhinoceros, Gaur, and more. But to steal the show, if you are lucky, you may also encounter the rare Royal Bengal Tiger.

Later in the afternoon, you can also enjoy a canoe ride in the Rapti River, where you will witness alligators. After the fun-filled, exciting day, head back to your hotel and relax.

Overnight stay in Chitwan.

Day 11: Drive to Kathmandu via Manakamana Temple (175km)

From Chitwan, it is finally time to head back to Kathmandu. You will take the Narayanghat Mugling Highway, and to add a cherry on top of your tour; you'll make a stop at the famous religious site of the Hindus, Manakamana Temple. The vehicle will drop you at Kurintar, from where you will take a cable car ride to the temple premises.

Nepalese culture is depicted in the pujas and prayers offered to the Manakamana Temple. The temple is dedicated to goddess Bhawani and sits in the confluence of the Trishuli and Marsyangdi rivers. Thousands of pilgrims flock to this temple every year to worship the holy temple and get blessings.

You will return to Kurintar after visiting the temple, then take the road back to Kathmandu.

In the evening, you can go out to shop for souvenirs in the streets of Thamel or enjoy your final stay in Nepal.

Overnight stay in Kathmandu.

Day 12: Final Departure from Kathmandu

On this day, you will be departing for homeward return. We will bid you farewell and transfer you to the international airport. As you board your flight back home, you will remember the amazing time you had while exploring Nepal's different cities and towns to witness the well-preserved traditions and cultures.

If you wish to extend your trip and explore other cultural monuments and sites in the eastern or western parts of Nepal, you can get in touch with our representatives to know more.



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