Kathmandu Lumbini Tour

Explore the Birthplace of Gautam Buddha on Kathmandu Lumbini Tour

Situated in southern Nepal close to the Indian border, Lumbini is a historical delight for travellers. Surrounded by more than 100 ancient monuments, temples, international monasteries, and the likes, Lumbini is an open museum. Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, Lumbini became one of many core pilgrimage sites after the teachings of Buddha spread all over the globe.

You can visit over 30 Buddhist monasteries built by countries from around the world like China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Germany, France etc. Each monasteries have their own unique architecture to showcase and this gives you the chance to admire the diverse international heritage at one single  place. These establishments organise religious and spiritual programs throughout the year so you have a greater chance of immersing yourself in any of the Buddhist traditions.

Soak up the peaceful atmosphere and above all  visit the Maya Devi Temple which dates back to more than 2,200 years. This temple marks the exact spot where Queen Maya Devi, feeling the onset of labor pains, grabbed hold of the branches of a shade tree and gave birth to Siddharta Gautama in around 563 BC.

Standing adjacent to the temple lies a sacred pool and a garden, both of which are significant to the life of Gautam Buddha. The Sacred garden is said to have been known as a beautiful garden in the Buddha’s time and still retains its legendary charm and beauty.

The gardens are just a short walk or rickshaw ride away from the main road. Stepping into the garden you’ll find the Ashoka Pillars that commemorate Ashoka’s visit around the year 249 BC, the year he converted to Buddhism. The inscriptions on these pillars are said to be the oldest  inscription found in Nepal. The interesting saga behind the monument and its spiritual significance make the Ashokan Pillar a must-visit site for history, religious and architectural enthusiasts.

The inscriptions on these pillars are said to be the oldest  inscription found in Nepal. The interesting saga behind the monument and its spiritual significance make the Ashokan Pillar a must-visit site for history, religious and architectural enthusiasts.

The sacred pond, on the other hand is known to have existed before Siddhartha Gautam. This pond is where the infant prince is said to have been given his purification bath. The pond also used to be the royal bath spot of Queen Maya Devi.

Located outside the main temple compound yet easily accessible by rickshaw, lies the gleaming-white World Peace Pagoda constructed by Japanese Buddhists. This pagoda is the counterpart to the Flame of Peace monument in Okinawa, Japan, and is a symbol of tranquility.

Spreading over an area of 6 km square around the World Peace Pagoda are the wetlands which has now become a popular crane sanctuary. You could stand a good chance of seeing rare cranes stalking through the fields, as well as the large blue bulls.

Following the path of the tower and making your way on top will give you some excellent views over the wetlands. Now a laid-back town in western Nepal, Lumbini was once part of the ancient Koliya Kingdom, founded by Shakya dynasty during the late Vedic period.

It’s closed culture guides you into quiet, reflective moments you rarely get when you travel. Walk shoulder to shoulder with locals and tourists, and what you will hear, smell, taste will be nothing less than simple devotion lingering from ancient times.

Langtang Valley Trek

Langtang Valley Trek was once a part of the Langtang National Park. Otherwise known as the Tamang Heritage Trail, this trek allows you to venture deep into the Tamang hinterland. In this trek, you travel through verdant Tamang villages to immerse yourself in the local indigenous Tamang culture.

The Tamangs trace their roots back to ancient Mongolia and originally made their way into lowlands of Nepal to trade horses. The Tamangs are considered to be one of the oldest tribes of Nepal and the Langtang valley is considered to be one of their first settlements.

Even though Langtang valley can be reached by a day’s drive from Kathmandu, this area is still relatively unknown to the majority of travellers because the major trekking destinations of Annapurna, Kanchenjunga and Everest pull in the majority of the crowd.

Langtang Valley Trekking Trail

The starting point of this trek is at Syabru Besi. The trail then ascends up the Langtang valley from just 1,470m at Syabru Besi to 3,870m at Kyanjin Gompa in just a matter of two days.

There is plenty of time to acclimatize, however, as the trail takes you through Khangjim (2235m), Sherpagaun (2563m), Lama Hotel (2340m), Ghodatabela (3030m), Langtang Village (3430m) to finally ending in Kyanjin Gompa.

You can find a few coffee houses in Kyanjin Gompa that boast of proper Italian coffee machines flown in by helicopter. This ancient monastery preserves age old buddhist traditions of the local Tamang people as well as the local Sherpas.

You can venture off the main trail into a secret path that leads you to Parvati Kunda, a hidden lake, whose waters apparently hold powers of fertility. The trail then passes through the pristine landscape of Langtang National Park. You may get a chance to spot then endangered Red Panda or a Himalayan Black Bear in these parts if you are observant. Once you cross the forests, yak pastures and yak-cheese factories are a common site.

The trail then passes through the pristine landscape of Langtang National Park. You may get a chance to spot then endangered Red Panda or a Himalayan Black Bear in these parts if you are observant. Once you cross the forests, yak pastures and yak-cheese factories are a common site.

During the ascent, the landscape changes from lush subtropical forest, large bamboo groves to high alpine pastures which then gradually change to glacier and mountain peaks on the Tibet border.  The view from the top are of Manaslu Massif, Ganesh, Langtang and Jugal Himal (Mountain) with the Langtang Mountain dominating majority of this region.

The Langtang Valley trek is relatively short and fairly easy, even with a  climb up to the crown jewel at Tserko Ri (5,000m). Tserko Ri offers you a 360 degree view of the whole Langtang valley and if you are lucky, you may even have a chance to spot the ever elusive Snow Leopard.

The Langtang valley was completely destroyed during the 2015 mega-earthquake. The locals have remained resilient, however, and have already built tea shops and lodges.

This trek is all about culture and heritage. The trail runs through quaint villages off the main trekking routes so this you can gain an experience of the ancient lifestyle that is still being preserved.

If you love travelling the off-beaten path then this trek is for you. Ancient Tibetan culture permeate every inch of this expedition. This trail is called the Tamang Heritage Trail for a reason.

Gokyo Lakes Trek

Gokyo Lakes trek or Gokyo Ri hiking is a relatively new trekking route that was opened as an alternative to the classical Everest region treks. This trek is for those who like to walk to Everest without the physical exertion of reaching all the way to the base camp or crossing any high passes.

Gokyo Lakes

The Gokyo valley is made up of six fresh bodies of water, located at an altitude of more than 4,700m to 5,000m. The pristine turquoise water of Gokyo lakes are the highest freshwater lake systems in the world and one of Nepal’s most memorable sights. The lakes are sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists alike, and also have been designated as wetlands of international importance.

Gokyo Ri (5357m)

Gokyo Peak, or known locally as Gokyo Ri is a 5,357 m (17,575 ft)-high peak in the Khumbu region located on the west side of the Ngozumpa glacier.

Embarking on this trekking offers you an exceptional chance to witness gigantic Himalayam ranges like Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, among others. And other remarkable views of Ama Dablam (6,856m) and Thamserku (6,608m) will have you spellbound.

Namche Bazaar – Gateway to Mount Everest

The first part of the trek, i.e to Namche Bazaar, follows the same path of the Everest Base Camp expedition. Namche Bazaar is a vibrant market that is the biggest Sherpa settlement in Nepal.

Here, you will be able to experience the heart of the trekking culture in Nepal. It is from Namche Bazaar that you branch off the main trail and make way to the quaint village of Phortse Tenga, Machhermo and Dole.

Machhermo

The Machhermo village is located at an altitude of 4,465m/ 14,645ft and is lies at the southside base of a steep hillside. This hillside shelters the village from harsh winds blowing from the north that this region is prone to. On the west side of Machhermo, you can witness a grand rocky amphitheater.

Gokyo Ri and Lakes

The route to the Gokyo lakes is a relatively less frequented route and so offers the travellers an unadulterated insight into the local village life.

On the eastern side of Gokyo Ri is Ngozumpa glacier that is probably the most noteworthy marks of the trek. This gigantic glacier is the longest icy glacier in Nepal. From Here, you get spectacular views of icy rivers, icy glacier debris, mountain peaks and the dazzling turquoise waters of the Gokyo Lakes.

On the southern tip of the Ngozumpa Glacier is an alternative trekking route that will lead you over Cho La pass where it meets with the main Everest Base Camp trail. Spending an extra day at Gokyo Ri gives you the time to pay a visit to the 5th and 6th lake is located in a high alpine bowl at the foot of Cho Oyu mountain.

Spending an extra day at Gokyo Ri gives you the time to pay a visit to the 5th and 6th lake is located in a high alpine bowl at the foot of Cho Oyu mountain.

The route itself ends at Gokyo Ri and travellers usually retrace their steps back to Namche Bazaar where travel stories are swapped over a hot cup of steaming Everest coffee. Each stop in this unspoiled Gokyo Lakes Trekking has its own charm and offers a unique experience to travellers that no other trekking offers. 

Kathmandu Valley Tour

Nepal Tour Guide’s Kathmandu Valley Tour takes you to the prehistoric sites in three districts, namely Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur. This tour not only showcases the rich culture of the Nepalese people but also takes you back in time through it’s architectural and cultural wonders. It is because of this reason that Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhatapur are declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

On the first day, you will visit four places in Kathmandu namely Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, Boudhanath and Swayambhunath temples. These sites hold tremendous religious and cultural importance to the Nepalese people and showcase Nepalese art and architecture at its best. The Durbar Squares are social and cultural focal point of the city and all the major social ceremonies are performed here. The architecture in the squares is typical of the Malla Dynasty that ruled over Kathmandu districts from the 12th to the 18th century.

Swayambhunath Stupa aka Monkey Temple

You also visit the Swayambhunath Temple on this day. The temple is lovingly known as the Monkey Temples by foreign travellers because of the large monkey population living in the area. The temple rests atop a hill and legend has it that, about 2,000 years ago, the temple rose out of a lotus flower blooming in the middle of a primordial lake that once spread across the entire Kathmandu valley. The Swayambhunath temple has an intriguing mix of both Hindu and Buddhist shrines. And its majestic white dome and glittering golden spire is visible from miles around the valley.

Pashupatinath Temple

Another World Heritage site of tremendous importance, not just for the Nepalese but also for the Hindus worldwide, is the Pashupatinath Temple. This is one of the main temples of Lord Shiva. Hindu cremation ceremonies take place here on a large scale. Foreigners may find these sites alien but it is hard not to get a profound sense of life and death watching an amalgamation of death ceremonies, devotional songs, rituals and festivities all happening at the same place at the same time. Since the main Lord Shiva temple is very sacred, only Hindus are allowed to enter the vicinity, but foreigners can respectfully observe all the proceedings from the opposite side of the river banks.

Boudhanath Stupa

The Boudhanath Temple or Stupa is one of the largest you will find in South Asia. It was built on an ancient trade route to Tibet by Tibetan merchants and even to this day, sees large inflow of Tibetan refugees. There are numerous tibetan monasteries built around the area, the main stupa on the other hand, is built in a Nepali Buddhist style architecture, similar to that of the Monkey Temple. Here in Bouddha, the town named after the stupa, one gets to experience an amalgamation of both Nepali and Tibetan art and culture.

Patan Durbar Square

Nepal Tour Guide’s second day takes you to the durbar squares of Patan and Bhaktapur. Patan Durbar Square that lies to the south-east of Kathmandu is considered to be the oldest among the three cities of the valley. Patan, or it’s older more traditional name Lalitpur is the ‘City of Arts’. The reason behind the name will be apparent once you visit this thriving city. The Patan Durbar Square has many historic temples and buildings from Krishna Mandir to Bhimsen Temple, to Taleju Bhawani Temple to the Golden Temple (Rat Temple), located just north of the square. 

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

You then head about 13km east to Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Bhaktapur means the ‘City of Devotees’ and you can experience festivals and ceremonies here that are not found anywhere else in Nepal. During city sightseeing in Bhaktapur Durbar Square, you can experience the collection of pagoda style temples, the 55-window palace of brick and wood being the one of the more famous one.The city has one of the best preserved cultures dating back even to the 8th century A.D. Sites like Taumadhi square, Dattatreya square, National Art Museum, and Nyatapole Temple, among others, sets it apart from Patan and Kathmandu Durbar Squares. 

The 2015 mega-earthquake that hit Nepal saw the loss of the majority of the ancient and cultural treasures in Bhaktapur but the locals residents have residents have remained resilient and have even set an example to rebuild the national heritage through a community-led rebuilding initiative. This private tour guide will take you along an intimate, time travelling experience where you soak in every stories and legends behind the ancient valley.

Annapurna Circuit Trek

Annapurna Circuit Trek has long been praised by travellers as the holy grail of trekking since it was first opened to foreigners in 1977. This 200km plus trail that circles the heavenly Annapurna range has often been voted as the best long distance trek in the world because it combines a wide variety of climate zones from the tropics at 600m to the arctic zones located at 5000m above.

Annapurna Circuit Trail

This trail also takes you through a wide cultural variety from Hindu villages, at Terai region to the higher altitude Tibetan culture of Manang and through the formidable Thorong Phedi.

The trail passes through subtropical forests, terraced paddy fields, several waterfalls cascading down stone cliffs.

It is hard not to see the reason why travellers are often confused between Annapurna Circuit and Annapurna Base Camp trek. Both trail gives you awe-inspiring views of Annapurna range, Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhre, and hikers will come across Gurung villages. But that is where the similarities end.

As the name suggests, the goal of the Annapurna Circuit is to complete a loop. The trail starts and ends in Taal and is a relatively more strenuous trek than that of the base camp.

The AC’s landscape changes drastically in a comparatively short span of time- from the green cultivated land in the south side of the Himalaya to the arid rocky desert of Mustang that falls on the Annapurna’s rain shadow region. The trail also leads you towards Muktinath, a revered pilgrimage site of Hindus and Buddhists.

Crossing Thorong La Pass – Difficulty of Annapurna Circuit Trek

This expedition takes you across two river valleys and then to the formidable Thorong La Pass. Touching the edge of the Tibetan plateau at an altitude of about 5,400m/17,760ft, Thorong La Pass is the highest point in your expedition and is one of the greatest challenges you will ever encounter.

Most travellers take the anti-clockwise route as this way the altitude gain is gradual and crossing the pass is safer. Most trekkers feel the effects of this taxing endeavor and so it is very important to acclimatize at Manang to prepare you for your journey.

Taking on this expedition during the winters might prove difficult as the mountain passes are often blocked by snow.

Trekking on Off-Season

Trekking in the rainy season from July to September is encouraged if you want to avoid the crowds in the summer months. However, your views are mostly obscured by low clouds. There is no need to worry about rain so much as the arid landscape of Mustang and Manang fall under the rain-shadow region of the surrounding Annapurna range.

Why to trek Annapurna Circuit?

Nepal tour guide team recommend that you take the trail from Pisang via Ghyaru to Manang, as the small villages along the route are some of the best examples of well preserved Tibetan culture. These villages also assist you in acclimatization.

The Annapurna Circuit takes you to a height of over 5,460m (17,800ft) and makes you challenge yourself at every step. It dares you. Every glimpse of Gangapurna, Tilicho peak and Pisang peak makes you want to take that extra step. And as you reach the heights, where your senses are focused into clarity, you feel in your deepest of beings that every effort was worth it. This is the holy grail.

Nepal Tourism Activities