Ancient City Tour

Posted by Andy on Wednesday, September 1, 2010

iTrekNepal offers a wide variety of nature and cultural treks that showcase the wonders of Nepal. Some of our guests desire an opportunity to explore closer the hidden treasure of this enchanting land, its ancient cities. For those that desire a more intimate look at city and culture in places that time has left behind, we offer iTrekNepal’s Ancient City Tour. Our own professional English-speaking guides escort you, over six days, to some of the oldest, best preserved sites in Nepal, where one can gain a better understanding of the wondrous cities, palaces and royal grounds that thrived hundreds of years ago.

The Ancient City Tour takes you to key historical sites of Nepal; World Heritage City of Bhaktapur; Lumbini World Heritage Site, Bandipur Village and the Gorkha Royal Palace.

Brief itinerary
Itinerary can be customized according to your needs and length of stay.

Day 01 – UNESCO World Heritage City of Bhaktapur
One of the great wonders of Nepal is the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bhaktapur. This traditional city was founded by King Anand Dev in 889 AD and we make your tour of the monuments and temples a special one. We visit the impressive Palace of Fifty-five Windows, which was home to Nepal royalty until 1769. Close by is the Golden Gate which is home to the Taleju Temple, dedicated to the goddess Taleju Bhawani. Our guides escort you and describe how once this city was once on the ancient trade route between Tibet/China and India. With its fascinating museums celebrating the arts of woodcarving and metalwork, you can still see clay craftsmen and cloth weavers practicing their arts just as their ancestors did when the trade route was bustling. Overnight at a hotel on the hilltop.

Day 02 & 03 – Lumbini, World Heritage Site
Lumbini is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in the world and is sacred to Buddhists. Located near the Indian border, it is where Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama, who would later become the Buddha (Gautama Buddha) and found the of Buddhist religion. It is fascinating to walk the grounds that represent the very genesis of one of the world’s great religions.

Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, Lumbini has many Buddhist temples and shrines, as well as the Puskarini pond and remains of Kapilvastu palace. With many sacred site ruins thoughout out the area, visitors can tour ancient monasteries, the sacred Bodhi tree, the Asokan Pillar, and the Mayadevi temple, the place of Buddha’s birth. Lumbini is a fascinating study in religious history and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

Day 04 – Bandipur Village
We drive from Lumbini to the wonderfully-preserved Newari village of Bandipur, nestled on a high ridge with stunning Himalayan views. One can wander the quiet streets, explore friendly local villages or hike to the Siddha Gufa, the largest cave in Nepal. Overnight at a traditional inn.

Day 05 & 06 – Gorkha Royal Palace and Surrounding area
We give you a complete tour of the legendary Ghorka Palance and surrounding area is the final highlight of our trip. No cultural visit to Nepal would be complete without delving into the royal past of Nepal. The Ghorka King Drabya Sha was considered a fair and just ruler of ancient Nepal. He established the Gorkha kingdom in 1560 and the Shah dynasty ruled Gorkha from1604 to 1641. Monuments of this era are found in the Gorkha Royal Palace, the Gorkha Bazaar and the Gorkha Durbar.

Prithyi Naraya was born in the central palace of Dhuni Pari, part of the Gorkha Royal Palace. Prithvi Narayan Shah and his Gorkha soldiers unified all of Nepal by battling and taking control of the Kathmandu, which has been the capital of Nepal ever since.

Gorkha Palace is located in the east side of the Gorkha Durbar, but most visitors know the iconic site from the view from another angle, when looking up at the palace and contemplating the approximately one thousand seven hundred steps that lie between them and the palace. Though not an easy climb, the views from the palace are stunning. Although the Gorkha Palace is not always open to visitors, especially its second floor, much can be seen through its latticed windows. The architectural style of the palace is known as Newari-style, and when peering through the windows visitors will be able to see the throne of Prithvi Narayan. The detailed woodwork and spectacular carvings make the Gorkha Palace a treasured piece of history and one of the most popular sites in Nepal.

We explore in and around the grounds of Gorkha Palace for two days, before returning to Kathmandu.

The trek program is – because of weather or unforeseen events – subject to change.