Although they are all Himalayan countries bound by geography and spirituality, there are disctinct differences between Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal and this tour enables you to explore all three. Flying in and out of Kathmandu 5 times, you'll spend 7 scattered days touring Nepal's diverse cities, 4 days in Bhutan immersed in the Buddhist culture for which the country is famed, and 4 days in peaceful Tibet, visiting both residences of the Dalai Lama, the largest monastery in the world, and the mindblowing Bhakor Free Market, where pretty much everyone sells everything. This is a busy trip with quite a lot of travel involved, but the use of domestic flights maximises your time in each country and the itinerary is very well organised, so you'll never feel rushed.
Upon your arrival in Kathmandu at Tribhuvan International Airport, complete your custom formalities claim your luggage and head towards the arrival gate where you will be greeted by a representative from Arihant Holidays.com. You will be transferred to Hotel. Overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu.
Drive to airport for onward flight to Paro. Your anticipated journey to visit the country that has developed Goss National Happiness begins as you land in Paro Airport. Our representative will be waiting for you at the airport you will be escorted to your hotel. Since you arrive early you will have better part of your day left to explore the city.
Paro is rich in traditional architecture with decorated old buildings aligned on either sides of the road. You can visit Rinpung Dzong also known as Paro Dzong. It houses both a monastery and government offices. Some scenes from the film Little Buddha (1994) was shot here. After a delicious exotic dinner you will retire for the day.
Thimphu- the beautiful capital city of Bhutan has the perfect blend of old and new. You have the entire day to explore the beautiful city.The most prominent landmark is Tashichhoe Dzong typical of Bhutan is a Buddhist monastery and houses government office as well. You will find this white washed building with traditional Bhutanese architecture postcard perfect. Changangkha Lhakhang is a 12th century fortress temple. There are statues of various deities one particular Tamdrin is the protector deity, worshipped by parents to get auspicious names for their newborns and for the protection of their young children. Don’t forget to observe the splendid view from the pilgrim path, which has beautiful black and gold prayer wheels.
National Memorial Chorten was constructed by the late Queen in the memory of her son the third King His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. It is a white washed building where many people come for daily worship. The area exudes serenity and peace. There are many other sites to visit in Bhutan including the Textile Museum, National institute for Zong Chusum, Folk Heritage museum and so forth. In the evening you can shop at the weekend markets and buy hand-woven silks, traditional masks and other souvenirs to take home. You will be staying overnight at Thimphu.
Today after an early breakfast you will drive towards Paro, the distance will be covered in approximately an hour. From Paro you will head towards Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), it is around 10 km (6.21 miles) from Paro. It is said that Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of the tigress and landed here. The monastery is located high up on the side of a cliff and will take around two hours of hiking. The view from the monastery of the beautiful Paro valley is spectacular. You can explore the monastery, admire the wall paintings and learn about its myths and folklores.
After lunch you will head towards Drugyal Dzong, an old fort in complete ruins. Drugyal Dzong was constructed in 1647 to mark the victory of Bhutan over Tibet. From the ruins of the old fort many trekking expeditions to inner Bhutan commences. In the evening you can stroll down the streets of Paro, You can visit Rinpung Dzong also known as Paro Dzong. It houses both a monastery and government offices. Some scenes from the film Little Buddha (1994) was shot here. After a delicious exotic dinner you will retire for the day.
After the breakfast you will check out of the hotel, after a quick natural, spiritual and cultural experiences finally your time to depart has arrived, you leave with a promise to come back and explore more of this Himalayan Kingdom. You will be dropped to the airport three hours prior to your scheduled flight. Upon your arrival in Kathmandu at Tribhuvan International Airport, complete your custom formalities claim your luggage and head towards the arrival gate where you will be greeted by a representative from Arihant Holidays.com. You will be transferred to Hotel. Rest day you will have plenty to see of the Newari arts and culture. Sightseeing for the day includes both heritage and pilgrimage spots all of which are counted in UNESCO world heritage sites. Pashupatinath Temple is the popular pilgrimage site of the Hindus. The main temple is that of Lord Shiva. Though the temple is barred to non-Hindus a good view of the famous pagoda style structure of the temple complex, courtyard and other shrines can be viewed from the opposite bank of the Bagmati River. Shiva’s manifestation as Pashupati lord of animal, is considered one of the holiest sites of the Hindus and is a must visit once in a lifetime to gain salvation. You can also see the Hindus cremation site Aryaghat at the bank of Bagmati River. Bouddhanath is the largest and the most important holy place for the Buddhists. It is also famous for its power to fulfill wishes and blessings. The base of the stupa is a square shaped terraced plinth representing joy, love, compassion and calmness. The white dome shaped structure on top is painted with yellow to represent lotus. Above which a square tower representing fire is painted with eyes of Buddha. On top of it is the gold conical shaped structure representing air followed by an umbrella on topmost part symbolizing space. Kathmandu (Hanuman Dhoka) Durbar Square is a public square containing ancient palaces, temples, statues and streets. There is an ancient wooden pavilion Kasthmandap made by wood gathered from a divine tree, Kalpa Vriksha, build centuries ago. It is this pavilion from which the city got its name Kathmandu. Taleju temple is the oldest and the tallest building in the area, door of which is opened only once in a year during the festival of Dashain. The buildings in the durbar square are important link to the history of Nepal. Hanuman Dhoka is the name given after idol of Hindu monkey god Hanuman which is placed near the entrance of the ancient palace. At Kathmandu you will get to marvel the traditional art and crafts of the Newars, in the form of intricate wood work, sculptors and architecture. Swaymbhunath is a popular ancient Buddhist pilgrimage site, also known as the Monkey temple. Its structure is a white dome with a gold conical shape on top, which is painted with the watchful eyes of Buddha. A mythological story about origin of Swayambhu states that a lotus that radiated dazzling light sprung at the very spot where the dome is today. The lotus is said to have been planted by Buddha. After climbing 365 stairs that lead to the temple you can explore many legends and mythological stories about its existence. After you get back to your hotel, you can go for a stroll in Thamel and enjoy a relaxing dinner. Overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu.
Early morning you will enjoy 1 hour Mt. flight that takes you deep into the Himalayas, flying into valleys close to the rock face, as close as five nautical miles from the Everest itself where you can see the stunning beauty of nature; raw, undiluted and truly majestic. After flight back to the Hotel. After a wonderful tour of Kathmandu valley you will head towards Lumbini. The distance of 290 km from Kathmandu to Lumbini will be covered in approximately 5 hours 30 minutes. Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha; located at Rupandehi district of Nepal. Lumbini has a famous Mayadevi temple, in which Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautam. The temple premise also has the famous Ashoka Pillar, which marks Emperor Ashoka’s visit to Lumbini. Near the Mayadevi temple you will see the holy pond in which Mayadevi took a ceremonial dip before giving birth to Gautam Buddha. At Lumbini many countries have constructed monasteries, the eastern monastic zone have Theravadin monasteries whereas the western has Mahayana and Vajrayana monasteries. Overnight at Hotel in Lumbini.
Today after breakfast you will visit Mayadevi temple, see eternal peace flame as you wander around beautiful Lumbini garden. The garden is very peaceful, spiritual and uplifting. After the peaceful visit to Lumbini, you head towards Pokhara, via Tansen which approximately 198.1 km(3hr, 41m) drive. Tansen is the administrative center of Palpa district; it is a beautiful hill station with narrow alleys almost similar to Bandipur. You will also get an opportunity see famous Tansen palace. From Tansen, Lumbini is around 3 hours drive (approximately 81 km). After an evening tour of the monastic zones you will retire for the day at the hotel. Pokhara is the second largest city and one of the most popular tourist destinations of Nepal. Since you will arrive Pokhara in the evening, after checking in the hotel, take a stroll in the beautiful lakeside. You can enjoy warm dinner at lakeside enjoying the cultural program. Overnight at the Hotel in Pokhara.
Today you will wake up before the sun, as you have to make it to Sarangkot, from where you can devour a splendid sunrise over the mountains. Sarangkot is located approximately 30 minute drive from Pokhara. From the top you can get a magnificent view of sun rising with various hues of orange, Mt. Annapurna blushing red as the sun rays kisses it, you can also get a beautiful view of Pokhara valley and its lakes from here. After a scrumptious breakfast our tour guide will take you to the popular sites in Pokhara. World Peace Stupa is the massive white Buddhist Stupa situated on top of Ananda hill. This Stupa is one of the 71-peace pagodas constructed by Nipponzan Myohoji order of Buddhism symbolizing world peace. Davis Fall also known as Patale Chango in Nepali. This fascinating waterfall is named after a tourist who fell and died in it. Near the fall is a cave of Gupteshwor Mahadev (Temple of lord Shiva). The water travels through a natural tunnel before emerging from here. Phewa Lake is the second largest fresh water lake of Nepal. In the lake you can see the beautiful reflection of Mt. Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. It has many inlets in monsoon including Harpan Khola. You can take a small ferry and go for boating in the serene lake; you may also visit Taal Barahi Temple situated in an island on the lake. Gupteshwor Mahadev cave is probably the longest and attractive cave in south Asia which is located at the pristine location of northwestern part of Pokhara, a world famous tourist destination in Gandaki zone and Kaski district. Ancestors called this place as desolate Khatri Tara. At that time water steam used to come out from this place and some courageous youngsters used to go inside and catch fishes. Bindyabasini Temple is a famous religious temple. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga in her Bhagwati manifestation. The shrine is a shaligram (marine fossil), of black ammonite. Taal Barahi is a Hindu temple situated in an island in tranquil Phewa Lake. Barahi is the boar version of goddess Durga, who is holding a cup in one hand and fish on the other. Make sure you carry some treat for the fishes in the Lake. After sightseeing in Pokhara you can go for a quiet walk at the lakeside and enjoy a hearty meal in a restaurant enjoying the serenity of the lake. Overnight stay at the hotel. Afternoon flight back to Kathmandu.. Overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu.
Your most awaited journey to travel to the spiritual land of Tibet begins as you arrive at Lhasa Gonggar Airport. It is one of the world’s highest elevation airports. Our representative will be waiting for your arrival. After custom clearance and baggage claim you will traverse to Lhasa- the administrative capital of Tibet which is located at the distance of 93 km (57.7 mile) from the airport. Due to high altitude of Tibetan Plateau, thin air will take you some time to get accustomed; it may cause nausea to some. It is advisable to remain active in order to acclimatize. After you check in to the hotel you can go for a stroll to a nearby monastery or visit the marketplace. You will be staying overnight at Lhasa. Overnight at Lhasa.
After a scrumptious breakfast get ready to consume the culture and heritage of Tibet. Today will be an informative and awesome day as you visit the major landmarks of Lhasa. Sera Monastery- located 6 km (3.7 mile) from Potala Palace is the second largest monastery in Tibet. It is famous for monk’s debate at the debating courtyard. Founded in 1419 by Sakya Yeshe a disciple of Tsongkhapa, Buddhism is still being taught at its colleges. Although it is still functioning number of disciples has dropped drastically. You can visit the colleges, debating courtyards and the residence of monks. You can hear the debates as you marvel the intricate art work of this monastery. Norbulingka- literally meaning Jewel Park is the biggest garden in Tibet which houses summer palaces of Dalai Lama’s. It is from here the present Dalai Lama escaped to exile disguised as a soldier. Palace of the eighth Dalai Lama’s hall is opened for the visitors. It has beautiful Thankas and artistically painted wood. Jokhang Temple- another famous attraction of Lhasa is the Jokhang temple which was ordered to be constructed by the King Songtsen Gampo. The magnificent temple complex with gilded roof top has a beautiful courtyard. It is said that King Songtsen Gampo’s wives Bhrikuti of Nepal and Wencheng of China brought statues from their respective countries which were kept in the temple. It has the iconic statues of two deers holding the dharma wheel. The Temple is located in the Barkhor Square. Barkhor Street- located in the old section of Lhasa surrounding Jokhang temple. You can enjoy the beautiful market area with vendors selling trinkets, Thankas and souvenirs of Tibet. In the hustling market you can also enjoy the exotic Tibetan food. Since this market is located in the old part of Lhasa you can also walk down the old streets to observe historical buildings that have survived the onslaught of Cultural Revolution and modernization. After a long day of sightseeing in the city you will retire for the day at your hotel. Overnight at Lhasa.
After breakfast you will head towards the most popular site of Tibet- Potala Palace. Even at the time of King Songtsen Gampo, who unified Tibet and built Potala palace, Lhasa was the administrative capital. Potala Palace- listed in the UNESCO world heritage sites Potala Palace is the face of Tibet as its photographs usually make appearance on the postcards. Standing tall on top of the red hill like a gigantic fortress the beautiful red and white buildings contain history, culture and art within its walls. Potala Palace has been used as the residence of Dalai Lamas' since the 5th incarnation. It was built over a palace erected by Songtsen Gampo and took 45 years to complete. The ginormous palace has the power to take you to the other world in the cloud of spirituality with the incense filled air, intricate paintings on the doors, magnificent shrines, artistic gold statues and red and yellow clad monks. The white palace is the living quarter of Dalai Lama and monks. Whereas the red palace which consists of the shrines, paintings and other jewelry works is used for worship. Drepung monastery- located 5 km (3.1 mile) Northwest of Lhasa at Gambo Utse is the largest and the oldest monastery in Tibet. It houses a university, with 700 monks where Buddhism is taught. You will drive back to Lhasa, spend your evening strolling in the market place. End your day with scrumptious Tibetan meal for dinner. Overnight at Lhasa.
After a hearty breakfast your journey to the ‘roof top of the world’- to the 'land of the mountains' ends here. After you check out from the hotel you will be dropped at the airport approximately three hours before your scheduled flight. Your plane takes off giving you the spectacular view of the beautiful Himalayas which touched your life and gave you a memory that will last a life time.
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