Day 01 Arrival in Kathmandu: Meet our representative at Kathmandu airport and transfer to our hotel.
Day 02 Kathmandu - sightseeing: Kathmandu sightseeing tour with visits to Buddhist stupas of Swoyambunath and Boudhanath as well as Pashupatinath temple, a very sacred Hindu pilgrimage site. All places we will visit today are World Heritage sites.
Boudhanath Stupa (or Bodnath Stupa) is the largest stupa in Nepal. It is also the center of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu and rich in Buddhist symbolism and sacred importance. The stupa is located in the town of Boudha on the eastern outskirts of Kathmandu. The main entrance to the upper platform of Bodnath Stupa is on the north side. Here Amoghasiddhi, progenitor of the future Buddha, presides. Below Amoghasiddhi is the Buddha Maitreya, the future Buddha.
Surrounding Bodnath Stupa are streets and narrow alleys lined with colorful homes, Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, and street vendors.
Perched atop a forested hill on the western edge of the Kathmandu Valley, Swayambunath Stupa is Kathmandu's most important Buddhist shrine. The sleepy, all-seeing Buddha's eyes that stare out from the top of this hemispherical shrine have become the quintessential symbol of Nepal. The pilgrim's route to the Swayambunath Stupa is a steep stone staircase of more than 300 steps, often claimed as 365. Leading up to the Swayambunath gate are walls into which are set dozens of copper prayer wheels, inside of which are thousands of Tibetan Buddhist prayers. Buddhists gain a better standing in their next life by saying as many prayers or mantras as possible, and it is believed that when each prayer wheel is spun, all the prayers inside are recited and sent heavenward.Swayambunath is also known as the Monkey Temple, and as you start up the hill, you will likely begin to see the monkeys that lend the stupa this alternate name.
The temple of Pashupatinath, or Pashupati, is located in Deopatan, a little town 3 km northwest of Kathmandu. It is a Hindu temple, dedicated to a manifestation of Shiva called Pashupati (Lord of Animals). It attracts thousands of pilgrims each year and has become well known far beyond the Kathmandu Valley.
The temple is barred to non-Hindus, but a good view of the temple compound's inner courtyard can be had from Shleshmantak hill on the opposite (eastern) bank of the Bagmati river. The Bagmati River, which runs next to Pashaputinath Temple, has highly sacred properties. Thus the banks are lined with many ghats (bathing spots) for use by Pilgrims.
Day 03 Kathmandu - Lumbini: After breakfast transfer by bus from Kathmandu to Lumbini, birthplace of Lord Buddha.
Day 04 Lumbini: Sightseeing in Lumbini. Lumbini (Sanskrit for "the lovely") is a Buddhist pilgrimage site located at the Nepalese town of Kapilavastu, district Rupandehi, near the Indian border.
Lumbini is one of four Buddhist pilgrimage sites based on major events in the life of Gautama Buddha. Interestingly, all of the events occurred under trees. The other three
sites are in India: Bodh Gaya (enlightenment), Sarnath (first discourse), and Kushinagar (death).
Lumbini is the traditional birthplace of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, who was born in the 7th or 6th century BC. According to Buddhist tradition, Maya Devi (or Mayadevi) gave birth to the Buddha on her way to her parent's home in Devadaha in the month of May in the year 642 BC. Feeling the onset of labor pains, she grabbed hold of the branches of a shade tree and gave birth to Siddharta Gautama, the future Buddha.
The Buddha is said to have announced, "This is my final rebirth" as he entered the world. Buddhist tradition also has it that he walked immediately after his birth and took seven steps, under each of which a lotus flower bloomed.
Day 05 Lumbini - Kathmandu: After breakfast transfer from Lumbini to Kathmandu by bus.
Day 06 Kathmandu, departure: Our Nepalese staff will take you to the airport for your flight home.