Arrive at Kathmandu airport and transfer to hotel.
Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal. Located in Kathmandu Valley, city is the cultural center. The city boasts of several tourist attractions that are worth exploring.
Overnight stay in hotel.
Morning city tour of Kathmandu first visiting Durbar Square which was the residence of Royal Nepalese family until the 19th century. The Square consists of palaces, temples and courtyards, built between 12th and 18th Centuries. It is here that coronation ceremony of kings of Nepal used to take place.
Then visit one of the most curious attractions in Nepal, the Kumari Chowk, the temple of living Goddess, considered to be incarnation of the Hindu mother Goddess. Kathmandu city derived it’s name from this temple.
Continue city tour to visit Swayambhunath, the most glorious stupa in the world. It is one of the most familiar symbols in Nepal where painted eyes of Buddha from the top of 77-m high hillock watch all those who ascend the worn stone steps.
Afternoon visit Pashupatinath and Boudhnath, the largest stupa in Nepal.
Pashupatinath is considered as one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage destinations and located on the banks of Bagmati river. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and there are other shrines which are dedicated to other deities. On this site used to be an ancient temple built in AD 879. However, the present structure was erected in 1697 by King Bhupatindra Malla. The temple has a gold-plated roof, silver doors, and finest quality of woodcarvings. Only Hindus and buddhist of Indian and Tibetan descent are allowed inside temple courtiyard.
Boudhanath is South Asia’s largest stupa. In 1950s when refugees entered Nepal from Tibet , they decided to make it their home and they constructed various gompas, and that is how this places was also called the “Little Tibet” of Nepal.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Morning visit Bhaktapur also known as Bhadgaon.
Bhaktapur Darbar Square is a collection of shikhara-style temples and pagoda. Which are scattered around brick and wood palace which has fifty-five windows. This is the most fascinating architectural masterpiece and it also highlights the ancient arts of the valley. Other places of major interest are The Lion Gate, The Golden Gate, The Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla and The Art Gallery.
Afternoon visit Patan which is known for artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples. It is also a World Heritage Site. There is a museum which has a good collection of bronze statues and besides other items. There is an important 17th century Hindu stone temple here dedicated to Krishna. Patan also has a Tibetan Refugee Camp which was set up in 1960.
Rest of the day is free.
KATHMANDU – LHASA ( BY FLIGHT –1 HOUR 25 MINUTES)
Transfer to Kathmandu airport to board flight for Lhasa. Lhasa Gongkar Airport is 70 km from the city. Upon arrival, welcome and transfer to hotel.
On the way your sightseeing consists of Lhasa River and Yarlungzanpo River. You may ask your driver for a photo stop.
Other scenic places en-route are mountains and the Nyetang Giant Buddha.
Arrival at hotel and overnight stay. We suggest clients to have complete rest on 1st day for acclimatization.
After Breakfast, start your tour of Lhasa visiting Potala Palace, Sera Monastery and the Summer Palace, Norbulinka.
Potala Palace also known as winter palace is the highest ancient palace in the world. It is located on the Red Hill, 130 meters above Lhasa Valley and the Palace further rises 170 meters making it highest monument in Tibet. It is an imposing structure with more than 10000 shrines and 1000 rooms. Here, you will find best Tibetan art as the palace has a number of elaborate murals and stunning statues. It also has tombs of the eight Dalai Lamas.
Sera Monastery, founded in 1419 is 5 km away from Lhasa town at the base of Mount Purbuchok. and it had several colleges. Sera Monastery was an important center for learning for Buddhist monks and more than 5000 monks used to live here. The important structures inside the monastery include Coqen Hall, (the main assembly hall), three Zhacangs (Buddhist colleges) and twenty-nine Khangtsens (monk dormitories).The most intersting feature in this monastery is 9 meter image of Maitraya which was built in 1419.
Not very far from Potala Palace, you will visit Norbulingka which means ‘Treasure Park’ in Tibetan language. It is situated at the bank of the Kyichu River. It has the biggest man-made garden in Tibet.
Construction of Norbulingka began in the 1740. Seventh Dalai Lama liked this place and Qing magistrate built a palace here. Later it was used as the Summer Palace for successive Lamas, where they solved the political problems and held festive celebrations. The park is now open to general public.
Morning breakfast at the hotel and start the tour first visiting Drepung Monastery which is a beautiful landscaped monastery founded in 1416. Gradually, more extensive newer buildings were added, including an assembly hall, tantric hall, representations of Buddha’s body, speech and mind, and monks’ quarters. The monastery was known for high standards of academic study and there were thousands of monk student not only from Tibet, but also from China, Himalayan India, Mongolia and other places.
Continue tour to visit Jokhang Temple which is located on Barkhor Square. It was built by Kind Songsten Gampo to celebrate his marriage with Chinese princess who was a Buddhist. The most important part of the Jokhang Temple is the many chapels surrounding the temple.
Also visit Barkhor Street which surrounds Jokhang Temple and has a history of over 1000 years. It is one of major tourist attractions because of its unique hisorical, cultural, religious, ethnic and commercial characteristics. You will find Tibetan handicraft items, Buddhist artifacts, carpets, paintings and various other interesting souvenirs in this place.
LHASA – YAMDOR LAKE – GYANTSE
After breakfast departure for Gyantse.
Stop en-route to visit Drolma Lhakang Temple and also enjoy beautiful scorpion shaped Yamdrok Lake on the way.
Drolma Lhakang temple is situated 25 km west of Lhasa. Although this temple may look small and may be ingnored by many toursit but it was here that greatest master Atisha spent last years of his life. This temple is dedicated to Drolma or Tara, a famous female bhodisattava.
You will drive along the Yamdrok lake for about an hour before reaching Gyantse. you will reach the foothill of Kampa la. From its view point, you will have best view of Yamdrok Lake. You will see the sky blue water which is snow capped in winter. You will drive along the Yamdrok lake for about an hour to Gyantse.
Check in at hotel for overnigh stayt in Gyantse.
GYANTSE – SHIGATSE (90 KM, 2 HOURS )
Morning breakfast at the hotel and then visit Gyantse.
The first stop is at Kumbum which was founded in 1427 by a Gyantse prince. It has nine levels and is 35 meters high. It is surrounded by golden dome and contains 77 chapels. Many statues were destroyed during cultural revolution and replaced by clay images due to which it may lack aritistic merits or the original.
Also visit Pelku Chode which is a Monastery inside the compound of Kumbum.
Later drive to Shigatse. Arrival and check in at hotel for overnight stay.
SHIGATSE – XEGAR (245 KM, 6 HOURS)
After breakfast, visit Shigatse which is Tibet’s second most important city.
Start your tour with visit of Tashilunpo Monastery which was seat of Panchen Lamas. Founded in 1447, it is the largest yello Hat sect Monastery in Tibet. Upon the death of a Pancham Lama, it was four abbots of this Monastery that would lead the search for his infant re-incarnation. Within the Monastery, there is a five storey temple which contains a 26 meters sitting statue of Maitreya Buddha which was cast from 6,700 ounces of gold and over 115,000 kg of copper making it the biggest copper Buddhist statue in the world. There is also a massive Thangka wall at Tashilunpo which is visible from various points in Shigaste. The wall is used for displaying enormous Thangkas – religious painted banners on certain days during festivals.
After sight-seeing drive to Xegar for overnight stay.
XEGAR – ZHANGMU (260 KM, 6 HOURS)
After breakfast, leave for Zhangmu.
Drive along the Friendship Highway. You will cross two high passes Lablung La ( 5, 124m) and Tong La ( 5, 120m). Nyalmo Tong La is decorated with multicolored prayer flags fluttering in the wind. With clear view, the Mt. Everest appears on one side and on the other side the enormous Gauri Shankar ranges stretch forward in the distance. There are various waterfalls en-route and the road drops sharply along the bank of a river.
Reach Zhangmu-the last Chinese frontier town, check in and overnight stay.
ZHANGMU – KATHMANDU (105 KM, 5 HOURS)
After breakfast departure for Kathmandu.
Upon arrival at Nepalese border, complete the custom formalities and walk down to the other side of friendship bridge where our Nepalese representative will receive you and take you to Kathmandu.
Rest of the day is free for independent activities or last minute shopping.
Morning transfer to Kathmandu airport to catch flight for onward destination.