Early morning Nagarkot excursion - 30min drive - to view the Himalayas & the sunrise over Himalayas! Please wear wind breaker even in summer! From Nagarkot - drive to Changu temple 20min drive. Changunayaran temple is home to ancient period stone statues and scripts on stone. This is also the oldest script found readable in Kathmandu Valley (early 5th century) which tells us about the erection of Changunarayan temple by king Manadev. Thus the temple is oldest standing in Kathmandu Valley. The temple complex also houses some stone statues from ancient mainly of the gods related to lord Vishnu (narayan) and his various reincarnations. It will be a precious moment to visit the archeologically very important temple complex. From Changu temple - drive back to your hotel, 20min drive.
Breakfast & a walking tour through Bhaktapur Durbar Squares.
Bhaktapur literally means the city of devitees (Bhaktas) and the people of Bhaktapur until now have fully lived to their traditions. This is also the place which celebrates most festivals over the years. The main attractions for tourists to explore in Bhaktapur are the traditional Newari lifestyles, Newari architectural buildings including dozens of temples and houses, pottery works, and walk through narrow allies. We will walk and explore through Golden Gate, 55 window main Palace, Taleju temple, medieval water tap, Shiva temples, the famous Nyatopola (5 storied) Temple, Pottery square and Duttatraya Square among dozens of other small temple. Beside visiting temples small coffee time on one of the rooftop restaurant which will offer great view of the whole city area, is great fun. It takes about 3 hours in Bhaktapur. Our car will wait us where we end the tour - at Duttatraya Square. Overnight in Bhaktapur.
From Bhaktapur - drive to Pashupatinath temple - 45min drive.
Pashupatinath temple is a Hindu shrine and most visited temple in the country. It is a Lord Shiva (Shiva literally means that god which is not: formless) temple. Shiva is also the greatest guru for all the yogis (who traditionally believe on yoga and meditation and live an ascetic life). So we see a lot of colorful Yogis here. At the Bagmati River bank we also get to see the Hindu death rituals. Everyday and every moment, many dead bodies are being burnt on open air. Tourists basically see them across the holy river (just small steam). Pashupatinath temple is associated earliest human settlement in Kathmandu Valley. Pashupatinath literally means lord (Pati/Nath) of all the living beings (Pashu). Yogis normally explain it as the consciousness which guides us every moment and prevailing in all the beings. Some interesting activities will include taking photographs with yogis, observing death rituals (before burins there are some rituals family members do), walk through deer park and temple park on other side hill and observe the main two storied Pashupatinath temple from view point across river. We enter from the Southern side and walk through temple complex and end the tour at northern gate where our car will pick up. And from here, we drive to Bouddhanath Stupa, 15min drive.
Bouddhanath Stupa: Here we come to the number one tourist attractions in Kathmandu!! Bouddhanath Stupa is the biggest and tallest Buddhist stupa in South Asia. And the best way to observe the magnificent stupa is a coffee break at one of the rooftop restaurant in the temple complex (its about noon or 1pm and I suppose its already a break time as we started at 830am in the morning). The Stupa is surrounded by human settlement with tourist shops and restaurants and roof top restaurants offers great views of the stupa. After the coffee break, circumambulate the stupa clockwise walking and probably spinning the prayers wheels. We will also visit some of the Tibetan monasteries in the temple complex and observe their everyday rituals or stay in meditation for some minutes in silence.
From Bouddhanath - drive to Hotel at Thamel. Enjoy the neighborhood of main tourist hub bazaars & restaurant in Kathmandu. Overnight at Thamel in Kathmandu.