If your heart vibrates on the rhythm of Eastern mysticism, then the Kathmandu Pokhara Chitwan tour is the right choice for you. Through bucolic cities with populated streets, to pristine wildernesses with crystal clear lakes and vibrant wildlife, to awe-inspiring temples and an enviable history, these places have it all.
Your first stop will be Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, a real metropolis that stands at its historic, cultural and religious centre. The first thing you can do here is taking a guided tour of the city, there are plenty of sites to explore, including old palaces and Buddhist and Hindu temples. These places of worship are spectacular, and you’ll get the chance to understand a new culture.
There’s also the chance to take part in a lesson on how to make your own scarf, this is a traditional activity here. A DIY hiking backpack guide would also be really helpful since you’re probably going to do quite a bit of walking here. This would be great for snack storing, as you can also go on a food tour. The Nepalese cuisine is extremely aromatic and rather different from Western cuisine, so you’ll see the best hidden locations with the most delicious treats.
There are also plenty of UNESCO World Heritage Sites that weave their way out of a rich historical and cultural past. One of these is the Basantapur Durbar Square that’s famous for its traditional architecture. Besides, you can get a glimpse into the past of the Nepalese monarchy here and learn more about it.
The Boudhanath is another UNESCO Heritage Site since it has roots that stretch over into Antiquity. This is now a place for spiritual meditation, and it’s also one of the last remaining Stupas, but it was a Tibetan trade route for millennia.
And all these sites can easily be visited either by foot or with a more original bicycle rickshaw. Besides, Kathmandu is a very bike-friendly city, so you can rent one for yourself. You can also get out of the city and hike through Gurung and Magar, regions which offer steep snow-capped mountains, lush forests, and enticing traditional dances.
Moving on to another ancient trading route that connected Tibet to India, Pokhara offers a lot of interesting views and activities. One of them would be to enjoy watching the mule trains that continue the trading tradition, but that is just the beginning.
The mountain scenery is simply stupendous. Annapurna can be admired from here with its high summits that have snow-dropped peaks. And if you want, you can use Pokhara as a starting point to Annapurna and a rugged hike around the Himalaya.
But however magnificent that might sound, the mountains aren’t the tip of the iceberg here. The lakes are stunning too, with Phewa Lake being one of the largest in the area, looking like a huge crystal-blue water bowl. And the cherry on the cake is definitely visiting the temple on the lake.
But the Rupa and Begnas lake are amazing too, and they’re exactly on your way as you drive from Kathmandu. There’s a forest between them where you can o some hiking, and this natural retreat bursts with tranquillity, though you can enjoy some boating here too.
Don’t forget about the amazing waterfall of Devins, which the Nepalese call Hells Fall for a good reason: it’s tumbling down so forcefully, that it’s said to actually have carried a guy into the other world. If you’re in the area, the Mahendra Gupha, a huge limestone cave with impressive stalactites and stalagmites is also a must-see.
Besides, Pokhara bursts with spirituality too, so don’t forget to visit the Bindhabasini and Barahi temples, which are representative of their religions. And you might get the chance to see believers that carrying animals across the Phewa Lake to Barahi so they can sacrifice them to the goddess Ajima.
Chitwan is among the largest cities in Nepal and bears the name of the valley that shelters it. So understandably, there is lots of urban entertainment like the local restaurants which serve traditional cuisine.
The KC’s is a bungalow with a thatch roof, which makes it particularly interesting. There’s also a fire pit in the backyard, but the front garden is extremely well kept. You’ll also love the Sweet Memory restaurant with its homemade-like meals. And don’t forget the Jungle-View restaurant which offers a fascinating viewpoint to the, you guessed it, jungle.
Speaking of which, this region is mostly visited because it offers an immersion into the wildlife with its zoos, national parks, and safaris. The Elephant Breeding Center is near Sauraha and you can see first-hand how the elephants live in the wild. And if you’re more interested in birdwatching, there’s also the Bird Education Society closeby.
The National Park Headquarters located on the Rapti River bank also provides various safari opportunities. Now you’ll get to admire the exotic Nepalese jungle and the animals that live here, like fierce crocodiles and placable hippos.
And don’t forget about the cultural side of Chitwan. The Tharu Cultural Museum is perfect for getting more acquainted with the Tharu culture. There are plenty of exhibits regarding the traditional wear, ornaments, as well as vibrant murals.
The Tharus are an indigenous people who see themselves as sons of the forest, so their spirituality is closely linked to nature and the forest as well. That’s because many of their deities actually live in the forest, and they have to give people permission to enter their dwelling place. So even if the museum is closed, you’ll still get the chance to hear a new, captivating perspective about spirituality from a deeply religious community.
With that in mind, we’re sure you’ll never regret taking this tour. Filled with the most diverse experiences, from admiring architectural gems to pampering your taste buds, from experiencing jungle life to understanding new belief systems, this tour is definitely one that will enrich your life.
Growing up in the great everglades, Dennis considers the wilderness his playground. This helped him nurture his passion on survival and self-reliance. It’s his personal mission to help other people understands and survive the wild. He also writes gear reviews for Wilderness Mastery.com