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Head out by bike to explore two of the most amazing sites of the Kathmandu Valley, Boudhanath and Bhaktapur.

Departure: Kathmandu
Duration:
1 day
Best Season:
October to March (possible all year round)
Grade:
Gentle

This is a stunning way to experience not only two incredible World Heritage Sites, but also to ride thorugh some of the rural landscape and fields still to be found inside the Kathmandu Valley. Your biking guide will be able to show you the best trails to follow, and you will be in good hands to learn about the sites you visit. Depending on the time of year you could cycle past people planting or harvesting rice, or tilling the fields of vegetables destined for Kathmandu’s bustling bazaars.

Mounting your bike we first head just down the road to Boudhanath. This Buddhist Stupa, 8 kms east of Kathmandu City, is one of the biggest in the world. It stands with four pairs of eyes in the four cardinal directions keeping watch for righteous behaviour and human prosperity. This Buddhist Stupa was built by King Man Deva on the advice of the Goddess Mani Jogini. Boudanath is part of the shared history of Nepal and Tibet, with Tibet having held ruling privileges over the site until the last century. It is built on an octagonal base inset with prayer wheels and the stupa is ringed by houses of Lamas or Buddhist priests, monasteries and shops.

After exploring here, we head out of town on small roads and through fields to Bhaktapur, one of the three ancient cities within the Kathmandu Valley. It is also known as Bhadgaun, meaning the city of devotees and is the home of true medieval art and architecture in the Valley. Lying 14 km east of Kathmandu city,Bhaktapur was founded in the 9th century and is shaped like a conch shell. Not only because of its famous carved peacock windows but also due to its museum, Bhaktapur is the centre of traditional Nepalese wood carving. Compared to other royal cities in Patan and Kathmandu, Bhaktapur is the most original and is without a doubt the most historically authentic as it is literally a living museum where farmers dry their harvest, potters turn their wheel and people go about live as they have done for so long. We will visit the Durbar Square (palace square) with its array of temples overlooked by the Palace of Fifty-five Windows built by King Bhupatindra Malla. We will also visit the Taleju Temple which is the best example of Pagoda style structure in Nepal. It stands majestically on five terraces, on each of which stands a pair of figures. As you go up from one terrace to the next, the figures gain strength of ten times that of the lower terrace: we see two strong men; two elephants; two lions; two griffins; and two goddesses.

 

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