The day starts with an early morning drive to the beautiful hill station, Nagarkot. On arrival we will be treated to the spectacular sight of the sun’s first rays appearing over the snow-capped Himalayan peaks, causing a surreal orange and yellow glow. It is fascinating to think that nestled between the highest mountains in the world are small villages and isolated monasteries, where the Nepalese and Tibetans have lived through hundreds of years.
The area around Nagarkot has a rich cultural heritage, so after breakfast, it’s time to explore the town and meet the residents of this impressive location. You will then be driven down to Telkot, where we get a chance to discover the area on foot. As we make our way gently up towards Changunarayan we will meet several of Nepal’s ethnic groups including Newar (the original occupants of the Kathmandu valley) and Chhetri, and learn about their cultures. We hear about village life, farming, and the laborious work required to maintain the impressive terraces that you can see on every hillside, getting a glimpse of life that is very different from what we have seen in Kathmandu.
This gentle hike takes us to Changunarayan Temple, situated on a ridge overlooking the Kathmandu Valley. One of the finest and oldest specimens of pagoda architecture, the temple is said to be the oldest pagoda-style temple in Nepal, built-in 323 A.D, and is dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu – the Preserver. Your local guide will escort you around this ancient complex, which is one of the Kathmandu Valley’s 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From the temple, you also get amazing views of farming land and villages at this end of the valley against the stunning backdrop of the Himalayan Range. After the visit, you will be driven back to Kathmandu or you could consider a stop or even an overnight in Bhaktapur.
Stop for refreshments © Dan Barham