Ladies, this journey is for you. A women's only tour in Nepal - one of most beautiful dreamlands in Asia. Impregnable and enchanting, snowy Himalayas including the highest - Mt Everest (8848m), flat lowlands and, lush tropical jungles full of wildlife and varieties of flora and fauna. Nepal is a paradise for travellers and a visitor’s dream come true.
Wake up with a morning yoga class before jumping head on into Kathmandu's addictive buzz, mingle with ethnic minority groups and embrace two of the worlds great religions, Hinduism and Buddhism. Unwind at one of the finest Spa Resorts in Nepal offering a blend of Vedic philosophy, Buddhist medicine and traditional Himalayan knowledge.
Embrace this simple lifestyle which is perhaps the greatest pleasure of all with scenery varying from cultivated terraces to lush rhododendron forests and glacier-capped peaks. This is all about YOU!
Day 1 - Arrival in Kathmandu
Welcome to the buzzing city of Kathmandu as you join Crooked Compass for this women’s only small group tour of Nepal! Stepping off the plane is an adrenaline rush in itself for many people. Your eyes darting from left to right, not wanting to miss any of the action, your ears ringing with the whirring sounds of Himalayan mountain life and the aromas assaulting your senses. You will be met upon arrival at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure. After your long flight, you may wish to indulge in a massage in the hotel spa or enjoy the steam room and pool.
2 nights Gokarna Forest Resort – Deluxe Room
Day 2 - Yoga & Kathmandu
Start the day with a morning yoga session before exploring the beautiful grounds of your property. Take a walk down the driveway and you will come to a small temple. Here you may find monks doing their morning prayer. Following breakfast this morning, you will be met before commencing your city tour of the enchanting city of Kathmandu. Kathmandu for many is exhilarating, intoxicating and exhausting.
Durbar Square swarms with life. Though a few of the square’s 50-plus monuments date from the 12th century, most are from the time of the Malla Kings. Probably the most famous building here is the Kumari Bahal, a building richly decorated with beautiful woodcarvings, which is home to the Royal Kumari, the Living Goddess, and a manifestation of the great goddess Durga. Nearby, the former Royal Palace is a Mall Dynasty dwelling, once considerably more extensive than today. Within the courtyard is Nassal Chowk, which originally hosted dramatic dance performances. It is now the coronation site of the Shah kings and contains some of the finest wood carvings you will see anywhere in the kingdom. The 14th century Jagannath Mandir is the oldest temple in the area, its steps carved with inscriptions in many languages, nearby Telaju Mandir is one of the largest and finest temples in the Valley. It is dedicated to the patron deity of the royal family, Taleju Bhawani, a wrathful form of Durga who once demanded human sacrifices.
Explore the nooks and hidden crannies of Kathmandu by rickshaw. The best way to experience the bustling markets and the daily life of the Nepalese people is from the back of a rickshaw as you wind through the labyrinth of lanes through Ason and Indra Chowk to Thamel.
You will also visit a local school today where you can interact with the children.
Continue on to Boudhanath. This is the largest stupa in Nepal and one of the largest in the world located east of the valley. It was built by the Lichchhavi King Mana Dev in the 5th century A.D. The Rinpoches who reside here established Boudhnath as one of the most flourishing centres of Tibetan Buddhism in the world. The colossal ancient stupa is 36 metres high.
From here, you will be transferred to the Monastery at Boudhanath for a traditional blessing from a Tibetan Lama.
After your blessing, you continue onto Pashupatinath. This is Nepal’s most sacred Hindu shrine and one of the subcontinent’s great Shiva sites. The supreme holiness of the site stems from the Shiva linga enshrined in the main temple and its location. It expresses the very essence of Hinduism as pilgrims, priests, devotees, temples, ashrams, images, inscriptions and cremation ghats intermingle with the rituals of daily life, all sprawled along the banks of the sacred Bagmati River. The temple’s origins are obscure, an inscription dates from 477, but a shrine may have stood here for 1000 years before that. The evening Aarti ceremony on the banks of Bagmati River, is truly fascinating with mantras, kirtan, bells, incense and lights, all surrounded by the many devotees. It is a magical experience to witness. (B)
Day 3 - Chitwan National Park
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Chitwan National Park. Chitwan is 180km from Kathmandu (approx 5 hour drive). Chitwan is one of Asia’s premier wildlife reserves. Its 360 square miles of tall grasslands and forests are home to a wide variety of mammals and birds, including several endangered species. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to Barahi Jungle Lodge and enjoy some refreshments, before learning of the activities on offer here. Following lunch, relax by the pool.
At 3:00 PM enjoy Elephant Back safari to the Chitwan National Park – this is sure to be one of your highlights as the sun begins to set and you go in search of the elusive rhino.
This evening, enjoy a slide presentation from the naturalists on the wildlife in Chitwan. (B,L,D)
2 night Barahi Jungle Lodge – Deluxe room
Day 4 - Chitwan National Park
An early start this morning at 6am, you will depart on your jeep safari in the Chitwan National Park. Search for wildlife and birds while appreciating the natural beauty of this part of Nepal. Return to your lodge for breakfast.
At around midday, it is time to meet up with a few of the elephants again. Enjoy an elephant briefing before participating in feeding and bathing these gentle giants. Following lunch, enjoy a boat safari (subject to water conditionals and water level in the river).
This evening, witness a traditional Tharu Cultural dance. (B,L,D)
Day 5 - Panauti
This morning it is time to squeeze in one last activity before you are transferred back to the airport. Choose between either a village visit and bullock cart ride
Bird watching/Nature walk where you have the opportunity to get up close on foot to the rhino should you come across any.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Bharatpur airport for your flight back to Kathmandu.
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, it is about a 2 hour drive to Panauti Village. Panauti is a historical, and a hidden gem of Nepal. History books state that in the early 18th century, the king of Bhaktapur gifted Panauti state as a dowry to his brother-in-law. Panauti still holds an apex reputation for its beautiful temples, arts and crafts, festivals and tradition. Panauti nestles at the confluence of two spiritual rivers, Rosi and Punyamati.
In Panauti, you will be staying in a community homestay which operates under a distinct philosophy, ‘Run by the Women for the Women’. Here you will have the opportunity to experience the typical, but sweet lifestyle of a Nepali family.
In the evening get ready for a cultural experience as you will be singing and dancing with the locals on the terrace of one of the homestays.
During your stay, you will also get to taste momos (dumplings) and learn how to make them. You will also enjoy tasting of their local rice wine – rakshi.
Meals are cooked by your host family and if you are interested in learning, you are more than welcome to join in with the host family in their kitchen. This afternoon, your host family will take you on a walking tour of their town. NOTE: The group will be split amongst various families. (B,L,D)
Overnight Panauti Community Homestay
Day 6 - Panauti to Dhulikhel
Early this morning, join your family for a hike to a spectacular sunrise viewpoint. Now that you have built up your appetite, it is time to return to your homestay for breakfast.
Later, set off for a hike through the hills which lasts for about 3 to 4 hours. On this walk you will explore the tribal homes of Tamang Community, a minority group who has fled from Tibet and settle in this region. Here you will have the opportunity to interact with the locals and visit their traditional homes.
It is then time to farewell your host family as you drive to Dhulikhel (approx. 1-hour drive). Upon arrival, you will check-in at one of the finest Spa Resorts in Nepal which is a blend of Vedic philosophy, Buddhist medicine and traditional Himalayan knowledge.
The remainder of your day will be at leisure with options to participate in yoga, meditation, pottery sessions and hiking in addition to the paid spa treatments. The list of activities you can enjoy at no extra cost are: Use of Himalayan Salt Room, Chakra Sound Therapy Chamber, Meditation Maze; Group Yoga & Meditation Session; Group Pottery Session; Visit to the farm; Use of Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre and Garden of Nine Planets.
Please advise in advance if you would like us to book a group session for any of the above. (B,D)
Overnight Dwarikas Resort in a Junior Suite
Day 7 - Bhaktapur
Early morning, you may wish to do some yoga or mediation or simply just enjoy the Himalayan sunrises, panoramic mountain views and terraced valleys.
Following breakfast, drive 40 minutes to Bhaktapur, and explore this beautiful ancient city. Located 12 km east of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur or Bhadgaon literally meaning ‘the City of Devotees’ is the smallest city in the Kathmandu valley. Its Main Square or ‘Layaku’ is famous for the 15th century Palace of 55 Carved Windows with the Golden Gate as a royal entrance. In front of the palace building are innumerable temples and architectural showpieces including the Lion Gate, the statue of King Bhupatindra Malla mounted on a giant stone pillar and the stone temple of Vatsala Devi; another beautiful example of Shikhara-style architecture. There is a bronze bell on the terrace of the temple, which is also known as the Bell of Barking Dogs. This was erected in 1737 by King Ranjit Malla; its sounding announced the beginning and end of a daily curfew.
Note: The recent earthquake has destroyed few temples in the durbar square premise including Vatsala temple; several structures have sustained minor damages.
Continue on to Hari’s Home where you will spend the night. Dinner will be served in Hari’s home as Hari’s wife is a great chef – you may want to learn how she makes some of the mouth-watering dishes. You will also taste the local rice wine – rakshi during your dinner. (B,D)
Overnight Hari’s Guesthouse
Day 8 - Neydo Monastery
Enjoy breakfast this morning before you depart for a special experience at Neydo Monastery. Spend the night amidst the most scenic area in the Kathmandu Valley, in a Buddhist Monastery Guest-house, located in the most peaceful location alongside Neydo Tashi Choeling Monastery. Here you will learn the life of a monk.
Lunch will be on arrival, followed by some free time in which you can relax or simply explore the monastery grounds and surrounds.
At 5pm, witness the debating session of the monks, which happens outside behind the monastery. It’s an interesting activity to watch and looks almost like a great challenge with an opponent. This activity helps monks understand and internalise the teachings of the day.
Following the debating, experience the daily protection puja, with the constant beating of drums, blowing of the conch shell and long traditional horns etc. This is a traditional ritual, which propitiates mainly the Mahakala and his retinue and other hosts of Dharmapalas or Protectors of the Buddha Dharma to seek protection of the Dharma and its lineage as well as protection to all the true practitioners of the Dharma. Dinner is from 7pm in the dining room. (B,L,D)
Overnight at Neydo Hotel
Day 9 - Patan
At around 5am, the bell rings to wake the monks. They make their way to the main hall to perform standard chants for about one and a half hours for world peace, as well as aspirational prayers and longevity prayers for the upholders of the Dharma. (English transliteration and translation text is available to follow the prayers. It is a very soothing experience, where the sounds surround you with resonance and awe.) You are welcomed to join them and witness this morning ceremony.
After an early Breakfast, it is time to start your hike. Trek gradually upwards for about half an hour towards the north ridge and through pine forested area. From here, continue hiking gradually up following the trail for about another 1.5 hours to Champa Devi. The views of central and western Himalayan Range are magnificent. Champa Devi, situated at an altitude of 2,285m in Pharphing area near the Neydo Monastery, is a pilgrimage site and home to a Buddhist stupa and a Hindu shrine.
The hike will take around 3 hours followed by lunch at Himalayan Height Resort in Hattiban.
Continuing on, enjoy a visit to Bungamati. Bungamati is a classic Newari village dating from the 16th century. It is perched on a spur of land overlooking the Bagmati River, 10km from Kathmandu, and is shaded by large trees and strands of bamboo. Fortunately, the village streets are too small and hazardous for cars so it retains a quaint charm. There are many woodcarving shops in the village and a couple of carpet looms, but visitors have yet to arrive en masse, so tread gently. In the centre of the village square is the Rato Machhendranath Temple, a shikhara style temple.
Khokana is another Newari village, a short walk across the paddy fields from Bungamati. Khokana, a traditional and tiny Newari village lies about eight kilometres south of Kathmandu (on the outskirts of Patan). With its own history, this town has retained its tradition and culture. It is a living museum and recalls medieval times. The farming community of Newars who live here are mostly dependent on agriculture and much of their daily activities take place outside of their dwellings. You will see the women sitting outside spinning and men crushing seeds. The village is famous for its unusual mustard-oil harvesting process in which a heavy wooden beam is used to crush the mustard seeds in order to extract the oil. This oil can be consumed if desired, but it can also be used for therapeutic massage. This was also the first village, indeed the first habitation, to receive electricity, before Kathmandu. In the centre, there is a three-storey temple, Shree Rudrayani, with a particularly wide main street, especially for a village of such small size. Khokana has been nominated to be listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, representing an indigenous village and its mustard-oil seed industrial heritage. (B)
Overnight The Inn Heritage Hotel
Day 10 - Departure
Following breakfast, you will explore Patan also known as Lalitpur, the city of beauty. The city is separated from Kathmandu only by the Bagmati River and is the second largest town in the valley. Lalitpur is fragmented from other cities due to its ancient architectural masterpieces. Patan’s central Durbar Square is absolutely packed with temples: It’s an architectural centre point with a far greater concentration of temples per square metre than Kathmandu or Bhaktapur. Within the city also lies the Tibetan refugee centre, home to most of the valley’s Tibetan population. While technically refugees, the Tibetans are some of the wealthiest people in the valley because of the carpet industry they operate. For those looking to bring home a fine Tibetan carpet, this is the place to shop. From here, it is time to transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (B)
- Assistance upon arrival at the airport by our office representative.
- Accommodation with meal plan as mentioned in the programme. However, the stay in Chitwan also includes all the safaris and activities as per the programme.
- Transportation by deluxe air-conditioned vehicle.
- Bottled drinking water during drives and sightseeing tours.
- Airfare for the sector Kathmandu-Chitwan-Kathmandu with necessary fuel surcharges.
- All sightseeing as per itinerary.
- Donation for blessings by Monk and at Neydo Monastery.
- Entrance fees as per itinerary.
- Services of English-speaking local guide during sightseeing tours.
- All currently applicable taxes.
- International and domestic flights not mentioned above
- Travel and medical insurance
- All services, meals other than those indicated above
- Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program.
- All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc
**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.
* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.
* A minimum of 2 adults is required to guarantee this departure.
A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.
|Start Date||End Date||Duration||Availability||Price|
|15th Sep 2020||24th Sep 2020||10 Days||Available||$5,536||Book Now|