Ancient Kathmandu & Annapurna Sacred Sites         

(This tour does not include yoga)

Departs South Africa  April 2019 - Date TBA

Already in Kathmandu?   Join us ? April 2018

19 Days from - TBA

 Optional Extension - 4 Nights ZAR - TBA

 

 

 Contact us for USD $ pricing if joining from outside of South Africa


We'll take you on a journey unlike any other.  From the moment you arrive in Kathmandu you are transported into another world.  The hustle and bustle of this incredible city where sharing the road with cars, buses, taxi's, cows, dogs, rickshaws, pedestrians, fruit sellers and all going in the same direction (or not) at the same time, is exciting even exhilarating and yes at times intimidating......but this is Kathmandu! 

Our adventure starts in this fantastic city - Kathmandu.  Upon arrival you'll be transported to the hub of Thamel - Kathmandu's thriving centre where a myriad of stalls, juice sellers, trinkets and treasures can be found.

 


We'll visit the 2000 year old Stupa of Swayambunath or as it is affectionately known The Monkey Temple (due to the many monkeys that you'll see diligently watching and waiting for any tid bits or belongings you've left unattended for a second.)   At the top of Swayambu you'll encounter Buddhist monks reciting prayers and pilgrims lighting butter lamps a hive of activity and a palpable air of mystique.  Views  sweeping the Kathmandu Valley and the massive metallic Vajra or thunderbolt symbolising the Vajrayana faith sits patiently at the top of the 360 stairs

Onward to Pashupatinath the holiest Hindu shrine and burial grounds for loved ones recently passed on.  Ghats protrude into the Bagmati River where marigold enshrouded bodies of the deceased are laid to rest and cremated - a beautiful but solemn sight.  Sadhu's are found here - the holy men who have given up all worldly possessions and who rely on donations or gifts of food and shelter from kind hearted souls or who often live alone or in caves.


 

Visit the magnificent Buddhist Stupa of Boudhhanath - the biggest Stupa in Nepal.  Standing on a three-tiered platform raised over the crossed rectangles in order to bring out the yantra form.  Believed to have been built in the 5th century A.D. and surrounded by prayer wheels embossed with the Jewel in the Lotus  mantra Om Mani Padme Hum !.

 

No visit to Nepal is complete without a visit to the very beautiful City of Arts Lalitpur or Patan Durbar Square - considered to be the oldest of the 3 Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley, renowned for the finest crafts.  A plethora of monuments dating back to medevil Malla period from 16th to 18th century.  We may be very lucky to visit a Living Goddess - Kumari - on our visit here if this is available to us on the day.

Receiving Tikka from the Living Goddess or Kumari


A trek briefing and preparation for our departure from Kathmandu heading for the hillsides and mountainous terrain, through local towns and farm villages to reach the Bhulbhule and continue over a suspension link/bridge after which we'll catch our first glimpse of the Himalayas.  Overnight at a local teahouse.


Annapurna Circuit Trek - 15 Days - (Grade 2 - Moderate Trek)

Each day is different as we travel through local villages and overnight in local tea houses. Crossing the regions of Manang and lower Mustang the landscape is varied and the different ethnicity can be found of Tamang and Garung in small local villages we pass through or overnight at.  Starting out at 840m with our daily hiking averaging 5 - 7 hrs through different landscapes, over suspension and wooden bridges.   Our 15 day Annapurna trek takes us through Japat, Danakyu Chame, Pisang, Ghyaru and Manang villages.  As we steadily ascend to higher altitudes we'll explore and discover different landscapes with sweeping Himalaya views.  Peak 29 and Himchuli, Gangapurna lake and the Marsyangdi River.   Thorung Phedi at 4450m before we make our final ascent.  Vistas of the Mt Manaslu, Lamjung Himal and of course the Annapurnas II and III are waiting for your exclamations of amazement and appreciation.  

 Taking a moment at Srichauer by the river

600 year old Monastery in Braka 30 minutes before Manang

Landslide area (not for the faint hearted) on the way to Tilicho Lake.  A two or three day side trek, but well worth the effort.  Great acclimatization and training for the final push over the pass.

  

Our final ascent up to Thorung La Pass at 5416m past chortens and prayer flags to the most spectacular view at the top.  As we make our way down to the the holy town and sacred site of Muktinath.  Renowned as one of the main homes for Buddhists and Tibetan ethnic groups and pilgrimage sites for Hindus.  Bishnu Temple is the backdrop for the 108 revered engraved water spouts.  Here we overnight at a local teahouse.

Muktinah temple - a most holy site for Hindus and Buddhists alike.  Behind are the 108 water spouts.

On the outside they look like small rounded rocks, but split open they reveal the imprint of ammonites formed 140 million years ago. Because of its wheel-like shape or chakra, the shaligram is associated with the Hindu god Vishnu. The chakras on the stones are formed by the river worms called Vajra-keeta

 

A house in the ancient village of Jhong (on the way to Kagbeni)


After a holy visit to Muktinah and those brave enough to run through the 108 spouts (fed by freezing cold mountain streams) we head through Jhong with its ancient 1000 year old remnants of a palace.   Behind which lies the monastery which was badly hit by the earthquake.  I was blessed to be invited to a private puja session with the monks still living here.  Dhaulagiri is a magnificent sight from here.  We overnight here and continue our trek walking beside the Kaligandaki River.   A beautiful sunset over the Himalayas maybe enjoyed as we head for Kagbeni.

And what a welcome into Kagbeni it is .........

Our next welcome stop will be at Tatopani.  Take a well deserved dip in the hotsprings here to soothe our legs and bodies.  The last 2 days of our trek takes us to Ghorepani, terraced meadows and rhododendron woods.  Wonderful sunsets and unbelievable mountain views.  

 

Our final day of trekking takes us to Nayapul as we make our way back with transport to Pokhara.  We overnight at our Pokhara hotel and the following day return to Kathmandu or take an optional extension as mentioned below.

Day 19  If you have returned with us to Kathmandu you still have some time after breakfast for last minute shopping and bargain hunting for those beautiful gifts for friends and family and early afternoon transfer to the airport for your international flight home.

Stay longer in the beautiful lakeside area of Pokhara:  18 - 23 April 2018

 Optional Extension - 4 Nights ZAR   TBA     pp

   Contact us for USD $ pricing if joining from outside of South Africa

Shanti Stupa World Peace Pagoda

Option A - Shanti 4 Night Package Includes: 

  • 4 nights accommodation B & B in Pokhara
  • Shanti Stupa World Peace Pagoda excursion
  • Guided Sarangkot Hike with breakfast (Amazing Sunrise View Point)
  • Trekkers Massage (60 mins)
  • Transfer to Kathmandu, transfer to hotel O/N in Thamel B & B
  • Airport transfer for your departure from Nepal

Option B - Yoga Immersion 4 Night Retreat Package Includes:

  • 4 nights accommodation at Yoga Retreat
  • 3 full days of various styles of yoga, meditation, sound therapy, mud bath, steam room etc
  • All meals (Vegetarian - Vegan and other special requirements can be accommodated)
  • Transfer to Kathmandu, hotel and overnight in Thamel B & B
  • Airport transfer for your departure from Nepal

Namaste! 

We say farewell until your next visit to welcome you  with smiling faces and warm hearts.   

Contact us for the full itinerary, what is included and excluded and a complete pricing guide for these departures or chat to Joanne about a private tour with your own group or your preferred travel dates.

(Above prices are based on a minimum number of booked passengers of 4 (pax) per tour.  Inquire about the status of the tour at the time of booking).  Fluctuations in the Rand/Dollar USD$ exchange rate of more than 3% will incur additional fees to be paid by guests. (Rates quoted as per October 2017 exchange)

Prices Quoted exclude International Airfares