Cultural and Historical Tours in Nepal
Nepal, the country of 4 castes and 36 sub-castes, is an amalgamation of numerous cultures and religions bounded by perfect harmony. Combined with natural beauty, cultural/historical sites, the history of brave Gurkhas, and friendly Nepali people, Nepal is a classic destination to learn about the unique Hindu and Buddhist culture that carries century-old history and mythologies.
From the corner of Kathmandu valley to the hills of Gorkha, Nepal screams culture, history, bravery, unity, and diversity at its best. Although there are hundreds of places to visit in Nepal, there are some local attractions that you cannot miss during your Cultural Tour in Nepal. Among dozens of tour itineraries, you will find across Nepal, the below-mentioned Cultural and Historical Tours in Nepal will allow you to soak yourself in the vibrancy of the culturally rich country, Nepal. So, do read the full blog and plan your trip with us.
Kathmandu valley tour: Nepal Cultural Tour
Kathmandu, the capital city, is the center for major festivals and happenings. The presence of almost all UNESCO enlisted cultural heritage sites inside the valley allows visitors to explore the culture, tradition, history, and values of Nepalese in a single tour. So let's see what the valley has to offer to its visitors during their Nepal Sightseeing Tour.
Swayambhnath: Dedicated to Lord Gautam Buddha, Swayambhunath is a sacred Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage site. Located at the Manjushree hill, the white dome shape stupa of Swayambhunath overlooks the city with its compassionate eyes. The stupa is believed to be self-sprung and is one of the oldest religious sites of Nepal. The complex has temples, monasteries, and shrines dating back to the Licchavi period.
The holy chant of Monks, butter lamp, the prayer wheels, and the freely floating colorful prayer flags in the sky in a combination offer a calm ambiance to the visitors. The hilltop location of the stupa also allows the visitors to enjoy the panorama of the city while the monkey continues to mess with the visitors climbing the strenuous stairs. Visit the site and unravel the story of the 13 tiers of enlightenment and many more.
Major festival: Buddha Jayanti and Lhosar
Pasupatinath: Located at the bank of the Bagmati River, Pashupatinath is the sacred Hindu pilgrimage site. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Pashupatinath is one of the four most important religious sites in Asia for Hindus and Shiva devotees. Believed to be built during the 5th century, the temple is one of the largest temple complexes that encloses a massive Shiva Lingam inside its gilded roof, four silver doors, golden pinnacle, and beautiful wooden carvings. Besides the Shiva Lingam, another major attraction of the temple is the statue of the Nandi bull, the vehicle of Shiva that resides just in front of the main temple. Apart from the Shiva Lingam and Nandi, there are other 492 temples, 15 Shivalayas, and 12 Phallic shrines around the complex.
Major Festival: On different occasions like Maha Shiva Ratri, Bala Chaturthi, and Teej, the temple is flooded with devotees dressed in cultural attire. Besides this, another major highlight of the temple is the Bagmati Ganga Aarati that is conducted from 6 pm onwards daily. A special crowd is seen during Saturday evening, Monday evening, and on special occasions.
Interesting Fact: The cremation site located at the Riverbank is one of the intriguing things you will witness during your visit. According to Hindu mythology, anyone who takes their last breath in the temple is reborn as a human regardless of their past misconduct that could worsen their karma. The cremation ritual performed at the bank of the river is not for the faint-hearted. However, you can witness hundreds of people observing the last rituals before the body is cremated according to the Hindu Ritual.
Get full details on: Hindu Pilgrimage Tour
Boudhanath: Dominating the skyline of the Boudha area is the Boudhanath stupa. Believed to be built during the 14th century, the stupa is the largest and holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. The stupa replicates the Gyangste of Tibet with its Mandal design. Just like the Swayambhunath stupa, the Boudhanath stupa is also white dome-shaped with compassionate eyes of Buddha on each side, along with the 13 tier of enlightenment. Just in front of the stupa is a monastery where you can see hundreds of monks chanting Holy Mantras and offering prayers to Lord Buddha. Around the main stupa are shops selling souvenirs like Thangka Paintings, Singing bowls, and many more. Visitors can spend their time on the rooftop restaurants and enjoy the beautiful panorama of the Stupa during their visit.
Major festival: Buddha Jayanti and Lhosar
Kathmandu Durbar Square stupa: Residing at the heart of the Kathmandu valley is the Kathmandu Durbar Square, the former palace of the Malla and Shah Dynasty. Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the three durbar squares within the valley and is one of the important religious sites for Hindu and Buddhists. The complex is a center for holy ceremonies, festivals, events, and Kingly coronations.
The Durbar square area is divided into two sub-areas, the outer and inner complex/courtyard. The outer courtyard of the area has numerous pagoda-styled temples like Kasthamandap, Shiva-Parbati temple, Kumari Ghar, Ganesh temple, Jagannath temple, Big bell, and many more. In addition, the inner courtyard has Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk, Hanuman Dhoka also known as Basantapur Durbar.
Major Festivals: Indrajatra, Dashain, Gaijatra, Holi etc.
Patan Durbar Square: Located at the heart of Lalitpur, Patan Durbar Square is an ancient royal palace of Malla Kings. Also known for its marvelous Newari architecture, the complex alone has 136 Bahals/courtyards and 55 major temples with beautiful woodcarvings. The major attraction of the Durbar Square is the Patan Museum, Krishna Mandir, Bhimsen Temple, Vishwanath Temple, Taleju Bhawani Temple, and the courtyards Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk, and Keshav Narayan Chowk.
During your visit around the complex, you will witness some of the impeccable temples adorned with exquisite carvings, religious shrines, and palaces turned into a museum with bronze statues and religious objects dating back to centuries. The major highlight of the Patan Durbar Square is the Krishna Mandir dedicated to Lord Krishna. The temple is completely built of stone and the tales of Mahabharat and Ramayana are engraved on its friezes.
Major Festival: Krishna Janmashtami, Dashain, Bhimsen Rath Yatra, Panchadaan, Mha Puja, Samyak Mahdan, Mataya and Kartik Naach.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square: Bhaktapur, the city of temples lies at the east corner of Kathmandu valley and homes the century-old, Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Similar to the Patan Durbar Square and Kathmandu Durbar square, the Bhaktpur Durbar Square is also an epitome of medieval art and architecture. Adorned with beautiful sculptures, woodcarvings, and colossal temples, the complex is truly a masterpiece for art lovers.
The major attraction of the Palace area is the 55 Window palace, Golden Gate, Lion's Gate, Mini Pashupatinath temple, Vatsala Temple, Nyatapola temple, and Bhairav Nath temple. There are other squares within the area, namely the Pottery Square, Taumadhi square, and Dattatreya Square. Among these squares, the Pottery square is one of the major highlights of the site and a fascinating place to wander around. The square is filled with potter's wheels and rows of clay pots drying in the sun. Visitors can also try making pots in any of the shops in the area for refreshment.
Major Festival: Bisket Jatra, Kumar Khasti, Gathamaga Charya, Gai Jatra, Gunla, Indra Jatra, Dhanya Purnima, Maghe Sankranti, and Shree Panchami.
Lumbini: The birthplace of Lord Buddha
Located in the Rupandehi district of Lumbini Province, Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha. According to mythology, Queen MahaMayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautam around 623 BC in the sacred garden of Lumbini and since then the place is regarded as one of the holiest places on earth.
The sacred Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage site, Lumbini is visited by the devotees throughout the year and is among one of the most visited places of Nepal. The major attraction of the area includes the Mayadevi temple, Ashoka Pillar, Puskarni Pond, Lumbini Museum, World Peace Pagoda, Tilaurakot, Myanmar Golden Temple, and many others. Although the Mayadevi temple, pond, and Ashoka pillar dates back centuries, other shrines, monasteries, and temples around the area were built recently by NGOs and INGOs of different nations.
Major Festival: The major festival of Lumbini is the Buddha Purnima, the day that commemorates the birth of Lord Buddha. During this day, a procession is held in the morning followed by cultural events that continues to night by decorating the Mayadevi temple with thousands of butter lamps.
Apart from this, another important festival is the Sakya Monlam where thousands of Monks hold a mass peace prayer. During this event, the monks and nuns sit together and chant the holy mantras.
Book your trip with us: Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour
Gorkha Durbar: Historical Tour in Nepal
Built in the 16th century, Gorkha Durbar is a historic landmark located in the Gorkha District. Elevating at an altitude of 1000m, the Gorkha palace is a remarkable example of Newari architecture and also the birthplace of Prithvi Narayan Shah, the great unifier of the Nepal Kingdom.
The palace also has religious importance for Hindu due to the placement of different Hindu temples inside the palace. In the western part of the palace is the Kalika temple where only Hindus are allowed to enter. On the southwestern side of the Palace is the temple of Goddess Gorakhkali. There is another temple Goraknath that is dedicated to Hindu Yogi, Goraknath. Another major attraction of the palace area is the museum located inside the palace. The palace homes armors, painting, and Divya Upadesh of Prithvi Narayan Shah.
Major Festival: Every year on the 7th day of Dashain, Phulpati is sent from Gorkha to Hanuman Dhoka Square. Also, the Gorkha Kalika is visited by devotees throughout the year.
Janakpur: The historic Mithila city depicted in Ramayana
Popularly known as the birthplace of Sita, Lord Ram's consort, Janakpur is an important pilgrimage site for Hindu due to its connection with the Hindu epic, Ramayana. According to mythology, Lord Ram and Sita got married in the same place. The major attraction of Janakpur is the Janaki Mandir or the Nau Lakha Mandir as the cost for the construction of the temple was nine lakh. The three-storied temple has 60 rooms decorated with the flag of Nepal, carvings, and Mithila Painting. Another remarkable attraction is the Ram Mandir dedicated to the prince of Ayodhya, Ram. On special occasions like Ram Navami and Bibaha Panchami, special rituals are performed on those days.
Apart from the Ram and Janaki Mandir, visitors can also witness the Bibaha Mandap where Lord Ram and Sita got married. Around the Mandap, you can see the scene depicting the actual marriage of Ram and Sita.
Major Festival: Ram Navami, Bibaha Panchami, and Chhath
In the recent years, the cultural tourism in Nepal has over grown and visitors are keen on understanding the history and culture of Nepal. If you are also looking forward for Historical cultural tour in Nepal, contact us now and we will offer you the best itineray around Nepal that will allow you to explore the unheard tales of Nepal.
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