Day 01: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath and Pashupatinath
On the first day, you will see the Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath temple and the Swayambhunath.
Kathmandu Durbar Square:
In Kathmandu Durbar squares, you can see over a dozen different pagoda style temples, the seat of Kathmandu kings of Nepal, the Kumari – known as the living goddess, and several other monuments. It is called Durbar Square because this area used to be the palace and administrative hub of the Malla kings in the 14-18th centuries. It has a museum, several temples filled with impressive architecture and sculpture.
In the south-western part of the square, there is Kasthamandap temple, from which Kathmandu derived its name. It's a huge wooden temple. Yet, there is a belief that the entire temple was built from the wood of a single tree.
In the southern part of the square, there is Kumari Ghar, the abode of living goddess Kumari.
In eastern of the square there is the Hanumandhoka museum and the former palace. At the central lies the Taleju temple, abode of the family deity of the Malla kings.
Swayambhunath lies in the west of Kathmandu durbar square. It is a Bouddha stupa perched on a hillock. The way to the temple is a steep uphill climb that will keep you panting for breath. Yet, you will be relieved with the great view of the Kathmandu valley once you reach the top. Swaymbhunath is a common deity of both Hindus and the Buddhists. Along with the Buddha stupa at the centre, there are many smaller temples of Hindu deities in the premises.
Pashupatinath is a greatly revered deity of the Hindus. The temple is located at the banks of Bagmati river in the north-eastern part of Kathmandu. Pashupatinath is the name of lord Shiva or lord Mahadeva, one of the three major deities of Hindus. Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu is considered a very holy place and hundreds of thousands of devotees make pilgrimage to the temple every year.
There is a main temple with four entrances, and a golden pagoda type roof guarded by Lord Shiva's vehicle Nandi (the bull) at the centre and several other temples in the periphery. There are at over two dozen temples in both the sides of the river Bagmati all of which have their own significance.
Another attraction of the Pashupatinath temple is its eccentric babas (Hindu sages). While some of the babas stay at Pashupati almost round the year, many babas throng Pashupati from various places at the time of Shivaratri.
The order of the visits depends on your tour guide and the hotel you are staying.
Day 02: Patan Durbar Square, Bungmati/Khokana
On the second day, you will visit Patan Durbar Square and Bungmati areas. Similar to Kathmandu Durbar Squar in many ways, Patan Durbar Square has some uniqueness. In addition to the palace, the museum and the Kumari Ghar, it also has a famous stone temple called Krishna Mandir. The temple is believed to have been constructed from a single boulder.
Nearby the Durbar Square is Mangalbazaar, which also has many pagoda type temples filled with rich sculpture and architecture of the Malla regime. After completing the tour to Patan Durbar Square, we will head towards an ancient cultural town of Bungmati and Khokana. Bungmati and Khokana are listed in the UNESCO's list of world heritage sites as a medieval cultural town. The town is rich in culture and famous for its mustard oil and chilly.
Day 03: Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Nagarkot
On the third day, we will visit the Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Unlike the Kathmandu and Patan Durbar Squares, Bhaktapur Durbar Square has a dense settlement within in addition to the temples, palaces and monuments. The traditional Newar houses built with traditional architecture form an important part of the Bhaktapur Durbar Squares. Again, the sculpture and architecture seen here is from the Malla regime. The Nyatapole temple, Taleju temple, and Dattatreya temple, among others are famous in Bhaktapur Durbar Square.
After completing the tour of Bhaktapur Durbar Square we will head towards Nagarkot, a hill station in north-eastern Kathmandu. Nagarkot is famous for the great views of the mountains, the beautiful landscape and views of sunrise and sunset seen from here. On clear day, you can see mountain ranges from Annapurna in the west to the Everest in the east.
Day 04: Dhulikhel, Panauti
On the fourth and the final day of the city tour of Kathmandu, you will visit the historic town of Panauti and Dhulikhel. Both Panauti and Dhulikhel are traditionally Newar settlements. In Panauti, you can find traditional Newari culture, architecture and sculpture. Panauti is also features in the list of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO.
Dhulikhel is a Newar town similar to that of Nagarkot. You can see good landscapes and mountain views. You will stay overnight in Dhulikhel enjoying the sunset views and the great landscape.
Day 05: Return to Kathmandu