The Best Luxury Tours of Nepal
Nepal is the ultimate adventure destination, its amazing cultural and historical attractions sometimes do not receive the recognition that they deserve. Nepal’s history was heavily influenced by settlers from India and Tibet, and it goes back many millennia. There are amazing Hindu and Buddhist monuments spread throughout the Kathmandu valley and elsewhere.
Only in Nepal do you find Hindu and Buddhist houses of worship located right next to each other, with Buddhist monks praying in the temple, and Hindu priests paying their respects in the pagoda.
Nepal offers incredible trekking opportunities ranging from moderate to extreme; what they all have in common is incredible scenery and warm locals. White water rafting on gushing streams fed by Himalayan glaciers is a delight in the summer, with varying levels of rapids available.
Besides great trekking, the Pokhara region, a magical amalgamation of mountains and lakes, offers paragliding, extreme zip lining, bungee jumping, ultra-light flights, mountain biking and a lot more. Nepal’s National Parks offer great rewards to a wildlife enthusiast, which include the Bengal tiger, one horned rhino, and a plethora of Himalayan and migratory avian populations. Guests selecting our Luxury Level of hotels can also ask a dedicated U.S. based Nepal expert to design a tour to their preferences. + Read More
The passion and knowledge of our staff and the extreme attention to detail that we put into every aspect of your Nepal tour is what separates us from the rest. We only offer mid-level to ultra-luxury travel, and so we never compromise on our level of service so as to compete with budget Nepal travel agents that focus solely on price. About 70% of our guests are repeat customers and referrals because they recognize that we have the best values for the level of travel and service we provide.
The following sample itineraries exemplify our commitment to creating unique, luxurious Nepal holidays. Travelers can use our interactive tour design tools or consult with a Nepal Specialist to create a customized itinerary.
We also offer a unique set of pre-made Nepal vacation itineraries for our guests to choose from. The selected itineraries can be chosen based on a guest's time of travel, duration of visit, and travel goals. These Nepal tour packages can be customized by a Travel Specialist as needed.
The best Nepal tours help explorers meet their travel goals and absorb the local culture while maintaining world-class levels of service. By speaking with our dedicated Travel Specialists, we can help you tailor a Nepal holiday to your exact specifications.
Kathmandu Luxury Travel Information
Till the middle of the 20th century Kathmandu remained an elusive and unwelcoming capital. As the prayer wheels spun with the passage of time, so did the attitude towards tourists. Today, it welcomes tourists from far and away. It has a kaleidoscope of activities available to satisfy the diverse needs and aspirations of the much welcome tourist. Kathmandu today is the hub centre of Nepal’s tourist circuit, whether you want to test your physical endurance by challenging the Himalayas or find peace of mind amidst the wind swept prayer flags, Kathmandu has the answer.
The amazing sights and experiences in the Kathmandu region include the Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Stupa, Pasupatinath Temple, Bouddhanath Stupa, Patan Durbar Square and Kathmandu Valley. The whole valley with its seven heritage sites has been listed as a cultural World Heritage Site. This heritage site comprises of three cities, two Buddhist stupas and two Hindu temples. Past and present blend in Kathmandu gracefully, giving the tourist all modern facilities possible. Kathmandu is not big when one compares it with other cities in South Asia, but it is old. The earliest known record of Kathmandu dates back to 185 AD and the oldest building in Kathmandu has weathered1992 cold Himalayan winters.
The magic of Kathmandu lies in the pagodas, the narrow cobbled lanes, old carved windows, stone shrines, cheerful hardy people, magnificent vistas, monasteries and temples. Come and experience inner peace and tranquillity amidst the snow clad Himalayan peaks, in Kathmandu.
Pokhara Luxury Travel Information
At an elevation lower than Kathmandu, it has a much more tropical feel to it. This fact is evident from the great diversity of flowers which bloom here. The valley surrounding Pokhara is also home to thick forests, gushing rivers, emerald lakes, and of course, the world famous views of the Himalaya. Pokhara is the gate way to the world's best trekking route named "Round Annapurana".
In the centuries gone by, the land of the Pokhara valley and its surrounding hills had disintegrated into twenty four small kingdoms, frequently at war with each other. These were called the Chaubise Rajya or the Twenty-four Kingdoms. From among these kingdoms was Kulmandan Shah, whose descendant Drabya Shah was the first to establish the home of the legendary, Gurkha warriors. A warrior clan, which evokes a sense of awe and respect in the military circles. Even today there exists an institution in Pokhara, called the British Gurkha Camp. It has been established as a recruitment camp for the British Army. 370 troops are selected annually in December, out of a pool of over 20,000 applicants for the British Army, even today. These Gorkha soldiers are world famous for their valor and capabilities with the khukri (knife).
Chitwan National Park Luxury Travel Information
Elephant and Jeep Safaris of the park are available throughout the year. Rafting and guided jungle walks are also enjoyed by the parks visitors.
Bhaktapur Luxury Travel Information
Dhulikhel Luxury Travel Information
Attractions include ancient Mewari houses and centuries old settlements like Shrikandapur, as well as some ancient temples and Buddhist Stupas. Intricate Mewari architecture is found here in one its purest forms and the culture is laid back and welcoming. Tiered valleys of flowers and cultivation dot the surrounding mountains and Dhulikhel is a golden opportunity for easy to moderate hiking. Pony trains from the higher peaks of Tibet arrive on a regular basis and these visitors bring their unique wares to sell and barter with the locals.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Pashupati Temple stands in the center of the town of Deopatan, in the middle of an open courtyard. It is a square, two-tiered pagoda temple built on a single-tier plinth, and it stands 23.6 meters above the ground. Richly ornamented gilt and silver-plated doors are on all sides. On both sides of each door are niches of various sizes containing gold-painted images of guardian deities. Inside the temple is a narrow ambulatory around the sanctum. The sanctum contains a one-meter high linga with four faces representing Pashupati, as well as images of Vishnu, Surya, Devi and Ganesh. The priests of Pashupatinath are called Bhattas and the chief priest is called Mool Bhatt or Raval. The chief priest is answerable only to the King of Nepal and reports to him on temple matters on a periodic basis.
When this temple was founded about 2,000 years ago, Kathmandu Valley was filled with a great lake. According to Buddhist legend, a single perfect lotus grew in the center of the lake. When the bodhisattva Manjusri drained the lake with a slash of his sword, the lotus flower settled on top of the hill and magically transformed into the stupa. Thus it is known as the Self-Created Stupa. The earliest written record of the Swayambhunath Stupa's existence is a 5th-century stone inscription, but scholars believe there was probably a shrine here as early as the 1st century. Even before that, it is likely that animist rites took place on this hill. Swayambhunath is one of Nepal's oldest Buddhist temples and it has an ancient atmosphere, especially when one approaches on foot with the pilgrims. The primary approach to the temple is from the eastern side, where 365 ancient steps lead up the steep forested hillside. The base is about a 20-minute walk from the center of Kathmandu. It is the most memorable way for any visitor to experience the stupa, however, an alternative is to drive to the west side where there are only a few steps to climb to the top.
At the bottom of the eastern stairway is a brightly painted gate containing a huge Tibetan prayer wheel nearly 12 feet tall. It takes two people to turn it and a bell sounds during each revolution. Around the gate are dozens more smaller wheels. Devotees spin prayer wheels to release prayers and mantras to heaven - visitors are welcomed to do so as well. The staircase is presided over by three painted Buddha statues from the 17th century near the base (women perform prostrations before them in the early morning); another group further up are from the early 20th century. Strewn along the staircase are numerous mani stones, inscribed with the Tibetan mantra Om mani padme hum (hail to the jewel in the lotus).
The Swayambhunath complex consists of a stupa and a variety of shrines and temples, some dating back to the Licchavi period. A Tibetan monastery, museum and library are more recent additions. Much of Swayambhunath's iconography comes from the Vajrayana tradition of Newar Buddhism. However, the complex is also an important site for Buddhists of many schools, and is also revered by Hindus. Numerous Hindu followers are known to have paid their homage to the temple, including Pratap Malla, the powerful king of Kathmandu, who is responsible for the construction of the eastern stairway in the 17th century.
From above, Boudhanath Stupa looks like a giant mandala, or diagram of the Buddhist cosmos. And as in all Tibetan mandalas, four of the Dhyani Buddhas mark the cardinal points, with the fifth, Vairocana, enshrined in the center (in the white hemisphere of the stupa). The five Buddhas also personify the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and wind), which are represented in the stupa's architecture.
There are other symbolic numbers here as well: the nine levels of Boudhanath Stupa represent the mythical Mt. Meru, center of the cosmos; and the 13 rings from the base to the pinnacle symbolize the path to enlightenment, or "Bodhi" - hence the stupa's name. At the bottom, the stupa is surrounded by an irregular 16-sided wall, with frescoes in the niches. In addition to the Five Dhyani Buddhas, Boudhanath Stupa is closely associated with the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, whose 108 forms are depicted in sculptures around the base. The mantra of Avalokiteshvara - Om Mani Padme Hum - is carved on the prayer wheels beside the images of Avalokiteshvara around the base of the stupa.
The base of the stupa consists of three large platforms, decreasing in size. These platforms symbolize Earth, and here you can look out at the mountains while listening to the chants of the devout doing kora, walking around the stupa praying. Next come two circular plinths supporting the hemisphere of the stupa, symbolizing water. As at Swayabunath, Boudhanath is topped with a square tower bearing the omnipresent Buddha eyes on all four sides. Instead of a nose is a question-mark-type symbol that is actually the Nepali character for the number 1, symbolizing unity and the one way to reach enlightenment-through the Buddha's teachings. Above this is the third eye, symbolizing the wisdom of the Buddha.
The square tower is topped by a pyramid with 13 steps, representing the ladder to enlightenment. The triangular shape is the abstract form for the element of fire. At the top of the tower is a gilded canopy, the embodiment of air, with above it a gilded spire, symbolic of ether and the Buddha Vairocana. Prayer flags tied to the stupa flutter in the wind, carrying mantras and prayers heavenward.