Kathmandu valley is the historical center of Nepal and the place where kingdoms rose and fell, palaces and temples were built
and rebuilt and Nepalese art and culture were developed and refined. Kathmandu valley has been
called one big museum - a vast store of Hindu and Buddhist art with more shrines and temples
per square km than anywhere else in the world. Nepalese culture has immense vitality and countless
festivals celebrated each year. Institutions such as the ''Living Goddess'' form a direct link
between the past and the present.
The valley is above 25 km from east to west and 20 km from north to south with an area of 570 square km and a population of 1.1 million. Kathmandu lies at a height of around 1,300 meters, while the surrounding hills range from 1,500 meters to 2,800 meters in height. Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Gaurishanker and Everest are visible from different points in the valley.
Patan is situated across the Bagmati river to the south of Kathmandu and is known to this day for its excellent works of art and carvings in wood and bronze. Bhaktapur, also known as Bhadgaon, is the most medieval of the lot and is situated in the eastern part of the valley. While Kathmandu and Patan have undergone great changes in the three decades since Nepal’s isolation, Bhaktapur has changed much less.
Patan is locally referred to as Lalitpur and is situated at the south of Kathmandu. It’s the second largest town in the valley. Patan's great building boom took place under the Mallas in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Numerous temples of widely diverse styles as well as many Buddhist monasteries are scatterd around the fascinating town. The city is famous for crafts and metal works which are wonderful souvenirs to be taken home.
Bhaktapur, also known as Bhadgaon, is shaped like a conch. It is a medieval city designed in the 19th century by its founder King Ananda Malla. Having an area of 139 square kilometers, it is situated at 1,331 meters above sea level and 13 km away from Kathmandu on the east side, linked with a motor road. Bhaktapur has not yet lost its old traditions but rather has maintained them very well. Bhaktapur not only grows sufficient food for the city but supports Kathmandu as well. The city's craftsmen build house, decorate them, make pottery and adorn temples. From the very beginning, Bhaktapur has attracted foreigners and local tourists as well. Durbar Square (Palace of 55 Windows) leads through to the Taleju temple and the National Art Gallery. The Ancient Royal Palace is remarkable and is an excellent example of 18th century architecture. The palace was made by King Bhupatindra Malla, whose statue stands in front of the Golden Gate. Around Durbar Square there are curio shops, wood and stone carvings, and thangkas.
Nyatapola, Nepal's tallest five roofed temple, stands not far from Durbar Square. The pottery market is very close to the Nyatapola Temple. The Akash Bhairav temple, the Dattaraya shrine, the famous peacock windows located south of Dattatreya temple and the Bramayani Mandir all are of equal importance of fine art and culture.
Nagarkot is located about 14 km north east of Bhaktapur at the height of 1,838 meters from sea level and is the best place for walking through the countryside and mountain viewing. It takes about an hour by car to reach from Kathmandu. On the way to Nagarkot, one sees the terraced farm land and pine forests. It is the only place where one can view a panorama of the entire eastern central Himalayas - Everest, Number, Cho-oyu, Nuptse, Lhotse Makalu and to the west Manaslu and Himalchuli (five of the world's ten highest peaks). Overlooking the charming sparkling lights of the Kathmandu valley at night from Nagarkot is incomparable to anything else. One can see many varieties of flowers here and can enjoy the songs of many birds in the morning. For overnight stops, there are accommodations suitable for all levels of tourists (from budget to deluxe).
Reserving a Trip
We make preparing for your trip easy! Our area managers are here to help—from choosing the right trip and checking availability to reserving your place to stay. Our office manager will normally be your single point of contact. They will oversee all of your arrangements, answer any questions that you may have, and help you prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.
Choosing Your Trip
We suggest that you read the trip information to choose the right adventure for your ability level and interest. Trip information is available for on each page or can be sent to you via fax, email or mail. Our office manager can answer any questions you might have and they would be happy to refer you to someone who has traveled with us before for a reference.
Reserving Your Place
Early reservations are recommended since group sizes are limited and airlines often sell out of their best fares many months in advance. Once you have submitted your reservation request with us, one of our travel consultants will contact you the following business day to confirm your arrangements and will charge the initial deposit to your major credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express). You can then download a trip application (in PDF format) and send it to us by mail with two recent passport photos. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 303-507-2530. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30AM to 5:00PM Mountain Time.
Upon receiving your deposit, we will send you a confirmation letter, a detailed trip itinerary, visa information (if required), a travel insurance application and a pre-departure information booklet with a recommended equipment list, suggested reading list and general information needed to prepare for your trip. Our experienced staff is happy to assist you in your preparation for your adventure with us.