DAY 2 : KATHMANDU FULL DAY SIGHTSEEING
Today morning after breakfast, you will be picked up at the hotel for a sightseeing tour of Kathmandu city, Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath & Boudhanath. Kathmandu City – here you will visit the temple of the Living Goddess, who acknowledges the greetings of the devotees from the balcony of her temple residence. The Kumari Goddess – Chosen at the age of four or five, the Kumari Devi is the most important of the several living goddesses in Nepal. Selected after very strict criteria, she moves into the temple with her family, leaving only to attain a few festivals each year. She sits on the balcony regularly, acknowledging the greetings of devotees. Her reign, however, lasts only until puberty, when she becomes a normal mortal again. Durbar Square is with its array of temples overlooked by the Hanuman Dhoka Palace, the ancient residence of the Nepalese Royalty. Later visit Swayambhunath – Perched on a hilltop on the southwestern part of Kathmandu, Swayambhunath is one of the most important religious and cultural sites in Nepal and is associated with the birth of the Kathmandu Valley civilization. Approximately 2000 years old, Swayambhunath stupa, is a dome 20 meters in diameter and 32 meters high and is made of brick and earth mounted by a conical spire capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt. It is a place of Hinduism-Buddhism religion’s symbiosis. The height of Swayambhunath also makes it a good vantage point and on clear sunny days one can see the Himalayas all the way to the east. Also, visit Pashupatinath – The temple of Pashupatinath located on the western banks of the Bagmati river on the north-eastern side of Kathmandu is one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites in the world. Until recently Nepal was officially a the Hindu Kingdom and Pashupatinath, which literally means “Lord of all Animals”, was considered the main protector deity of Nepal. Pashupatinath is said to have been discovered by a cow herder who dug up the area after seeing one of his cow’s coming to the spot and emptying its milk there. The inner sanctum of the temple has a lingam, a stone phallus with four faces around it. As one of the many forms of Lord Shiva, one of the three main gods of the Hindu Trinity, Pashupatinath draws Hindu pilgrims from all around the world especially on Maha Shivaratri, the “Night of Shiva” which falls in early spring. The temple and its surrounding complex are surrounded by a pantheon of other temples like the KiratesworeMahadev, Bhairav, Guheswori, and Gorakhnath each of whom has their own tale of origin and importance. Pashupatinath is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later visit Bouddhanath – With a base of 82 meters in diameter, Bouddhanath is claimed to be the largest Buddhist stupa in the world. There are many legends attached to Bouddhanath, chief among which is that of the 5th century Lichivi King Manadev who built it to do penance. Lost and forgotten for centuries Bouddhanath was rediscovered in the 15th century. Today more than 50 monasteries are surrounding Bouddhanath which is also one of the seven Monument Zones which make up the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Sites. Overnight at the hotel.