Road Trip

Itinerary

Day 01: Varanasi to Kathmandu

We will meet and greet you at airport transfer to board a flight to Kathmandu. On arrival, our representatives will meet and assist you in fulfilling all the formalities. Later transfer and check into the hotel is planned. We also proceed further to the guided city tour of Kathmandu.

Day 02: Sightseeing tour of Kathmandu (1350mtrs)

Start the morning by having delicious breakfast and head to the magnificent Pashupatinath Temple. Idols of several gods and goddesses along with numerous Shiva Lingams add glory to this splendid edifice. Built across 281 hectares, this temple lies on the banks of the holy River Bagmati. The 36 m high sculpture of God Boudhnath awaits tourists in Boudhnath Stupa. Also known as the Mecca of Buddhists, this stupa was built in 5th century AD, supposedly. The highlighting feature of this stupa is its Mandla style platform, featuring three levels.
Lalitpur sub-metropolitan city or Patan is next on the itinerary. It has many ancient monuments and numerous Hindu Temples that are worth visiting. Another major tourist attraction of Nepal is the Durbar Square that is famous for skillfully designed Pagoda temples along with spectacular Buddhist and Hindu statues. Remnants of the earlier era, depicting the majesty of different kingdoms are found here abundantly. If you wish to buy beautiful carpets and handicrafts, do visit Tibetan Refugee Camp that was built in the year 1960, in order to give a better lifestyle to refugees.

Resting on a hillock, Swoyambhu Nath Stupa boasts of is fascinating architecture that was believed to be built around 250 BC. Featuring 13 tiers done in gold, this magnificent edifice offers stunning views of the Himalayas.

Day 03: Kathmandu to Pokhara (827mtrs: 210 Kms/ 8-9Hrs.)

After breakfast, we negotiate the traffic out of the Kathmandu city and ride out of the valley at the cross section of the ring road at Kalanki and then set out for check post at Nagdhunga, just past Thankot. From here, the road twists and turns as we negotiate the traffic and descend to Naubise, 26 Kilometers marker (about 17 kilometers from Nagdhunga). Then the road becomes much larger and a much more smoother enjoyable ride on the highway to Kurintar, 103 kilometers from Kathmandu. Another two kilometers brings us to the Manokamana temple. We continue riding to Mugling, the junction where the highway bifurcates, South to Chitwan and West to Pokhara. Head west by crossing the bridge and follow the Marshyangdi river for a while and then slowly ascend through terraced agricultural lands and small road side villages. At the outskirts of Pokhara, we are greeted with views of the Annapurna Mountain range including the famous Fish Tail Mountain. Pokhara stands at 884 m above sea level, about 700 m lower than Kathmandu Valley. Pokhara is a vacationer's paradise with its crystal clear lakes and fantastic views of the Annapurna range including the Fish Tail Mountain. Rest of the day is free to relax or explore around the lakeside bazaar. Overnight at the Hotel

Day 04: Pokhara to Tatopani (1220mtrs: 105 Kms/ 3-4 Hrs.)

After an early breakfast, leave Pokhara and ride towards Beni (approx. 70 Kilometers) on the Baglung Highway. This section of the ride provides fantastic mountain vistas, picturesque terraced farmlands and an opportunity to walk on one of Nepal’s famous suspension bridges.

At Mal Dhunga, leave the main highway by taking the right trail and follow a dusty gravelled path all the way to Beni, the district headquarters of Myagdi District in Dhaulagiri Zone. It is located on the confluence of Kali Ghandaki and Myagdi rivers at an altitude of 799 meters and is a bustling town lined with stores, restaurants, hotels and various government offices.

From here, the road is unpaved and dusty with potholes in several places. Unpaved, gravelled rough road poses a real challenge for riders and makes it more difficult with the occasional river crossings. Ascend gradually through the Kali Ghandaki gorge, the deepest gorge in the world. There is a continuous change in the topography with every twist and turn until our arrival at Tatopani.

 

Tato” means 'hot' and “Pani” means 'water', a name earned courtesy of the hot springs and is a popular place for trekker’s to relax and dip their weary bodies in the natural hot springs. Rest of the day is free to relax or explore around the village and take a relaxing dip in the Hot Springs located nearby, overnight at the hotel. 

Day 05: Ride Tatopani to Muktinath (3800 mtrs: 70 Kms/ 2 Hrs.)

After an early breakfast, set out on the trail by following the Kali Ghandaki River and passing the Thakali and Magar Villages to Dana (4750 ft./ 1446 m.) famous for its beautiful cascading waterfall. Steeply ascend to Ghasa (6600 ft./ 2012m) and continue the ride on a dusty and one of the difficult section of the road towards Jomsom via the Thakali villages of Tukuche and Kalopani. Enroute, there are fantastic views of the Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167 m), Tukuche (6920m), and Nilgiri (7061m).As we pass between the Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna mountain range, a dramatic change in vegetation is witnessed from green forests, to dry arid desert. It takes gradual acclimatizing with the surrounding. The Thakali’s are the dominant tribe of the valley, related to the Gurung and Magars of the southern slopes.

Continue the ride towards Jomsom through the dusty gravelled “off” road passing smaller settlements and apple orchards. There are excellent views of Mt. Nilgiri and the Kali Ghandaki River flows on the right hand side of the trail. This day’s journey is a tough one but the scenic views of the rugged landscape, beautiful cascading waterfalls, orange and apple orchards, scattered roadside villages, ancient Buddhist monasteries all make it ‘One Hell of a Ride”.

Jomsom (2713 m) is more correctly known as Dzongsam or New Fort. It spreads over both the banks of the Kali Ghandaki. The towering peaks of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri form an attractive backdrop. Being the district headquarters, it is primarily an administrative and commercial center with government officials and merchants rubbing shoulders with the local inhabitants of the region, known as the Thakali’s. Jomsom is the Administrative center of the Mustang region and the gateway to the Annapurna region. A land of mystique, the rugged peaks of the Annapurna, Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri gaze down in their awesome splendor at weathered landscapes that contrast with the deep river ravines over noisy riverbeds. Jomsom is a mixture of hard work, social frivolity tempered by culture founded on deep religious traditions. It has the only airport that operates daily scheduled flights to Pokhara in the early mornings before the winds build up.

From here continue ride passing through the village, past the High Altitude Mountain Warfare School of the Royal Nepal Army and through several restaurants, Bhatti’s and a hospital. We pass through the old Jomsom village which boasts of several lodges, restaurants school and government offices. At the end of the village the valley opens wide, take the left side of the trail just after crossing the three ruined Chorten and continue on the east bank of the Kali Ghandaki River. After about 20 minutes, arrive at Ekklai Bhatti a small village with few lodges. There are two trails here. The left will lead to Kagbeni while the right one leads to Muktinath. We take the right trail and continue to ascend slowly to the settlement of Jharkot, which has a fort “Kot”.

From here, another 15 minutes ride on the desert plateau brings us to Muktinath.

Late PM: Visit Muktinath Temple The Muktinath Temple is a sacred place both for Hindus and Buddhists and is located at an altitude of 3,710 meters at the foot of the Thorong La (5416 m Pass), Mustang district, Nepal. The site is close to the village of Ranipauwa, which sometimes mistakenly is called Muktinath as well. The Hindus call this sacred place Mukti Kshetra, which literally means “Place of Salvation". This temple is considered to be the 105th among the available 108 Divya Desam. The ancient name of this place, before the Buddhist origin was known as Thiru Saligramam. In Muktinath - Chumig Gyatsa all the elements are represented and for this and reasons unseen, yogis from both religions do their meditation at Muktinath.

For Tibetan Buddhists, Muktinath (Chumig Gyatsa) is a place of Dakinis (goddess known as Sky Dancers). It is of great importance for Buddhists as Chumig Gyatsa is one of the 24 Tantric places. For Hindus, beside the natural fire representing Brahman and the holy waters, the central meaning of the Muktinath area is veneration of the god Vishnu in the form of ammonites (shilas) called Saligramam – Shilas. There are many stories which tell of Vishnu turning into stone and all of them are closely connected to the holy Kali Ghandaki River. According to contemporary geologists, the Saligramam – shilas (found at the banks and river bed of the holy river Kali Ghandaki) are fossils of a prehistoric insect. This insect is mentioned in the Bhavisya Purana. Therein, Tulasi, the sacred plant so dear to Vishnu, cursed Vishnu to become a stone during one act of their eternal Lila. Vishnu said, “To fulfil your curse, I will become a stone (Salagrama - sila) and will always live on the banks of the Ghandaki River. The millions of Vajrakita worms that live at that place will adorn those stones with the signs of my chakra by carving them with their sharp teeth”.

 

After the sightseeing tour of Muktinath Temple descends down to the Ranipauwa (Main Bazaar of Muktinath).Rest of the day is free to relax or explore around the town.
Overnight at the guest house

Day 06: Muktinath to Pokhara (827mtrs: 196 Kms/ 7 Hrs.)

After leisurely breakfast ride down to Kagbeni (2800 m) which is the gateway to Upper Mustang. (Note: The Kali Ghandaki Valley becomes increasingly windy during the day as the winds blows south to north and makes it difficult for travellers.

Kagbeni at an altitude of 2840m is a fascinating medieval village with closely packed mud brick houses, dark alleys and imposing chortens lies along the Around Annapurna Trekking route and is the gateway to Upper Mustang. The village stands in a little green oasis dominated by its red monastery. Though the village has a very medieval look, it can provide all the modern amenities that a travellers requires. This is the only village after Jomsom where there is an internet facility for communication with the outside world. This village also boasts of a Monastery. The monks here are of the yellow hat or the Gelukpa Sect and have only recently opened their monastery to visitors with a legitimate entrance fee of Rs 100, which they collect for the maintenance of their school.

After spending some time at Kagbeni continue ride to Jomsom (approx. 11 Km) but we continue further 25 kilometers, about 1 ½ hour slow ride to Kalopani via Marpha Village. Here we stop for Lunch. Marpha at an elevation of 2670 mtrs is famous for its apple orchards and apple products. This large Thakali village exhibits the typical Thak Khola architecture of flat roofs and narrow paved alleys and passageways. It also has a monastery. After lunch ride another 1 to 1 ½ hour to Kalopani. Rest of the day is free to relax or explore around the village. Overnight at the Guest House

 


It is a pleasant relief to be able to tackle the roughest section of the journey in the early morning. Descend to Tatopani (21 kilometers) and then continue riding back to the settlement of Jaleswor located close to the river and then continue on to Beni. After a quick stop for a quick, set out following the trail along the river and the after about an hour meet the main highway at Maldhunga and then continue of the metaled road to Pokhara which is reached in about 2 ½ hours. Check in to the hotel. Rest of the day is free to relax or explore around the Lakeside Bazaar. Overnight at the Hotel

Day 07: Free day or ride around Pokhara

Visit Bindhyabasini Temple and you may enjoy the beautiful view of the Himalayas on a clear day. Explore old bazaar and visit Davis fall. Also, explore the Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave. Photography is strictly prohibited inside the cave. Stay overnight at the hotel.

Day 08: Pokhara to Chitwan (208mtrs: 167 Km/ 5-6 Hrs.)

After breakfast meet at the hotel lobby and start ride towards Chitwan (Approx. 167 kilometers). Retrace the road leading to Kathmandu till Mugling (Approx. 96 kilometers from Pokhara) and then turn south at the junction where the highway bifurcates and ride to Narayangarh (Approx. 38 kilometers). Narayangarh is an important trading center of the central Nepal. There is a domestic airport (Bharatpur Airport) with connections to Kathmandu and Pokhara, and is the gateway to the nearby Chitwan National Park. It is also a major road link for the eastern and western parts of the country to the capital city of Kathmandu. And also Narayangarh is very famous for "Taas", a spicy fried goat-meat lunch dish served with Bhuja or Cheura (Beaten Rice).Continue ride to Sauraha.

Chitwan National Park, the oldest national park in Nepal is situated in the subtropical inner Terai lowlands of South Central Nepal. The park has an area of 932 square kilometers. The park was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1984. The park is just a short detour off the Prithivi Highway. The name Chitwan means heart of the jungle. In recent years has park has risen meteorically on the lists of the Things to do in Nepal. The park covers a pristine area with a unique ecosystem of significant value to the world. It contains the Churiya hills, ox-bow lakes and flood plains of Rapti, Reu and Narayani rivers. The Sal forests dominate the vegetation of the park. The grasslands form a diverse and complex community with over 50 species, the Sacchurun species, often called elephant grass, can reach 8m in height. The park boasts of more than 43 species of mammals, 45 species of amphibians and reptiles and 450 species of birds in the park. The park is renowned for endangered animals along with many other common species.

 

Late PM: Guest will be taken to wildlife safari on an Elephant to view and photograph wildlife from close quarters. The animals are scattered, elusive and mostly reside in the dense grasslands which grow to a height of 20 ft. the only means of penetrating this dense grassland is by elephants. Later return back to the hotel. Rest of the day is free to relax. Overnight at the Hotel

Day 09: Chitwan to Nagarkot via Kathmandu (2170mtrs: 200kms /8-9 Hrs.)

6 km to arrive at the cross section where the roads to Kathmandu via Daman & Naubise and the road to Kathmandu via Kuleykhani Dam and Pharping. We take the right turn and then ride 12 km to Bhainsay, a small town on the foothills. From here it is a 10 kilometers ride to Bhimphedi where riders are required to pay the toll tax for crossing over the narrow curvy and steep road up to the Kulekhani Dam.

Kulekhani Reservoir is also known as Indra Sarovar and the security guards do not allow people lingering along the dam area. So, a short break for some quickly taken photographs, we continue on the ride to Kathmandu. Some section of the roads is still under construction and may be a bit difficult to negotiate and tests the driving skills of the riders. However, it is only about 15 kilometers and then the route becomes a more pleasurable ride except for the jeep drivers that tests ones patience with their speed driving and continuous honking of their horns.
This section of the ride provides beautiful scenery of the mountains, rolling forested hills, deep gorges and typical Nepali village scenery. Our arrival at Pharping brings us to the city limits and an 18 Kilometers a ride brings us to the city center - Kalanki and from here take the right turn and ride towards Koteshwar and follow the road to Bhaktapur. From here continue ride for another approx. 15 Km to Nagarkot. Nagarkot tucked away in the upper reaches of Kathmandu Valley in Nagarkot with a history that dates back to the first human settlement of the valley.

 

The panoramic view of the Himalayas that Nagarkot offers stretches over 300 kms. This is 32 km to the north - east of Kathmandu and hour drive through the windy road situated at 2175 meter from the sea level; this is magnificent place to view the panorama of major peaks of eastern Himalayan ranges including Mt. Everest on clear days. It is also very spectacular to watch the sunrise and sunset over the Himalayan ranges. There are also number of luxury hotels and lodges available for accommodation to spend the night. Short day hiking can be done to explore the Tamang villages and other areas of interest for easy going trekkers. Set on a ridge northeast of Bhaktapur, it commands a classic panorama view of Himalayas. Rest of the day is free to relax or explore around the town. Overnight at the Hotel

Day 10: Ride from Nagarkot to Last Resort (2195mtrs: 110 km/ 3-4 Hrs.)

After leisurely breakfast retrace the route till Bhaktapur. From here onwards the ride becomes much easier with less traffic till Dhulikhel (Approx.18km).
Dhulikhel a typical Newari town with nearby Tamang villages situated at an elevation of 1550 meters. From the summit above the village, one can get an unobstructed panoramic view of the Himalayas. It offers magnificent views of the Himalayas from Mt, Karyolung in the east to Mt. Himalchuli to the west the twin crest of Mt. Langtang in the west to the Mt. Everest in the east can be clearly viewed in a clear day. Dhulikhel is ideal for snow-capped peaks, sunrise, sunset and is one of the best sites to watch the sunrise over the Himalayas.

Continue ride towards the Last resort through the Arniko Highway following the gorge of the Sunkoshi and Bhote Koshi Rivers the entire way. After few kilometers from Dhulikhel the highway drops in to the red – tented, severally deforested Panchkhal Valley, crossing the braided strands of the Indrāvati Khola at Dolalghat – the lowest point on the entire road at 634m. The scenery changes abruptly after Dolalghat, everything is intensely green with waterfalls. The gorge is much deeper than it looks from the road up to the Last resort.

 

The Last Resort is set amidst sprawling terraced slopes, suspended on a high cliff-top gorge above the wild Bhote Kosi River and surrounded by dense jungle and pristine forest. The grounds of the resort are meticulously landscaped. Luxurious safari tents, spaciously set in lush gardens, ensure quiet and peaceful stay in an exotic setting. Uniquely crafted in local stone, wood and slate, the resort has an intimate dining hall with centuries old wood-carving where delicious home style food is served. The well-stocked Instant Karma bar is a great place for having chilled drinks when the day is done and you are left thirsty. Rest of the day is free to relax or explore around the town. Dinner and Overnight at the Last Resort.