16 +
18 Days
Photography Tours

Whether you are an enthusiast, beginner or a professional photographer, we invite you to join us on a truly amazing photographic adventure tour of a lifetime. This a spectacular vacation with a wonderful creative learning experience in a geographically diverse land. Being a land locked country; Nepal offers many more natural scenarios, species and wildlife, indigenous tribes, multi culture and tradition which cannot be found in any other parts of the World. Most importantly, it provides you with the opportunity to photograph the tallest mountain in the World i.e. Mount Everest (8848 m) along with other seven tallest mountain namely; Mount Kanchenjunga (8586 m), Mount Lhotse (8516 m), Mount Makalu (8481 m), Mount Cho Oyu (8201 m), Mount Dhaulagiri I (8167 m), Mount Manaslu (8156 m) Mount Annapurna I (8091 m).
Nepal is undoubtedly a photographer’s delight, a land of eternal fascination. Among several countries in the world, Nepal is also one of the must visit country in your lifetime. An ancient Hindu manuscript describes Kathmandu, Nepal as the “Land of Gods surrounded by beautiful mountains”. Among the top highest mountains, eight tallest mountains are located in Nepal. There are more than thousands temple inside the capital city only and each of the temple has its legend and own religious belief. Most above Nepal is a true paradise for Photographers. It has become one of the dream destination where being in one country, photographer can experience and click pictures of diverse natural beauty and landscapes, countless historic monuments, temples, Stupas, beautiful villages, Mountain views, hill station, wild life and many more. Our casual format provides a unique blend of hands-on learning

Photography tour organized by Nature Trail Travel & Tours, Trekking & Expedition offers you a combined tour package which includes a day tour in the historical sites rich in archaeological and religious perspective, ancient bazaars and medieval palace squares, explore ancient Newari villages which are living museums and shrines of the local deities, hiking around the beautiful villages, and visit to the National parks of country for wild life photography and trekking along the most forbidden area of Nepal. Though this is a combined tour package but this tour is entitled all about taking photos. This tour takes you to some of the inherent destinations of scintillating eco-cultural heritages. Starting from the complex cultural practices of Kathmandu valley this tour extends to magical landscapes and wild lives of Pokhara and Chitwan and finally to picturesque mountain sceneries from Muktinath. We will get to marvel and photograph surreal places such as: Daman, Chitwan, etc. The sunrise view in Daman photographed during the first rays of the early morning light and fog creates nothing short of breathtaking photography.

You will be accompanied by our English speaking tour/trekking guide and professional photographers who will teach you and if you are an expert yourself, then they will be eager to learn some new ideas from you as well. They will guide you with the best landscape from where you can have the picturesque shots. If you are a beginner then our Professional Photographer will help you understand the basics requirements of photography like: composition, light, exposure, and depth of field, shutter speed and many more.

01Arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport. Upon arrival, meet and transfer to hotel

02Photography tour inside Kathmandu valley including: Kathmandu City, Swayambhunath and Patan

03Photography tour inside Kathmandu valley including: Pashupatinath, Boudhanath and Bhaktapur Durbar Square

04Drive Kathmandu to Daman via Kulekhani Dam site – 4/5 hrs drive

05Drive Daman to Chitwan – approx. 3 / 4 hrs drive

06Full day wild life activities in Chitwan

07Drive Chitwan to Pokhara – approx. 4/5 hrs drive

08Early morning visit to Sarangkot. Rest day sightseeing & photography tours in Pokhara city

09Drive to Phedi and trek to Dhampus village (1650 m)

10Trek Dhampus to Sarangkot and drive to Pokhara

11Fly Pokhara to Jomsom and trek to Marpha – approx. 3 hrs. walk

12Trek Marpha to Kagbeni (2750 m) – approx. 6 hrs. walk

13Trek Kagbeni to Muktinath – approx. 4 hrs. walk

14Trek Muktinath to Jomsom – approx. 5 hrs. walk

15Drive Jomsom to Pokhara

16Fly / Drive Pokhara to Kathmandu

17Leisure or optional sightseeing tour



Arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport. Upon arrival, meet and transfer to hotel

Flying to the country of Mountains is a wonderful experience in itself. On a clear day, the views of snowcapped mountain peaks will take your breath. Your flight lands at Tribhuvan International Airport which is located in Kathmandu. Kathmandu is a small town and the capital of the country surrounded by the hills from all sides. It is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal. The capital of modern Nepal is nestled in the middle of the snow-capped Himalayan Mountains, in a valley surrounded by gentle, green terraced hills, ancient temples, shrines and red tiled-roofed houses. Proceed for the customs and luggage’s clearance and then exist from the Airport Departure lounge. As soon as you exist you can see number of peoples outside holding a placard. Among them one of the representative of Nature Trail Travels & Tours, Trekking & Expedition will be holing a placard with your name in it. So, closely look at them. He will then escort you to your respective hotels. Or else, you can visit our office and after full description about your trip, you will be driven to your hotel.

Photography tour inside Kathmandu valley including: Kathmandu City, Swayambhunath and Patan

The distinctive cultural and historical identities of the Kathmandu Valley make it an extraordinary place to photograph. With your camera in hand, discover the enchanting cities of Kathmandu, Patan and Swayambhunath. Early morning, we visit Swayambhunath to witness the rituals of monks, pilgrims and worshippers. Swayambhunath is known as “Monkey Temple” since you can see numbers of monkeys around the surrounding areas of the temple. Keeping in this mind, small swimming pool has been made for monkeys to cool themselves in the escorting heat of summer. After strolling around the area and clicking some pictures of Stupas, temples, monuments and of course monkeys, we drive towards Kathmandu Durbar Square. Kathmandu Durbar Square is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Several buildings in the Square collapsed due to a major earthquake on 25 April 2015. But construction has already been started and efforts have been made for its restoration. Further, we drive to another historical town of Patan. Patan Durbar Square is regarded as the culturally and historically richest Durbar Square among three Durbar Squares. It is also listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Patan, the city of Artists, offers many visual treats for your camera.

Photography tour inside Kathmandu valley including: Pashupatinath, Boudhanath and Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Work on portraiture and capturing scenes from everyday life during a fantastic photography tour today. Today’s program will include: Pashupatinath, Boudhanath and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Pashupatinath is the holiest Hindu temple and a must visit site for the Hindus devotee. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is also listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Afterwards, we will visit Boudhanath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world. In this UNESCO World Heritage Sites, we can observe Buddhist monks absorbed in prayer surrounding the Stupa. Further, we drive east of Kathmandu towards Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur town is an ancient Newari town and is a cluster of prehistoric temple.

Drive Kathmandu to Daman via Kulekhani Dam site – 4/5 hrs drive

After breakfast at hotel and we drive towards Daman via Kulekhani Dam Site. We ride through the pine forest and pass by many small villages. Kulekhani Dam was completed in 1982 and is the first reservoir Hydropower system of Nepal which is enormous. It is a peaceful place where the beauty of the water reservoir adds up even more beauty to the area. This picturesque lake side is a paradise for a photographer. Capture these magical vistas and wonderful landscapes in your camera. Then we drive towards Daman through Markhu village. The turning for Markhu and the Kulekhani Reservoir appears on the left 4 kilometer past Tistung. Further drive for about 5 kilometer, takes us to the Newari village of Palung, which is situated at the height of 1745 meter. From Palung, we drive further 12 kilometer in order to reach Daman, a beautiful hill-station. Daman is a village in the central part of Nepal, located in the district of Makwanpur in Thaha Municipality. 2322 meter above sea level, Daman offers unimpeded views of the entire range from Dhaulagiri to Mt Everest stretching from west to east. From Daman eight of the ten world highest mountain can be seen in the 360 Degree panoramic view from the View Tower. For photographer, this place is ideal for Mountainous views as well as important for cultural belief. One can click photos of some of the tallest peaks of Nepal like Annapurna I, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Lang tang, Dorje Lakpa, Gaurishankar, Cho Oyu and Mt Everest This place is also famous for Mountain Botanical Garden which comprises over 78 hectares of forest. February to March is the best time to visit this place, when varieties of rhododendrons (the national flower of Nepal) are in bloom. During winter season, snow falls here which welcomes more domestic as well as international tourist here. Since the village lies on the outskirts of Kathmandu, it provides a great opportunity for the people residing in Kathmandu to observe its beauty and use it for means of recreation. Individual can also fly to this place since one of the resort (Panorama Resort) has helipad on its surrounding.

Drive Daman to Chitwan – approx. 3 / 4 hrs drive

Early in the morning wake up and proceed for a short hike 1 kilometer south of village towards Risheshwor Temple. About an hour walk through forests leads you to this temple. This temple has a faces shaped carved in a stone. People worship this stone as Lord Shiva. Unlike various Shiva Temple, this temple does not have Shiva Linga but a face of the God Shiva. People from various countries and state visit this temple in a belief that their wish comes true. There is a very small pond where people worship and throw the coins on its hole making their wish. According to the locals, during the great festival of “Thulo Ekadashi”, there is a light enlightened automatically during mid-night above the Shiva’s statue. So, on this day there is a huge festival in this place and is crowded with the devotees offering their prayers. On the way to the temple, you can see many prayer flags which makes the environment a peaceful .You can also see a Tibetan Monastery where Lamas practice meditation for several years. This little Gompa is situated in glade of trees draped with thousands of prayer flags. Enroute, there is a sleeping stone where it is believed that whoever sleeps here for a moment won’t have any back pain problems. Along with religious and cultural belief, Daman is famous for its View Tower fitted with long range telescopes from where one can see widest panoramic views of the Himalayas. It has a great view of the mountains from Dhaulagiri to Mt Everest. For the view of the Breath taking grandeur of the world’s highest peaks extending in one glittering are from far-east of Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) there is no better place than Daman. After short sightseeing around this place, we travel overland from Daman towards Royal Chitwan National Park. You will enjoy the views of enormous plains of the Terai region while driving towards Chitwan. Chitwan National Park is declared as World Heritage Site under the category of Natural Sites by UNESCO. Chitwan is one of Asia’s best’s wildlife – viewing spots and the place to don your safari togs, clamber atop a lumbering elephant and head into the dawn mist in search of rhinos and tiger. 8% of the world bird species, rare mammals including one horned rhinoceros and the Bengal tiger makes it exclusive. Once reaching your destination, you will be briefed about the elephant activities and Jungle Safari. You can later enjoy the sunset in Rapti River, elephant back safari and stroll around the Tharu villages. Once the night falls down, we entertain you with cultural performances (Tharu stick dance, peacock dance) including bonfire before getting in bed.

Full day wild life activities in Chitwan

With a wakeup call along with tea or coffee, we have the great time to witness the wildlife and click some amazing pictures at its best in Royal Chitwan National Park. This includes Elephant Safari, Canoeing, visit to elephant breeding center and cultural show. Sal forest, open grassland and riverine jungle will accompany you during elephant safari. The ride is far from ‘smooth’ but there are plenty of photo ops as long as you communicate to the mahout (elephant driver) that you want to make a photo. We’ll be traveling through dense elephant grass that can grow up to 18-20 ft. in height and is the favorite habitat for rhinoceros and other animals. The elevated vantage point is a great advantage and provides a good safety margin in case a Bengal tiger shows up. After doing elephant safari, your delicious breakfasts will be waiting for you. We will then head to the grasslands and forests near the Narayani River. If you are lucky, you will see many amazing creatures that you spend most time to looking for; rhinoceroses, Chitwan’s royal Bengal tigers, leopards, monkeys, many types of deer and reptiles. Check your camera gear – preferably with a telephoto lens and you will not miss any shots. In later afternoon, a traditional dug-out canoe takes you on a silent trip down the Rapti River to view aquatic birds and the crocodile along the river banks. We then head towards the elephant breeding center to see them being raised to re-populate their dwindling numbers and disperse them over various regions where they have a chance for survival, to see these majestic animals and understand how they live and what they do. You can click cute pictures of newly born calf. We will also go to the observation tower, then later in the evening head back to the resort for dinner. We hope that this day will be the finest day for those who loves wildlife photography.

Drive Chitwan to Pokhara – approx. 4/5 hrs drive

Early in the morning, we wake up and proceed for Nature walk and bird watching. Don’t forget to bring your camera as you will have a marvelous opportunity to click various species of birds today. Among those, some of these birds are migrating birds, which have flown thousands of miles and sheltered in this national park. Our guides will help you identify some species of birds, plants and other wildlife that you may encounter. Getting back to the hotel, we take breakfast and then drive to Pokhara, another beautiful town and a center of tourist attraction. Pokhara is a striking scenic lake town where nature is amplified with the views of majestic peaks, sparkling water lakes with boating and canoeing thrills will add on a greater value to your photographic tour. Witnessing some natural wonders of nature in waterfalls and gorges and magical dawns that light up the sky and the snowy Himalayan spires in hues of the rising sun and capturing these magical vistas and wonderful landscapes in your camera will obviously fulfill the expectations of an ideal Photographic tour. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the respective hotel where you get refreshed and proceed for an hour boat ride in Phewa Lake and visit Tal Barahi Temple, a famous temple dedicated to Goddess Kali. Day 08: Early morning visit to Sarangkot. Rest day sightseeing & photography tours in Pokhara city Early in the morning we will drive to Sarangkot hill for viewing and clicking some snaps of sunrise and stunning snowcapped mountain ranges. There’s a non-descript village just before the view point. The village is located on Sarangkot mountain at an altitude of 1600m and is renowned for its panoramic Himalayan

Drive to Phedi and trek to Dhampus village (1650 m)

On the following day, we will have few hours hiking in the beautiful village of Dhampus after an hour drive to Phedi. We walk through sparse villages, farm terraces and forests. A close face to face view of a long range of Annapurna and other mountains greets us on reaching Dhampus. Besides the breathtaking mountain views, Dhampus will also offer you an opportunity to experience the peace and beauty of Nepalese countryside , watch the daily lives of the villagers , see them work on the farms and interact with local people . Dhampus is a gateway to Annapurna Conservation Area so this place is full of trekkers. This village is settled by mid hill tribe Gurung. Gurungs are the well-known Gorkha soldiers in the Indian, British & Nepalese Army, yet back home in the high hills, they are shepherd and farmers. From Dhampus one can also clutch the outstanding view of Pokhara valley with all its natural loveliness Fewa Lake and word peace Stupa. The landscape gets even better as the sun sets and you will have a chance to click this amazing moment.

Trek Dhampus to Sarangkot and drive to Pokhara

Wake up early for the glorious sunrise view. The first rays of sun striking the top of the snowcapped peaks of Dhaulagiri and Machapuchare are worth capturing. After sunrise view, you can stroll down the village and click some pictures with the local people. They are neither camera-shy, nor camera-weary and they will be glad if you take some of their snaps. This place has the natural beauty, ancient traditions and friendly people unlike other places. You can see the real Nepalese’s life style far untouched by western civilization. After breakfast, we will hike towards Sarangkot and then drive to Pokhara.

Fly Pokhara to Jomsom and trek to Marpha – approx. 3 hrs. walk

Early in the morning, transfer to airport for the Pokhara / Jomsom flight. It is a scenic flight which passes through massive Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ridge. The flights from and to Jomsom usually takes off before noon since there blows a strong wind in Jomsom during noon and flying over during this period is very risky. So, a few numbers of flights only takes place in this route. Thus, we recommend you to book your flight in advance. Or else we could also drive to Jomsom via Beni which usually takes about 8 to 9 hours to reach there. Upon your arrival at Jomsom, you will meet some of our other team members who will assist you as a porter. Our trekking guide will fly with you from Pokhara. After assembling your stuff and having breakfast, we will have a short walk to the charming town of Marpha. Upon your arrival at Marpha, you will be amazed by its geographical structure. Marpha huddles behind a ridge for protection from the up-valley wind, and exhibits typical Thak Khola architecture of flat roofs and narrow paved alleys. The low rainfall in this region makes these flat roofs practical; they also serve as a drying place for grains and vegetables. There are lots of photogenic landscapes here. On this day, we could directly hike to Jomsom but as our tour’s aim is to provide you with the ample of photogenic landscape of Nepal, this town serves to be one of them.

Trek Marpha to Kagbeni (2750 m) – approx. 6 hrs. walk

Our journey today will be in the Mustang Kingdom where the landscape presents ever changing views of the Annapurna and their peaks. The trail is better suited to mountain trekkers than photographers, but once you reach there, you will forget the entire hard trail walk behind. Once we arrive in Kagbeni we’ll have some stunning sunrise opportunities, colorful vistas and a Tibetan monastery to photograph. This village is so peaceful that you will find an inner peace here. This place will provide you an opportunity to capture awesome beauties of enticing peaks and virgin surroundings.

Trek Kagbeni to Muktinath – approx. 4 hrs. walk

With a beautiful sunrise view beside the mountains, we will continue our trek to Muktinath, a religious site for both Hindu and Buddhist devotee. This sacred temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is famous for its 108 spouts fashioned in the shape of bull heads. People from various countries visit this pilgrimage area in a belief that they will get salvation and get rid of miseries and sorrows once they take a holy bath in all these spouts and two holy Kunda which is located in front of the temple. There are also various places which can be visited around the surrounding areas. These sites have their own historic importance and an ideal spot to click some photographs.

Trek Muktinath to Jomsom – approx. 5 hrs. walk

Local villages can be visited which are situated below Muktinath. You can enjoy the delicious foods along with the famous apple wine made by the locals. Local people found here have their own tradition and hospitality. Though the entire Nepal has become a democratic country but in this place the local still follows the order given by their King. So, this place is still known as the majestic kingdom. They are far from the modernization.

Drive Jomsom to Pokhara

Instead of driving, you could fly from Jomsom to Pokhara. But while you are flying you won’t be able to capture the rural part of this area. Thus, we have designed this itinerary so that on one way you could fly in with the scenic mountainous views and on the way back you could click some rural areas which are far beyond the present modernization. We will be hiring a private jeep so that we could stop in different spot to do some amazing photo-shoot. In this way, you can also closely observe the rural part of Nepal. Upon arrival at Pokhara, transfer to hotel and take some rest.

Fly / Drive Pokhara to Kathmandu

You will have to make a decision for today’s journey. Either you could fly out of Pokhara or take a road transport to Kathmandu. Both of these journeys are equally adventurous. We would like to recommend you to drive from Pokhara as en route you could enjoy the rafting service in Trishuli River. The drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu usually takes about 6/7 hours whereas by flight it only takes 30 minutes to reach Kathmandu from Pokhara. The choice is yours.

Leisure or optional sightseeing tour

This day is kept as a free day for your personal shopping. You might want to buy some token of love from Nepal to your loved and near ones. So, this day is the opportunity to do some shopping. If not then upon your request, we could add some sightseeing tour in some other important sites of Nepal. Some of which are: Sanga (World’s tallest Lord Shiva Statue), Namobuddha (Famous Stupa), Kirtipur (Ancient Newari Town), Dakshinkali (Temple of Goddess Kali), Godavari (Botanical Garden), Changunarayan (Oldest temple of Nepal), etc.


Your 17 days photography tour will end today. We hope this tour will be a life time memory and you have been able to learn some exciting things from Nepal. We will be expecting to see you back in future. We believe that you had a good time in Nepal, discovering the wonders of Nepal – a country blessed with natural beauty and rich cultural history.

Nepal enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought after destinations in Asia. It has been a fiercely independent country which is famous in the World for the highest peak known as Mount Everest. Though being a small country, it has never set its limit to offer its visitors with the natural beauties. Since opening to foreign visitors in the fifties, it has been the epicenter of Himalayan photographic activities. Photographing in Nepal not only offers an opportunity to immerse oneself in Himalayan bliss but also a rare opportunity chance to take a step back in time. This photography tour lets you capture the lifestyle and nature of the historic Nepal and beyond. You will meet the genuinely gracious Nepali people along the way who are always eager to welcome their guest with a hospitable smile on their face. Most Nepalese are as interested in you as you may be in them and they are not bothered if you want to take their photo, as long as you politely ask first.

Come away with an appreciation of a culture that is unmatched anywhere in Asia. The moment you start to think you’re right on the precipice of unraveling one of Nepal’s deep mysteries, she has an uncanny way of reminding you that it would take more than just a few lifetimes to do so. Indeed, demystifying Nepal is a perpetual work-in-progress. And that is precisely what makes the country so deeply addictive. And knowing that, just when it’s least expected, you can find yourself up close and personal with moments that have the power to alter the way you view the world and your place in it. The multitude of sacred sites and time-honored rituals are testament to the country’s long, colorful, and sometimes tumultuous, religious history. And then there are the festivals! Nepal hosts some of the world’s most spectacular devotional celebrations – from formidable city parades celebrating events on the religious calendar, to simple harvest fairs that pay homage to a locally worshipped deity. The festival will give us endless photographic opportunities: devotees taking ritual baths in the Bagmati River, making offerings of bael leaves, fruit, and rice to Shiva, chanting prayers and hymns, lighting of bonfires, incense sticks and cotton-made wicks and oil lamps.

This adventurous tour is designed not only to guide you to the most photogenic locations carefully planned for the best light, but to aid you in mentally visualizing a scene before capturing the decisive moment. Our aim is to raise your awareness and spark your creativity so that you not only go home with images to be proud of, but use your new found skills to improve and expand your photographic technique in general. Apart from the technical aspect of learning your camera settings and capabilities, you will learn how to turn an ordinary image into an extraordinary image by using your own creativity. Our goal is to put you at the right place so you can make great images and have time to review and improve your photographic vision and technique throughout the trip while we take care of the logistics. In addition, you will become knowledgeable on how to survey the landscape, utilize and approach your environment, photograph people indigenous to the region and the cultural considerations and challenges of photographing in a foreign country. Our time together will include individual and group discussions, inspiring ideas and great fun.

Some of the sightseeing spots are described below in details:
Kathmandu Durbar Square is located in the Basantapur, heart of the city. It is an ancient courtyard incredible with spectacular craftsmanship that reflects the local inhabitants of yesteryear. The stone paved streets, pagoda style edifices and the religious monuments inclusive of many different deities are exquisitely displayed as far as the eye can see. When Nepal used to be ruled by the Kings, this was the place where crown ceremony of the city’s kings was held and legitimized. It’s easy to spend hours wandering around the square and watching the world go by from the terraced platforms of the towering Maju Deval; it’s a wonderful way to get a feel for the city. Although most of the square dates from the 17th and 18th centuries (many of the original buildings are much older), a great deal of rebuilding happened after the great earthquake of 1934. The entire square was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The Durbar Square area is actually made up of three loosely linked squares. To the south is the open Basantapur Square area, a former royal elephant stable that now houses souvenir stalls and off which runs Freak Street. The main Durbar Square area, with its popular watch-the-world-go-by temples, is to the west. Running northeast is a second part of Durbar Square, which contains the entrance to the Hanuman Dhoka and an assortment of temples. From this open area Makhan Tole, at one time the main road in Kathmandu and still the most interesting street to walk down, continues northeast. Construction is being made after the devastating earthquake which took place in 25th April 2015.

Swayambhunath is an ancient religious architecture atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley, west of Kathmandu city. For the Buddhist Newars in whose mythological history and origin myth as well as day-to-day religious practice, Swayambhunath occupies a central position, it is probably the most sacred among Buddhist pilgrimage sites. The Swayambhunath complex consists of a Stupa, a variety of shrines and temples, some dating back to the Licchavi period. A Tibetan monastery, museum and library are more recent additions. The Stupa has Buddha’s eyes and eyebrows painted on. Between them, the number one (in Devanagari script) is painted in the fashion of a nose. The site has two access points: a long stairway with 365 steps, leading directly to the main platform of the temple, which is from the top of the hill to the east; and a car road around the hill from the south leading to the southwest entrance. The first sight on reaching the top of the stairway is the Vajra. According to Swayambhu Purana, the entire valley was once filled with an enormous lake, out of which grew a lotus. The valley came to be known as Swayambhu, meaning “Self-Created.” The name comes from an eternal self-existent flame (Swayambhu) over which a Stupa was later built. Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple as there are holy monkeys living in the north-west parts of the temple. They are holy because Manjushree, the bodhisattva of wisdom and learning was raising the hill which the Swayambhunath Temple stands on. He was supposed to leave his hair short but he made it grow long and head lice grew. It is said that the head lice transformed into these monkeys. Manjushree had a vision of the lotus at Swayambhu and traveled there to worship it. Seeing that the valley can be good settlement and to make the site more accessible to human pilgrims, he cut a gorge at Chovar. The water drained out of the lake, leaving the valley in which Kathmandu now lies. The lotus was transformed into a hill and the flower became the Swayambhunath Stupa. The complex of this temple also suffered from April 25th earthquake but is now under construction.

Patan Durbar Square is situated at the center of the city of Lalitpur in Nepal. It is one of the three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of its attractions is the ancient royal palace where the Malla Kings of Lalitpur resided. The Durbar Square is a marvel of Newa architecture. The Square floor is tiled with red bricks. There are many temples and idols in the area. The main temples are aligned opposite of the western face of the palace. The entrance of the temples faces east, towards the palace. There is also a bell situated in the alignment beside the main temples. The Square also holds old Newari residential houses. There are various other temples and structures in and around Patan Durbar Square built by the Newa People. Patan is one of the oldest known Buddhist cities. It is a center of both Hinduism and Buddhism with 136 bahals or courtyards and 55 major temples. Some names of them are: Krishna Mandir, Bhimsen Temple, Vishwanath temple, Taleju Bhawani temple, etc. It offers a wide array of wooden arts in the form of monumental historic edifices that reflects the architectural influence in the city during ancient and medieval times. The creative wooden carvings depicting the sutras of Lord Kamadeva (God of Human love or desire) are scattered throughout the pagoda style temples in the backstreets.

Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath, dedicated to Shiva the Destroyer, is the holiest Hindu pilgrimage destination in Nepal. It is a must visit temple for all the Hindus in their life. Shiva in the form of Rudra was imagined by the early Aryans and later was worshipped in the form of a Linga, a Phallus, a vertical piece of stone placed in an upward position on a round pedestal. The Indus Valley civilization in Pakistan has shown that the people there worshipped Shiva in the form of a Linga in about the 3rd century BC. Besides south Asia, archaeological excavations in some ancient cities of Europe have revealed that the Linga-worship cult existed there too. Shiva has been worshipped in Nepal from the beginning of the Neolithic civilization in the Kathmandu Valley, with scientific archaeological studies and findings around the temple proving that the god Pashupatinath was worshipped here from about the beginning of the Christian era. From about the 7th century onwards it became the first and foremost temple of Nepal, with kings, aristocrats and the rich offering a great deal of wealth and land in trust to the god, making it one of the richest temples in Nepal. Many temples and statues around the temple were added making it a big complex rather than just a temple. The main God or the Linga of Pashupatinath is carved on a blackish stone, with four faces engraved on four sides of the Linga. Pashupatinath temple is one of the UNESCO enlisted world heritage site located in the bank of holy river Bagmati and has a history of more than 2000 years. Pashupatinath temple also being the temple of Lord Shiva possessed its two-storied golden roof and silver doors and is famous for its superb architecture. The richly-ornamented pagoda houses the sacred Shiva Linga, or phallic symbol. Chronicles indicate the temple’s existence prior to 400 AD. Devotees can be seen taking ritual dips in the holy Bagmati River flowing beside the temple. Only Hindu pilgrims can enter the premises of the temple. This temple stands as a symbol of faith, religion, culture and tradition. It is believed that Pashupatinath temple was built in the fifth century and later renovated by the Malla king of Kathmandu. In this temple thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit every year from all around the world. In Maha Shivaratri which falls in the month of February or March, people swarm to Pashupatinath to celebrate the birth of the Lord Shiva. Maha Shivaratri is one of the great Hindu festivals of the valley attracting thousands of Hindu pilgrims to one of the four most Shiva shrines. In this day you see Sadhu, follower of Shiva, covered with sack clothes, dust and ashes.

Boudhanath Located about 11 km (6.8 mi) from the center and northeastern outskirts of Kathmandu, the Stupa’s massive mandala makes it one of the largest spherical Stupas in Nepal. The Buddhist Stupa of Boudhanath dominates the skyline. The ancient Stupa is one of the largest in the world. As of 1979, Boudhanath is listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha. According to the myth, it is believed that even if a person who has committed great sins circles around the Stupa even once shall be granted one chance to atone for their sins. The April 2015 Nepal earthquake badly damaged Boudhanath Stupa, severely cracking the spire. As a result, the whole structure above the dome, and the religious relics it contained, had to be removed, which was completed by the end of October 2015. The reconstruction began on 3 November 2015 with the ritual placement of a new central pole or “life tree” for the Stupa at the top of the dome.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a cluster of prehistoric temples, shrines, and sculptures: the Golden Gate, 55 Windows Palace, Big Bell, Dog Barking Bell, Taleju Temple, Vatshala Temple, Statue of Bhupatindra Malla etc. which is scattered all over this site. It is a museum of medieval art and architecture with several examples of sculpture, woodcarving and colossal pagoda temples consecrated to different gods and goddesses which is 15 km far from Kathmandu. It is a conglomeration of pagoda and shikhara-style temples grouped around a fifty-five window palace of brick and wood. The square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the Valley as it highlights the ancient arts of Nepal. The golden effigies of kings perched on the top of stone monoliths, the guardian deities looking out from their sanctuaries, the wood carvings in every place-struts, lintels, uprights, tympanums, gateways and windows-all seem to form a well-orchestrated symphony. Pottery and weaving are its major traditional industries. On 25 April 2015, major earthquake damaged many buildings in the square. The main temple in Bhaktapur’s square lost its roof, while the Vatsala Devi temple, famous for its sandstone walls and gold-topped pagodas, was demolished by the quake.

Tal Barahi Temple, also known as Lake Temple or Barahi Temple is a two story pagoda temple located in Kaski District in western Nepal. There stands Tal Barahi Temple in the middle of Phewa Lake, as an island. A colorful boat at Barahi Ghat is a means of transport to reach to the temple. The Temple is a small pagoda-style temple devoted to the deity Tal Barahi and is surrounded by the crystal clear waters of Phewa Lake. The roof of the temple is of copper sheets and the Gajur (pinnacle) is made of Pittal (brass with gold coated). A stone idol of Barahi Devi is placed inside the temple. The original structure of the temple is made of stone and has a thatched roof. This temple is flooded by the visitors throughout the year to worship the deity or just to enjoy the beauty of the location as the dramatic location attracts the visitors itself. But there is no authentic historical source to prove this legend. With a view to conserve the temple, the Barahi conservation committee is in existence since 2053 B.S. This committee looks after the day-to day Puja and the conservation of the temple. The temple has guthi land for its conservation and maintenance. The legend has it that many years ago a deity named “Barahi” came here to see the local people. Barahi Devi located on the top of Phew Lake (i.e. Sharan) was filled with debris due to which the lake was converted into a solid land. The Devi gave a gesture to Kulamandan Shah (King of Kaski) that that she had a keen interest to stay in the middle of the lake. Kulamandan Shah being a true devotee of the Devi shifted her temple to this place and hence Tal Barahi was established since then. But there is no authentic historical source to prove this legend. Thus, the Barahi Devi is considered as the protector Deity representing the female force.

Muktinath Temple Muktinath; “Mukti” means “Salvation/Nirvana” and “Nath” means “God”. It is the famous pilgrimage site known as the place of salvation and eternity for both Hindus and Buddhists. It is located in the Trans Himalayan region Mustang 20 kilometer north east of Jomsom at the elevation of 3800 meter above sea level. Muktinath also known as Muktichhetra, has been one such holy site, where thousands of devotees flock for attaining the much sought after moksha. Buddhists of Tibet called this temple as “Chumig Gyatsa” which means “Hundred Waters”. They also called this temple is place of “Dakinis” which means “Goddesses known as Sky Dancer”. For Buddhists this place is one of 24 tantric places. They understand the Murti to be a manifestation of Avalokitesvara.

Hindu believe that Lord Vishnu lives at Muktinath temple in the form of ammonites which means Shilas, they also called it Saligram-Shilas. Many Saligram found here are considered by Hindu as incarnation of lord Vishnu and worship them. According to Hindu Myth lord Vishnu turned into Saligram because of Brinda’s (wife of Jalandhar) Curse. Hindu regards Muktinath as Vishnu whereas Buddhist worships Vishnu as Avalokiteshvara. Muktinath temple is a pagoda-shaped temple which is dedicated to lord Vishnu. It is situated on a high mountain range and is visited during fair weather. In this sacred site thousands of Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims visit and pay homage to Lord Vishnu. Both Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims believed that if they go for pilgrimage to Muktinath, they are relieved from all miseries and sorrows. This is a must visit place for Hindus to attain salvation after the Chardham Yatra. It is also one of the 51 Sakti peetams. The Temple depicts metal statues of lord Vishnu, goddess Laxmi, Saraswoti, Janaki, Garuda, Lava-Kush and Sapta Rishis. The building in 1815 of the Buddhist-Hindu temple of Vishnu and Chenrezig at Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa was initiated by the Nepali Queen Subarna Prabha who considered Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa Salagrama.

Attraction of Muktinath
• Kunda: Visitors can see two water ponds in front of Muktinath Temple. People take a holy dip inside this Kunda in the belief that it can wash away negative karma and one’s past negative actions.

• Mukti Dhara: Muktinath temple is surrounded by a wall where 108 waterspouts (Dhara) are placed in a semi-circle way with a gap of hardly a foot between the faucets at a height of seven feet. The 108 faucets is cast in the shape of bulls’ heads, pour fourth-sacred water. As this water flows through the Gandaki River, it is ice cold. So, it requires desire and courage for pilgrims to take a holy bath in each of these spouts with a belief that it cleanses all their sins and brings salvation. During the festival of Janai Purnima, Buddhist’s Yar tang Mala is celebrated here. It is also believed that the deity was originated from Jumla, far western part of Nepal helping this area to be the center of attraction for the tourist.

• Jwala Mai Temple: A short distance below the Muktinath Temple, you can hear the sounds of water issued from rock inside the ancient Tibetan style “Jwala Mai Temple”. This temple is situated south and is more sacred. There are three eternal flames known as “Holy flame from soil”, “Holy flame from rock” and “Holy flame from water” inside this temple fed by small natural gas jest that produce continuously burning flame behind a tattered curtain. At present, you can see two flames continuously burning. Hindu believes that this miracle of fire lighting was offering made by Brahma (the creator of universe) himself. Hindus worship the fire as Jwala Mai (Goddess of Fire). Buddhist believes that Padmasambhav, the great Indian master who inducted Tantric Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibet meditated at this place. Buddhist living will show foot prints which they say are those of the great master. They called it “Dhola Mebar Gompa”. It is often possible to see Tibetan woman with elaborate turquoise embedded headdresses, engaged in devotion at these shrine.

• Mharme Lha Khang Gompa: This is a newly built monastery and is dedicated to Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava). His huge clay image is placed center of altar along with bon deities: red Trakpo at right side and blue singe Doma at left side. Singe Doma is lion headed deity, Hindu worships this as “Narasimha” and name of monastery as “Narsingh Gompa”. It is believed that founder of this monastery Syandol Lama came from Tibet. Originally this monastery was a big hostel for monks that later collapsed and people of Khinga and Jharkot jointly reconstructed it. The main deities’ monasteries are Sakyamuni, Chingresig and Guru Rimpoche. The monastery is situated at left from entrance gate of Muktinath temple. Mharme Lha Khang translates as thousands of holy lamps.

• Shaligram: Another attraction for the pilgrimage is the River kali Gandaki from where one can collect fossils of the Jurassic park age. One may find a fossil within a few minutes or it may take hours and without success. However, these fossils can be had from the local people at a price. Shaligram, a black stone fossil if found, is considered sacred and is kept in pooja (prayer) room in the house. It is supposed to be symbol of Lord Vishnu.

• Swaminarayan: One Hindu Guru connected to Muktinath is Lord Shri Swaminarayan, Satguru of Sabij Yoga, the goal of which is the realization of and service to God Supreme. At the end of the 18th century this Satguru practiced severe penance in Muktinath for two and a half months and attained the highest degree of proficiency in Nishkamvrat. In 2003 his followers funded the new wall around Muktinath and raised a small monument for him at Muktinath. You can also visit this monument.

• Kagbeni: Other attraction of this pilgrimage tour are the holy site of Kagbeni, where you can have an excellent panoramic view of the mountains like Annapurna Range, Mt. Machapuchare, Nilgiri Himal, Dhaulagiri Range, etc. You can also closely observe the culture of the Himalayan people, Himalayan landscapes, river valleys, world deepest gorge of Kali Gandaki between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri etc. Kagbeni is famous for the Saligram, a stone on which image of lord Vishnu is inscribed.

photography in nepal
photography in nepal

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