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A Festival Tour of Medieval Kathmandu Valley - 7 Days

This 7 day festival tour in Bhaktapur, Nepal from Australia is brought to you by Sherpa Tours Aust Pty Ltd as a well-planned tour package providing peace of mind and incomparable value in terms of quality of service at best cost. This tour provides the perfect package with unique experience for the culture and tradition enthusiast. In offering you an exceptional opportunity to observe an indigenous religious festival – a ritual observed since medieval times – this tour provides a unique insight into various aspects of Nepalese culture as well a chance to interact with locals in joint celebration, making for an authentic and enjoyable personal journey which will leave you with a string of lifelong memories.


In Nepal it is said that every structure is a holy shrine and every day is a festival. Festivals are an essential element of Nepalese culture and engender tremendous local participation. Having their origins in the medieval period of Nepalese history, a golden age of art, craft and architecture, these largely religious celebrations are based upon local legends and follow the lunar calendar (beginning in May) which changes from year to year. As the calendar is not fixed, the festival times which follow are approximate.


Major Festivals In Kathmandu Valley

Some of the major festivals in Kathmandu Valley, which are a must for travellers who love aspects of culture and traditional lifestyles, are listed below. Please click here for a description of each of these festivals.


Annual Festival                                                            Approximate Time

Holi (Spring Festival)                                                    February/March

Maha Shivaratri                                                              March

Bisket Jatra (New Year) Chariot Festival                  Mid April

Gathemangal (Demon Festival)                                August

Dashain                                                                          October/November

Tihar (Festival of Lights)                                               November

Bala Chaturdashi                                                          November/December


Below is an overview of the Bisket Jatra (New Year) Chariot Festival and an accompanying itinerary for observing the event. Although the following section includes a specific itinerary for observing Bisket Jatra, you can book your trip to coincide with any of the above listed festivals, following a similar day-to-day program, according to your requirements.


Overview - Bisket Jatra (New Year) Chariot Festival

In one of Kathmandu Valley’s most exciting annual events, a huge, lumbering chariot carrying images of the god Bhairab(a fearsome manifestation of Shiva) is hauled by dozens of villagers through the ancient town of Bhaktapur to the ward of Bhelukhel on the eve of the New Year. In spiritual terms, Bhairab travels to Bhelukhel in order to inspire virtue and to drive away evil as the New Year approaches. The creaking and swaying carriage rumbles through Bhaktapur, pausing en route to Bhelukhel for a mighty, traditional tug of war between the eastenders and westenders of the town. Once the chariot arrives at Bhelukhel, an enormous, 25-metre-high pole is erected in a stone base. The following evening (on New Year’s Day), the pole is taken down, again in a vigorous tug of war. With the pole crashing to the ground, the New Year is ushered in.


Itinerary For Observing Bisket Jatra

The festival is celebrated for 9 days, with the two most important dates (New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day) falling around mid-April. As the Nepalese New Year is based on the shifting lunar calendar, the time of the festival varies within a 15-day time frame. During the two most significant days, the following schedule is observed:

New Year’s Eve

  • pole erection between 10 and 11am at Pottery Square in Bhaktapur;
  • pole erection between 5 and 7pm in Bhelukhel following the pulling of the chariot in preparation for the New Year.


New Year’s Day

  • taking down of the pole in Bhelukhel between 5 and 7pm to usher in the New Year.


These two significant and exciting days offer a unique opportunity to experience the rich culture of the Nepalese people first-hand. Both days are very colourful and charged with spiritual energy; in particular, the pulling of the chariot through the Bhaktapur streets and the erection of the pole amidst the mass of people gathered at Bhelukhel are amazing moments that no one should miss.


Booking Your Tour

As previously mentioned, you can book your tour to coincide with any of the festivals listed above. Please consult the above table to ascertain whether the tentative date of the festival you are interested in matches your intended time of travel. The itinerary for each of these festivals includes two to three days of sightseeing at the festival site at different times of the day in addition to a scenic tour of Kathmandu Valley and a trip to a nearby hill station called Nagarkot for sunrise and sunset views of the Himalayas.



  • If the group departure date doesn't suit you, we can run a private group at a time specified by you (minimum of 2 travellers). Please inquire.
  • You can upgrade this trip for a 5 star accommodation in Kathmandu and other upgraded services like culnary experiences, traditional spa and massage.
  • You can extend the trip to visit the Everest area, Lumbini or Chitwan National Park for a wildlife safari.


Tour Highlights

This package offers a unique and authentic way of experiencing Nepal – its culture, people and spirituality – whilst allowing you to enjoy an unforgettable scenic tour of Kathmandu Valley in addition to magnificent dawn and dusk views of the Himalayas.



1.     Gaining greater worldwide notoriety due to high-profile coverage by major American-owned media outlets, some of the festivals listed above have recently been rated among the top ten community events in the world by organizations such as CNN and Lonely Planet.

2.   Willi and Janet Thomsen, Act, Australia -  

"You organised everything we asked for on the trip exactly as discussed and our full compliments to you and your personnel for an unforgettable trip. We would not hesitate to recommend your company to other treckers. Please feel free to allow us to represent your interests or offer us as referees to any other prospective ACT clients. Thanks for the experience."

3. Click here to view a video testimonial from our client.



Please Call Us Now On 1300 660 226 or

             Fill Out This Booking Inquiry Form.


 By booking this trip, you will be supporting local economy and child education in rural Nepal.



Day 01
Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel (overnight in hotel).
Day 02
Sightseeing of Baudha, Pashupatinath and Monkey Temple in Kathmandu city.
Day 03
Visit different festival sites in Bhaktapur and observe the festival.
Day 04
Sightseeing of Bhaktapur followed by some cultural exploration before observing the second day of the event later in the afternoon.
Day 05
Drive to Nagarkot (overnight in hotel).
Day 06
Drive back to Kathmandu followed by sightseeing of Kathmandu durbar square in the afternoon.
Day 07
Final departure.
  • Information like altitude, total walking times and distance in the day to day itinerary are approxmate only.
  • the itinerary should be regarded as an outline only. The routes may have to be changed due to weather and other unpredictable conditions.
Detailed Itinerary

Inclusion Summary

  • all mentioned sightseeings (covering entrance fees) with a licenced and experienced English speaking tour guide.
  • all land transfers including airport pick ups, drop offs and transfers to/from festival sites are prvided in a private vehicle.
  • all accomodations on bed and breakfast basis.


Accomodation in Kathmandu is in 3 star hotel and in a comfortable guest houses in other locations. You can upgrade accommodation in Kathmandu to 4 or 5 star hotels.


All accomodations include bed and breakfasts.


All land transfers are in a private vehicle.

Exclusion Summary

International flights, airport departure taxes, visas, insurance, meals not listed, any optional tours and activities during free time, camera fees, excess baggage charges, personal medical supplies, personal trekking equipment, drinking water supplies on the trek, hot water supplies on the trek, showers on the trek (if available), bar bills, laundry charges, tips or gratuities and items of a personal nature are not covered by us.


Any extra costs incurred due to unforeseen events or circumstances beyond the control of our agents or representatives, such as 'Nepal bandh' (strikes and closures), natural calamities, flight delays and flight cancellations, will not be covered.

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