- 0 Sorry, fully booked
9th October 2013 –
16th October 2013
- 8 View Itinerary
- Artists, Art enthusiasts, Culture vultures, Trekkers, Walkers
- View Accommodation
An Inspired Journey
Art, Culture and Trekking in Nepal, with Sangeeta Thapa
The striking contrast between the kinetic streets in Kathmandu and the vast, silent Himalayan Mountains is an extraordinary experience for any traveller visiting Nepal. The sense of a pure culture, which has remained untouched by foreign colonisation, is almost palpable and it is this deep tradition and the unfailingly friendly people which make it so special.
This journey weaves between the historic palaces and modern art galleries of Kathmandu before flying to the Annapurna Mountains within the Himalayas for a few days of complete tranquillity in overwhelmingly scenic surroundings.
"Our aim is to give you an inside track into a country which has an ancient past as intriguing as its developing future".
In Kathmandu you will be personally guided by Sangeeta Thapa a gallery owner and curator with an undying passion for Nepalese art and culture. Her knowledge and experience will lead you to some of Kathmandu’s most treasured secrets with exclusive access to galleries and museums to help you access the city from a local perspective. You’ll dine with local artists and meet expat residents, each with their personal view on political, historical and modern life in Nepal.
From Kathmandu you will fly to the central Himalayas where you will stay at a mountain lodge with views that cannot fail to leave you open-mouthed as you first step onto the outdoor terrace. Here we have arranged local artists, yoga instructors and guides to personally guide you through the Himalayan way of life in a way that very few visitors have the chance to experience.
- Explore Kathmandu with resident and museum curator, Sangeeta Thapa
- Meet local artists in private and intimate settings
- Gentle trekking in the Annapurna Range (said to be the most beautiful in all the Himalayas)
- Private art lessons with a professional
Day 1: 9th OctoberArrive into Kathmandu
Day 2: 10th OctoberBhaktapur, Durbar Square and the Siddhartha Gallery
Day 3: 11th OctoberFly to Pokhara and drive to Tiger Mountain
Day 4: 12th OctoberPrivate art lessons with a local artist
Day 5: 13th OctoberTrekking to the Annapurna Range
Day 6: 14th OctoberA Day to Rest and Explore
Day 7: 15th OctoberFly to Kathmandu and Farewell Supper
Day 8: 16th OctoberDepart Kathmandu
Arrive into Kathmandu
You will be met at the airport in Kathmandu and privately driven to the Dwarikas Hotel in the centre of town. We have left the afternoon free for you to rest and shake off the long flight. There is a relaxing spa and swimming pool and the property is a short walk into the bustle of town for your first taste of Kathmandu.
This evening Sangeeta will host a private dinner in the old British India Kaiser Café. The restaurant has a beautiful garden, aptly named ‘the garden of dreams’ and it feels another world away from the electric streets outside. This is the perfect place to swap stories in the tranquility of a peaceful hideaway.
Bhaktapur, Durbar Square and the Siddhartha Gallery
Bhaktapur is renowned for its hand-woven fabrics, especially fine cotton. Since the ancient Malla Dynasty, people here have developed a unique style of spinning, weaving and dyeing techniques. The skill has been handed down through many generations and it is a wonder to watch these artisans at work. After breakfast you will have a private introduction to a traditional Tibetan rug factory for you to see how these exquisite rugs are weaved with extraordinary accomplishment.
From here you will drive to Swotha house where you will be given a delicious home-cooked meal overlooking Patan's Durbar square, the oldest of the three Durbar squares in the Kathmandu Valley. One of the highlights of this beautiful landmark is the Royal Palace, which was home to the Malla Kings of Lalitpur. After lunch Sangeeta will take you to the Patan Musem, which displays much of Nepal’s most striking and sacred art.
After a rest back at the hotel, this evening we have arranged a private viewing of the Siddhartha Art gallery in Baba Mahal. The evening will be hosted by Sangeeta, who owns the gallery. Sangeeta has personally hand-picked a dozen or so up and coming Nepalese artists who will talk you through the inspiration behind their work on display. You will then dine with Sangeeta and the artists over a traditional Nepali banquet at a local restaurant nearby.
Fly to Pokhara and drive to Tiger Mountain
After breakfast you will be met at Dwarikas and driven to the airport in good time for your domestic flight to Pokhara. At Pokhara you will be met by a private guide and driver who will take you to Tiger Mountain Pokhara lodge. The 40 minute drive winds its way up the mountains with ever-expanding views as you climb higher and higher into the Annapurna Range. Make sure you have your camera on you as you will want to stop at every turn to capture the beautiful mountain scenery.
We have left the afternoon free for you to acclimatise and soak up the captivating surroundings from the main terrace or your private veranda. This evening you will come together again for dinner in the lodge’s restaurant and we will arrange for one of our favourite local guides to take you through the history and geology of the Annapurna range. This will hopefully have you itching to get your boots on and walking sticks out early tomorrow morning.
Private art lessons with a local artist
This morning, for those who wish, we have booked a private 1 hour Yoga class with inspiring views of the mountains all around you as the sun rises. After breakfast your guide will meet you at the lodge will take you on a short morning hike for a glimpse of the incredible hikes that are to come.
After lunch and a rest we have arranged for a local artist to meet you at the lodge and take those who would like for some art tuition and a short hike to another mesmerizing panoramic landscape. Here, the artists can get their easels out and paint or sketch in total immersion of the mountain scenery. Others may wish to carry on with the trek with an expert guide to point out the many bird species in the area. We can also arrange a visit to one of the local villages to meet the residents and talk to them through a private guide and translator about life in these harsh but beautiful mountains.
Trekking to the Annapurna Range
There will be another private yoga session at sunrise for those that wish before beginning a full day trek into the Annapuras. Your guide will personally escort you to some secret spots and give you an up close and personal account of these mountains. You will hike into the wilds with the most scenic picnic lunch you will ever have along the way. The hike will take you to the crystal clear waters of the Fewa Lake, where a boat will be waiting to glide you over the silent water with mountains towering all around you, mirrored in the reflective water.
A Day to Rest and Explore
We understand the importance of leaving days free for you to relax, paint or explore at your own pace. Staff at the lodge will be on hand at any point to arrange anything you may require from another full day trek into the Range to a fascinating architectural visit of the local villages.
Fly to Kathmandu and Farewell Supper
This morning, after breakfast, you will wind back down the mountain to the domestic airport in time for your flight to Kathmandu (flight times to be confirmed). There will be time to rest and do some last-minute shopping before coming together again at the Siddarth Art gallery to see Sangeeta and her local artists. This will be followed by a very special nine-course traditional Nepalese banquet in the Krishnarpan restaurant.
We will arrange private transfers to take you back to the airport today in time for your international flight home.
9th October – 11th October
Dwarikas is Nepal’s only heritage hotel and has been beautifully restored using local brick and antique woodcarvings. Designed in the style of a Newari village, the rooms are scattered around a spacious courtyard filled with terracotta pots in bloom, running fountains and even the occasional monkey. With a perfect mix of comfort and authenticity, we think this family-run hotel represents Kathmandu at its best. Dwarikas also serves a superb Nepali breakfast in the traditional dining room and it is a quick walk away from the bustling centre of town.
11th October – 15th October
Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge
The breathtaking scenery at Pokhara Lodge always hits its guests hard. The lodge is spectacularly positioned and built high up on a spur, peaking out into the valley below with staggering mountain views. From here you can explore the surrounding Annapurna Range, said to be one of the most beautiful regions of Nepal. Tropical vegetation carpets the valley which is peppered with ancient villages and temples. This is a perfect base for hikers as well as those who simply want to relax and be truly inspired by the surroundings and local culture.
15th October – 16th October
Return to Hotel Dwarikas
You will come back to the Hotel Dwarikas for your last night before flying home.
Sangeeta Thapa is the Founder Director of the Siddhartha Art Gallery which was established in 1987. She has organized 400 exhibitions over the last 25 years and has conducted several community art projects which has brought together artists, poets, writers, musicians, theatre artists, dancers and people from disparate social groups. She has also conducted two International Art Festivals, the last one in 2012 in which artist from 29 countries were represented. In 2010 Sangeeta co founded the Kathmandu Contemporary Art Centre with Celia Washington, which is located in the Patan Museum. The Centre has a library – The Washington Library-and serves as a residency space where international and national artists share studios.
In 2011 she registered the Siddhartha Arts Foundation which hosted the second edition of the Kathmandu International Art Festival. Sangeeta remains deeply committed to mentoring artists and arts managers who will be involved in promoting the contemporary arts movement locally and globally. She is on the board of Patan Museum Development Committee and is the author the book “In the Eye of the Storm – The Drawings of Manuj Babu Mishra".
We recommend the following flights from London with Jet Airways
London Heathrow to Delhi departs 20:45 arrives overnight 09:45 9W 121
Delhi to Kathmandu departs 12:50 arrives 14:45 9W 262
Kathmandu to Delhi departs 09:30 arrives 11:00 9W 263
Delhi to London Heathrow departs 13:45 arrives 18:30 9W 122
Price per person based on two sharing
The price quoted includes the following:
All accommodation on a full board basis
Soft drinks, beer and house wine with meals
All road transfers as specified
Guiding and excursions as specified
Park fees and other entry fees
The price quoted does not include:
International flights (We can quote on these if they are required)
Drinks and tips
Any other extras
Single supplements (please contact us for details)