Meal: Lunch and Dinner
After a hearty breakfast, you take a scenic drive to Panauti, situated 32 km southeast of the capital Kathmandu. Along the way, you can see fields in every direction, and the views look amazing when they’re filled with vegetables. Almost all the houses in Panauti remain as their original with a lot of art on wood carvings on doors, windows, and smiling local people. You will be indeed happy by visiting Panauti.
Once you reach Panauti, you will be welcomed by the host with garland and vermilion with a great smile followed by a briefing. Then you will be taken to the host family home for the authentic local experience. After a typical Nepali lunch with the host family, get ready for a wonderful tour of the town. Witness the finest arts and culture with a brief tour of the old part of the town, which preserves and depicts Panauti’s history.
You will be visiting the community museum and walking along the narrow cobbled alleyways, beautifully carved windows, struts, and doors, and Newari lifestyles that will leave you mesmerized. Strolling through the old city you can see chickens in windows, trying to soak up the sun, herds of ducks that walk themselves home before the sunsets.
One of the more stunning temples (a classic example of Newari craftsmanship) is the three-tiered Indreshowr Mahadev Temple, which stands in the center of a huge brick-paved courtyard. Its decoratively carved wooden windows, doors, struts, and beams are evidence of the skills of the valley’s Newari artisans, and these are also very much marked in the other temples situated in the same courtyard, that is, Unmata Bhairav, Krishna, and Ahilya Temples. Across the Punyamati River are still more temples, two of which, Brahmayani and Krishna Narayan, are specifically significant. Every 12 years, there happens a Fair (Mela) in the temple and the devotees from almost every part come here. They take a holy bath in the river, which flows in between the temple.
Additionally, Panauti has added the charm of being bounded by many lush paddy fields. Panauti is also well-known for its 40 temples and 28 festivals. Affluent in Newari culture, numerous of the town’s festivals are similar to those of Kathmandu, whereas some are exceptional with a completely local character.
If you are visiting during May-June, the village life comes together for the plantation season and also the magnificent Panauti Jatra. Likewise, during the month of July/August, the entire village erupts in post-plantation festivities. It is one of the best times to interact with people and get a sneak peek into their lives.
In the evening, try out cooking some Nepali recipes during the cooking class in your host’s kitchen.
Note: You can extend an extra day by adding a day hike to Sanga or Namobuddha.