We literally spent the last day of the year in the best way possible.
We started the day by visiting the Patan Durbar Square and learning the history of the place; the royal family, the temples, the deities, and the animal sacrifices (over 180 animals; deer, bull, and others, are sacrificed every year during the annual festival and then their intestines are hung on the threshold of the doorway of the main temple). We then walked around in the streets and took in the colours and fragrances of the culture for one last time.
Good guy Hemant, a friend of a friend, showed us around the city and then the Swayambhunath Stupa, also popularly known as the monkey temple because of the high population of the beings. This ancient golden temple lies at the top of a hill, west of the capital, making it easily visible from almost every angle from the Kathmandu valley. To reach the top of the stupa we apparently climbed over 350 steep stairs during and after which we were super exhausted, but it all vanished once we reached the top and had access to the panoramic view of the city. It was enchanting.
In the evening, Hemant introduced us to his best friend who happened to be Lochan Rijal, a well known Nepali singer, song-writer, and multi-instrumentalist. He has three albums to his name, and is a recipient of several national and international awards. He discussed his plans of establishing an international music academy in the capital, one of its kind in the world, which is under construction. He showed us the site, around the city, the Kathmandu Durbar Square, did the Kali darshan there, and then had us over for dinner. He's such a humble human. Also, we were told that he had ties with ACDC, Metallica, Eric Clapton, and Elton John. You can probably imagine how excited we were! We shared stories, my sister and cousins couldn't keep it in their pants and showed him my covers and he offered me a collab (I died), and then gifted my sister an amazing pair of combat boots! It was a privilege to spend the evening with him and end the year on such a positive note.
Then off we went to Thamel, the party hub of the capital, where a concert was being held on the streets, to celebrate the welcoming of the new year. Though we survived an almost stampede, we enjoyed the music and the crowd.
I'm thankful for everything ❤️
Duration of the trip: 6 days (26 - 31 December, 2018)
Cost: 45,000 INR
Currency: 1 Indian Rupee = 1.6 Nepali Rupee
International commutation: Direct flight from Bangalore to Kathmandu, and back (20,000 INR)
Domestic commutation: Since travelling by road (private vehicle) is more expensive, and public transport would be time consuming, we flew internally (Kathmandu-Pokhara-Lumbini-Kathmandu)
The flights on a whole costed around 14000 INR.
Paragliding: 3,750 INR per person (we got it for 3,500 INR after some bargaining :P)
Stay: We booked places to stay through AirBnB. The villa in Kathmandu costed 2,500 INR per night (500 per head since it was the four of us). The cottage in the Annapurna eco village, Astam costed 2,000 INR per night. The hotel room in Lumbini costed 2,500 INR per night.
PS. Indian 200, 500,and 2000 Rs notes are not accepted. So prepare yourself with a lot of change.
American Dollar is accepted.