Nepal Cultural Photo Tour with Mani Lama

specialVisit A Different Perspective for current photo tours led by Mani Lama
Mani Lama shares his expertise on both Nepal’s diverse culture and photography on this escorted tour to Nepal. Even if you have visited before, these activities have been handcrafted so you become a part of Nepal. Meet Paubha painters & woodcarving artists. See the majestic Himalayas. Explore Nepal through an insider’s view. Discover the Magar & Gurung tribes, West Nepal. Nepal Cultural Photo Tour with Mani Lama is your chance to see Nepal through the eyes of a man who has dedicated his life to understanding his Himalayan land.
Photo courtesy of Mani Lama


Mani Lama’s Bio
Mani Lama was born in Boudhanath, Nepal in 1948. Mr. Lama has spent more than 30 years capturing Nepali life through the lens. A free-lance photographer based in Kathmandu, Nepal, Mani is renowned as one of the pioneer photographers of the country.

His main work has been documenting conditions in Nepal for development organizations such as the United Nations and its many affiliates Terre des Hommes, Save the Children, German Aid, just to name a few. He also holds contracts with the Nepal Government Department of Information and Communication. Awards include: Nepal Department of tourism award 1985, ACCU/UNESCO Japan, “ The Family” 1993, Nepal Photography Society (NPS) 1992 (first prize), Alliance Française, Nepal 1994 ( first prize) Government Award

Many of Mani’s photographs have been published worldwide. He began with postcards of Nepal of which his Boudhanath Stupa Illuminated at Night is extremely well known. His book, Nepal: the Himalayan Kingdom published by Lustre Press/Roli Books, came out in 1996. Mani also teaches photography and workshops and spends his extra time in his darkroom in Kathmandu developing his own black and white photos.

Mani also donates time to aid Nepal in stopping childhood prostitution. Mr. Lama brought sex work to national attention in Nepal in 1995 with an exhibition of portraits of Nepali child prostitutes for UNICEF. Since that time, he has photographed truck-stop prostitution, Tamang trafficking and the Badi and Deuki sex worker communities. His work has appeared in many international magazines. Mani now resides in Boudha.


To view more: Mani’s Photos



Day 1 – Kathmandu (Bhaktapur)
Arrive Kathmandu. Your representative will be holding a card with your name on it as you exit the secured area of the airport and approach ground transportation. Flower garlands reception at the airport and drive to Bhaktapur. Overnight at Hotel Heritage – 4 nights)

Day 2 – AM Early Boudhanath to see monks chant in Tibetan monastery/Pashupatinath
Early morning shoot and visit to Boudhanath Stupa and the daily prayer ceremony or puja of the Tibetan monks. Special granted request

Later we visit Pashupatinath Temple. We drive onward to Patan city to see the UNESCO HERITAGE SITE Temple Complex.

Later meet a local Newari Paubha painter. Special granted request

Enjoy dinner with a traditional Newari family. Special granted request

Day 3 – Bhaktapur and Kathmandu Durbar Square
Morning visit Bhaktapur and visit Nawa Durga temple to see 9th day od Dashain Festival.. One of many special photo opportunities you will have that very few foreign visitors get to take advantage of. Special granted request

Today we meet woodcarving artists in Bhaktapur. Special granted request Later we take a tour of Bhaktapur.
Enjoy dinner with Classical Fusion Music. Special granted request

Day 4 – Visit Changu Narayan Temple and Thimi
This morning we proceed:

Changu Narayan: Narayan, or Vishnu, is the preserver of creation to Hindus. His temple near Changu village is often described as the most ancient temple in the Kathmandu Valley. a fifth century stone inscription, the oldest to be discovered in Nepal, is located in the temple compound and it tells of the victorious King Mandev.

The temple, now covers sixteen hundred years of Nepalese art history. The temple, built around the third century, is decorated by some of the best samples of stone, wood, and metal craft in the valley. In the words of one tourist guide, “When you look upon Changu Narayan, you observe the complete cultural development of the Valley”.

On the struts of the two-tiered Changu Narayan Temple, are the ten incarnations in which Narayan destroyed evil-doers. A sixth-century stone statue shows the cosmic from of Vishnu, while another statue recalls his dwarf incarnation when he crushed the evil King Bali.

The western bronze doors sparkle in the evening sunlight, dragons decorate the bells, and handsome devas stare from the walls. Garuda, half man and half birds, is the steed of Vishnu, and his life-sized statue kneels before the temple.

After lunch we take a tour of Thimi.
Thimi lies about 10 km east of Kathmandu near Bhaktapur. It is famous for pottery, making of masks and as a vegetable growing area for Kathmandu so that this place is also known as kitchen garden of Kathmanduites. The main deity in the town is Goddess Balkumari. It attracts tourists by its enchanting culture of the farmer community. Overnight.

Day 5 – Nagarkot – Sunset and Sunrise Tour for Photos
After breakfast, we drive to Nagarkot.
Overnight at Fort Resort – (1 night)

Day 6 – Nagarkot
Today you may wish explore the villages or take short hikes and breath the pure and fresh mountain air. In the afternoon, we drive back to Bhaktapur. Overnight at Hotel Heritage – (1 night)

Day 7 – Nuwakot
Drive to Nuwakot via Kakani or Shivapuri. Hotel Famous Farm House (2 nights)

Day 8 – Nuwakot
Awaken to majestic Himalayan views before a day in and around Nuwakot to explore the villages and traditional way of life in this part of Nepal.

Day 9 – Drive to Bandipur
Drive to Bandipur. Later we take a guided tour in the area of Bandipur. Explore the village and interact with the local people in the evening, another special photo opportunity due to Mani’s access. Special granted request
Overnight at Gaun Ghar Resort – (1 night)

Day 10 – Drive to Pokhara
After breakfast, we drive for three and half hours, to the picturesque, valley of POKHARA.

Meet and photograph villagers doing their trade. Special granted request

In the evening, enjoy dinner and a local folk cultural show. Special granted request
Overnight at Hotel Temple Tree Resort and Spa – (2 nights)

Day 11 – Pokhara
Breakfast at the hotel. We spend an interesting day exploring and capturing the sights and sounds of Pokhara, situated on the shores of beautiful Phewa Lake. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, perfect views of the Annapurnas are often reflected in its tranquil waters and create spectacular photos.

Highlights of the day include:
Mahendra Cave, a visit to a Tibetan refugee campand boating on Lake Phewa.

Enjoy a fusion of musical instruments and group of artists – specially played in wedding ceremony (totally unique and typical program) Special granted request

Day 12 – Kalikasthan/Thulokote – 5-6 Hours – Overnight in Begna Lake Resort
Take a short drive towards Pokhara to Bijaypur Khola, a small river. Walk along an uphill trail passing through small colorful ethnic villages of Gurungs and Ghales. The trail continuously leads upwards winding round terraced fields and village homes till you reach Kalikasthan, a vantage point for incredible views and shots of the mountains at close range. Overnight at Begnas Lake Resort – (2 nights)

Day 13 – Simal Danda Hiking – (2-3 hours Hiking)
Take a short walk up from your resort to the hill ridge with your camera gear. Hiking along a broad dirt road which winds its way following the hill contours we will come to a small cluster of especially photogenic village homes. From here we slowly descend along stone steps that lead us to rows of neat mud houses built along a finger that juts out above the Rupa lake. This little settlement is mainly inhabited by the proud Gurungs who mainly subsist on corn and millet farming. The extra millet grains are brewed and expertly made into a popular and potent distill called “Kodo” widely enjoyed around the fireplace in the evenings amidst stories of Gurkha gallantry. The view of the Manaslu Himal (8,156m) from here is simply stunning. Special granted equest

Day 14 – Drive back to Pokhara – Flight to Kathamandu
Have breakfast at the hotel. Later we drive to airport for our flight to Kathmandu. Arrive in Kathmandu where you will be met and driven to your hotel.

Your afternoon is free to explore as you wish.

Overnight at Park Village Resort – (1 night)

Day 15 – Departure From Kathmandu and Free Time depending on Flight Times
You will be driven to the airport for homebound flight or travel onward.
Optional Activity: Mt. Everest Flight (1 plus hours)–additional cost $195 per person

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