Indra Jatra Festival Tour

This Indra Jatra festival tour is a ten (10) days Nepal trip where we will observe all the main events of Indra Jatra which is the biggest street festival of Nepal.

Trip Facts

duration Duration 10 days
trip-difficulty Trip Difficulty Easy
trip-difficulty Highest Point 2500m
Average Group Size 2-10
trip-code Trip Code IJFTAH
trip-code Area Nepal
trip-code Start Point Kathmandu
trip-start-point Trip End Point Kathmandu
trip-accomodation Accomodation 3 Star Hotels
trip-meals Meals As Mentioned
transportation Transportation On Private Basis

Trip Highlights

  • The Living Goddess Kumari.
  • Cultural and heritage sightseeing in Kathmandu.
  • Bhaktapur and Patan exploreation. 
  • Sightseeing in Pokhara.
  • Sunrise view from Sarangkot and Nagarkot.
  • Multiple adventure activities in Pokhara.

Trip Overview

This Indra Jatra festival tour is a ten (10) days Nepal trip where we will observe all the main events of Indra Jatra which is the biggest street festival of Nepal and is admired not only by the locals but also by foreigners. The Indra Jatra is a festival for all the senses. The air is aromatized with the smell of incense, and the sound of the traditional drums called Dhimay Baja played by the Newari community is tranquil to the ears. For the eyes, one can behold the incarnation of Goddess Taleju also known as the living goddess Kumari. The Kumari is revered and admired as she holds the power to bring good fortune.

Additionally, the tour covers cultural heritage sightseeing in Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur. You will stay one night in Nagarkot, a popular hill station near Kathmandu to view the magnificent sunset, sunrise, and the Himalayas. Furthermore, the trip extends to Pokhara, a naturally beautiful city in Nepal. One can participate in several adventurous activities in Pokhara. 

Indra Jatra is the biggest street festival in Kathmandu, Nepal which is also known as Yenya in the Newari language. Indra Jatra festival tour aims to fulfill people’s desire to experience this biggest chariot festival from close by engaging in day-to-day activity.  The celebration consists of two major events, Indra Jatra and Kumari Jatra. Indra Jatra is marked by masked dances of deities and demons, and displays of sacred illustrations in honor of the deity Indra, the king of heaven. Kumari Jatra is a chariot procession of the living goddess Kumari (Living Durga).

Indra Jatra was started by King Gunakamadeva to commemorate the establishment of the Kantipur presently known as Kathmandu in the 10th century. The eight-day-long Indra Jatra falls in September and is one of the most exciting and admired festivals of the Newar community of the Kathmandu Valley. This also marks the beginning of a month-long festival season of autumn. It begins with the rising of a wooden pole (Yonsin Thanegu) made of pine in Basantapur in front of the old Hanuman Dhoka Palace, which is the foundation of the chariot.

For the pole-raising ceremony, hundreds of people gather at the palace square and in the surrounding palace temples. The chariot of Kumari, the Living Goddess is taken out in a parade through the main street of Kathmandu. Masked dancers known as Lakhey take to the streets of Kathmandu almost every evening accompanied by loud drums (Dhimay Baja) which are traditional Newari musical instruments. The festival commemorates the time when Indra came down from heaven in human form to look for a herb called Parijat (Night Jasmine).

Each night of Indra Jatra, the shrines and old buildings around Kathmandu Durbar Square are beamed with oil wicks. Each night in front of the temple of the Living  Goddess, there is an enchantment illustrating the ten earthly incarnations of the Lord Vishnu. The large image of Akash Bhairavs head is put on display out in the open directly facing his temple in Indra Chowk.

In the afternoon of the day before the full moon, a euphoric crowd gathers near Hanuman Dhoka palace for the long-awaited Living Goddess chariot possession to catch a glimpse of the respected little Newari girl who has been chosen as Kumari representing Goddess Taleju. The parade of the Kumari is followed by other two small chariots representing Ganesh and Bhairav, which then is taken to different parts of the old Kathmandu through a limited pathway where people gather to watch and honor. The festival of Indra Jatra comes to an end with the lowering of the wooden pole bearing Indra's flag between religious ceremonies. Besides, there are two events. There are other events as well which are equally admired and important.

The living Goddess Kumari (The only living Deity in The World)

Kumari (the enemy of Desire), Kumari Devi is also known as the incarnation of Goddess Taleju. A Kumari is a prepubescent girl selected from the Sakhya clan of the Nepalese Newari Buddhist community, revered by both Hindus and Buddhists. The literal meaning of Kumari is virgin, while there are several Kumaris throughout  Nepal, with some cities having several the best know is the Royal Kumari of Kathmandu, and she lives in Kumari Ghar ( Kumari house ) where she lives until she is dethroned. The title of Kumari is lost when the reigning Kumari suffers a cut and loses blood from her body. In Kathmandu valley, it is a particularly prevailing practice. It is believed to be the incarnation of Taleju, a manifestation of the goddess Durga. When her first menstruation begins, it is believed that the deity leaves her body.

It is believed Kumari holds the power to heal and bless people with serious illnesses, and even a glimpse of her can bring good fortune. A crowd of people patiently waits below the Kumaris window in Kumari Chowk just to catch a glimpse of her, hoping that she will pass by the latticed windows ( elaborately carved wooden windows known as Aakhi Jhal) on the third floor and glance down at them. The Kumari tradition is only followed in a few cities of Nepal,  which are Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Sankhu, and Bungamati. The selection process of Kumari varies between different towns.

How is Kumari selected, you may ask?

The selection process is not that easy, traditionally Five Senior Buddhist Bajracharya, Chief Royal Priest of Taleju, and Royal astrologer oversee the selection ritual of Kumari. Some basic characteristics searched in young girls are sound health, no evidence of scars and marks on the body, uncut and blemish body skin premenstrual, and no loss of teeth. To be a Kumari she must have 32 attributes of perfection, the list of requirements is elaborated such as no history of illness, black hair, gorgeous expressive eyes, and a sonorous voice, and her horoscope is examined to ensure that it is complementary to the king's horoscope. It is important that there not be any conflict, as she must confirm the king's legitimacy each year of her divinity.

Cultural sightseeing in Kathmandu:

Kathmandu (Kantipur) is and has been the center of  Nepal's history, art, culture, and economy. It has a multi-ethnic population with a Hindu and Buddhist majority. Religious and cultural Festivals from major parts of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu. The day tour around Kathmandu valley is sure to end up being the highlight of your trip to Nepal. Kathmandu has a deeply rooted cultural tradition going back centuries. It presents some of the most attractive nightclubs to the holiest Buddhist sites on the Planet.

The cultural sightseeing lets you explore the city and its surrounding valleys, bounded by green valley walls and majestic snow-capped mountains. On your trip, you will not be able to see the entire Kathmandu valley but you will be able to see the essential sites of Kathmandu like Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambhunath, and Boudhanath Stupa, Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Patan Durbar Square, which are all listed in UNESCO World heritage sites. It will be covered in just one day since they are not far from each other. Nepal is a multilingual and multicultural country that preserves hundreds of cultural heritage of historical and cultural importance. A visit to Nepal is incomplete without witnessing at least some of the glorious historical sites.    

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the three Durbars Squares in Kathmandu valley, a collection of ancient temples, places, courtyards, and narrow streets. Situated in the center of Kantipur presently known as Kathmandu, the site is surrounded by monuments showing off the cultural and architectural skills of the Newari ( Native Nepali) craftsmen over the past centuries.

Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath is the most sacred of the Hindu Temples and is situated on the banks of the Bagmati river on the northeastern side of Kathmandu. It is one of the main pilgrimage sites of Hindus all over the world, the temple complex is a sacred site of Hindu religion and culture. It is devoted to Lord Shiva. 

Swayambhunath Stupa

Swayambhu Stupa also known as the monkey temple is situated in the western part of Kathmandu, Swayambhunath is one of the most distinct, ancient and important Buddhist pilgrim sites of Nepal. It is known as the monkey temple because of the hundred of monkeys loitering around the hills, the main stupa is a dome at the base covered by a cube structure covered by a toran, while above is Gajur (Pinnacle). A number of shrines, statues, and artifacts adorn the stupa, with a series of praying wheels also around the dorm.

Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath is situated northeast of the capital city (Kathmandu), it is the largest spherical stupa in Nepal with a massive mandala. It is the most important sanctuary for Tibetan Buddhists who visit the site frequently along with other Hindu pilgrims. And, also the single largest Chorent in the world. Many visitors experience spiritual peace as they do their rituals as they go around the dome beneath the peaceful sagacity eyes of the Buddha gazing at them from within the gilded central tower.  

Patan Durbar Square

The Patan durbar square is situated in the center of the Lalitpur, and comprises the palaces of the Malla Kings of Patan. The complex consists of a number of temples along with massive bells, idols, and statues facing the main palace. The country yard is tiled with red bricks and tiles and the old Newari houses surrounding the area give the complex an ancient feel.

Sightseeing in Pokhara

Pokhara is best known for its majestic view of the Annapurna range. It is perhaps one of the few places where mountains above 6,000 meters can be seen unobstructed from an altitude of 800 meters within a distance of 28 km. Pokhara's calm beauty has been the subject of inspiration for many travels. Many find Machhapuchhre Razor edged (Fish tail) peak piercing the skylight or reflected in the still water of Phewa lake to be their most lasting impression of Nepal. There are many other places you can visit like David's falls, Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, World Peace Pagoda, Barahi Temple, and Bindabasini Temple. 

Pokhara is a great destination for weekend gateways as well as long relaxing holidays. Pokhara is a gateway to the Annapurna region where many trekkers find their heaven on earth. It is one of the must-visit places in Nepal.

David's fall

David's fall is locally known as Patate Chhango, which literally means underground falls. This place is one of the best places to visit in Pokhara, David's Fall in Pokhara is an extraordinary waterfall that creates a 500 feet long underground tunnel as it reaches its bottom.

Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave

Gupteshwor Mahadev cave is a major attraction of Pokhara, an excellent architectural work is the Pokhara tourist place of  Gupteshwor Mahadev cave, the spiral steps that will lead you to the mouth of the cave. It is also known as the august cave of Nepal with a length that exceeds 2,000 meters, where one can hear the thundering sound of water.

World Peace Pagoda

World Peace Pagoda, also known as Shanti Stupa, is situated on the hilly edge of the Himalayas. It is a great point that offers an eye-catching view of the Annapurna. To reach the stupa one must climb about 500 steps. Near the pagoda, there are two villages, Pumdi and Bumdi above the Phewa lake's southern rim for exceptional views of the mountains.

Barahi Temple

Tal Barahi Temple also known as Lake temple is a two-story pagoda temple. It is a temple devoted to the  Goddess Durga. The great devotee of Goddess Durge, king kulmandhan shah constructed the temple on the middle island of lake Phewa. It can be reached by taking boats from the shore of the Phewa lake to reach the Tal Barahi temple.

Bindhyabasini Temple

Bindhyabasini is one of the tourist destinations of Pokhara. The sacred landmark is the ideal spot to embrace tranquility in the crowded region. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhagwati, one of the most visited temples of Pokhara. It attracts many Hindu devotees from the Indian subcontinent.

Sunrise view from Sarangkot and Nagarkot.

Sarangkot is located on the western side of Pokhara with an altitude of 1600 meters above sea level. Sarangkot is best known for its spectacular sunrise view of the Annapurna Range and Machhapuchhare (Fish Tail) Mountain. The main mountains you will get to see from Sarangkot are Dhaulagiri (8165m), Machhapuchhare (6993m), and Annapurna (8,091m) which are breathtaking and will be a lifetime experience. It also provided a sweeping view of the city Pokhara from the extreme north to south including the Phewa Lake.

Nagarkot lies northeast of Kathmandu also known for sunrise and breathtaking views. It is especially known for its sunrise view of the Himalayas including Mount Everest as well as other peaks of the  Himalayan range of eastern Nepal. Nagarkot also offers a panoramic view of Kathmandu Valley, Nagarkot is a very unique and worthwhile place to visit. Mountains that can be seen from Nagarkot are Manasalu Range, Ganesh Himal Range, Jugal Range, Everest Range, and others.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01

Arrival in Kathmandu

Your Arrival Time (?) Our office representative will meet and greet you traditionally at Kathmandu airport and transfer you to your hotel in Kathmandu.

At 06:00 PM: Today in the evening we will meet for a coffee talk at the hotel and will brief you in detail about your onward tour program.

duration 30 Minutes
duration 10 Km
ascent 1350m
trip-accomodation Nepali Ghar
trip-meals N/A
transportation On Private Basis
Day 02

Observe Indra Jatra!

At 10:00 AM: After breakfast, you will drive to Basantapur to witness the giant wooden log called Ya-Sin in Nepal Bhasa, which is worshiped during Yenya (Indra Jatra) after it is put up outside Hanuman Dhoka Palace amidst the ritual that marks the beginning of Kathmandu's biggest street festival, it can be a bizarre expense to witness a huge pile of (Samay Baji) generally consist of Chiura (beaten rice), Bhatmas (fried soybean), Boiled eyes, Bamboo shoot curry, Bara, etc decorated in the different junction of the city, and people struggling through the horde of crowed to get the taste of (thon), a traditional Newari beer that gushes out of Swet Bhairas mouth which is believed to be blunt offering by god's. This concludes the day.

duration 6-8 Hours
duration 2 Km
trip-accomodation Nepali Ghar
trip-meals B
transportation Walking
Day 03

Observe Indra Jatra!

At 12:30 PM: After lunch, you will drive to Basantapur to witness the chariot being pulled by hundreds of people, inside the chariot sits the living goddess Kumari. The living goddess travels from her abode at her Kumari Chhen to Tengal through Pyaphal, Yatkha, and Naradevi. From Tengal, the chariot turns eastward towards Asan through Nyokha and Bangemuda before taking another turn southwest to Makhan through Indra Chowk and traveling back to Kumari Chhen through Swet Bhairab in Basantapur. On this day we will get to see Kumari from our own eyes who is given the title of the living Goddess.

duration 5-6 Hours
duration 2 Km
trip-accomodation Nepali Ghar
trip-meals B
transportation Walking
Day 04

Final day of Indra Jatra!

At 11:00 AM: After your early morning breakfast, you will drive to Basantapur to enjoy the last day of Yenya (Indra Jatra), the chariot (Kumari) follows the same route as Thaneyaa (up town) to Makhan, Indrachwok and back to Kumari Chhen. To mark the end of Indra Jatra of the eight-day long festival (Yosin Thanegu), the wooden pole is then taken down then the natives of Kathmandu prepare themselves for the forthcoming winter after paying homage to the divine, the living, and departed. This concludes the biggest street festival in Nepal. After the closing ceremony of Jatra, our guide will drop you at your respective hotels.  

duration 6-8 Hours
duration 2 Km
trip-accomodation Nepali Ghar
trip-meals B,L
transportation Walking
Day 05

Kathmandu Sightseeing

At 09:00 AM: Have your breakfast and be ready for today's guided Kathmandu cultural sightseeing. You will be exploring some of the UNESCO-listed world heritage sites of Nepal, located within the Kathmandu valley. 

At. 09:30 AM: Visit Pashupatinath temple. 

At. 12:30 PM: Visit the Boudhanath stupa, you can have your lunch around the Boudhanath, there are several local and continental restaurants and cafes within the Boudhanath square along with the stupa view from the rooftop. 

At. 03:00 PM: Visit Swayambhunath Stupa.

At. 05:30 PM: You will be dropped back at your hotel.

duration 6-8 Hours
duration 40 Km
trip-accomodation Nepali Ghar
trip-meals B
transportation On Private Basis
Day 06

Patan, Bhaktapur Sightseeing | Drive to Nagarkot

At 09:00 AM: After breakfast, you will drive to Patan Durbar Square and explore the ancient city built by King Siddhi Narsing Malla, where you will observe various bronze statues, religious objects, a glamorous collection of metal crafts, and wood carvings (Purely a Newar Art) and a precious Malla era throne.

At. 12:30 PM: Afterwards, you will drive to Bhaktapur Durbar Square locally known as Khwopa in the east corner of Kathmandu city located about 16 km from Kathmandu, where you will appreciate the historical monuments, beautifully carved wood columns, palaces, and temples with detailed carvings and gilded roofs. After completing the long day of sightseeing you will drive to Nagarkot for an overnight stay (13 KM).

duration 6-8 Hours
duration 60 Km
ascent 2200m
trip-accomodation Country Villa
trip-meals B
transportation On Private Basis
Day 07

Nagarkot Sunrise | Fly to Pokhara.

At. 05:30 AM: You will witness the majestic sunrise above the thick clouds, surrounded by elevated mountain peaks providing a panoramic view that looks otherworldly.

At. 09:00 AM: After witnessing the most beautiful sunrise you will have breakfast and drive to Kathmandu airport to take a flight to Pokhara.

At. 12:00 PM: Our representative will meet and greet you at Pokhara airport and transfer you to your hotel. You will have a leisurely evening in Pokhara for self-exploration by walking around the Lakeside area.

duration 3-4 Hours
trip-accomodation Hotel Barahi
trip-meals B
transportation On Private Basis
Day 08

Sarangkot Sunrise | Pokhara Sightseeing

At. 05:30 AM: Today early in the morning you will drive to Sarangkot hilltop to experience a breathtaking sunrise view through the Himalayan range. Three out of eight 8000m mountains (Dhaulagiri 8167 m, Manaslu 8163 m and Annapurna 8091 m) can be seen from Sarangkot.

At. 10:00 AM: After the sunrise visit and breakfast at the hotel you will advance for a day sightseeing of the major attractions of Pokhara such as David's fall, Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, World Peace Pagoda, and Fewa Lake. Short boating at Fewa lake is highly recommended.

duration 6-8 Hours
duration 40 Km
trip-accomodation Hotel Barahi
trip-meals B
transportation On Private Basis
Day 09

Fly back to Kathmandu

At 01:00 PM: Enjoy your morning free time in Pokhara, and after lunch, you will fly back to Kathmandu.

At. 02:00 PM: Our representative will transfer you from Kathmandu airport to your hotel. This day will be leisurely so you can either rest or observe the street life of Kathmandu. As mentioned above Kathmandu is a mixture of ancient and modern cities so you can see different kinds of lifestyles here in Kathmandu. To make your tour more memorable you can stop by Thamel which is the center of the nightlife of Kathmandu where you can get souvenirs.

At. 06:00 PM: Lastly we will meet for a cultural (traditional local dance live performance in folk songs) Nepali dinner in Kathmandu on your farewell.

duration 3-4 Hours
trip-accomodation Nepali Ghar
trip-meals B,D
transportation On Private Basis
Day 10


(Have a safe home return!) : You will have leisure time in Kathmandu after breakfast at your hotel. Our office representative will escort you to the Kathmandu airport 3 hours before on time to board your flight. It may take 30 minutes to reach the airport from the hotel.

duration 30 Minutes
duration 10 Km
trip-meals B
transportation On Private Basis

Trip Guide

The information about the Indra Jatra Festival Tour is in-depth; feel free to contact us 24/7. We will be available on WhatsApp to assist you instantly. You can write an email if this trip doesn't fit your vacation schedule and requirements. Altitude Himalaya aims to offer the best possible travel experience to the customers. Depending on the needs of the visitors and the group size, we customize each vacation package. We will put together a bespoke itinerary just for your private group.

Frequently Asked Questions

Services Includes

  • All airport arrivals and departures upon requirement. 

  • Private vehicle with A/C for all mentioned sightseeing and transfers. 

  • Kathmandu to Pokhara and Pokhara to Kathmandu transfer by domestic flight.

  • All (9 nights) hotel accommodations are based on twin/double sharing deluxe rooms. 

  • Daily breakfast at the hotel from the next day of your arrival.

  • English-speaking professional and government-licensed tour guide during your sightseeing/Indra Jatra visit to Kathmandu.

  • One local SIM card (returnable) during your stay.

  • All government and local taxes.

  • Farewell Nepali cultural dinner on your last night in Nepal.

Services Excludes

  • Personal expenses.

  • Sightseeing entrance fees. (Approx. USD 80 Per Person) 

  • Lunch and dinner are excluded.

  • Nepal visa cost. (You will require 2 passport size photos and 30 USD cash to get a visa on arrival, can fill the form online before reaching)

  • Tips to the drivers and guides. (not required but recommended)

  • Services that aren’t mentioned above.

10 Days from US$ 1200
USD 1150 / Person


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