An exhilarating journey reveals two distant, devout lands, different in fact yet similar in spirit. Hinduism in Nepal and Buddhism in Bhutan suffuse all aspects of life – and surrounding Himalayan scenery casts an awe-inspiring spell. This 15-day small group tour, limited to 18 travelers, begins with three nights in Kathmandu, the “Roof of the World.” Encounter Durbar Square’s fascinating jumble of ancient temples and palaces and visit iconic Swayambhunath Temple. Traveling through the beautiful Kathmandu Valley to Patan, known for its artistic traditions, tour its square, a UNESCO site. At Kopan Monastery, visit with the monks, then enjoy a small group highlight: lunch in a gracious Nepalese family’s home. Admire Boudhanath, Nepal’s largest Buddhist stupa; and Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal’s oldest and holiest Hindu shrine. Next is Bhaktapur, known for its fine artisans and temples. A two-night stay in hilltop Nagarkot offers an unforgettable experience: sunrise over the fabled Himalaya. With two nights in Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, visit a handmade paper factory, a Buddhist fortress monastery, and Memorial Chorten, a well-loved religious landmark. After a cultural performance, dine in a local family’s home, experiencing Bhutanese culture firsthand. At stunning Dochula Pass, follow the sacred tradition of raising prayer flags. Embark on a thrilling Punakha river rafting trip and visit Punakha Dzong, one of the country’s most attractive fortress monasteries. Traveling to historic Paro for three final nights, see its sights, including Ta-Dzong, the national museum. The tour concludes with a Bhutanese highlight: a visit to the legendary cliffside Tiger’s Nest monastery.
Day 1: Depart U.S. for Kathmandu, Nepal
Day 2: Arrive Kathmandu
Day 3: Kathmandu
Day 4: Kathmandu
Day 5: Kathmandu/Nagarkot
Day 6: Nagarkot
Day 7: Nagarkot/Kathmandu/Thimphu, Bhutan
Day 8: Thimphu
Day 9: Thimphu/Punakha
Day 10: Punakha
Day 11: Punakha/Thimphu/Paro
Day 12: Paro
Day 13: Paro/Tiger’s Nest Monastery
Day 14: Paro/Kathmandu, Nepal/Depart for U.S.
Day 15: Arrive U.S.
Lindsay Whaley is a Professor of Classics and Linguistics and the former Associate Provost for International Initiatives. His primary area of research is determining cross-linguistic tendencies in the syntactic and morphological properties of languages. As part of this effort, he has done extensive field research on several Tungusic languages spoken in the northeast of China. Dr. Whaley also researches the processes of language endangerment and revitalization. He is the author and editor of several books including “Saving Languages, An Introduction to Typology: The Unity and Diversity of Languages and Recent Advances in Tungusic Linguistics”. He is currently working on a book, tentatively entitled “Language Vitality and Community Well Being ‘ “ that explores the way in which communities around the world are developing language revitalization programs as part of largely community development efforts. He and his Dartmouth colleagues have developed a one-of-a-kind Foreign Study Program that provides undergraduates with the opportunity to carry out fieldwork on Polynesian languages in New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa.