Bandipur, famous for its beauty and hospitality is beautiful hilltop town at the foothills of Himalayas and offers a beautiful panorama of the Annapurna Range, the Dhaulagiri, Lang tang, and Manaslu along with an experience of an old aged Newari culture to the visitors.
The village itself is small, with lots of plants, trees and charming lamp-posts. Strangely enough, this place will remind you of Hanoi in Vietnam. There you will also find beautiful buildings in the old style. But unlike Hanoi, Bandipur is much less touristy.
During our Nepal tours, we get to marvel at its 18th-century buildings, which are well preserved and because motorized vehicles aren't allowed in the village, It's nice and quiet.
Bandipur is 143 km west of the capital and 73 km south of Pokhara with a population of 15,591 and roughly 3,750 households.
Bandipur is inhabited by the Magars and the Newars from Bhaktapur) - the Newars developed Bandipur as a stop on India-Tibet trade route.
Other ethnic groups in the place are Brahmins, Damaris, Kamis, Sarkis, Chhetries, Newars, Magars, Gurungs, and Kasais.
Bandipur isn't the easiest place to reach by public transport but that only proves that it's less visited by mass tourism.
We travel to Bandipur from Pokhara. There are small minivans that the locals use to come to Dumre - a town close to Bandipur - these cost a few hundred Rupee. You then take a taxi (Rs 500) for the last 8 kilometres however, It is possible to wait for the local bus (Rs30 pp).
From Kathmandu you take a tourist bus to Pokhara, asking the bus driver to drop you off two hours before arriving in the village of Dumre. A ticket to Pokhara costs between Rs700 and Rs2500. From Dumre you take a taxi (Rs 500) or a local bus (RS30 pp).
Take a stroll through the beautiful streets, view the centuries-old houses, drink a cup of coffee or try some sweet deep-fried dough.
The main street is called The Bazaar - take a turn at one of the side streets, where you will see more of the daily life and sometimes find a beautiful view of the surrounding valleys and mountains.
In the area of Bandipur, there are several caves. The largest is the Siddha cave, which is 500 meters deep.
From Bandipur, you can walk there in an hour and a half - the caves themselves are large and even with walking shoes are quite slippery inside, and for Rs 200 you get a 45-minute tour with a guide.
This historic place in Bandipur is a pilgrimage site for Newar community. The Shrestha caste of Newar community regards Khadga Devi Temple as their mother temple.
The temple tends to look like a private house and preserves a sword of the king of Palpa, Mukunda Sen from the 16th century - the sword is believed to be gifted to the king by Lord Shiva.
Located at the centre of the Bandipur Bazaar, Padma library was built by the special permission from the Ranas - it reflects the power of Bandipur during that era of Nepal.
The library is famous for its unique architecture and design. The books from the time of Rana administration is kept in the village and thus preserving the historical history of the village.
Located on the north part of the Bandipur Bazaar this pagoda-style temple has a picture of Bindabasini goddess.
There are also idols of the other goddess and a beautifully carved temple.
This temple located in the hill-top offers the visitors with beautiful mountains view and the village downhill. Despite being a religious spot, this temple is known for a spot for the spectacular sunrise. The hike is less than an hour from Bazaar.
Years ago, this specific spot was famous for traders to gather and sell goods from Tibet and India. The Gurkha soldiers also used it as a parade ground.
Today, this ground is a viewpoint for beautiful mountain peaks like Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Langtang (7,264 m), Ganesh Himal (7,406 m), Machhapuchhare (6,997 m) and Manaslu (8,162 m).
Bandipur is famous for its Silkworm farm - about a 4- minute walk from the village - it's a silk production factory which shows a detailed process of manufacturing silk from the silkworm.
Generally, the worm is raised indoors from August to December and March to May.
It is located at the southeast of the Bandipur Bazaar. The temple was built in pagoda style that dates back to the medieval period and reflects the unique artworks of Bhimsen and various animals - truly breathtaking to look at.
To put it simply, Bandipur is a drop of quietness and calm in the middle of messy noisy Nepal. There are no cars or scooters and so no honking either, a very welcomed change from other towns and cities and something that is rare to find.
Don't try to rush Bandipur - its charm is in its peacefulness and, from the perspective of small walks and the observation of its spots and views, there's plenty to do to enjoy a few days there.
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