Places to Visit in Nepal @ Bandipur
Bandipur is a picturesque town nestled in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal, a land as famous for its natural beauty as for the hospitality of its people. Bandipur lies midway between the capital Kathmandu and Pokhara, another popular tourist destination. Bandipur has been described as a natural view tower; indeed, one can enjoy a spectacular panorama of the entire Annapurna Range plus the peaks of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Langtang from here. Apart from the stunning views of the Himalaya and the Marsyangdi Valley, a visit to the town is an opportunity to get a close look at Newar cultural life.
HistoryBandipur was once a prosperous trading center, and its charming buildings, with their neoclassical facades and shuttered windows, bespeak its past glory. Originally a simple Magar village, it was settled in the early nineteenth century by Newars from Bhaktapur, who took advantage of its malaria-free location to develop it into an important stop on the India-Tibet trade route. Along with their trading skills, the Newars brought with them their rich cultural heritage and architecture, which still defines the look and feel of today's Bandipur.
EthnicityAlthough originally inhabited by the Magars (of Gurkha soldier fame), Bandipur today is a composite of different ethnic groups and beliefs. The town now contains an equal mix of Bahuns, Chhetris, Newars, Damais, Kamis, Sarkis, Kasais, Magars and Gurungs.
Climate WinterThe winter starts in September-October and ends around January-February. The maximum temperature hovers between 18-21 degrees Celsius and the minimum drops to 2-3 degrees. The sky over Bandipur at this time of the year is generally clear, providing superb views of the mountains.
SummerThe summer season lasts from February-March till June-July. The maximum temperature rises to 32-33 degrees Celsius with the minimum staying at 12-13 degrees.
MonsoonThe rainy season begins in June-July and continues till August-September. The monsoon is marked by big downpours in this area.
LocationBandipur has an altitude of 1,030 m, and is situated in the Mahabharat Range in Tanahu District of Gandaki Zone. It is 143 km to the west of Kathmandu, 73 km to the south of Pokhara, 70 km to the north of Chitwan and 8 km from Dumre Bazaar on the Prithvi Highway (Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway).
Getting There By roadDrive from Pokhara or Kathmandu to arrive at Dumre Bazaar by midday, and then it’s about a half hour bus ride to Bandipur Bazaar. From Dumre, one can find the local rides shuttling between Dumre and Bandipur.
Via the ancient routeIf you are adventurous, then the hike through the historical route, made famous by the song 'Bandipure Uklai lamo' (uphill to Bandipur) by late poet king MBB Shah, will take you about two hours. It ends in Tudhikhel, and a short five-minute walk will take you to the heart of Bandipur: Bandipur Bazaar.
Via the Siddha CaveIf you want to take the less travelled route to Bandipur with the visual delights of the caves and the Bandipur hillside, then this route is highly recommended. It starts from Bimalnagar and takes you past the Siddha Cave, probably the biggest cave in Asia, and will get you to Bandipur in about an hour and a half.