Bandipur Nepal: naturally and culturally blessed
“There is no greater beauty or charm then what we can find in nature” – very beautifully laid by Todd Romano and where you can possibly find the great gift of nature than in the villages. Away from the hustle of city life, the village is the one true place to find peace.
Nepal is known for its ultimate natural beauty; the majestic range of Himalayas, the enticing array of verdant hills, the horizon, the striking beauty of rivers, streams, waterfalls, it’s distinct geography and many more. What would be the best way to spend your holiday, then traveling to the naturally favored, culturally and naturally rich village, Bandipur Nepal?
ABOUT THE VILLAGE OF BANDIPUR NEPAL
Bandipur is a historical village of Nepal with a rich ancient culture and blessed natural beauty. Located on the mid-way of long drive between Kathmandu and Pokhara, Bandipur Nepal sits at an elevation of 1,030 meters.
As Bandipur was established by Newar traders from Bhaktapur as a funneling point of trade after it had been conquered by Prithvi Narayan Shah in 1768, the village has hardly changed and still retains its age-old flavor.
Now, Bandipur Nepal has become one of the pivotal points for tourism attraction with the perfect blend of medieval culture and its attributes, with a touch of modern ambiance. The village is rather charming with old, sturdy and traditional built by merchant class back then, which are now used as cafes, restaurants, shops, and lodging houses.
Although now Bandipur Nepal is predominated by Newar inhabitants, back in the 19th century it was a simple Magar village. As you travel Bandipur and explore the village, you will know that the name of the places around indicate that Magars inhabited the surrounding region known as Tahahun.
Bandipur serves the best for very traveling enthusiasts, and here are the more about Bandipur Nepal.
A BRIEF BACKGROUND OF BANDIPUR NEPAL
When King Prithvi Narayan Shah conquest of Kathmandu Valley in 1768, many Newar families moved out of the valley to establish trading posts in a hilly region and several families got settled in this exquisite village of Bandipur Nepal.
During that time, the Terai region of Nepal was suffering from the epidemic of malaria and setting down in Bandipur Nepal was the best choice as it was the malaria-free location. As they got settled, this obscure hilly village suddenly transformed into a commercial center and became an important stop along the India-Tibet trade route. Not only did they brought the prosperity of Bandipur Nepal, but they also brought their unique cultural heritage and architecture, which scaled up the beauty of Bandipur even more and beyond.
It was during the Rana regime from 1846-1951, when Bandipur Nepal was in its prime-time. From Tibet came mountain herbs, animal skins, horses and musk pods and from British India tobacco, glassware, kerosene, and calicos.
Then in the 1970s with the construction of Prithvi Highway, trade fell in Bandipur Nepal as the highway left Bandipur isolated in the mountain. However, with its retained originality, the village has become one of the attractions for tourists of Nepal.
ATTRACTIONS OF BANDIPUR NEPAL
RICH IN CULTURE
As already mentioned above, Bandipur is a former Magar village, now home to a variety of ethnic groups with different cultural practice and belief. Newars, Gurungs, Bahuns, Chhetris, Magars, Damais, Kamis, Kasais, and Sarkis, are the main inhabitants of Bandipur Nepal.
These ethnic groups are settled in Bandipur with peace and harmony exhibiting rich culture and tradition through the celebration of different festivals, traditional dances, languages, and lifestyles. Various festivals of Newar and Magar takes place at different times of years. Likewise, the traditional dance of Sorathi and Chutka is equally popular.
Located amid the green hill, Bandipur Nepal is a peaceful settlement where the inhabitants in the Bandipur bazaar are engaged in tourism, while in hilly sides, people grow rice, millet, corn, and mustard on terrace fields.
It is really astounding that the Newari architecture in Bandipur Nepal is still preserved. It is deemed that the isolated location of the place constituted on the protection of architectural charm, which would have been replaced by faceless modern buildings, just like in many towns of Nepal.
Bandipur Nepal went through many historical incidents that left several houses in bad condition, but still, the typical Newari architecture is preserved. The town of Bandipur comprises substantial buildings with neoclassical facades and shuttered windows and streets paved with slabs of silverish slate.
Incredible Himalayan Views
The hilltop location of Bandipur Nepal provides a great view of neighboring mountain ranges. Dhaulagiri (8,167 meters), Annapurna (8,091 meters), Manaslu (8,156 meters), Langtang Himal (7,234 meters), and Ganesh Himal (7,422 meters) are the Himalayan view from Bandipur Nepal.
Along with the mountains, you will also have an excellent view of Marsyangdi valley, Mount Manakamana, and Gorkha.
Translated as Queen’s forest in English, Raniban Bandipur is known for the pleasing and serene environment. The forest is grand and is perfect for a nature walk.
Bandipur had its heyday during the Rana time and the establishment of Padma library in that time totally showcases the power and prestige Bandipur had.
However, when the first demonstration of democracy took place, the people of Bandipur stormed the little garrison. Several houses were destroyed, as well heavy human-loss occurred. During that time, Padma library suffered as well; however, in 2000, it was carefully renovated.
The collection of the library is not much; there are beaten-up books, including a few English ones. It is the history that Padma Library carries and the striking 18th-century architecture exhibition in its windows and beams that make it one of the major places to visit in Bandipur Nepal.
Siddha Cave is the largest in Nepal, and second largest in South Asia with a depth of 437 meters, the height of 50 meters and the capacity of fitting around 2,500 inside it. The cave has a very distinctive inside of cathedral-like interior, full of stalactites and stalagmites.
Trekking to Siddha Cave from Bandipur bazaar is popular among tourists, which takes 1.5 hours of the hike each way. There is also an alternative of hiking up towards Siddha Cave from Bimalnagar on the Prithvi Highway, which takes only 45 minutes. Better not to miss this natural monument in Bandipur Nepal.
Tundikhel is amongst the popular places to visit in Bandipur. It is a human-made plateau where centuries past, traders would gather to haggle for goods from India and Tibet before starting their long journey to Lhasa or Indian plains.
Tundikhel also served as a parade ground for Gurkha soldiers in past years. Now it is a famous viewpoint for sunrise/sunset and Himalayan panorama and picnic spot.
Tindhara means “three taps,” however, there are actually five tapes in this place. These taps are still in use as a water source for Bandipur Nepal. You will see that above each tap; there is a beautifully sculptured king or a deity and the tap itself is a stunningly carved wooden spout.
There is a small and well-preserved water tank that stands opposite of Tindhara. Its historical significance and serene ambiance make it one of the places to visit in Bandipur Nepal.
Thani Mai is a religious site mainly climbed up for the spectacular view of sunrise view from Gurungche Hill. Climb the hill early in the morning to witness a mesmerizing 360-degree hilly landscape with Himalaya stretching out along the horizon and the valley below cloaked in a thick fog.
It takes a small walk of steep 30 minutes, starting near the school at the southwest end of Bandipur Bazaar.
RAMKOT VILLAGE HIKE, BANDIPUR NEPAL
Bandipur Nepal offers several small hikes like Thani Mai hike and Siddha Cave hike, and of all, Ramkot Village hike is the most-sought-after by visitors of Bandipur Nepal.
The hiking takes around 3-4 hours starting from the west of Bandipur. Ramkot Village is a typical village of Bandipur Nepal, mainly inhabited by Magar ethnicity with traditional houses and authentic cultural practices.
HOW TO REACH FROM KATHMANDU TO BANDIPUR NEPAL
Bandipur is located 143 kilometers west of Kathmandu and that takes around five hours of driving in a bus. You will find tourist buses leaving every morning from 6am-7am from Kantipath/Jamal. There are microbuses running from New Buspark, Gongbau on the Ringroad as well.
You will be dropped off at Dumre, from where you will have to catch a local bus to reach Bandipur Nepal. Bandipur is only 8 kilometers from Dumre.
If you are in Pokhara, then you are even more close to Bandipur Nepal. It takes around 1.5 hours from Pokhara to reach Bandipur Nepal.
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