The Best Things to do in Bandipur, Nepal

This post is about the best things to do in Bandipur Nepal. Bandipur is a hill town located in the Tanahu District of Nepal. It is on a ridge overlooking the Marsyangdi River. The town is a popular tourist destination and offers scenic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Bandipur is in between Kathmandu and Pokhara and certainly worth a visit if you travel in between these cities. There are plenty of things to do in Bandipur to warrant a stop for a day or two. 

Things to do in Bandipur Nepal
Bandipur village in Nepal

Why visit Bandipur Nepal?

Bandipur is one of the few Newari towns outside of the Kathmandu valley. According to local legend, the town was founded in the 18th century by a Newari merchant.

Bandipur became an important center of trade and commerce. Many wealthy merchants built grand homes and temples in the town. The town’s traditional Newari architecture reflects this prosperity and is characterized by intricately carved woodwork.

Today, Bandipur is under protection as a living heritage site by the government of Nepal. The town offers a glimpse into village life and provides an opportunity to experience the local culture and customs. It is also a great place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some quiet time in the hills.

There are plenty of things to do in Bandipur. Visitors can explore Bandipur’s historical temples, traditional homes, and streets, and enjoy scenic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Outdoor activities include hiking, trekking and paragliding. 

Things to do in Bandipur Nepal
Bandipur village

The best things to do in Bandipur Nepal

Visit the Bindabasini temple

The Bindabasini Temple is a significant religious site located in Bandipur, Nepal. It is dedicated to the goddess Durga, who is also known as Bindabasini. Newari people consider it one of the most important shrines of the goddess in the region.

The Newari temple is over 200 years old and features intricate carvings and sculptures. Inside the temple, there is a statue of the goddess Durga. The statue is adorned with gold and silver ornaments. There are also a number of smaller shrines with other deities, such as Bhairav and Ganesesh

Things to do in Bandipur Nepal: Bindabasini temple
Bindabasini temple

Explore Bandipur bazaar

Bandipur used to be a trade town. The town was on a trade route connecting Kathmandu and Pokhara. This made it an ideal location for merchants to trade goods such as textiles, spices, timber and salt. 

Nowadays the economy is based on agriculture and tourism. The bazaar still reflects its wealthy days, but nowadays sells souvenirs to tourists. 

Things to do in Bandipur Nepal: Bandipur bazaar
Bandipur bazaar

Enjoy Newari architecture

Bandipur is famous for its Newari architecture that is just as beautiful as the more famous Bhaktapur near Kathmandu. 

The Newari style buildings have beautiful wood carvings and intricate latticework. The most beautiful homes are around the bazaar.

Stay in a Newari homestay

Staying in a Newari homestay can be a unique and authentic experience that allows visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture and way of life. Newari homestays are typically owned by local families, who welcome guests into their homes.

The families are happy to share their knowledge and experiences with their guests and provide insights into the local community and its history.

You will also have the opportunity to experience the local cuisine and learn more about the food of the Newari people. Many homestays will offer meals made with local ingredients. Guests are often welcome to join the family in the kitchen and learn more about the preparation of traditional dishes.

Things to do in Bandipur Nepal: village life
Newari village homes

Try Newari food

Newari food is a specific type of cuisine that is unique to the Newar people of Nepal. What makes it different from the general Nepalese food is that it includes more meat and is more spicy. 

Choila is a traditional way of spicing and grilling meat. Most common is buffalo meat, but also goat and duck. The marinade typically includes spices such as cumin, ginger, pepper, and chilies, which can make the dish quite spicy. Some recipes also use a special type of Nepalese chili called timur, which is known for its strong pungent aroma and a fiery hot taste.

A typical Newari meal (Samay Bhaji) consists of different small items like choila, potatoes, beaten rice, fried soybeans, lentil patties and a vegetable curry.  

Enjoy the sunset from Thani mai viewpoint

Bandipur is not only about Newari culture, but also has a beautiful location that makes it a wonderful nature getaway. Bandipur offers a beautiful view over the surrounding mountains and valleys.  

The best view is from the Thani mai temple viewpoint. A steep 30 minute climb from the center of Bandipur. 

Things to do in Bandipur Nepal: Thani mai temple
Thani Mai temple

Hike to Sidda cave

One of the best things to do in Bandipur is going for short day hikes to enjoy the views. One hike is to the siddha cave. One of the largest caves in Nepal. The cave is located around 15km from Bandipur, and it takes around 3-4 hours to reach the cave by foot. 

It’s a beautiful trek through the rural area, you’ll pass by small villages, terraced fields, and dense forest. The trek also offers great views of the Himalayas.

Siddha Cave is a limestone cave, which is one of the holiest places in Nepal. It was used by siddhas (ascetics) for meditation and spiritual practices.  Locals believe it has healing properties. 

It’s worth noting that the cave is only accessible during the dry season, and the trail can be slippery during the monsoon season. There is also a motorable road that leads to the cave, which takes around an hour by vehicle

Sidda cave in Nepal
Sidda cave

Hike to Ramkot

The hike from Bandipur to Ramkot is a popular trek that offers scenic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Typically, the hike takes around 4-5 hours to complete one-way, and covers a distance of around 7-8 kilometers (4-5 miles). 

The hike starts from Bandipur and goes through the beautiful forest and terraced fields. As you hike, you will have the opportunity to see panoramic views of the Himalayas, including the Annapurna range and the Langtang range

Ramkot is a small village located on the hilltop. Once you reach Ramkot, you will be rewarded with more stunning views of the surrounding mountains. It’s a great place to take a break and enjoy a picnic lunch while admiring the beautiful scenery. The scenery will be very similar to the famous Poon Hill trek, but here you will have much less tourists on the trail.

Hike to ramkot in Nepal
Hiking to Ramkot

Bandipur Nepal travel tips

Where to stay in Bandipur

Budget: One of the best budget places to stay is the simple Himchuli guesthouse. Facilities are basic, but the owners are very friendly.  

Midrange: Hotel Aagaman or Shristi hotel both offer clean rooms for a very reasonable price. 

Upmarket: You can’t go wrong with Bandipur Chen. A great place with clean rooms and friendly staff.

Where to eat in Bandipur

Samay baji is one of the best restaurants to try authentic Newari cuisine in Bandipur Nepal. There are plenty of other cafes and simple restaurants that vary in price and quality. 

How many days in Bandipur

I would recommend at least two full days to be able to enjoy all the things to do in Bandipur. One day to enjoy the local village life and another day to hike to Ramkot or the Sidha cave. 

Things to do in Bandipur Nepal: hiking around Bandipur
Hiking around Bandipur

How to get to Bandipur

The most common way to reach Bandipur is by bus from Kathmandu or Pokhara. Buses run regularly from the Kathmandu Bus Park and Pokhara Bus Park to Dumre. The bus ride from Kathmandu to Dumre takes around 5-6 hours, and from Pokhara around 3-4 hours.

From Dumre, you can take one of the frequent local buses or jeeps to reach Bandipur.

When to visit Bandipur

The best time to visit Bandipur is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and the skies are clear, providing the best views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

In spring, the weather is warm and sunny and the rhododendron and other wildflowers are in bloom, making it a great time for hiking and trekking.

In autumn, the skies are clear, and the weather is dry, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities. Also, the harvest season starts in September, and the terraced fields are golden with ripe crops, giving the place a picturesque look.This is also time for two of the biggest festivals of Nepal. Dasain and Tihar are a joyous time to visit Bandipur.

The monsoon season, from June to August, can be avoided as it brings heavy rainfall, landslides, and leeches, making the trail muddy and slippery. Also, the skies are mostly cloudy, which can affect the views of the mountains.

Sustainable Travel in Bandipur

Although Bandipur is still an off the beaten path destination, tourism is increasing. Traveling sustainably to the Himalayas is essential to minimize your environmental impact and preserve the area’s natural beauty for future generations.

Support the local community: You can support the community by purchasing goods and services from local vendors. It is better to try Nepali Cuisine that uses local ingredients rather than imported foreign foods. Nepali food is vegetarian friendly and it is very easy to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Stay in small scale sustainable hotels: It is also better to stay in locally-owned guesthouses or homestays to support the local economy directly. These accommodations often have a more positive impact on the environment compared to large hotels.

You can try to look for guesthouses or homestays that prioritizes sustainable practices. That said, environmental awareness is still low. It’s up to you to use water sparsely, turn off lights, air conditioning, and heating when leaving your accommodation.

Leave no trace principle: When hiking around Bandipur, stick to designated trails to protect the fragile ecosystem. Straying off the marked paths can cause soil erosion and damage to plant life. If you are lucky enough to spot wildlife, observe quietly from a distance to prevent disruption to their habitats and help maintain their natural behaviors.

I encourage you to take all your trash back with you and dispose of it responsibly. In other words, leave no trace of your visit. Even better is when you bring something to pick up any of the trash that other people left behind.

To avoid single-use plastics, invest in reusable items. For example, you can bring your own water bottle with a filter. At last, use biodegradable and eco-friendly personal care products to minimize pollution of water sources.

Respect the culture: Besides environmental concerns it is also important to be sensitive of the community’s way of life. People will appreciate it, if you dress modestly. Learning a few basic phrases in Nepali or Newari, can go a long way in building meaningful connections and to learn more about the local culture.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer: This post with a travel guide about things to do in Bandipur Nepal contains affiliate links. If you buy any service through any of my links, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you. These earnings help me to keep Backpack Adventures alive! Thanks for your support!



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