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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Bandipur Nepal travel tips
Where to sleep
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.
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.
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