Nepal is one of Asia’s most culturally diverse, friendly, and exciting countries. It may, however, be tiring. There were a lot of things about Nepal that we didn’t know before we went. Bumpy bus journeys over gravel dirt roads, motorbikes zipping by as you avoid crowds in Kathmandu’s temples, and high altitude climbing in the Himalayas are all part of the experience.
Bandipur in Nepal is the place to go if you want a tranquil retreat with traditional culture and serene, pleasant days filled with rural walks, wildlife, and mountain vistas. It’s no surprise that we consider it one of Nepal’s most gorgeous destinations.
Where Is Bandipur In Nepal?
There’s a high chance you’ve never heard of this location, yet it’s one of Nepal’s most historically significant. It’s a tiny town that begins with a 600-meter journey up the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway’s twisting slopes.
Sit down for a cup of tea, relax, and take a deep breath to discover why Bandipur is one of Nepal’s top tourist destinations. It’s a tourist’s dream; it’s ideal after trekking in Nepal, and it’s almost as if it was built with the visitor in mind!
Once a trading post in the 1700s, it grew into a commercial hub for Tibetan and British Indian traders until the 1970s, when the Pokhara-Kathmandu route bypassed it entirely. Fortunately for tourists, it has steadily evolved into a centre of Newari culture and a getaway from the central metropolis.
Bandipur hamlet is an excellent ‘rest stop’ since it is easily accessible from Pokhara and is one of the most significant locations to visit near Kathmandu. Taking a break from those oh-so-bumpy roads and stopping here is a fantastic way to break up long travel days. Don’t be fooled by the distance.
Although the distance appears to be short on the map, the road conditions and traffic make travel time much longer. It’s around 140 kilometers from Kathmandu to Bandipur (it may take 5-7 hours), 73 kilometers to Pokhara (3-4 hours by bus), or a 2.5 to 3.5-hour bus journey from Chitwan to Bandipur.
Why Do People Love To Visit Bandipur?
There are several reasons why this little hilltop town is known as “Nepal’s Warm Heart.”
- Vehicles, including motorcycles, are prohibited from driving on the main streets. Prepare to relax as you stroll through gorgeous cobblestone streets, enjoying the classic wooden and brick houses that characterize Newari culture.
- There isn’t any haggling involved. There will be no shopkeepers out to haggle or wheel and deal with you so that you may browse and explore at your leisure.
- The prices aren’t exaggerated here. It is cheaper to eat, stay, and drink here than in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
- Architecture and Tradition – There are plenty of cafés, restaurants, places to stay, and things to do among the traditional Newari architecture’s wooden balconies and magnificent Bougainvillea trees.
- Buddhist and Hindu devotees coexist peacefully. Without crowds, you may easily explore the modest, personal temples.
- Nature – Come to Bandipur to refresh your lungs and spirits if you feel like you missed out on the greenery, mountain views, and pure air in Kathmandu.
Best Places To Visit in Bandipur
Surprisingly, Bandipur has plenty of things to do. The first is to unwind and appreciate the respite from Nepal’s hustle and bustle. The second category includes all of these enjoyable activities:
1. At the Boudha Sadan Shakyamuni Monastery (also known as Bandipur Monastery), visit the Monk and the small Buddist Monastery. During our two-month trip to Nepal, this was one of our favourite days. Following the stairs right past the main square, we walked up the Buddhist monetary.
The monk who lives there invited us in for tea and told us about the monastery’s construction and extension plans for the temple, and we ended up spending the entire day there. He left us to meditate and sit on the temple steps to gaze out at the snow-capped Himalayan peaks beyond the horizon.
This is amongst those once-in-a-lifetime chances to meet a Monk up close and personal and ask him whatever you want.
2. Climb Up To Thani Mai – A well-marked stairway and hand-railed walkway lead to a hill above the town. Climbing is best done when the sun rises early in the morning or when the sun sets late in the afternoon. The Thani Mai temple, a tiny Hindu temple at the summit, is an excellent site to come for the views but is not a significant attraction.
Continue hiking over the mountain range to Gurungche Hill for a whole 360-degree perspective of the entire area for an even more incredible vista. The journey takes around 30 minutes and is a lovely, slightly strenuous climb up the steps.
3. Climb and Explore Siddha Guffa – Hike halfway down the Bandipur village hill to reach the Siddha Cave, Nepal’s largest cave, 437 meters deep and 50 meters high. A guide throughout the cave must accompany you.
The guide, who charges a modest fee, carries a lantern and takes you down ladders into deep caves and through rope swinging parts. Stalactite formations abound throughout the cave. The sound of whistling bats may be heard far above the cavern walls.
During the rainy season, you’ll observe native prayer and meditation places, as well as a swimming pool. A good pair of shoes is required. Bring a headlight with you. This is not a trip for a person with a weak heart.
4. Wander Around The Temples – Throughout the town, there are numerous magnificent Hindu temples. You can look for them on your own, such as the Bindebasini temple, located on the north side of the main street or market.
It is said that the temple is dedicated to the goddess Durga. The temple and the old wooden entrance are adorned with intricate stone carvings.
5. Shop At Bandipur Bazaar – T-shirts, Newari presents, and refreshments are available for purchase. The advantage of not haggling is that you may roam as much as you like.
6. Hike around the countryside in any direction, and you’ll come across intriguing houses and temples.
7. Enjoy Dal Bhaat and Momo – Of course, Momos are Nepal’s most renowned dish, and there are many of them in this town. Everywhere you walk, you’ll discover a variety of delectable fried or steamed dumplings.
Chicken, buff (water buffalo), and vegetables are the most frequent, but they are less common and must typically be requested ahead of time. Dhal Bhat is the most traditional cuisine, consisting of rice, veggies, lentil soup, pickled curries, and generally limitless refills.
8. Go Paragliding – A paragliding takeoff field is located just outside of Bandipur’s main town. If you enquire when you arrive, your guesthouse can organize a glide for you.
What Are The Best Places To Eat And Drink in Bandipur?
In Bandipur, there are many local, fresh, and tasty places to dine. There are no huge food franchises here; instead, small eateries run by local families are a delight!
Old Home Country Food
A modest family-run restaurant in the heart of the significant Bazaar. You can have your Dal Bhat and traditional Thai dishes there for reasonable pricing. We ate here numerous times because it was such a tiny space with such a cheerful kitchen.
Enjoy excellent traditional Nepali cuisine while sitting on the terrace overlooking the main bazaar. The Nepali Thukpa soup was delicious.
This charming little eatery was created by the woman who owned it. Turn left at the stairs of the Bandipur village resort and go a few streets north. The Dahl Baht and momos are very delicious. The restaurant is tastefully furnished, with seating on both sides of the road, one in the main house and overlooking Bandipur’s valley.
From the back terrace, you can enjoy delicious coffee and beautiful views. However, in comparison to the other meal alternatives, they are a little pricey.