Bandipur is a small hilltop town located in the Tanahun District of Nepal, approximately 143 km west of the capital city, Kathmandu. It is situated at an elevation of 1,030 meters above sea level and is known for its well-preserved Newari architecture and culture.
Bandipur was once an important stop on the trade route between India and Tibet, and its strategic location allowed it to flourish as a trading center during the 18th century. Today, it is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning views of the Himalayan Mountains, traditional architecture, and peaceful atmosphere.
Visitors to Bandipur can explore the town's narrow streets and alleyways, visit ancient temples and shrines, and sample traditional Newari cuisine. Popular attractions include the Bindabasini Temple, the Khadga Devi Temple, and the Tundikhel viewpoint, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills and mountains.
Bandipur is also a popular starting point for treks into the nearby mountains, including the Annapurna and Manaslu regions. Visitors can arrange guided treks or go on self-guided hikes to explore the area's natural beauty and wildlife.
The best time to visit Bandipur is from September to November and from March to May. During these months, the weather is generally dry and mild, making it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
From September to November, the skies are usually clear and the views of the Himalayan Mountains are stunning. This is also a good time to visit if you want to experience some of the local festivals and cultural events, such as the Dashain and Tihar festivals.
From March to May, the weather is warm and pleasant, and the hillsides are covered in beautiful rhododendron flowers. This is a great time to go trekking or hiking in the surrounding mountains.
However, it's important to note that Bandipur can be visited year-round, and each season has its own unique charm. The monsoon season from June to August brings lush greenery to the hillsides, but it can also be wet and muddy. The winter months from December to February are cool and dry, but the temperatures can drop below freezing at night.
There are several accommodation options available in Bandipur to suit different budgets and preferences. Here are some popular choices:
Old Inn Bandipur: This historic property is located in the heart of Bandipur and features traditional Newari architecture. It offers comfortable rooms and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
Gaun Ghar Hotel: This boutique hotel is housed in a beautifully restored traditional Newari house and features spacious rooms, a restaurant serving Nepali and international cuisine, and a garden courtyard.
Bandipur Mountain Resort: This resort is located on a hilltop overlooking the town and offers stunning views of the mountains. It features spacious rooms, a restaurant, and an outdoor pool.
Bandipur Homestay : This eco-friendly guesthouse is located on the outskirts of Bandipur and offers a peaceful retreat surrounded by nature. It features cozy rooms, a restaurant serving organic food, and a garden with hammocks and a campfire area.
Bandipur Village Resort: This resort is located just outside of Bandipur and offers spacious rooms, a restaurant serving Nepali and international cuisine, and a garden with a swimming pool and views of the mountains.
There are several things to do and see in Bandipur, Nepal. Here are some popular activities and attractions:
Explore the Old Town: Bandipur's Old Town is a well-preserved example of traditional Newari architecture, with narrow alleys, brick houses, and ornate temples. Take a leisurely stroll through the town to admire its unique charm and learn about its history.
Visit the Bindabasini Temple: This ancient temple is dedicated to the goddess Bindabasini, who is believed to grant wishes. It features intricate wood carvings and is a popular spot for worship and meditation.
Enjoy the View from Tundikhel: Tundikhel is a viewpoint located just outside of Bandipur that offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills and mountains. It's a great spot to watch the sunrise or sunset.
Go Trekking or Hiking: Bandipur is located near several popular trekking and hiking routes, including the Annapurna Circuit and the Manaslu Trek. You can arrange guided treks or go on self-guided hikes to explore the area's natural beauty and wildlife.
Attend a Local Festival: Bandipur is known for its vibrant festivals and cultural events, including the Dashain and Tihar festivals. Check the local calendar to see if any festivals are taking place during your visit.
Try Newari Cuisine: Newari cuisine is a unique and flavorful cuisine that is popular in Bandipur. Sample traditional dishes like chhoila (spicy grilled meat), bara (lentil pancakes), and kwati (a mixed bean soup).
Visit the Khadga Devi Temple: This ancient temple is dedicated to the goddess Khadga Devi and features intricate carvings and murals. It's a popular spot for worship and meditation.
Bandipur can be easily accessed from both Kathmandu and Pokhara by road. Here's how to get there from each city:
By Bus: Regular buses run from Kathmandu's Gongabu Bus Park to Dumre, which is the nearest town to Bandipur. From Dumre, you can take a taxi or a local bus to Bandipur.
By Private Car or Taxi: You can hire a private car or taxi to take you directly from Kathmandu to Bandipur. This option is more expensive but more convenient and comfortable than taking a bus.
By Bus: Regular buses run from Pokhara's Baglung Bus Park to Dumre. From Dumre, you can take a taxi or a local bus to Bandipur.
By Private Car or Taxi: You can hire a private car or taxi to take you directly from Pokhara to Bandipur. This option is more expensive but more convenient and comfortable than taking a bus.
It's important to note that the roads to Bandipur can be narrow and winding, so it's best to take caution if you're prone to motion sickness. The journey from Kathmandu or Pokhara to Bandipur typically takes around 4-5 hours by road, depending on traffic and road conditions.