Bandipur Village Tour
Bandipur is a picturesque town nestled in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal, a land as famous for its natural beauty as for the hospitality of its people. Bandipur lies midway between the capital Kathmandu and Pokhara, another popular tourist destination.
Situated on a hilltop above the highway town of Dumre( 7 km.), Bandipur captivates the visitor with its cultural appeal and pristine scenery. This Newar town has maintained its age-old flavour, and presents sightseers with a heady mix of history, architecture, incredible views, awesome caves and unspoiled landscapes.
Bandipur has been described as a natural view tower; indeed, one can enjoy a spectacular panorama of the entire Annapurna Range plus the peaks of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Langtang from here. Apart from the stunning views of the Himalaya and the Marsyangdi Valley, a visit to the town is an opportunity to get a close look at Newar cultural life.
Bandipur is an outpost of the refined civilization of the Kathmandu Valley, and it is an ideal retreat to soak in this fabulous heritage along with the natural splendour of the surroundings. With its varied attractions ranging from the artistic to the scenic, Bandipur entices visitors of all interests to come and discover something for oneself.
Bandipur was once a prosperous trading center, and its charming buildings, with their neoclassical facades and shuttered windows, bespeak its past glory. Originally a simple Magar village, it was settled in the early nineteenth century by Newars from Bhaktapur, who took advantage of its malaria-free location to develop it into an important stop on the India-Tibet trade route. Along with their trading skills, the Newars brought with them their rich cultural heritage and architecture, which still defines the look and feel of today's Bandipur.
Bandipur saw its heyday during the Rana period (1846-1951). The power and prestige it enjoyed then is indicated in the special permission it received to establish its own library that still exists. In the 1950's, the town began to lose its edge after malaria was eradicated in the Terai, which facilitated travel to the once dreaded plains. In the 1960's, the district headquarters was moved to Damauli. The final blow came in 1973 following the completion of the Prithvi Highway that sidestepped it. Shunted from the traffic, commerce shifted to Damauli, and Bandipur turned into a near ghost town.
When Newar merchants fanned out from the Kathmandu Valley looking for new prospects after its conquest by Prithvi Narayan Shah in the late eighteenth century, they chose Bandipur as an appropriate conduit for trade between the northern hills and the southern flatlands. The traders also designed the town in a style that reflected their fine aesthetic standards; and thus its houses ornamented with pagoda roofs, lattice windows and ornate doorways stand firm to this day to delight the travellers who are making Bandipur their new destination. (for detail read An Ethnohistorical Study of Bandipur)
Although originally inhabited by the Magars (of Gurkha soldier fame), Bandipur today is a composite of different ethnic groups and beliefs. The town now contains an equal mix of Bahuns, Chhetris, Newars, Damais, Kamis, Sarkis, Kasais, Magars and Gurungs.
The winter starts in September-October and ends around January-February. The maximum temperature hovers between 18-21 degrees Celsius and the minimum drops to 2-3 degrees. The sky over Bandipur at this time of the year is generally clear, providing superb views of the mountains.
The summer season lasts from February-March till June-July. The maximum temperature rises to 32-33 degrees Celsius with the minimum staying at 12-13 degrees.
The rainy season begins in June-July and continues till August-September. The monsoon is marked by big downpours in this area.
Bandipur has an altitude of 1,030 m, and is situated in the Mahabharat Range in Tanahu District of Gandaki Zone. It is 143 km to the west of Kathmandu, 73 km to the south of Pokhara, 70 km to the north of Chitwan and 8 km from Dumre Bazaar on the Prithvi Highway (Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway). (Map)
Drive from Pokhara or Kathmandu to arrive at Dumre Bazaar by midday, and then it’s about an half hour bus ride to Bandipur Bazaar. From Dumre, one can find the local rides shuttling between Dumre and Bandipur.
Via the ancient route
If you are adventurous, then the hike through the historical route, made famous by the song 'Bandipure Uklai lamo' (uphill to Bandipur) by late poet king MBB Shah, will take you about two hours. It ends in Tudhikhel, and a short five-minute walk will take you to the heart of Bandipur: Bandipur Bazaar.
Via the Siddha Cave
If you want to take the less travelled route to Bandipur with the visual delights of the caves and the Bandipur hillside, then this route is highly recommended. It starts from Bimalnagar and takes you past the Siddha Cave, probably the biggest cave in Asia, and will get you to Bandipur in about an hour and a half.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m)
Arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). Upon arrival the guests would be received by our representatives and transfer to hotel.
Day 02: Drive to Bandipur, transfer to hotel or homestay.
Day 03: Trek to Raniban, Orchid trail, return to hotel, cultural show.
Day 04: Sight seeing Siddha Cave, Ramkot village, return to hotel.
Day 05: Drive back to Kathmandu, Chitwan or Pokhara
Note: Itinerary can be customized according to your needs and length of stay.
Location: Mahabharata range (Tanahu district of Nepal)
Facilities / Access: Road, electricity, telecommunications, health service
Area: 4562 hectors
Getting there: Drive from Kathmandu to Dumre by Toursit bus or Drive by Private vechicle(132 km)
Distance: 132 km from Kathmandu, 73 km from Pokhara
Settlement: Predominately Newar
Weather: Winter 20-2 / Summer 30- 12 degree centigrade
Ethnic groups: Magar, Gurung, Bahun, Kshetry, Damai, Kami and Sarki
Major festivals: Bisket Jatra (April), Khadga Jatra (October), Janai Purnima (April)
Places of Interest: Khadga Devi Temple, Siddha Gufa (cave), Tandrang Tundrung
Accommodationt: Homestay, Lodges, Resorts