Exploring Bandipur in Nepal: Top Things To Do & Most Popular Places to Visit In Bandipur (2024)
Nepal is one of the most famous South Asian countries in the world. Even though most of its popularity is because of its natural beauty, its traditions, cultures, and people also play an equal part. Some would say that Nepal’s cultural and historical side can only be experienced in Kathmandu, but we would differ with that opinion. Kathmandu surely is a fantastic site and perhaps the most culturally enriched place in the country. Still, other hidden urban and rural agglomerations located in Nepal contribute to the rich culture and history. Bandipur is one of the few locales in Nepal that offers scenic views and cultural diversity to tourists.
Bandipur is located right between two major Nepal cities, namely, Kathmandu and Pokhara. Even though you might have never heard about this town’s existence, it is quite important to Nepal’s history. In the 1700s, Bandipur was the most important commercial trading center in Nepal. In the next century, the town became even more significant to the traders of different countries. Most of the businesspersons that used to trade in this city belonged from Tibet and Britain. The most common items transported to India and other countries included tobacco, kerosene, musk pods, and calico. You will be stunned to know that animal skins and horses were exported to different places through Bandipur.
The downfall of Bandipur started in the 1950s after the opening of the Pokhara airfield. As the world got the chance to connect to Nepal quickly and easily, Bandipur’s exposure international transactions reduced. Even though the loss of business trading made Bandipur economically weaker, the lack of highways remained untouched. That is why you will see that the Newari architecture of the city is untouched. King Prithvi Narayan Shah is responsible for the abundance of Newari architecture in the city. After being defeated by the said monarch in 1768, most of the Newar inhabitants started migrating to Bandipur.
Despite increasing urbanization and digitalization, Bandipur’s beauty has remained untouched. With an altitude of 3379 feet, this hillside town is still lost in the past days of glory. Even today, most restaurants and cafes in the town are located in buildings donning 18th-century architecture. If you are someone who longs for underrated sites that are not visited by thousands of tourists? Then Bandipur is a great place for you. In this blog, you will get to learn a lot of details regarding Bandipur. So, let us get to know about the mysterious town of Bandipur.
Top Things To Do In Bandipur
Bandipur is a town that is full of culture and hidden history. Unlike other hill stations in Nepal, this town is not the center of major trekking trails. The most popular things to do in Bandipur are provided below.
1. Strolling Around in the City
The city of Bandipur is perfect for exploring on foot. There are so many beautiful spots located over there that you will love exploring them by walking around. The best time to walk in Bandipur is in the early morning, preferably before sunrise. If you hike to the Tani Mai Temple viewpoint in this town during dawn, you will be bewildered by its surrounding views. As some of the majestic peaks can be seen from this town, their views amid the reddish hue of the sky during sunrise are genuinely splendid. If you want, you can explore the entire town by walking. Different places in Bandipur are extremely beautiful. You will get to learn about them in the later part of the blog.
2. Cycling and Hiking
Bandipur has some gorgeous sites that are best visited by hiking or cycling. You can go to Siddha Gufa, which is located on a half-a-day hike from the town if you want. The entire trip to the cave is quite otherworldly. If you opt for cycling to travel there, you will reach there even faster. Many adventure-seekers take part in rock climbing after reaching the caves. In case you are an expert trekker or hiker, you can start your trekking journey towards Ramkot. Reaching this village via hiking usually takes around a day. You can also camp on the way to get there. Throughout the entire trip, you will get to see the panoramic view of the breathtakingly beautiful Himalayas. Some people prefer mountain biking over hiking to go there.
3. Tasting the Delicious Food
Bandipur has a lot of roadside stalls and small eateries that sell the famous Tibetan dumplings, Momo. If you go there, you must gorge on these delicious parcels of meat. Apart from tasting steamed Momo, you will get to have fried Momo as well while staying in Bandipur. Apart from Momo, different dishes of buff are also quite popular in the town. Buff or water buffalo is a staple for the locals in Bandipur. While staying there, do not forget to taste it with piping hot rice, chicken curry, and lentil soup.
Most Popular Places to Visit in Bandipur
Bandipur has some interesting places located near it. They are explained in the following section of this guide.
1. Boudha Sadan Shakyamuni Monastery
The Boudha Sadan Shakyamuni Monastery is located not that far away from the main city center of Bandipur. That is why you will get there by walking within a few minutes. Even though this Buddhist site is quite small, its beauty is unparalleled. The monastery is commonly known as the Bandipur monastery. As Nepal’s beautiful mountains surround this site, you will get to witness the ethereal beauty of the surrounding after reaching there. The view of the snow-peaked mountains from the monastery’s calm and serenity takes you to another realm. If you want to know about the monastery in detail, we suggest you talk to the monk residing there. He will even offer you some tips on making your life peaceful to get deeply connected to him.
2. Siddha Cave
Siddha Cave or Siddha Gufa is an impressive structure located at a 1.5 hour-hike from Bandipur. These caves are considered the largest caves in Nepal, and they are located at a depth of 1433 feet underground. To reach the caves, you will have to hire a local guide in Bandipur. The guide himself will come prepared with a flashlight, ladders, and even ropes. If you want to do rock climbing in the cave, ask your guide, and he will help you partake in the activity safely. Inside the cave, you will notice areas marked for meditation. Exploring the cave is not for everybody as it requires difficult physical exercise. Even though your guide will bring every required item for exploring the cave, do not forget to bring a headlamp for yourself.
3. Thani Mai
Thani Mai is a hilltop located in Bandipur that allows tourists to get a bird’s eye view of its entire surroundings. To reach this point, you will have to climb many stairs from the main square of Bandipur. Even though climbing stairs might sound tiresome, climbing them will not be a major hassle for you due to their lesser steepness. Most tourists prefer to visit Thani Mai during sunrise or sunset. The surrounding mountains look mesmerizing on the backdrop of the beautiful skyline of Bandipur during these times. Apart from the viewpoint, there is also a temple located in Thani Mai. This temple is commonly known as the Thani Mai temple. You will genuinely find peace by visiting this tiny Hindu temple.
Ways to Reach Bandipur
Bandipur might not be as popular as Kathmandu and Pokhara in Nepal, but it can be easily reached. One of the most interesting things about this site is that it is right in the middle of Pokhara and Kathmandu. From Kathmandu, it is located at a distance of 147 km and from Pokhara, it is located 73 km away. Now, the most efficient ways to reach there are explained in detail in the following.
By Bus: One of the most common and easiest ways to reach Bandipur is by catching a local public bus from Kathmandu. As we have mentioned earlier, the distance between these two cities is 147 km, and that is why it would take you around five to six hours to reach your destination. Even though the bus fare will cost you only INR 150, the journey might be quite difficult. These local buses tend to stop at every stop. To get to Bandipur, you will have to get off at Dumre stop. Dumre is situated only 8 km from the town. You will easily get cabs from Dumre to take you to Bandipur.
If you want, you can get a bus to Dumre from Pokhara also. The buses that will take you to Bandipur from Pokhara are private buses, so they cost way more than the Kathmandu buses. You will have to pay around INR 1000 per head to reach Dumre from Pokhara by bus. You will reach the town within 3 hours from Pokhara.
By Cab: Many tourists prefer renting cabs over any other means of transportation while traveling to Bandipur. You will get cabs from both Kathmandu and Pokhara to reach the town. The prices of these trips vary a lot, and we would suggest you ask your hotel helpdesk to book you one.
Perfect Time to Visit Bandipur
The weather of Bandipur is quite similar to the weather of most cities in India. It is quite warm in the summers and extremely comfortable during the winters. That is why it is always better to visit Bandipur between December and February if you plan one exploring the city comfortably. You will also receive an agreeable climate in the monsoons, but the heavy rainfall quite causes hindrance during your trip.
Apart from the fantastic weather, the winters in Bandipur are more interesting due to the street food festival. If you visit there between 30th December and 1st January, you will get to witness the annual street food festival in this town. During this time, the town allows tourists to taste the delectable food and participate in the traditional Nepal culture. You will also get to witness beautiful fireworks during this time of the year.
Best Places to Stay in Bandipur
Bandipur has its fair shares of hotels and homestays. That is why so many tourists prefer spending a few days over there. Some of the most popular places to stay in Bandipur are given below.
1. The Hotel
One of the best things about Bandipur is its reasonably-priced hotels. The Hotel in this town is one of the best places to stay. This property comes with a variety of exciting features, but it is also extremely affordable. With parking spots, business convention centers, comfortable and well-maintained rooms, the Hotel is a great place to stay in Bandipur. The in-house restaurant of the property comes with a bar that tourists love to spend sometime. From most rooms of this Hotel, you will enjoy the beautiful scenic views of the town.
Address: Dumre-Bandipur Road Block#2/3, Bandipur 33904, Nepal.
Phone Number: +977 65-520147
Website: Not available
Price of a room per night: INR 1833
2. Hotel Durbar Himalaya
Hotel Durbar Himalaya is one of the most popular hotels in Bandipur. This three-star property is located at the heart of the city. From the inside out, this Hotel is quite beautiful. All the rooms of Hotel Durbar Himalaya are equipped with all the modern amenities of life. They are exceptionally comfortable and clean. You will love the views of the majestic Himalayas from the Hotel’s terrace. As this site has its restaurant, you will get to taste some delicious dishes while staying in your room.
Address: Bandipur 33904, Nepal.
Phone Number: +977 985-6042404
Website: Not available
Price of a room per night: INR 2240
3. Bandipur Kaushi Inn
Bandipur Kaushi Inn might be the best Hotel to stay in the town if you love nature. This property’s apt location allows tourists to witness the grandeur of nature from its every corner quite easily. As all the rooms of this Hotel have balconies, you will have a gala time relaxing there with a cup of hot coffee. The restaurant and bar of the Hotel are also quite popular among tourists and locals alike.
Address: Bandipur 33904, Nepal.
Phone Number: +977 65-520083
Price of a room per night: INR 2600
Bandipur might not be the most beautiful or most culturally enriched site in Nepal, but it is certainly one of the country’s warmest places. Its people and their hospitality make tourists go back there from time to time. Spending a few days in this tiny Nepal municipality will make you genuinely relaxed. We hope, by checking out this guide, you got a lot of important details regarding Bandipur.