Nepal is a country with rich physical features. Divided into three regions, Nepal has beautiful White Mountain peaks in the Himalayan region, green hills, and valleys in the Hilly region and fertile plain lands with lush and dense forest in the Terai region. With such a geographical diversity, there are many naturally beautiful places to visit, and such places have become a tourism landmark in recent years.
Out of many such places, Bandipur of Nepal is one of the very popular and most visited places by national as well as international tourist. It is one of the most charming villages in Nepal with a rich culture and tradition and the beautiful landscape views.
Bandipur is a village located near the mountains, which is now transformed into the major trade center of that area. It is a historical town established as a funneling point of trade by Newar traders from Bhaktapur after Prithvi Narayan Shan had conquered it in 1768. Originally established as a simple Magar village, Bandipur has become a trade fortress with town-like features of substantial buildings, their neoclassical facades and shuttered windows and street paved with slabs of silverish slate.
Despite the rise as a commercial point, Bandipur has maintained its ancient culture attributes like temples, shrines, sacred caves and their distinctive tradition and custom. Located at an elevation of 1,030 meters on a mountain saddle and about 700 meters above the Marsyangdhi river valley, Bandipur offers the best view of mountains like Ganesh Himal and is perfect for hiking through the delightful forest, tribal villages and beautiful hills.
Bandipur became more important during the time of Rana. Traders from Tibet came to this village with mountain herbs, musk pods, animal skin, and horses, while from British India came tobacco, glassware, kerosene, and calico. But, during the 1970s with the construction of Prithvi Highway, trading gradually slowed down leaving Bandipur isolated on the mountain. Later, the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway by-passed Bandipur altogether.
After the alignment to the main road, many towns lost their distinctiveness copying the city lifestyle, but Bandipur remained in its original state. The places around Bandipur shows that Magar chieftains ruled many principalities of today’s central Nepal. They originally inhabited the surrounding region known as Tanahun.
In Bandipur, the majority of the residents are traders who are originally from Bhaktapur who got here and got settled. In the main area of Bandipur, there is predominant of Newar while in hillside several ethnic groups like Magar, Gurung, Bahuns, Chhetris, and Kasais can be found. Tourist is also interested in the various festivals of Newari and Magar festivals.
Places to visit in Bandipur, Nepal
With the height of 50 meters and 437 meters depth, Siddha cave is believed to be the largest cave of Nepal. This place is a popular hiking destination from Bandipur, which is about a two-hour hike each way. You can also choose to hike to Siddha cave from Bimalnagar on the Prithvi Highway, which takes even fewer times than the earlier route. You can follow the signs from Bandipur starting from the north end of the village. The path to the cave is easy to follow with many beautiful views on the way.
Once reached the cave, you will see the inside of the cave is filled with incredible stalactites and to add the more thrillers, the bats will be making some noises inside the cave. Inside the cave, there is also a Shiva Linga, a structure of Lord Ganesh face and a swimming pool. The paths will be slippery so watch out the steps and do not forget to take a torchlight.
Dedicated to the Goddess Durga, this holy temple is at the northern side of the main bazaar of Bandipur. This temple’s walls are filled with the magnificent cravings. The temple holds another attraction, a library which dates back to the 18th century. The library is called Padma library and is one of the historic monument of that place.
Khagda Devi Temple
Khagda Devi Temple is one of the historic temples with special essence to the Shrestha clan of the Newar community of Nepal. The temple is considered as “mother temple” for the Shrestha whose ancestors moved to Bandipur from Sabkha. Khagda Devi Temple is dedicated to the sword if the 16th-century king of Palpa, Mukunda Sen. There are general believe that this particular sword was a gift to the king from Lord Shiva himself.
Located at the high altitude, the temple area offers the magnificent view of mountains and the beautiful village of whole Bandipur. You can also witness some wildlife on your way to the temples.
Built during the Rana regime of Nepal in the 18th century, this library has a random collection of beaten-up books, which also including few English kinds of literature. Although the library is small, it is more famous for its unique architecture and amazing design of building with beautifully carved windows and beams. Padma library was built during that time by very special permission from the Ranas, and the art of this library clearly shows it.
You might get confused by the name “Tundikhel” as there is already a popular one in the Kathmandu city. The name is very same, but this one of the popular spot of Bandipur. Before being a popular spot in recent years, this place used to be a place for traders to gather to bargain over the goods from Tibet and India before starting their long trek to Lhasa or the Indian plains. Tundikhel of Bandipur is also the former parade ground used by Gurkhas soldiers.
Now, talking of the present day, this place is used as a viewpoint and picnic spot. You can witness a spectacular view of beautiful peaks including highest in the world like Dhaulagiri (8,167 meters), Manaslu (8,162 meters), Langtang (7,264 meters), Ganesh Himal (7,406 meters) and Machhapuchhare (6,997 meters). It would be even better if you went to see the view of sunrise and sunset.
Visiting a silkworm farm might sound like an exhausting plan, but to experience something new in this beautiful place is way more fun. You will see the details and the process of making silk from the silkworm, which is so fascinating and unbelievable. You will come across a large farm where there are many orchards of mulberry plants planted to grow as food for the worm. The worms are reared indoors, mainly during August to December and March to May. But, you can pay a visit anytime as this place welcomes you throughout the year.
Thani Mai Temple
Although Thani Mai Temple is a religious place, it is rather famous for the breathing sunrise view. Located at the top of the hill, this spot offers an excellent view of sunrise. If you are lucky and the morning is clear, then you will witness 360-degree view of Bandipur, beautiful hill and the glorious view of the Himalayas stretching on the horizon.
You will also see the sculpture and historical artwork in this place. Hiking from Bandipur to this place is very popular. Most of the tourists prefer to rise early and take a hike in the fresh morning air, which is beneficial for health too and see the beautiful sunrise view. The hike is less than an hour from Bandipur.
This sacred site of Bandipur is at the southeast side of the main bazaar. Built in a pagoda style, this temple dates back to the medieval period. The temple has unique artwork with the figures of Bhimsen and various legendary animals in struts and tympanum. The statue of this ancient temple was so valuable that the very first and original one got stolen. However, it has been supplemented by another one.
This is another sacred site of Bandipur. It will just take you 15 minutes of stroll towards the north of the Bandipur Bazaar. It will look like a little shrub from above, but as you continue the stone pathway, you will come across a place of worship. You will also see a waterspout and underneath are different little statues of different divine beings, which are known as Parpani Mahadev.
In ancient days, people used to assemble in this place and sing psalms and bathe under the wellspring before going to the work in their fields. The lake of this site is the main attraction of this place.
Chandithan is sanctuary site located in the west of Bandipur Bazaar. As per the local legend, if individuals put 12 eggs inside the sanctuary and cover it with straw and a block before the beginning of planting season and in the event eggs are firm and dry following one year from the period they are revealed, then it will imply that there will be a decent harvest the next year.