Whether you're seeking cultural immersion, natural beauty, adventure, or simply a peaceful escape, Bandipur has something to offer every traveller
Nestled in the heart of central Nepal, the Newari town of Bandipur is a well-kept secret waiting to be explored. This charming destination offers a delightful blend of traditional village architecture, breathtaking Himalayan vistas, tranquil countryside walks, thrilling adventure sports, and exceptional accommodation options. If you're traveling between the bustling cities of Pokhara and Kathmandu, Bandipur makes for the perfect pit stop, offering a serene taste of rural Nepal along the way. Here are the top five things to do in Bandipur:
Stroll Through Time Amidst Traditional Newari Architecture
Bandipur's charm lies in its well-preserved heritage. The town is built around a single flagstoned street flanked by exquisite wooden Newari architecture. Once a pivotal stop on the ancient trade route to Tibet, the town's former merchant houses have been lovingly transformed into guesthouses and cafes. As you wander these historic streets, you'll be greeted by cascading bougainvillea flowers and ancient temples at every corner. The absence of vehicles and their noisy horns creates an atmosphere of serenity, a stark contrast to the chaos of crowded Kathmandu.
Explore at your own pace
Bandipur beckons you to slow down and savor the moment. Visit the town's temples, meander through its charming alleyways, and embrace the leisurely pace of life reminiscent of a bygone era. Modern pleasures are not neglected either. The main street is lined with coffee shops and cozy balcony tables, offering the perfect setting to unwind with a book and enjoy free Wi-Fi. Don't miss the Cafés, known for their cakes, cocktails, and, of course, cappuccinos.
Embark on Scenic Walks
Bandipur offers picturesque walking trails that reveal the region's natural beauty. Start your day with an invigorating 30-minute hike to the Tani Mai Temple hilltop viewpoint. Here, you'll be rewarded with sweeping panoramas of the Himalayan peaks and the Marsyangdi Valley below. For a more relaxed stroll with equally breathtaking views, head to the Martyrs Memorial Park or Tundikhel, the town's former parade ground and now its main football field. As the sun sets over the Himalayas, savor a cold Gorkha beer from the far end of the Tundikhel ridge.
Adventure Activities Abound
Thrill-seekers will find plenty to do in Bandipur. Take a half-day walk downhill to Siddha Gufa, Nepal's largest cave, and explore its chambers by torchlight. Descend using ladders and ropes and encounter a resident sadhu (Hindu ascetic) deep within the cave. For the daring, abseil down through the cave roof, Mission Impossible-style. Rock climbing is an option on nearby cliffs, and you can also enjoy superb canyoning (rappelling down waterfalls) en route to Chitwan National Park. Paragliding is available from a launch site just above the town for those seeking an adrenaline rush.
Trekking and mountain biking adventures
Bandipur's location makes it an excellent starting or finishing point for treks like the Annapurna Circuit. Consider visiting before or after your trekking adventure. Take a half-day or full-day hike to Ramkot, a traditional Magar village that boasts one of the region's last surviving thatched-roof roundhouses. Enjoy a meal at the any of the Restaurants, where thatched cabanas offer stunning Himalayan views spanning Dhaulagiri, the Annapurnas, Manaslu Mountain, and the Langtang region. Mountain biking enthusiasts can explore the surrounding trails for a two-wheeled adventure.
Whether you're seeking cultural immersion, natural beauty, adventure, or simply a peaceful escape, Bandipur has something to offer every traveller. This hidden gem in Nepal invites you to step back in time and experience the country's rich heritage and breathtaking landscapes, making it a must-visit destination on your journey through Nepal.
photo credit: Kimkim