BANDIPUR Located on a 1,000 m ridge overlooking the Marshyangdi River Valley in Tanahu district, some 140 km from Kathmandu on the way to Pokhara. Once a vibrant commercial center on the Tibet-India trade route, Bandipur offers mountain views, artistic Newar houses, shrines, forts and caves. While the Newars are predominant in Bandipur, the Magar and Gurung ethnic groups, who have traditionally joined Indian and British armies, inhabit the hillsides growing rice, millet, corn and mustard on terrace fields.People: While the Newars are predominant in Bandipur, the Magar and Gurung ethnic groups inhabit the hillsides growing rice, millet, corn and mustard on terrace fields. Brahmin, Chettri, Kami, Sarki, Damai ethnic groups have also made Bandipur their home since the Magars first settled here.
|Suggested Itinerary of Bandipur (3-4 days)|
|ExperienceMOUNTAIN VIEWS: From the hillocks surrounding Bandipur, you are able to take in a 300 km “visual tour” of the central Himalayan chain from the Jugal Himal (mountain) directly north of Bhaktapur in Kathmandu, westwards to Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Gorkha Himal, Manaslu, Himalchuli, Buddha, Annapurnas, Dhaulagiri and Kanjiroba. The different viewpoints around Bandipur include Gurungche hill, 20-minute hike from Bandipur Bazaar, Tundikhel and Mukundeswari.TUNDIKHEL, the large field at the northern end of the town, offers 180-degree panoramic views of the Himalayan ramparts to the north and Marshyangdi Valley down below. Also visible from here are the Gorkha Palace and the famous Manakamana peak.SIDDHA GUPHA, located just above the Bimalnagar cliff, is the largest cave in south Asia. It is rich in stalagmites and stalactites. A two-hour hike from Siddha Gupha leads you to Patalidwar, or Gateway to Hell, another popular cave. A visit to the cave is said to wash away all the sins of one’s ancestors and bring them salvation.GADHI is an ancient fort on a hilltop just above the main bazaar, said to date from the time of Mukunda Sen who ruled Palpa in the 16th century. Because of its location, stunning views of the Himalaya can be had.MUKUNDESWARI is considered an important tribal “power place”. Located on the top of a high summit, Mukundeswari is a 2-hour walk west of Bandipur. The shrine, festooned with many bells and tridents, is especially revered by the Gurungs.RANIBAN is a beautiful and well-preserved community forest belt for nature walks, bird watching and exploring the abundant flora and fauna of this region.KHADGA DEVI TEMPLE is the most revered shrine here which contains no idol but a sacred khadga (sword) – a gift of Lord Shiva to Mukunda Sen, the 16th century king of Palpa. The sword is said to wield immense power and is wrapped in cloth as death is inevitable to anyone who views its naked form. The temple is open once a year during the Hindu festival of Dashain in October or November.BINDHYABASINI TEMPLE is situated in the heart of the Bandipur Bazaar. This pagoda-style temple of Goddess Durga displays Newar craftsmanship at its best with its rich woodcarvings and detailed brass work. During the Bisket Jatra (festival), in mid-April, the idol is placed on a palanquin and taken through the town.MAHALAXMI TEMPLE, also in the style of a pagoda, is dedicated to the Goddess of Wealth. The structure also displays exquisite woodwork in its struts and arches.|