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Bandipur: Exploring the Enchanting Hilltop Gem of Nepal

Bandipur is a small town located in the Chitwan District of Nepal. It is situated on a hilltop at an altitude of 1,027 meters (3,369 feet) and is known for its natural beauty and wildlife conservation efforts. Bandipur was once an important stop on the trade route between Kathmandu and Pokhara, but it lost its significance after the construction of a new highway.

Quick Facts

LocationTanahun District
Altitude1,030 meters (3,380 feet)
Available transportationPublic Vehicles, Private vehicles, taxi

Bandipur is famous for its well-preserved Newari architecture and traditional houses. The town has narrow cobblestone streets, beautifully carved wooden windows, and old buildings that give it a distinct charm. The main attraction of Bandipur is its panoramic views of the surrounding hills and the Himalayan range, including peaks like Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu, and Langtang.

In addition to its cultural and architectural heritage, Bandipur is also known for its nature and wildlife. It lies within the buffer zone of the Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is home to various species of birds, butterflies, and mammals. Visitors can enjoy nature walks, hiking trails, and birdwatching in the area.

Major Attractions

  1. Traditional Newari Architecture: Explore Bandipur’s charming streets lined with well-preserved traditional Newari houses. Admire the intricately carved wooden windows, ornate facades, and overall architectural splendor that reflects the rich cultural heritage of the Newar community.
  2. Tundikhel: Visit Tundikhel, a historic parade ground that now serves as Bandipur’s main football field. Take a leisurely stroll along this open space, enjoy the fresh air, and soak in the panoramic views of the surrounding hills and mountains.
  3. Temples: Discover Bandipur’s religious sites, including ancient temples and shrines that add to the town’s spiritual ambiance. The Khadga Devi Temple, Mahalaxmi Temple, Bindyabasini Temple, and Bindebasini Temple are among the notable sacred sites worth exploring.
  4. Hilltop Viewpoints: Climb up to the hilltop viewpoints to witness awe-inspiring vistas of the Himalayan range and the Marsyangdi Valley below. The Tani Mai Temple and the Martyrs Memorial Park offer breathtaking panoramic views that capture the beauty of the mountains and the picturesque landscape.
  5. Siddha Gufa: Embark on a half-day hike to Siddha Gufa, Nepal’s largest cave. Explore the cave by torchlight, descending through its chambers via ladders and ropes. Encounter the mystical atmosphere and witness the solitary chanting of a resident sadhu (Hindu ascetic) deep within the cave.
  1. Hiking and Trekking: Bandipur serves as a gateway to various hiking and trekking trails in the region. Take on the challenge of treks such as the Annapurna Circuit or the Manaslu Circuit, both accessible from Bandipur. Enjoy the serene beauty of the surrounding hills, forests, and mountain landscapes.
  2. Adventure Activities: Thrill-seekers can indulge in adventure activities such as mountain biking, rock climbing, and canyoning. Explore the cliffs, waterfalls, and natural formations while experiencing the adrenaline rush that these activities offer.
  3. Cultural Immersion: Engage in cultural experiences by interacting with friendly locals and participating in traditional festivities. Learn about the customs, traditions, and rituals of the Newar community, known for its vibrant cultural practices.
  4. Sunrise and Sunset Views: Witness the captivating sunrise and sunset from Bandipur’s vantage points. As the golden hues paint the sky and illuminate the mountains, immerse yourself in the serene beauty and tranquility of these magical moments.
  5. Local Cuisine: Indulge in the flavors of traditional Newari cuisine, known for its rich and diverse flavors. Savor delicacies such as bara, yomari, samay baji, and other authentic dishes that showcase the region’s culinary heritage.

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How to get there

  • From Kathmandu: Bandipur is located approximately 143 kilometers west of Kathmandu. You can hire a private vehicle, take a taxi, or use public buses that operate from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Get off at Dumre, and then take a local bus or taxi for the remaining 8 kilometers to Bandipur.
  • From Pokhara: Bandipur is about 80 kilometers east of Pokhara. You can take a local bus or hire a taxi from Pokhara to Dumre and then continue with a local bus or taxi to Bandipur.
  • From other cities: If you are traveling from other cities, such as Chitwan or Lumbini, you can find buses or hire private vehicles to Dumre, from where you can proceed to Bandipur.



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