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Bandipur - A traditional Village

Rajan Neupane
Posted On: October - 30

Bandipur is located at 27.56 N, 84.25 E and an elevation of 1030m on a mountain saddle (Mahabharat range) approximately 700m above the Marsyangdi River Valley, 143 km to the west of Kathmandu and 80 km to the east of Pokhara. Since 1998 it is connected by a 8km access road from Dumre (Kathmandu-Pokhara highway). Until then there was only an unreliable road, in monsoon usually not accessible or only by tractors. The mountain saddle, just 200m long, is barely wide enough to accommodate the main street lined by 2 –3 storey buildings on either side. At the backsides of these houses the mountainsides steeply descend and the gardens are only accessible by stairs.


Bandipur is a hilltop settlement in Tanahu District, (Gandaki Zone) of Nepal. Because of its preserved, old time cultural atmosphere, Bandipur has increasingly been coming to the attention of tourism. Its medium elevation, excellent view of the Himalayas (Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh, Langtang Himal, the Marsyangdi Valley, Mount Manakamana and Gorkha with its high perching palace), relatively easy accessibility and, of course, old Newari town flair, make Bandipur an interesting tourist site from which a few guesthouses and a hotel at the northern end of the Tundikhel try to benefit. It may well be that the seclusion of Bandipur saved the Newari architecture of its buildings which otherwise would have been replaced by faceless modern types found in many other towns of Nepal. The and various Newari and Magar festivals, which until recently have been held for own purposes several times a year, can also be of interest to tourists. Sorathi and Chutka dances are very popular. Due to the distance and poor accessibility of many of the home villages of pupils at Bandipur schools a number of houses have been turned into boarding houses. Many Magar and Gurung men serve as Gurkha soldiers.

Other attractions include the Bindyabashini temple and the library in the village centre, Thani Mai, Tindhara(“Three Taps” washing place at the southeastern outskirts), Raniban (Queen's Forest), the downhill trek to the Siddha Cave and a hike to Ramkot village. On Mukundeswari, the elevation at the western end of the saddle is a little shrine and one has a view of Bandipur itself.

Some villagers have picked up growing oranges, which do quite well in the climate of that area. An hour’s walk to the west of Bandipur is a silk farm.

 

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