Bandipur – The Heritage of the Newars

On a small hill at an altitude of almost 1,000 m lies the small but beautiful town of Bandipur. We were particularly taken with the car-free town centre with its various idyllic little cafés and restaurants. It was only in 2014 that Bandipur was merged with some neighbouring villages to form a town. Bandipur is ideal for splitting the route between Pokhara and Kathmandu.

The history of Bandipur

Originally Bandipur was a Magar village. The Magar were first mentioned in writing in Nepal around 1,100 and are presumably immigrants from Tibet. Today they make up almost 7% of the country’s population. Later, Bandipur was settled mainly by Newari because of its convenient location at the crossroads of important trade routes from India to Tibet, as well as Kathmandu and Jumla. The Newars are an ethnic group in Nepal that enjoys the highest status in society. There are both Buddhist and Hindu Newars. Their language is called Newari. The origin of the Newar is unknown. The enclosed construction with its multi-storeyed houses gave the town a certain small-town charm even then. When the main road in the valley between Kathmandu and Pokhara was built in the 1960s, Bandipur suddenly lost its importance and many of the inhabitants who lived from trade left the town to live closer to the trade route. They left behind the trading houses, some of which are in need of renovation today, which still characterise Bandipur’s townscape and make up the town’s charm.

The highlights in Bandipur

We don’t think there is THE highlight in Bandipur. We especially liked the flair in the pedestrian zone in the old town with its numerous cafés and restaurants and the red flowers everywhere. There is also something for every budget. Both European food and traditional Nepalese dishes are on offer. A short walk through the town leads past small shops, elderly gentlemen playing and multi-storey houses. Most of the cafés and restaurants have a great view. It is also nice to take a little walk outside through the small alleyways. Again and again you come across temples. If you like, you can also hike to Siddha Cave.

Bindhybashini Tempel Bandipur

Overnight stay in Bandipur

We recommend that you look for accommodation in the old town. It’s probably best if you simply look on site to see what suits you and your budget. I have put the pedestrian zone on Google Maps here. It’s a 5-minute walk from the bus. You can certainly find cheaper accommodation in the side streets of the old town. We paid just under €15 per night in Bandipur, which was one of the highest prices for our accommodation during our entire holiday in Nepal.

Innenstadt Bandipurs mit roten Blüten

Getting to Bandipur

Getting to Bandipur is relatively easy. We therefore recommend travelling by bus. The journey from Kathmandu takes about 5 hours and from Pokhara about 2.5 hours. From Kathmandu you take the bus to Pokhara 500 NPR (~ 4 €) and from Pokhara you take the bus towards Kathmandu about 200 NPR ( ~ 1,50 €). It’s best to tell the driver beforehand that you want to get off in Dumre – that’s the name of the bus stop. From Dumre you continue to Bandipur by bus or taxi. The journey takes about 20 minutes. The bus costs 60 NPR (~ 0,50 €) per person and the taxi 500 NPR (~ 4 €). The buses run in the morning and at lunchtime. If you arrive late in the evening or between 10:00 and 12:00, there is no bus.

Is a visit to Bandipur worthwhile?

We clearly say YES! However, we do not recommend Bandipur as a place to spend weeks. We would recommend spending one or two full days in the small hilltop town to unwind a bit and just switch off.

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About Us

We are Julian & Naomi and we love to travel the world and immerse ourselves in other cultures. We have an adventurous, spartan, sustainable and reflective travel style. In our opinion, the greatest adventures are experienced when you do things on your own and try to live like a local. The taste of a country is best captured on the road
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