Between Kathmandu and Pokhara, lies a Newari town, known as Bandipur. Located at a height of 1030 meters, the roads of Bandipur takes you through tribal villages, hill top shrines and verdant forests. Travelers can experience rich hill culture, mountain views, sacred caves, temples, uncountable festivals and Newari architecture when in Bandipur.
Here are few things you can do on your next visit to Bandipur.
1. Shiva Shrine
The Hindu god of creation has a world-renowned shrine settled in Bandipur where visitors offer sweet cakes up with their prayers to the divine God. You can witness the ceremonies that takes place here throughout the day including the ritual lighting of oil lamps by travelers, and you can also offer up a prayer of their own if you choose to participate.
2. Silkworm Farming
Silkworm are reared on farms close to Bandipur. You can take a tour of Silkworm Farm that shall take you to a fascinating process of how silkworms are raised and how silk is produced from them. You can also enjoy a garden full of mulberry plants- which are basically worm food.
A ceasing point on the Silk Road, Tundikhel offers you the view of some magnificent Himalayan Range such as Langtang Lirung (7246m), Manaslu (8162m), Ganesh Himal (7406m), Dhaulagiri (8167m) and Machhapuchhre (6997m). Along with these peaks, Manakamana Peak and Gorkha Palace can also be seen clearly.
4. Khadga Devi Temple
One of the most respected temple in Bandipur, it is opened only once a year for the devotees on the day of Phulpati. The shrine does not contain any statue of gods but instead, only a sacred sword- which signifies symbol of female power and is wrapped in layers of cloth, known as Khadga. It si believed that if anyone sees the sword then he/she invites instant death by vomiting blood.
5. Thani Mai Temple Viewpoint
Thani Mai offers some spectacular sunrise views from Gurungche Hill and memorable 360-degree panorama in the country, along with Himalaya stretching on the horizon, and the valley concealed in a thick fog. It also offers a plenty of historical artwork and sculptures, which you definitely wouldn’t want to miss.
6. Mahalaxmi Temple
A pagoda-styled temple from the medieval period is situated towards the south of primary bazar in Bandipur. The bars and tympanum are embellished with figures of Bhimsen and other mythical creatures. The first statue of the Goddess Mahalaxmi was stolen, which has been replaced by a new one.
7. Siddha Cave
Founded in year 1987, it is said to be the biggest cave in the kingdom as well as on the South Asian subcontinent. You can explore the cave’s inner area which are filled with natural artworks designed and created by stalactites here. It is definitely worth a visit, and is located above the cliff of Bimalnagar.
8. Bindhyabasini Temple
The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Durga and is situated in the northern part of the main bazar. The historic walls of the temple are built with ancient sculptures, art work and wood cravings. During the New Year celebrations of the Bikram Sambat, the image of goddess is kept on a chariot and is pulled through the town.
9. Bandipur Bazar
The bazar is filled with ancient Newari buildings, house designs and carvings and not with exotic souvenir shops or hustling-bustling crowds of shoppers. Here, you will be amazed by the artistic buildings, humbled by the lives of local people and definitely some peace.
Ramkot is a viewpoint spot and a beloved spot for paragliders. On your way to hiking, the environment is peaceful and you are surrounded by nature and hills all around. Upon reaching the top, you can enjoy some breath-taking views of primeval hills and dense forests. You can enjoy paragliding here surrounded by stunning views. Paragliding sessions can be booked from the shops in Bandipur bazar.
Have you visited Bandipur? Do let us know your experience in the comments section.