Bandipur: charming authentic trading village in Nepal
Bandipur is a small, cozy and authentic village located in the mountains of Nepal. You can still admire the beautiful traditional houses in this old Newari trading village. But not only the village itself is worth a visit, the surrounding area is also beautiful. You’ll have great views of the Himalayas and if you’re lucky, you can even admire the Manaslu. Moreover, it is a perfect stop to break your journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara. If you have the time and are traveling from Kathmandu to Pokhara , be sure to add Bandipur to your Nepal itinerary.
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What to do in Bandipur
Although Bandipur has a population of only 1,500, there is more than enough to do in the area. We definitely recommend staying here for 1 or 2 nights. What you absolutely should not miss:
Strolling through the authentic center
Be sure to take some time to take a nice stroll through the center of Bandipur, as your eyes will be wide open. The houses are largely from the 18th and 19th centuries, and some are even older. In fact, Bandipur was on the ancient trade route between Tibet, India and other parts of Nepal. The prosperous trade of the period contributed to the development of the village and the construction of its characteristic houses and architecture. This style – the Newari style – is characterized by the use of carvings, brick structures and elaborate decorations. The houses have immense detail and charm. Many homes now serve as restaurants or homestays, so you can take a look inside.
The cobblestone streets of Bandipur, along with these unique houses, make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Walking the mini Chinese Wall
About a 30-minute walk away, you will find Nepal’s “Mini Chinese Wall,” also known as the “Tindhara Wall.” The wall was originally built to protect the village and runs up the hillside, offering panoramic views of the surrounding valleys. Of course, it is not as impressive as the Great Wall of China, but definitely a tip to visit briefly. You will also find the wall on the route to Ramkot. Then you can combine this nicely.
Hike to the cute village of Ramkot
In about 2 hours you will hike to the authentic village of Ramkot. The route to it is absolutely beautiful. You have views of beautiful rice fields & mountains. The village of Ramkot itself is very small but picturesquely beautiful. Everywhere you will find authentic houses, all the animals run wild here and the people welcome you with open arms. There is not really a place where you can get a drink, but there are small stalls where you can possibly get something. If you are lucky, there will be someone (often children) who will enjoy showing you more of the village. This hike offers you a chance to experience Nepal’s rural beauty and see the local lifestyle up close.
The way out to the village you walk underneath and back you go through the village. You just have to follow the signs and you’ll get there. Maps.me is also handy to have on hand. The hike itself is fine and not very strenuous. On the way back, sometimes you had to make a small climb. If you are a little less agile, you can also return via the same path you came up.
Tip! Start early as there is little shade and the heat can be really killing.
Siddha Gufa (cave)
Unfortunately, we ran out of time to visit the cave ourselves, but it seems to be beautiful. With an impressive depth of about 437 meters, it is among one of the deepest caves in Nepal. The cave at Bandipur is known for its beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, formed by centuries of dripping water. To explore this cave, it is advisable to get information in advance about access, safety and any required preparations.
Gurungche Hill Viewpoint
Want to enjoy a spectacular view? Then visit The Gurungche Hill Viewpoint. Especially with sunrise and sunset, it is a gem to visit. If you are lucky you can see the Annapurna and Manaslu for yourself. It is just a short walk from the village, so definitely a big tip if you are in Bandipur.
Hotspots & food in Bandipur
Don’t expect trendy hotspots in Bandipur. The restaurants are simple but offer plenty of choice. One place you should definitely go to eat is The Samay Baji. We chose a curry here and it was truly delicious!
At Cafe Active Ant Bandipur Best Organic Restaurant & Cafe you can enjoy a beautiful view, but we found the food a bit disappointing.
Best time to travel to Bandipur
The best travel time to visit bandipur in Nepal is in September-October or March-May. In autumn, temperatures are pleasant and stable; air quality is also better because the monsoon has just passed. This is a popular time to explore Nepal though, so it can be a bit busier, Also in spring you have less chance of rain and fine temperatures.
Which budget do i need in Bandipur?
The cost of your trip to Bandipur depends on your requirements. There is something for everyone, but very expensive your visit to Bandipur will not be. After all, you won’t find luxury resorts or expensive chains here. Here is a small impression of the cost of visiting Bandipur:
- Simple accommodation: 10 – 20 euros per night
- Modern accommodation: 20 – 50 euros per night
- Luxury accommodation: +50 euros per night
- Lunch/dinner: 3 – 5 euros p.p.
- Beer: 2 – 3 euros
- Snack: 1 euro
- Bus from Bandipur – Kathmandu/pokhara: 5 – 15 euros per person
- Cab from Bandipur – Kathmandu/pokhara/chitwan: 50 – 100 euros per ride
Budget per day for Bandipur:
- Budget traveler (homestay or hostel, dining out and public transportation): 10 – 20 euros per day p.p.
- Comfort (tourist bus, modern accommodation, dining out in Bandipur): 20 – 35 euros per day p.p.
- Luxury (private transportation, luxury accommodation, food at hotel): 50 – 100 euros per day p.p.
Practical information about Bandipur
- Download Maps.me, very handy while hiking
- Take enough cash with you, as you can’t get cash from anywhere in Bandipur
- Bring good walking shoes
- A poncho or raincoat can also come in handy
- Sunscreen is also an absolute must
- Also, always take a credit card with you when you travel. You are often extra insured and credit cards are accepted almost everywhere
- Learn a few words of Nepali, such as “Namasté” and “Dhanyabaad”
- Buy a sim card from Ncell. In Kathmandu, you have an official Ncell store where you can buy a SIM card cheaply. Do not do this at any other store!
What are nice places to stay in Bandipur?
How to get to Bandipur?
Bandipur is often visited to break the journey between Kathmandu and Pokhara. Tourist buses go in that direction from both directions. You can arrange tickets for the bus at your accommodation. It takes you about 6 hours from Kathmandu and from Pokhara your travel time is about 3 hours.
If you want to get from Bandipur to Chitwan or vice versa, you have to get to the main road first. This can be done by cab (most people do this) so you can catch the bus to Chitwan on the main road.
However, the easiest way to reach Bandipur is by cab, only you’ll spend more. We paid about 50 euros for our ride from Bandipur to Chitwan. Unfortunately, we had no other choice because there were no more buses running that day because of the elections in the country.
If you want to go for convenience, we recommend going by cab. Preferring to save a little more money, you can buy bus tickets to Bandipur through your accommodation.