Situated on the way between Kathmandu and Pokhara is the hilltop Newari settlement going by the name of Bandipur. This ancient settlement still holds authentic values and your path to get here are accompanied by the pristine forests on the historical trail at Dumre Bazare. Giving the travelers a chance to experience its unique hill culture, mountain views and hiking adventure, this ancient Newari settlement has been well preserved to this time of the century.
Exciting and undiscovered Bandipur has been successful to regain its age-old cultural attributes like temple shrines, sacred caves, innumerable festival and the rich and glorious Newari architecture which resembles the old Kathmandu valley. Unlike most of the hill towns in Nepal, Bandipur does not serve as a trading post rather it is more focused to preserving the century-old traditions and cultural heritages.
Most of the places in the central Nepal, around Bandipur were ruled by the Magars. After the unification, most of the traders from Kathmandu valley went in to settle at Bandipur and after the construction of Kathmandu – Pokhara highway, many left behind their ancestral homes and went elsewhere in search of economic opportunities. The Newar of Bandipur prospered gradually becoming Nepal’s prominent and foremost businessmen, professionals and bureaucrats. Although its population largely consists of Newars, other ethnic groups such as Magar and Gurung also reside in the hillside where they depend on subsistence farming of rice, millet, corn and mustard on terrace fields. The women who do not work in the field are generally seen weaving cloth or basket. Also, other communities like Brahmin, Chhetri, Kami, Sarki, Damai have also made their way to Bandipur gradually settling down there after the Magars.
The town is stretched east to west on its mountain saddle that reflects the arcgitecture of the Kathmandu valley in its pagoda roofs, latticework windows and stone paved streets. The compact town houses here are built of brick with ornate windows and doorways with tin or slate roof. Situated at the distance of two-hour drive is a cave named Patalidwar (gateway to the underworld) which have an image of Lord Shiva enshrined at its deepest part. Said to be the largest discovered cave in ht country and probably the biggest in Asia, the cave is also called Swargadwari (gateway to Heaven).
Settled on a hilltop at the northeast of Bandipur is a fort, believed to have been established by Mukunda Sen, from where the view of the Himalayan range is breathtaking. Moreover, two hour walk from Bandipur will take you an important power place known as Mukhundeswari which is located on top of a high summit and is decorated with many bells and tridents. Bandipur is easily accessible by road from Kathmandu and various parts of Nepal.