Bandipur Nepal had recently gained the attention of international travelers over these few years. While it is originally a weekend getaway vacation town in Nepal for the locals, Bandipur had been more accessible to travelers due to the tourism industry and ease of transport.
Located inside Gandaki Zone, this elegant hilltop Newari town is located between Pokhara and Kathmandu, which is why Bandipur is the perfect stop between the intercity transport! I was introduced to this beautiful town by one of the teachers in the school I volunteered in.
The main reason why I love this town so much is the environment and the view. Surrounded by green hills, Bandipur is one of the best places in Nepal to chill and refresh after your long and tiring trek. The great thing is, the shop owners in the main street will not approach you for any reason, probably due to its community rules. Therefore you need not worry about rejecting them, as they will only talk to you when you approach them.
Bandipur is located at an elevation of 1030m on a mountain saddle, known as Mahabharat Range, at around 700m above the Marsyangdi Valley along Annapurna Circuit trek.
Interested in knowing more about traveling Bandipur in Nepal? Read on!
How To Get To Bandipur Nepal From Kathmandu and Pokhara?
While a lot of tourist agents in Kathmandu and Pokhara offer private transport to Bandipur, you can get there easily by public transport. Tourist bus like Greenline and NepalBuses usually costs around $20, departing from Thamel in Kathmandu and Lakeside in Pokhara and dropping off at Dumre.
There are also buses running from Chitwan National Park to Bandipur, though there are way fewer trips per day. Most of the buses traveling to Pokhara will agree to stop you at Dumre, but you’ll have to ask because it’s not so mainstream among travelers. Chitwan National Park is closer to Bandipur compared to Kathmandu Valley.
Public transport usually costs around $4-$7 in total, depending on where you depart from.
From Pokhara, you can take a public bus at Prithvi Rajmarg Bus Station to Dumre. The bus fare is around $3.50, but it’s not fixed so prepare to bargain if they try to overcharge you. The bus ride is around 2 hours, where you will be dropped off at Dumre.
There will be a lot of jeep drivers offering to drive you up to Bandipur for $5 per trip. You can either take the jeep or take a 15-minutes walk to the entrance to Bandipur along the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway, which is a little dangerous for some.
There are public buses heading to Bandipur town, which will be definitely passing by the entrance. Take the public bus for Rs65, and they will deliver you right to the center of Bandipur Nepal. Refer to Google Maps and you will get what I mean by the word “entrance”, also known as Bandipur Gate.
The 8km highway connecting Bandipur and Dumre is also known as Prithvi Highway (constructed in 1998), named after Prithvi Narayan Shah who conquered Bandipur in 1768. The strategically-located town acted as an important stop along India-Tibet trade route.
From Kathmandu to Dumre, take a public bus from Old Bus Park, which will cost slightly higher than departing from Pokhara. It’s the same for the latter part when you arrived in Dumre.
For more information, you should check out Step-by-step Guide to Taking Public Transport in Nepal.
Check out my in-depth travel guide to Nepal.
Places to Visit in Bandipur Nepal
Bandipur Nepal is a perfect place for relaxing, but there are not many activities you can do there. Here are the places I recommend you visit.
Thani Mai Temple
A Hindu temple located at the very tip of Bandipur. The temple is about 30 minutes hike away from Bandipur town along a steep stone trail. The trail is not very well-maintained but will do its job to show you the way. There will be a map easily everywhere for you to refer in the Bandipur town, just remember to take a photo of the map.
Thani Mai Temple is the best place in town for sunrise and sunset panorama views, with the Himalaya mountain range along with other hills surrounding you. Keep in mind that fog is quite common in Bandipur Nepal so you might not be able to enjoy the view as much if there is dense fog accompanying you. Feel free to bring a book with you and chill up there!
Khadga Devi Temple
This temple is just 10-15 minutes walk from Bandipur town. Visitors are not allowed to enter the temple at all times, probably due to some religion factors. The view from this temple is also amazing but less impressive compared to Thani Mai Temple.
However, Khadga Devi Temple is still worth a visit due to its close distance and the fact that there’s nothing much to do in Bandipur. There is a sword (Khadga) inside the temple, which contributed to the name.
Like other viewpoints, Memorial Park is also a great choice to enjoy the views around. There are seats available so feel free to just sit down and enjoy the mountain views while reading your book or writing your journal. Memorial Park is around 5-10 minutes walk from the town.
You can get to Siddha Cave in two ways, either ascending from Bimal Nagar or descending from Bandipur village. From Bandipur, the descend will be around 90 minutes, with most of the trail being slippery, so be extra cautious. Bring your trekking poles if possible for extra support.
The entrance ticket to the cave is Rs100, another extra Rs200 for a guide to show you the interior of the cave by a torch. It’s well worth a visit if you are staying in Bandipur for 3 days or more. This cave will impress you if you have never visited a cave before but it might not live up to your expectations if you expect a jaw-dropping cave.
Where To Stay in Bandipur Nepal?
Bandipur Samira Homestay
We stayed at Bandipur Samira Homestay for two nights, for the cheapest price ever in our 2-months travel there. We enjoyed our stay there, the hosts were very friendly and helpful in showing us where to go. The beds were also very clean and made.
A double room there was just $5 for two nights. But that’s the price during the monsoon season. This homestay is very popular among travelers in Nepal so it’s better if you book beforehand if you are going on the busy season.
What To Eat in Bandipur?
This humble Newari restaurant was located at the end of the Bandipur bazaar (main street). Samay Baji offers various Newari meals, and they definitely served one of the best breakfasts we ever had in Nepal, for a reasonable price.
The owner of the restaurants is also super friendly and outgoing, we talked right from the moment we stepped into the doorstep until our meals were served on our table. Definitely recommend this restaurant if you are looking forward to tasting some traditional Newari cuisines.
This name definitely sounds familiar to you if you have stayed in Nepal for some time. We read about this restaurant on TripAdvisor and decided to give it a try, but we did not have the best experience there. The fried rice was average, and there are hundreds of mosquitoes accompanying us.
The owner of the restaurant was very helpful and placed a mosquito coil underneath our table to get rid of the annoying insects. Having said so, the view from the restaurants is very decent.
Located at the end of the bazaar, sitting outside of the Namaste Cafe is a clever choice as you can enjoy the view of the entire bazaar (main street) in Bandipur Nepal the whole time while enjoying your drink. It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Bandipur Nepal.
Planning a trip to Nepal? Then you’ll need to know the Best Time to Visit Nepal.
Local restaurants at the bazaar
Don’t hesitate to give a try at the local restaurants at the bazaar. Some of the restaurants do not have fancy names on them and are full of locals. We had most of our meals in the local restaurants, not because of its cheap price, but we simply love to enjoy restaurants filled with locals along with decent meals.
Are You Ready For Your Trip to Bandipur Nepal?
Bandipur Nepal is probably one of the best hidden gems in the country. A paradise you can visit at any time of the year, regardless of the season. So if you’re traveling to Nepal or already in Nepal looking for a place to relax, make sure you include Bandipur Nepal in your list, you will never have a single regret.
Enjoy your stay in Bandipur Nepal! And don’t forget to get yourself travel insurance before you depart.
And don’t forget to check out Top 10 Best Places to Visit In Kathmandu!