Devanagari बन्दीपुर) is a hilltop settlement
and a municipality in Tanahun District, (Gandaki Zone) of Nepal. This
municipality was established on 18 May 2014 by merging with existing
Bandipur VDCs. Because of its preserved, old time
Bandipur has increasingly been coming to the
attention of tourism. At the time of the 2011
Nepal census it had a
population of total (
Bandipur and Dharampani) 15591 people living in
3750 individual households.
5 Social Organizations
6 Eco-Cultural Project
9 External links
Bandipur is located at 27.56 N, 84.25 E and an elevation of 1030m on a
mountain saddle (
Mahabharat range) approximately 700m above the
Marsyangdi River Valley, 143 km to the west of
80 km to the east of Pokhara. Since 1998 it is connected by an
8 km access road from
Dumre (Prithvi Highway). Until then there
was only an unreliable road, in monsoon usually not accessible or only
by tractors. The mountain saddle, just 200m long, is barely wide
enough to accommodate the main street lined by 2 –3 storey buildings
on either side. At the backsides of these houses the mountainsides
steeply descend and the gardens are only accessible by stairs.
Bandipur was established as a funnelling point of trade by Newar
Bhaktapur in the
Kathmandu valley after it had been
conquered in 1768 by Prithvi Narayan Shah. They took advantage of its
malaria free location to develop it into an important stop along the
Tibet trade route. With them they brought their cultural
heritage and architecture which basically has remained unchanged to
Originally a simple Magar village in the early 19th. Century Bandipur
developed into prosperous trading centre and a community with
town-like features: substantial buildings, with their neoclassical
façades and shuttered windows and streets paved with slabs of
Bandipur had its heyday in the Rana times
(1846-1951), when, as a measure of its power and prestige, it was
granted special permission to have its own library (still existing).
In the 1970s, trading fell into a steep decline with the construction
of the Prithvi Highway. For technical reasons it was logically built
in the Marsyangdi valley, leaving
Bandipur isolated up on the
mountain. In addition to that, as a result of its poor accessibility,
Bandipur lost importance because the district headquarters of Tanahun
were moved to Damauli. The tradesmen of
Bandipur were forced to move
Dumre and many even left for the Terai;
Bandipur turned a
semi-ghost town. The population declined considerably.
On two occasions
Bandipur has witnessed some turmoil. The people were
not easily and readily sidestepped by the construction of the road and
fought for a different route in the planning process. In the 1970s,
when the first demonstrations for democracy took place in Nepal, the
Bandipur stormed the little garrison. Several people were
killed and the soldiers fled. Again, when the district headquarters
were to be moved, the people demonstrated and occupied the
administration. The civil servants fled during the night. Even the
king was flown in by helicopter to calm the situation. However, the
decline of the little town could not be reversed. Some relics of its
wealthy past remain. Although many houses are in bad condition, the
typical Newari architecture is preserved. A distinctive aspect of
Bandipur’s main street is a covered veranda extending along almost
the entire length on the northern side. Most of the buildings still
have little shops in them. The slate slabs in the main street have
been destroyed by heavy vehicles, for which they were not made, but
they can still be made out along the edges and in the smaller alleys.
The library still exists and was carefully renovated in 2000. Another
relic is a soccer-field-sized Tundikhel to the northeast of Bandipur
and the villages importance as centre for schools for the surrounding
A cabinet meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office, Singha Durbar
on May 8, 2014, Thursday announced additional 72 municipalities,
including previously-proposed 37 municipalities in line with the Local
Self-governance Act 1999. With this announcement
Bandipur has been
upgraded as one of the municipalities of Nepal, previously it was
proposed municipality. Adjoining Dharampani VDC was merged with
Bandipur to upgrade it to the municipality. From June 2, 2014, Monday
onward with the inauguration program
Bandipur village committee,
formally started functioning as
The educational institutes in
Bandipur are Bhanu Higher Secondary
School established in the 1950s, only institution offering higher
education till the 1980s. Notre Dame Higher Secondary School was
established in 1985, by the "School Sisters of Notre Dame" a Catholic
missionary organization. It is one of the best schools in
Nepal with a
track record of 100% First Division pass out in the Higher Secondary
Board Examination since its students appeared for Board
Examination(SLC). The legacy is till today.
Bandipur has only one
public graduate college "
Bandipur Campus" affiliate to Tribhuvan
University and offering Bachelor in Education program.
few lower secondary schools beside above mentioned namely Dil Primary
School, Ratna Rajya Middle School, Believers Academy.
Bandipur Campus Building
Bandipur hosts number of social organizations like social youth forum,
public library, child club. Padma library is one of the oldest
libraries in Nepal, established in Rana regime itself. Lots of social
organizations came up in
Bandipur and faded out, Tindhara Youth
Cultural Group (TYC-Group) is the only active youth club (social youth
forum) established in 1998. Initially it was a loose forum and was
registered under District Administrative Office in 2003. Founder
president of TYC-Group is Mr. Firoz Kumar Shrestha succeeded by Mr.
Tara Bhattarai, Mr. Ravi Shrestha, Mr. Suman Sun Shrestha, Mr.
Purendra Shrestha and current president is Mr. Rajan Bhattarai. Hoste
Haise Child Development Society is another social organization working
in child development and children right sector. Other social
organizations to be named are Bhanu School Operation Committee,
Bandipur Hospital Development Committee, Raniban Social Committee,
Tindhara Development Committee.
Bandipur Eco Cultural Tourism Project (BECT-Project) is the project
that lift the face of
Bandipur as one of the major tourist
destinations of Nepal. BECT-Project had assistance of EuropeAid. This
project was a part of a European Commission/Asia Urbs-funded
partnership project with the two European partner cities: Municipality
of Hydra, Greece
Hydra (island) and Commune d Riomaggiore, Italy
Riomaggiore. Its objectives were to develop and promote
Bandipur as a
unique tourist destination: enhance, upgrade and conserve the built
and natural environment of Bandipur; and support local enterprises to
revitalize economic activities, ultimately extending the length of
tourists stay in Bandipur.
Formerly a Magar village,
Bandipur today is settled by a variety of
Nepali ethnicities with different beliefs: the Bahuns, the Chhetris,
the Newars, the Damais, Kamis, Sarkis, Kasais, the Magars and Gurungs.
Its medium elevation, excellent view of the
Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh,
Langtang Himal, the Marsyangdi Valley,
Manakamana and Gorkha with its high perching palace), relatively
easy accessibility and, of course, old Newari town flair, make
Bandipur an interesting tourist site from which a few guesthouses and
a hotel at the northern end of the Tundikhel try to benefit. It may
well be that the seclusion of
Bandipur saved the Newari architecture
of its buildings which otherwise would have been replaced by faceless
modern types found in many other towns of Nepal. The various Newari
and Magar festivals, which until recently have been held for their own
purposes several times a year, can be of interest to tourists too.
Sorathi and Chutka dances are very popular. Due to the distance and
poor accessibility of many of the home villages of pupils at Bandipur
schools a number of houses have been turned into boarding houses. Many
Gurung men serve as Gurkha soldiers.
Other attractions include the Bindyabashini temple and the library in
the village centre, Thani Mai, Tindhara (“Three Taps” washing
place at the southeastern outskirts), Raniban (Queen's Forest), the
downhill trek to the Siddha Cave and a hike to Ramkot village. On
Mukundeswari, the elevation at the western end of the saddle is a
little shrine and one has a view of
Some villagers have picked up growing oranges, which do quite well in
the climate of that area. An hour’s walk to the west of
a silk farm.
Main Street from Balcony of Newa Guest House in Bandipur, 2014
Typical Nepali House in Bandipur, 2018
Bandipur Radio Station
View Point of Bandipur
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bandipur.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Bandipur.
^ "72 new municipalities announced". My Republica.com. Archived from
the original on 2014-06-18. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
^ "Government announces 72 new municipalities". The
Nepal Census 2001", Nepal's Village Development Committees, Digital
Himalaya, archived from the original on 12 October 2008, retrieved 15
November 2009 .
Linda L Itlis, An Ethnohistorical Study of Bandipur, Vol. VIII, No.1,
December 1980, CNAS, Tribhuvan University
Anbu Khaireni Municipality