Halfway between Kathmandu and Pokhara lies the little gem of Bandipur. Sitting on a high ridge above pristine scenery, the village, in which cars are banned, is like a living museum of Newari culture. The beautiful Newari houses have overhanging slate roofs and intricately carved wooden windows.
Bandipur once was a prosperous trading centre on the road from India to Tibet. When the Kathmandu – Pokhara highway was built, the town got more and more deserted. To revive Bandipur and draw visitors in, the village decided in an experiment to ban cars, try a sustainable approach to tourism and protect their cultural heritage. The experiment was a huge success: Bandipur is an insider tip for tourists, not overrun, but just popular enough to be authentic and give locals a good, stable income.
Tourism revenue is used to conserve and restore temples and houses in their magnificent 18th century architecture. In the village you can see traditional life going on – not put on show for tourists, but just the living community of Bandipur. From the parade ground near Bandipur’s hospital you can have breathtaking views of the Himalayas.
Bandipur treks and tours
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