The story of Bandipur is the story of a courageous experiment – an experiment that succeeded and was rewarded!
Bandipur is a tiny village in Nepal, between Kathmandu and Pokhara, inmidst enchanting scenery. When the highway linking the centres of Kathmandu and Pokhara was built the village slowly became deserted. Residents moved away, tempted by the job opportunities in cities. For the last staying inhabitants it was heartbreaking to see Bandipur becoming a ghost town, and they tried to come up with a solution to that.
The beautiful traditional houses, the panoramic views of the Himalayan ranges and the location in between two popular tourist centres make Bandipur a suitable place for tourism development. However, tourists could not be attracted to the dirty, dusty, polluted village. So the villagers made a decision: They wanted to set up a new level of eco-tourism in Bandipur, in an attempt to save their home. They wanted to ban vehicles from entering to stop pollution and make their village cleaner and more attractive.
Some villagers were scared this would take away the last little business they had, but they could be convinced to give the idea a try for a couple of years. Now it is three years later, and no one wants the cars back. Bandipur has become a insider tip for travellers, locals find good business in persuing their traditional handicraft and the houses are being restored to show even more of Nepal’s cultural heritage. Watch a recent CNN video of Bandipur here:
Bandipur is a pioneer village in eco-tourism and shows what is possible in conservation of cultural heritage. Those involved in tourism in Bandipur are dedicated to preserving built and natural heritage. The Gaun Ghar hotel, one of our partners, for example, offers solely locally grown, organic food, banned the use of plastic, minimizes the use of water and energy and uses only locally handcrafted materials. The villagers agree on wanting to provide their children with the same quality of nature they themselves were lucky enough to grow up with. We hope that many places will follow this example.
If you feel like visiting Bandipur yourself now or want more information contact us.