Bandipur, a beautiful Newari town with rich culture and spectacular viewpoint of mountain ranges lies on the midway between Kathmandu and Pokhara. Around 4 hours of drive from Kathmandu will take you to Dumre Bazaar, an entry point to Bandipur. Further half an hour drive through Dumre will take you to the destination, Bandipur. During 18th century, Bandipur was major trading point between Tibet and India which led to a beautiful settlement of Newar community for trading and business purposes and the houses were built nice and strong for long run. The old buildings and houses still show the historic settlement that has hardly changed till now. Well preserved Bandipur today invites travelers to experience its unique culture, the breath taking view of mountain range and a perfect hiking spot for hikers and trekkers too.
The mountains such as Dhaulagiri, Annapurna , Manaslu and Langtang can all be seen on the ranges pretty close from Bandipur. Any visitor can sense that euphoric feeling and sensational aura when witnessing golden lights glowing the peaks of the mountains and the layers of the hills forming unique patterns and shapes to the landscape.
The main Bazaar of Bandipur is very compact and attached to each other yet looks so beautiful and vibrant. It’s ancient architecture can be seen in precisely carved wooden windows and doors and the wooden pillars on the terraces reflects the preserved culture from early centuries. This town also consists of Gurung and Tamang communities along with Newari community.
Last but not the least, the accommodation at Bandipur is very affordable and flexible depending on the needs and nature of the visitors. It offers the very luxurious Hotel and resort as well as well managed home-stays run by very warm and friendly locals. There are around 15 homestays in Bandipur which is often managed as community homestays. They are very affordable and with all basic necessities for tourists. The food are purely organic in most of the homestays as it is run by the locals and prefer to consume locally produced food and consume local resources as much as possible. The average accommodation costs roughly under Rs.700- 1000 ($7-10 USD) per person including dinner and a breakfast.
Mount Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world is also considered as “the mountain of the spirit”. The Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley is a trek which reaches an altitude of 5,100 m at Larke Pass. One of the best features of Manaslu circuit is that it consists a combination of raw Himalayan landscapes and ancient Tibetan / Buddhist culture which is unique in Tsum Valley than any other part of Nepal. The natural beauty of this region offers the most stunning and jaw-dropping scenery of the entire Himalayan range. Unlike Everest and Annapurna trek, the Manaslu and Tsum Valley remain off the beaten path and are among the least crowded treks of Nepal.
During my recent visit in Manaslu and Tsum valley trek, I was so much amazed by its diversed flora and fauna and also I was lucky enough to be able to witness a magical beauty and display of autumn season, which is far more attractive and pleasing than it already is. There were so many moments where I feel like I am traveling back in time and exploring the ancient Tibetan settlement created several centuries ago. The most memorable and special moment of my trek as if time just stood still and I was wandering in my lucid dream.
“One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things.” ~Henry Miller
Langtang National Park lies on north of Kathmandu and it is short and easy trekking route near from capital city Kathmandu which can be done in a week or 10 days depending on the type of trekking and additional sight seeing. The beautiful mountain through which the National Park is named upon: Langtang Lirung is the main highlights of this trek needless to say that there are other mountain range which has been spread throughout the Tibetan border. The Langtang village was totally devastated by the earthquake in 2015 and has been rebuilt again for settlement to the locals. Kyanjin Gumba is also another highlights of this trek with a beautiful and peaceful village and Kyanjin Ri is the best vantage point to watch Langtang Lirung up close and in great detail.
Picture above: Langtang National Park, Kyanjin Ri.
I did Annapurna circuit trek in December 2018 and it is by far the most amazing trekking of my life. During my 20 days trekking in this circuit, I have experienced so many spectacular places and culture and its natural habitats.