Bandipur is a small but enchanting village on the road between Kathmandu and Pokhara, one of those visits that one plans in the last minute but become the highlight of a trip.
The elements to make for an unforgettable experience during a long-term trip like ours may be diverse, but in the case of Bandipur, we think it was the cocktail of several ingredients: amazing views, stirred with comfortable and welcoming accommodation, plus a syrup of great encounters.
We start walking randomly around the village, seeing the main square, children going back home from school, and the touristy street full of hotels and cafes. There are some stairs that, according to a sign, lead to a cave and a monastery, so we decide to see where it takes us. At the other side of the hill and over the mountain, some paragliders enjoy the green landscape from above.
Ahead of us and passing a small monastery, a narrower stone path leads to crop terraces. We see a couple of canine friends playing and running next to us, and at certain point they accept us in their friendly pack, waiting for us to catch up to them all the time. The four of us continue walking along the fields, farther up the forested hill. We try to arrive to the top but the vegetation starts to be too thick and hard to traverse, so we go back down.
From the edge of the crops, the mountain descends downwards and steeply for as long as the eye can reach. In the far right, a colorful Tibetan house shows prayer flags tied to a magnificent ancient tree, and in front and far away, but high, very high in the sky, snowed peaks of the Himalayas seem to lie floating in the air. By then, the sun is setting and we take a good hour contemplating the landscape below and beneath, which is when we meet Jassi from Germany. We engage in interesting conversations about travel and go have dinner together.
Jassi has already spent a few days in Bandipur and suggests that we go see sunrise at the same place where we have met, when the natural spectacle is even better than at sunset.
The following morning we prodigiously manage to get there at 6:00 am, when there is almost no light. At first we can’t see much but a few minutes later an immense sea of clouds reveals itself at our feet, reaching to what seems to be the horizon. Suddenly, an orange spot appears floating in the middle of the sky, almost unreal. It is one peak of the Himalayan range, so tall that is the first thing around to receive the sunlight.
Call us silly and cheesy, but a wave of emotions makes us realize how privileged we are to be there. Taking the decision of travelling long term was the right one. Wonders like this are waiting for us to be seen and explored. If you go to Nepal, don’t miss this little gem.
- Bandipur can be reached by local bus from Dumre. If you’re heading to Pokhara or Kathmandu, you need to go back to Dumre, but it is very easy to catch a bus from there, as they pass quite often. We paid 250 NPR for both of us for Pokhara, but I’m sure it costs less than that… Bargain hard!
- If you can afford it, we recommend you stay at the Bandipur Village Resort; the rooms and ensuite bathrooms are clean, modern and spacious, hot water works perfectly and the beds are really comfy. There’s a small and nice garden and they had a cute puppy we played with. They were asking 2000 NPR for a double room, but we had it for half price \o/ (it might have been due to the low season ?¿)
- We had a yummy and huge breakfast at the Ke Garne Cafe and took the table next to the terrace with beautiful views of the valley beneath (250 NPR approx. per person).