Gorkha, Manakamana and Bandipur sightseeing

Gorkha, Manakamana and Bandipur sightseeing

Gorkha is About 24km north of Abu Khaireni, Gorkha was the birthplace of Prithvi Narayan Shah, conqueror of the Kathmandu Valley and founder of modern Nepal. It's a major pilgrimage destination, particularly for Newars, who regard the Shah kings (including the current one) as living incarnations of Vishnu. The main attraction here is the Gorkha Durbar, the former palace of the Shahs, which lords over Gorkha from a precarious ridge above the town.

Manakamana: From the tiny hamlet of Cheres, an Austrian- engineered cable car sweeps up an almost impossibly steep hillside to the ancient Manakamana Mandir, one of the most important temples in Nepal. Hindus believe that the goddess Bhagwati, an incarnation of Parvati, has the power to grant wishes, and newlyweds flock here to pray for male children. Pilgrims seal the deal by sacrificing a goat or pigeon in a gory pavilion behind the temple.

Built in the tiered pagoda style of the Kathmandu Valley, the temple dates back to the 17th century and the atmosphere is electric, particularly on feast days, when Manakamana almost vanishes under a sea of pilgrims, pigeons and sacrificial goats. For views of the Himalaya, continue uphill for about 3km past the small Shiva mandir to Lakhan Thapa Gufa, a sacred cave offering uninterrupted views of the mountains. Trekkers can continue west along the ridge, reaching Gorkha in about four hours.

Bandipur (pronounced 'ban-DI-pur') is a national treasure. Draped like a silk scarf along a high ridge above Dumre, the town is a living museum of Newari culture. People here seem to live centuries apart from the rest of the country and more than 70% of the buildings are traditional Newari houses, with carved wooden windows and overhanging slate roofs. It's hard to believe that somewhere so delightful has managed to escape the ravages of tourist development

The Bandipur Social Development Committee has shown remarkable maturity in opening Bandipur up to tourism. There are just a few places to stay and eat and money from tourism ventures is ploughed back into restoring temples and houses. Bandipur remains very much a living community - as you wander around the narrow streets, you'll see farmers tending market gardens, women carrying baskets of freshly cut fodder, children stacking cobs of corn on wooden stakes, and goats, buffaloes and chickens wandering around as if they owned the place.

Bandipur was originally part of the Magar kingdom of Tanahun, ruled from nearby Palpa (Tansen), but Newari traders flooded in after the conquest of the valley by Prithvi Narayan Shah. The town became a major stop on the trade route between India and Tibet and traders invested their profits in temples, slab-paved roads and towering brick shop-houses. Then, 50 years ago, it all fell apart. The new Pokhara-Kathmandu highway passed far below town and traders picked up sticks and relocated to Narayangarh. Even today, many buildings are empty, though some have found a new life as restaurants and guesthouses.


Sightseeing Highlight:

  • Ancient Gorkha City
  • Wish fulfilling Goddess Manakamana Mai Temple
  • Nepal’s only one Cable Car
  • Beautiful village of Bandipur
  • Majestic Himalayan scenery
  • Siddha Cave and Silk Farm.


Detail Itinerary:

Day 1: Kathmandu to Gorkha 1220m by private car (5/6 hours) with scenic drive alongside the Trisuli, Marsyangdi and Daraudi River.

We will visit the ancient Gorkha Durbar Where king Prithbi Narayan Shah (who united the Nepal) was born in around 1723; crowning glory of Newari architecture which is a fort; a palace and a temple all in one; perched high above Gorkha on a knife-edge ridge; with superb views over the Trisuli Valley and the soaring peaks of the Annapurna and Ganesh Himalayas. We also visit Kalika Temple, built in the reign of King Ram Shah (1606-36); a psychedelic fantasy of carved peacocks, demons and serpents, ornate peacock windows and the erotic scenes on the root struts; Dhuni Pani (former palace of Prithbi Narayan Shah); mausoleum of Guru Gorkhanath behind the palace; cave; offers awesome view of mountains. There is another worth visiting places like as Old Gorkha Bazar, contains lots of historic monuments; Ratna Mandir, Bhimsen temple, Tallo durbar built in 1835. Overnight in Lodge.

Day 2: Gorkha to Manakamana 1385m (5/6 hours)
In this day, we will start our journey after breakfast; the trail continues several up and down via Lakshmi Bazar until reaching Khanchok which takes about 3 hours. We will have lunch there. Then the trail keeps ascending until reaching Bhageswor which is the small peak commanding a panoramic view of Mt. Manaslu. Again, we will keep descending passing a shrine with a Shiva Lingam made of natural stone until reaching Manakamana. It takes about 3 hours to reach. Ancient Manakamana Temple (wishes fulfilling goddess), one of the important temple dates back to the 17th century, built in the tiered Pagoda style. A short hike to Lakhan Thapa Cave offers uninterrupted views of mountains. Overnight in Lodge.

Day 3: Manakamana to Bandipur 1030m (3/4 hours drive)
We will ride Cable Car from Manakamana to Kuringhat. Then drive to Bandipur via Dumre Passing the Trisuli River by bus. Bandipur is a picturesque town nestled in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal, a land as famous for its natural beauty as for the hospitality of its people. Bandipur captivates the visitor with its cultural appeal and pristine scenery. This Newar town has maintained its age-old flavor, and presents sightseers with a heady mix of history, architecture, incredible views, awesome caves and unspoiled landscapes. The worth visit to the town is an opportunity to get a close look at Newar culture. Overnight in Lodge.

Day 4: Exploration Day
There is many worth visiting places like as Khadha Devi Temple, Bindhyabasini Temple, Mahalakshmi Temple, Gurungche Hill, Gadhi, Teendhara, Raniban and Tundikhel. We will visit all the places with enjoying the majestic Himalayan scenery like Annapurna Massif, Dhaulagiri Range, Machhapuchre, Manaslu and Lamjung Himal. Overnight in Lodge.

Day 5: Bandipur to Kathmandu via Siddha Cave (2/3 hours)
We will leave the beautiful Bandipur Village; the trail continues about 1 and half hour until reaching Siddha Cave, discovered only in 1987. It is said to be the largest cave in South Asia. We can explore its inner recesses which are filled with natural artworks created by the stalactites and stalagmites there. Then we will drop to Bimalnagar and 4 hours drive to Kathmandu by bus. Transfer to Hotel.

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