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Bandipur and Ramkot, two hidden jewels hidden

2 Sep

Bandipur and Ramkot, two hidden jewels hidden

Bandipur and Ramkot, two jewels hidden between Kathmandu and Pokhara

One of Nepal’s most charming towns, Bandipur is a living museum of Newari culture, a beautifully preserved village crowning a lofty ridge, its main street lined with traditional row houses. Time seems to have stood still here.
Bandipur was in the past a busy town where traders passed, lines of  porters carried the Benares Sild and Tibetan brocades and gold and salt and also quality Ganges rice, on the trans-Himalayan trade route.But after the invasion of China in Tibet in the 1950’s slowly this trading route dried up.
The Bazaar (traffic-free ;)) consists of old houses and their style is very beautiful -only the market is very touristic only restaurant and hotels … but when you make a walk around there are many Things to see like a small, beautiful gompa, some Hindi temples … and of course watching daily life.

The tribes who are living in this area are Gurung ( they say they also have Mongolian – Tibetan roots) and Newari and Magar.
The hotel where we are staying is an original restored old building- is stunning …you only need to be careful not bump with your head to the ceilings, as I did 😉 .
We have a little balcony with a view of the valley … and in winter you have nice Himalaya view…. for the moment I can only dream of that :-(.
In the evening we heard music … everybody was on the street -children with masks – a festival like we have Halloween…
Only here in Nepal they have in total 100 days festival a local told me … so that means they don’t have so many working days ;-).
The most important festivals are Tihar, Diwali and Losar … As I will be here for two of the three, ofcourse I will write a blog about these festivals.

In the hotel I saw a brochure of an authentic Magar tribe town, an ethic minorities, so I said to Pramod let us go there… only 8 km on foot … so the next morning we start our hike … up, up, and up the mountain and then down, but of course to go up again … and this a few times … when Pramod showed me some where far on another mountain … I think it is there … my brain thought this is not possible.
The path become very narrow between what looks a little bit of  jungle … Pramod told me this is the original path for the animals.
I was praying that there are no snakes here, but besides some monkeys, butterflies and birds … we are all alone here.
After 2 hours we arrived finally at the town.
And yes, what I thought was impossible was that town … a few mountains further …
I was surprised how really friendly the people, everybody talking – asking where I come from … and telling Pramod you need to show here all around. At first I was a bit shy to take pictures, but they really didn’t mind at all.
And the other things I was suprised about was how clean it is here.
I saw several dust bins and they use them because no garbage on the ground … well the people in Kathmandu can learn something from this people.
Here time really stood still … they have a very basic life .. a farmer life but they seem very happy.
They way back to Bandipur was a bit more challenging …. the sun was so strong – that walking was difficult and if you then lost your bottle of water … I don t need to say anything more I think …
Tired we (or better I -because after 20 months Belgium my husband still climbs up like it is nothing) reached Bandipur again. But it was worth it … happy to see this village only next time I ll hope my Nepali is good enough to have a talk,

Now up to Kathmandu again.

Unfortunately a truck was stuck on the road what took instead of 4 hours … 9 hours to reach home :-(.

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