History of Bandipur
Bandipur was once a prosperous trading center, and its charming buildings, with their neoclassical facades and shuttered windows, bespeak its past glory. Originally a simple Magar village, it was settled in the early nineteenth century by Newars from Bhaktapur, who took advantage of its malaria-free location to develop it into an important stop on the India-Tibet trade route. Along with their trading skills, the Newars brought with them their rich cultural heritage and architecture, which still defines the look and feel of today's Bandipur. Bandipur saw its heyday during the Rana period (1846-1951). The power and prestige it enjoyed then is indicated in the special permission it received to establish its own library that still exists. In the 1950's, the town began to lose its edge after malaria was eradicated in the Terai, which facilitated travel to the once dreaded plains. In the 1960's, the district headquarters was moved to Damauli. The final blow came in 1973 following the completion of the Prithvi Highway that sidestepped it. Shunted from the traffic, commerce shifted to Damauli, and Bandipur turned into a near ghost town.
When Newar merchants fanned out from the Kathmandu Valley looking for new prospects after its conquest by Prithvi Narayan Shah in the late eighteenth century, they chose Bandipur as an appropriate conduit for trade between the northern hills and the southern flatlands. The traders also designed the town in a style that reflected their fine aesthetic standards; and thus its houses ornamented with pagoda roofs, lattice windows and ornate doorways stand firm to this day to delight the travellers who are making Bandipur their new destination