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Explore the Enchanting Streets of Panauti: A Town Frozen in Time

Located 32 southeast of Kathmandu is the city of Panauti, a famous historical town of Nepal, mainly because this city was given as a dowry to King Bhupatindra Malla’s sister. The attractions in Panauti are the Indreshwor Temple and the Durbar Square found in the town center. Panauti and Kathmandu were incorporated into the Unified Kingdom of Nepal in the 13th century. It is dotted with various Hindu and Buddhist monuments and sites and is considered an important medieval site.

a person walking besides heritage area of Panauti in a winter

Panauti still retains its golden past; to the observer, it would seem that the town has been left as it was in the distant past. This traditionally Newari town, with its narrow streets and alleyways, has a quaint nostalgic atmosphere, and walking along these streets will evoke all your senses. The town’s culture and tradition are reflected in the colorful items that one will find laid out on the streets.

traditional old building in Panauti

Panauti is situated at the confluence of the Rosi and Punyamati Rivers. It has always been deemed a religious site that has been revered since the early times. A third river, Lilawati, is presumed to be only visible to intellectuals and the faithful. Devotees throng the Indreshwor Mahadev Temple during festive times to cleanse their souls. Various Jatras and chariot festivals are held here during different calendar months, and one witnesses one of the oldest traditional dances, the Harsiddhi Dance, which uses the language of the Gods.

Things to see in Panauti

There are several notable attractions to see while visiting Panauti, Nepal:

  1. Indreshwor Temple: This ancient temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and is located in the town center. It is a popular site for devotees and tourists and is known for its beautiful architectural features.
  2. Durbar Square: This square is located in the town center and is home to several important historical buildings, including the Indreshwor Temple. It is a great place to learn about Panauti’s rich history and culture.
  3. Rosi and Punyamati Rivers: These two rivers converge in Panauti, creating a unique and picturesque landscape. Visitors can enjoy scenic walks along the rivers or dip in the calm waters.
  4. Lilawati River: This river is said to be visible only to intellectuals and the faithful. It is an important site for religious ceremonies and is revered by the local community.
  5. Harsiddhi Dance: This traditional dance, which uses the language of the gods, is one of the oldest in Nepal. It is performed during various festivals and events in Panauti and is a must-see for visitors interested in local culture.

What to Try in Panauti?

There are many things to try while visiting Panauti, Nepal:

  1. Local cuisine: Panauti is known for its delicious Newari cuisine, which features a variety of dishes made with locally grown ingredients. Some must-try dishes include choila (spiced buffalo meat), Samay baji (a platter of beaten rice, lentils, and vegetables), and kwati (a spicy soup made with a variety of beans).
  2. Cultural experiences: Panauti has a rich cultural heritage, and there are many opportunities to learn about and participate in local traditions. You can attend a traditional dance performance, visit a local temple, or join a religious ceremony.
  3. Scenic walks: Panauti is a beautiful town with many scenic walks to enjoy. You can stroll along the Rosi and Punyamati Rivers, visit the Indreshwor Temple and Durbar Square, or take a walk through the narrow streets and alleyways of the old town.
  4. Shopping: Panauti is known for its colorful markets, where you can find a wide range of handmade crafts, textiles, and souvenirs. Be sure to bargain for the best prices and take home some unique items to remember your trip.
  5. Relaxing: Panauti is a peaceful town with a laid-back atmosphere. Take some time to relax and unwind at a local tea shop or cafe, or sit back and enjoy the scenery.

What is the Best Time to Visit Panauti?

The best time to visit Panauti depends on your preferences and what you want to do while you are there. Generally, the best weather in Panauti is from September to November and from March to May, when the temperatures are comfortable and there is little rain. These months are also the peak tourist season, so that you can expect higher prices and larger crowds.

If you want to avoid the crowds and get lower prices on accommodations, you may visit during the off-season from June to August and from December to February. Remember that these months can be hot and humid, and there is a higher chance of rain.

No matter when you visit, be sure to check the weather forecast and pack accordingly. It is also a good idea to bring mosquito repellent, as the town is tropical, and there may be a higher risk of mosquito-borne illnesses.

How to Reach Out to Panauti?

There are a few different ways to reach Panauti, Nepal:

  1. By car: Panauti is located about 32 kilometers southeast of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. You can hire a car or taxi from Kathmandu to get to Panauti. The journey takes about 1 hour by car.
  2. By bus: There are regular bus services from Kathmandu to Panauti. The journey takes about 1.5 hours and costs around 100 Nepalese rupees. You can catch a bus from the Old Bus Park in Kathmandu.
  3. By motorbike: You can also rent a motorbike in Kathmandu and drive to Panauti. This is an excellent option if you want to explore the surrounding area at your own pace. Just be sure to drive safely and follow the rules of the road.
  4. By bike: If you are an experienced cyclist, you can bike from Kathmandu to Panauti. The journey takes about 4-5 hours and follows a flat route. Just be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks and be prepared for the heat and humidity.

We can organize a private tour of Panauti for you. Kindly feel free to talk to our representative at Travel Maker South Asia.

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Keshab Karki
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