Most people catch the bus between Kathmandu and
Pokhara without stopping, which is a shame as there a number of great places
to stop and stay. The steep hills around the Prithvi Highway contain some
of the most important religious sites in Nepal, giving yourself a couple of days
to explore them can give your trip a unique edge.
Bandipur is a beautiful town and a
living museum of Newari life and culture. People here live centuries apart
from the rest of the country. 70% of the buildings are traditional Newari
houses. This is a great place to spend a night or two to experience real Newari culture and living.
The area is sympathetic to the Maoist and there is no real trouble
here. There are a number of cheap places to stay. Buses stop at Dumre,
which is nothing special, and jeeps take people to Bandipur.
The Manakamana Mandir is one of the most
important temples in Nepal. From the hamlet of Cheres an Austrian
engineered cable car sweeps up the steep hillside to the temple. All buses
between Kathmandu and Pokhara pass the turn-off to the cable
Gorkha was the
birthplace Prithvi Narayan Shah, conqueror of the Kathmandu Valley and founder
of modern Nepal. It is now a major pilgrimage destination, particularly
for Newars, who include the Shah kings (including the current one) as living
incarnations of Vishnu. The main attraction is Gorkha Durbar, the former
palace of the Shahs. Note: the town is a target of
Maoist attacks, so check
the situation well. There a many daily buses to Pokhara and Kathmandu.