|Bhirab Temple near the Panauti Museum|
We went to Panauti for a few days recently and explored the area. I have to say it was a much better experience than I had anticipated. There is something about this ancient city that draws me. If I go to nearby Dhulikel I try to make time to visit Panauti. But it's rustic and I'm not always able to deal with 'rustic.'
Your admission to the temple site area includes the museum. Although it's small, it's got a nice selection of many artifacts from Nepal's past.
We are doing a three-part series on this ancient city with the first being a good place to stay there, Panauti Hotel. There just aren't many guesthouses or hotels that are anywhere near international standards, which can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you enjoy a local experience there are several homestays in Panauti. Here is our video about this moderately priced hotel.
We also visited a little orphanage, making me a real hypocrite. I always said I wouldn't support an orphanage, but then I met up with an old friend. He told me about one in Panauti that was struggling and yet doing a lot of good for actual orphans, which is not always the case in Asia.
Typically, orphanages exploit children, but as my friend explained, the government of Nepal has cleaned up the industry and the orphanage complies with the new laws. I was impressed with the enthusiasm and love each of the staff expressed. I could also see the children loved them and are being taken care of.
I hope you follow along with me as I interview the staff. I was really impressed with the enthusiasm of each of them. The children seemed happy, too. I'll post that here when it's uploaded.
So, if you are wondering if a day or two in Panauti would be of value during your time in Nepal, here are some reasons it might be for you.
It's just a lovely place that any tourist will enjoy, but it has these advantages:
It's flat, which makes it easier for the elderly and tourists with health challenges. You will still need to be able to walk up at least one flight of stairs; there doesn't seem to be any elevators in Panauti.
It's outside of the Kathmandu Valley and often has crispy clean air.
There are few tourists who go to Panauti, compared to nearby Bhaktapur, so you can experience authentic culture.
It's on the Valley Rim Trekking Route.
It has a smaller admission price than nearby Bhaktapur. Panauti is only $3 for westerners while Bhaktapur is $15, much less for SAARC nations.
|We happened upon this interesting handicraft store.|
|Items inside the little store|
|Bhirab and other artifacts in the museum|
|This museum is small but quite interesting|