Panauti

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a small house in the middle of a forest

Nepal is located in South Asia, bordered by China to the north and India to the south, east, and west. It is known for its rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and diverse topography. One of the lesser-known cities in Nepal is Panauti, located in the central part of the country. This article provides a comprehensive overview of Panauti, covering its geography, history, attractions, economy, education, health, infrastructure, challenges, and opportunities.

Importance of Panauti in Nepal

Panauti is a small Nepal city with significant cultural and religious importance. It is situated in the Kathmandu Valley and is surrounded by lush green hills. The city has a rich history that dates back to the 11th century, making it one of the oldest cities in Nepal. It has numerous religious and cultural sites that are of great significance to the people of Nepal. Additionally, Panauti is known for its traditional Newari architecture and unique festivals.

man in black jacket walking on sidewalk Panauti Village during daytime

Geo Location of Panauti

 

Panauti is located in central Nepal, approximately 32 kilometres southeast of Kathmandu. It is situated at an altitude of 1,402 meters above sea level and covers an area of 43.2 square kilometres. The city is located at the confluence of two rivers, Roshi and Punyamati.

Topography of Panauti

Panauti is surrounded by lush green hills providing a breathtaking city view. The city is situated in a valley, with the Roshi and Punyamati rivers flowing through it. The topography of Panauti is such that it is prone to landslides and floods during the monsoon season.

Climate of Panauti

Panauti has a subtropical monsoon climate, with hot summers and mild winters. The temperature during the summer can reach up to 35 degrees Celsius, while in winter, it can drop to 5 degrees Celsius. The monsoon season lasts from June to September, with heavy rainfall and occasional flooding.

Origins of Panauti Village

Panauti’s long and fascinating history dates back to the 11th century. According to legend, the city was founded by a king named Bhupaladeva, who named it after his wife, Pana Devi. Over the years, Panauti became an important trading centre, connecting the Kathmandu Valley with other parts of Nepal and India. The city’s strategic location also made it a target for conquest by various rulers, including the Malla kings and the Gorkhas.

Significant historical events in Panauti

Panauti played a significant role in Nepal’s history, with several important events occurring there. One such event was the Battle of Kirtipur, fought between the Malla kings of Kathmandu and the Gorkha army in 1767. The Gorkhas won the battle, marking the beginning of their conquest of the Kathmandu Valley.

Another significant event in Panauti’s history was the establishment of the first printing press in Nepal in 1908. The Nepal Press Institute was founded by Nepali intellectuals, including Chandra Shumsher JBR, who saw the need for a modern printing facility in the country.

Culture and Tradition in Panauti

Panauti is known for its rich cultural heritage and unique traditions. The city has a predominantly Newari population, who are known for their traditional architecture, food, and festivals. One such festival is the Panauti Jatra, celebrated every twelve years and considered one of Nepal’s biggest festivals. During the festival, a chariot carrying the idol of Lord Indreshwar, the city’s patron deity, is pulled through the streets of Panauti amidst much fanfare and revelry.

Religious and cultural sites in Panauti

Panauti is home to numerous religious and cultural sites that attract tourists from all over the world. One of the most popular sites is the Indreshwar Mahadev Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and believed to have been built in the 13th century. The temple is renowned for its intricate carvings and architecture. It is considered one of the finest examples of Newari architecture in Nepal.

Another important religious site in Panauti is the Kali Temple, dedicated to the goddess Kali and believed to have been built in the 17th century. The temple is known for its beautiful wood carvings and is a popular destination for pilgrims.

Natural attractions in Panauti

Panauti is blessed with natural beauty and has several scenic spots worth visiting. One such spot is the Roshi Khola, a river that flows through the city and offers a peaceful and serene setting for picnics and relaxation. Another popular spot is the Panauti Community Forest, home to several species of birds and animals and an excellent place for nature walks and birdwatching.

Festivals and events in Panauti

Panauti is known for its unique festivals and events, reflecting its rich cultural heritage. Apart from the Panauti Jatra, the city also celebrates the Ghode Jatra. This festival involves a horse race and is believed to ward off evil spirits. The city celebrates the Holi festival enthusiastically, with people throwing coloured powder and water at each other and dancing to traditional music.

Accommodation and transportation in Panauti

Panauti has several tourist accommodation options, ranging from budget guesthouses to luxurious resorts. Most of these options are in the city centre and offer easy access to the city’s attractions. In terms of transportation, Panauti is well-connected to the rest of Nepal by road and has regular bus services to Kathmandu and other nearby cities.

Best time to visit Panauti

The best time to visit Panauti is during October to April, when the weather is pleasant and dry. This is also the peak tourist season, so booking accommodation and transportation in advance is advisable. However, to experience the Panauti Jatra, you should plan your visit during the festival, which usually falls in April.

Things to do in Panauti

There are several things to do in Panauti, from exploring the city’s historical and cultural sites to enjoying its natural beauty. Some must-visit attractions in Panauti include the Indreshwar Mahadev Temple, Kali Temple, and the Panauti Community Forest. You can also walk along the Roshi Khola River or visit the nearby Namobuddha Monastery, a popular destination for Buddhist pilgrims.

Conclusion

Panauti is a hidden gem in Nepal, offering a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or just looking for a peaceful getaway, Panauti has something to offer everyone. So, pack your bags and head to this charming city to experience its beauty and charm for yourself.

FAQs

What is the history of Panauti?

Panauti’s long and fascinating history dates back to the 11th century. According to legend, the city was founded by a king named Bhupaladeva, who named it after his wife, Pana Devi.

What are the must-visit attractions in Panauti?

Some must-visit attractions in Panauti include the Indreshwar Mahadev Temple, Kali Temple, and the Panauti Community Forest. You can also walk along the Roshi Khola River or visit Namobuddha Monastery.

When is the best time to visit Panauti?

The best time to visit Panauti is during October to April, when the weather is pleasant and dry. This is also the peak tourist season, so booking accommodation and transportation in advance is advisable.

What is the Panauti Jatra?

The Panauti Jatra is a festival celebrated every twelve years in Panauti. During the festival, a chariot carrying the idol of Lord Indreshwar, the city’s patron deity, is pulled through the streets of Panauti amidst much fanfare and revelry.

What is the Ghode Jatra?

The Ghode Jatra is a festival celebrated in Panauti that involves a horse race and is believed to ward off evil spirits.

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