Get away from the trappings of city life and drive down to Dumre then upto Bandipur, the ancient trading town. 135 km from Kathmandu, it lies perched on a ridge, not far from the Kathmandu–Pokhara highway. Once a town dominated by the Newar community, a slow change-over is taking place with more Gurung people moving in. Newari architecture can be perceived in the houses and temples in town that hark back to the days of Kathmandu Valley. The old round houses of the Magars are a delight to the eyes and ancient traditional dances like the ‘Ghantu’ have been kept alive in good old Bandipur. Walk up the hill that towers over the town and enjoy an unrestricted view of Himalayan peaks: Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Annapurna, Lamjung, Ganesh and Langtang. There are excellent short hikes around Bandipur. You can also catch a spectacular sunset with your camera from the top. A short distance below the town is a recently discovered cave that is a 100m deep, one of the biggest in Nepal. Head lamps are provided at the entrance as there is no lighting within. Known as the Siddha Caves, it has stalactite and stalagmite formations and is yet to be fully explored. There is a fort on a hilltop north-east of Bandipur and is believed to have been established by the ruler Mukunda Sen when Nepal was divided into tiny principalities.