Located between Kathmandu city and Dhulikeil, Panauti is often overlooked but easy to get to. Do read my full guide to Panauti. It's worth putting aside a full day for Panauti or if you are looking for a home-stay or a night in an authentic Newar city then an overnight is a good choice.
Panauti is relatively untouched in terms of tours and tourism - this is one of its charms. Many agents will try to package it into a day trip with Bhaktapur. This is fine if you on a tight schedule. But if you are independently traveling with time then spending some time there is highly recommended.
Did you know?
Panauti was founded in 1793 but is said to predate much of Kathmandu city with strong origin links to the Hindu god Shiva.
The road to Panauti is currently being resurfaced. The last part (30 mins) is no longer so bumpy but do expect the odd short delay.
There are several transportation methods to Panauti depending on your budget and schedule.
By bus: direct buses to Panauti depart from the old bus park (Ratna) in Kathmandu city every 15 minutes or so for 50-60 rupees (1.5 hours). These buses stop in Banepa but you don't have to transfer. They will continue on to Panauti bus park.
If you are coming from other locations in the Kathmandu Valley like Bhaktapur or Dhulikeil and cannot get a direct bus to Panauti then get one to Banepa. From the small station in Banepa just ask for the next bus to Panauti which is about 20 rupees.
By taxi: taking a taxi from Kathmandu to Panauti is quite easy but you will have to bargain hard for about 2,500 rupees. Most taxi drivers will be happy to wait for you if you are making the return journey after a few hours. There are taxi's around the bus park in Panauti.
By private car or jeep: Hiring your own car or jeep and driver is quite convenient when visiting Panauti. They are generally more comfortable and as most are can be hired for the day it's possible to fit in another site such as Dhulikel or Bhaktapur on the same day. Private jeeps can be rented with a driver for about USD$35-50 per day. Air-conditioning is usually extra.
By private tour: If you are stuck for time or are looking for a private vehicle plus guide to show you around then taking a private tour is a good option. Do check out this recommended package tour to Bhaktapur and Panauti.
It covers everything you need to know with detailed easy to follow maps, walking tours, definitive descriptions (with photos) of every temple, recommendations plus personally visited restaurants and accommodation reviews with so much more for you to discover right now in your hands that you won't get anywhere else.
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