Discover the Delightful Town of Banepa
The town of Banepa is situated about 26 kilometers east of Kathmandu in Nepal. With the only highway connecting Nepal to Banepa running through the town, Banepa is considered to be a significant trade-route town. Additionally, the newly constructed B.P. Koirala Highway, which is named after Nepalese leader Bishweswor Prasad Koirala, passes through Banepa, enhancing the town’s strategic importance.
The kings of the ancient kingdom of Banepa reached the peak of their power during the 14th century having obtained their wealth from the trade route which even at that time passed through the Banepa Valley. It is reported that Chinese ambassadors who had been sent to make contact with the rulers of Nepal were captured by the authorities of Banepa. Under the pretense of being the rightful rulers of the Valley they enjoyed generous gifts from the Chinese for many years.
Fragments of ancient sculptures suggest that the area may have been settled in the Licchavi Dynasty period, going back to between 400 and 750 C.E. Places of interest include the temple of Chandeshwori to the northeast of the town and Dhaneshwor Temple to the south, as well as an interesting market area with traditional houses and temples just north of the statue of King Mahendra at the road junction to Panauti.
Banepa is home to the Scheer Memorial Hospital, established by Seventh-day Adventists in 1957 and later developed into a medical college that is supported by the Vanderbilt University of the USA together with the Kathmandu University. Many students attend the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) and the B.Sc. Nursing programs run at the medical college. The non-governmental organization known as the Friends of the Disabled, run the Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children (HRDC) in Banepa. This center provides the best reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation in the country, with its services primarily aimed at disadvantaged and physically challenged children under the age of 16 years. With a number of high schools, colleges and private boarding schools, Banepa is one of the best towns in Nepal when it comes to getting an education.
Clearly Banepa is moving ahead with the times, with education and medical resources being a priority in the town. However, the people who live there have not forgotten their fascinating traditions and ancient history, making Banepa a place worth visiting when you travel to Nepal.