Banepa including Araniko Highway
Banepa (Nepal Bhasa: भोंत) is a municipality situated in a valley at about 4800 ft above sea level in central Nepal. Banepa, the historical town, is about 25 km east from Kathmandu. At the time of the 2011 Nepal census, it has a population of 24,764. The main attraction of Banepa is the temple of Chandeshwari, located approximately 1 km northeast of the town along the Rudramati River. The Dhaneshwar Temple is 1 km south of the town. Also Banepa is well known for its eight different temples of Lord Ganesh, Narayanthan, the temple of lord Narayan, Bhimshenthan, the temple of Lord Bhimshen and eight different ponds.
"After having had the favours and directions of goddess Chandeshwari, king Anandadeva founded seven cities, viz,
- Banepa near Chandeshwari Pitha
- Panauti near Prayaga Tirtha of Nepal
- Nala near Nala Bhagawati
- Dhulikhel near Narayana
- Khadpu near Dhaneshwar
- Chaukot near the resident of Chaukora Rishi
- Sanga, near Nasika Pitha.
Anandedeva united the scattered villages and made modern Banepa surrounded by eight gates with a Ganesh (the elephant - headed god of good omen) at each of the gates in eight different directions in kaligat year 4197 (around 1153 B.S.). He also built a temple of Chandeshwari and arranged a trust fund for the goddess. It is also believe that when entire Kathmandu Valley was covered with lake, there was a small kindgdom in Banepa.
Some of the ancient name of Banepa were Banepur, Baniyapur, Banipur . As it had trade relationship with Tibet from ancient period, Banepa is also known as "Bhont", "Bhonta", "Bhon dey(भों देय्)". Banepa is the combination of two words i.e. "Bane" means 'Business' and "Pa" means 'Place'. Therefore, "Banepa" means 'Place of Business'.
The old newari town is located at the central part of the City. It is surrounded by 8 ganesh temples with 8 adjacent ponds and Phalchaa(फल्चा). The name of the Ganesh are:
- Tukampwo Ganesh at South
- Kobha Ganesh at Southeast
- Waku Ganesh at East
- Thachhu Ganesh at North
- Kanthu Ganesh at Northeast
- Kwonla Ganesh at Southwest
- Talapukhu Ganesh at West
- Jyasanani Ganesh at Northwest
These Ganesh temples are the boundaries of old Banepa.
A lot of festivals are celebrated in Banepa as follows
- Chandeshwori Jatra during Baisakh Purnima
- Kanya-puja (worshipping of the young girls) during Gunla
- Nawadurga Jatra (Fish-catching festival)
- Ganesh Jatra during Vijaya Dashami
- Bhimsen Jatra.
Banepa has a Seventh-day Adventist hospital called Scheer Memorial Hospital, which was established in 1957. This hospital has been expanded as a medical college associated with Vanderbilt University in the USA and Kathmandu University. Many students enroll in the MBBS and B.Sc. Nursing programs at this hospital. Banepa is also the location of the Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children, the only hospital in the country that provides tertiary-level care.
Banepa is also a major trade route to Tibet, with the Arniko Rajmarg, the only highway that connects Nepal and China (Tibet), running through this town. Furthermore, another newly constructed highway, the B.P. Koirala Highway (named after great leader of Nepal Bishweswor Prasad Koirala), also passes through this town. Though it is a small town, Banepa is the major economic center east of Kathmandu.
Banepa is also the best place for education in Kabhre district of Nepal. There are a number of high schools and colleges.
- The oldest school of the district Azad Secondary School
- Chaitanya Secondary School
- Siksha Sadan Secondary School
- Himalaya Secondary School
Some of the well-known private boarding schools are:
- Gyan Sarovar English Boarding Secondary School (estd. in 1988)
- Banepa Valley School
- Siddhartha English Higher Secondary School
- Bal Niketan English Boarding School
- Vidhya Sagar Secondary School
- Bal Batika Vidhya Mandir High School
- Kabhre Higher Secondary School
- Bagmati English Boarding School
- Pragati Pravat higher secondary school
- RMS(Rambhakta Memorial School)(estd in 2005)
- Lin International Boarding School (Estd. 2000A.D.)
- Everest Academy
- Kshitij English Boarding School.
Among them the oldest private school is Pragati Prabhat School and the newest one is Kshitij English Boarding School which was established in 2006 A.D.
- "Nepal Census 2001". Nepal's Village Development Committees. Digital Himalaya. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
- Banepa Stawan - Jnan Kaji Manandhar