Panauti is one of the typical Newar towns outside the Kathmandu Valley. It is located 33 kilometers south east of Kathmandu in the Panauti municipality in Kavre district of Bagmati Zone. It is situated at 1447 meters alms and is linked with the Arniko highway, which is 6 kilometers north of it and B.P highway on the east. This town experiences salubrious climate surrounded by extensive fertile land and occupies the strategic location as important traditional routes to east and south pass through it.
As of 2015, the Panauti municipality contains 62,358 population. This is the second largest municipality in terms of population as well as in area of the Kavre district after Pachkhal. The Pachkhal municipality is the latest additional of the municipality to the Kavre district.
Panauti due to its location, has a religious significance. It is situated at the confluence of Roshi and Punyamati rivers and it is believed that the third one called Padmavati also joins at this confluence from underground making it the Tribeni, tri-junctions. As a result, this place has become the most sacred one and the Nepalese people regard it as Uttar Prayag, after the Prayag of Allahabad, India. Its importance is clearly mentioned in the inscription of King Pratap Malla (17th century) at Rani Pokhari. As in Prayag, every twelfth year in the month of Magh (January), a big festival is observed and people from far and wide come and take ablution. This festival is popularly known as the Makar Mela. The last twelve-year Makar festival was observed in B.S. 2066. Another annual festival of Panauti is observed on the full moon day of Jestha (June).