Pokhara is a place of remarkable natural beauty, it is the starting point for many of most popular trekking...
If Kathmandu is the cultural hub of Nepal, Pokhara is its center of adventure. An enchanting city nestled in a tranquil valley, it is the starting point for many of Nepal's most popular trekking and rafting destinations. The atmosphere on the shore of Phewa Lake is one of excited vitality as hipster backpackers crowd the many bars and restaurants exchanging recommendations on guest houses and viewpoints, both by the lake and above the clouds.
Pokhara is a place of remarkable natural beauty. The serenity of Phewa Lake and the magnificence of the fish-tailed summit of Machhapuchhre (6,977 m) rising behind it create an ambience of peace and magic. At an elevation lower than Kathmandu, it has a much more tropical feel to it, a fact well appreciated by the beautiful diversity of flowers which prosper in its environs. Indeed, the valley surrounding Pokhara is home to thick forests, gushing rivers, emerald lakes, and of course, the world famous views of the Himalaya.
Pokhara is part of a once vibrant trade route extending between India and Tibet. To this day, mule trains can be seen camped on the out-skirts of the town, bringing goods to trade from remote regions of the Himalaya. This is the land of the Magars and Gurungs, hardworking farmers and valorous warriors who have earned worldwide fame as Gurkha soldiers. The Thakalis, another important ethnic group here, are known for their entrepreneurship.
April to October
Phewa Lake, Rupa Lake, Sarangkot, World Peace Pagoda, Mahendra Gupha (Cave), Kahun Dada, Gupteshwar Gupha, Bat Cave (Chamera Gupha), Crystal Cave, Shanti Stupa
Phewa Lake: Phewa lake is the second largest lake of Nepal and the largest lake of Pokhara Valley. IT is situated at an altitude of 784m at the western edge of Pokhara city near Baidam. It covers an area of about 4.43 sq km with an average depth of about 8.6m, maximum water depth is 19m. The maximum water capacity of the lake is estimated to be 46 million cubic meters. It lies in the valley of Harpan Khola which feeds the lake. On the southern mouth of the lake, at the crown of Pardi River, a dam is built which has nearly doubled the water level. The water of the lake is used for irrigation and electricity generation.
Begnash Lake: Begnas Lake, the second largest lake of Pokhara Valley is situated at an altitude of 650m. It is located in the Siswa village on the eastern part of Pokhara and is 13 km away from the Pokhara city. It covers an area of 3 sq. km. Average water depth of the lake is 9.37 and the maximum water depth is 13.84m. The capacity of the lake is 29.05 million cubic meter. It is comparatively deeper in the northern and western part in the comparision to eastern and southern part.
Devi's Falls (Patale Chhango): Pokhara is the only city in Nepal which is famous for water falls. As we drive by the river sides below the hills we can see several beautiful and dashing water falls flowing downhill and finally flowing to the rivers. The highway to Baglung consist of several water falls. The city itself has a beautiful waterfall within itself and it is known as Davis Fall.
Rupa Lake: Rupa Lake is separated by the Pachabhaiya ridge from Begnas Tal, hence, these two lakes are often called the twin lakes. Rupa Lake is situated at an altitude of about 600m and covers an area of 1.12 sq km running along from north to south. The average depth of the lake is 3.0m and maximum water depth is 4.79m. Its water holding capacity is 3.1 million cubic meter.
Seti Rivers: Stretching from east to west, the breathtaking views of the world famous Himalayan range of the Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre and others appear so close as to make you feel that you can almost touch them. Sarangkot, Kaskikot, Kalikasthan, Bharat Pokhari and the Bhumdi Hill command beautiful views of the valley and the mountains.
Sarangkot: This small village, perked on top of a hill just 5 kilometers from Pokhara's Lakeside seems to be making something of a comeback, after falling from tourist favor about fifteen years ago. In those days the start of trekking in the Annapurna region usually started at Bindabasini Mandir, north of Pokhara, and took the trekker through Sarangkot and along the ridge to Nayapul.
Dhampus: This route is popular both for mountain and sunrise view and to experience the Nepalese village life. The view point, Sarangkot offers the excellent panoramic view of Annapurnas and the sunrise while Naudanda offers the dramatic view of the twin tails of Machapuchhre (Fishtail) and the massif Dhaulagiri view.
World Peace Pagoda: World Peace Pagoda, a massive Buddhist stupa is situated on the top of a hill on the southern shore of Phewa Lake. Besides being a impressive sight in itself, the shrine is a great vantage point which offers the spectacular views of the Annapurna range, Phewa Lake, and the Pokhara city.
Kahun Dada: It is another enchanting hill north of Pokhara and takes about two and a half hours to reach from Mahendrapul. The trails starts from near the army barrack at Phulbari across Mahendrapul and climbs slowly up a slope. The essential view from top of this hill is the panoramic view of the Annapurna range and the flat span of Pokhara valley.
Mahendra Gupha (Cave): Mahendra Cave resides in Batulechaur. Its a 10 minute drive from chipledhunga the central market place of the Pokhara city. Mahendra cave has been named as per the Late King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev. This is also one of the most demanding tourist attraction center here in pokhara.
Bat Cave (Chamera Gupha): This cave is located a little far form the Mahendra cave in the west. This cave was also discovered by the owner of the land – a farmer in the year 2040.Though the entrance is quite narrow but the inner part of the cave is wide enough. The images of the elephant tusk, gods and goddess have been craved on the inner walls of the cave.
Gupteshwar Gupha (Cave): Gupteswar Gupha is a sacred cave, lies 2 km from Pokhara airport on the Siddhartha Highway leading southwest from the city. The entrance is right across from Devi's Fall and the cave is almost 3 km long. It has some big hall-size rooms and some passages where you have to crawl on all fours. This cave holds special value for Hindus since a phallic symbol of Lord Shiva is preserved here in the condition it was discovered.
Crystal Cave: A cave by the name Crystal Cave has been discovered in Armala VDC, Kaski district. The origin of the cave has been dated back to seven lakh years before. The cave is 400 meters long. It has been named Crystal cave because of the crystals hanging down from the ceiling to grow 1 cm in length.
Bindhyabasini Temple: Bindhyabasini Temple is also one of the most popular and well known temple in Pokhara.It is situated in the laps of Machhapuchhare and Annapurna ranges.This temple lies in the north of Pokhara. This temple is 3000 ft above from the sea level. You can get a fabulous view of Pokhara city and the Himalayas from this temple.
Barahi Temple: This is the most important religious monument in Pokhara. Built almost in the middle of Phewa lake, the two storied pagoda is dedicated to the boar manifestation of Ajima, the protectors deity representing the female force Shakti. Devotees can be seen, especially on Saturdays, carrying male animals and fowl across the lake to be sacrificed to the deity.
Shanti Stupa: The pagoda is a massive Buddhist stupa and is situated on top of a hill on the southern shore of Phewa lake. Besides being an impressive sight in itself, the shrine is a great vantage point which offers spectacular views of the Annapurna range and Pokhara city. You can get there by crossing the lake by boat and then hiking up the hill.
Bhadra Kali Temple: In the year 1817 B.S this temple was previously known as “Mudule Thumpko”. It is 230 ft. above the sea level and is surrounded by greenery which give it a peaceful environment. This temple came into origin when the Goddess "Bhadrakali" told the Priest to dig the hill. There they found the statue of the Goddess since then it has been worshipped as “BhadraKali”.
Matepani Gumba: There is a splendid Buddhist Monastry on the top of the small forested hill above Matepani east of Mahendra pool. It overlooks a large section of the Pokhara city and once there on find oneself lost in time amid the chanting Ramas, there colossal guardian images of the Buddha accompanying two other gurus and a prayer house with exquisitely carved columns and friezes.
Mountain flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara is the best option. View Himalayas including the Annapurna range which lies right next to flight path. So sit back, turn your head to the right, and enjoy the flight. Be careful though, this will blow your mind away, don't hurt your neck, do not push the passenger on the right out through the window!!
Riding a public bus or a taxi to Pokhara is also a good option. Public buses run daily from Kathmandu. It takes about 5 to 6 hours by bus. Buses are crowded, but thats' how Nepalese travel all life long, so what the heck, go ahead experience it, for you, it's only for a day! Remember, public buses do not have A/C, Heaters and have frequent stops on the way. Bus will stop at Mugling for Lunch or Dinner.
Have some Nepail food there, if you can digest spicy foods, or you can pick restaurants which specifically cater to foreigners. Taxis are expensive, probably will cost you as much as the Air-fare. When you ride by land, you get to see more places, you get to enjoy the scenery that you would not be able to see from the air.
Lakeside (Baidam), Damside (Pardi), Buddha Guest House, Hamlet Lodge, Sunrise Guest House, Vienna Guest House, Blue Diamond Lodge, Chhetri Sisters Guest House, Pleasure Home Lodge, Camping Ground