Pokhara is a remarkable place of natural beauty. Pokhara Valley avereges altitude of 827m from the sea level and is just 200km west of Kathmandu.
Trekkers and holiday seekers will easily find themselves lost in Pokhara's beauty. The city is gateway to the majestic Annapurna Masiff in the north. Popular treks like Ghorepani Poon Hill, Annapurna Circuit (or Base Camp), Mardi Himal Trek and several other treks start from Pokhara.
Mount Machhapuchhre and Dhaulagiri seem a push away from Narcissus, as they praise themselves in the relfection of Fewa Lake on the bottom of the valley. For instance, if you are on your way to Muktinath, Lumbini or even Chitwan National Park, you will find yourself before and after the trek.
Pokhara, Himalayan paradise is full of delightful villages, incredible mountain scenery, pagodas, monasteries and temples, museums, memories of ancient kingdoms, backpacker-friendly streets and stunning wildlife, tantalizing nightlife in cities that is waiting to be explored.
Nepal though only 800 km long and 150 km in width, has some of the highest mountain ranges like the Everest, Annapurna ranges etc. and also the famous Terai plains where nature and wildlife is in abundance. The climatic conditions vary from sub-tropical in the Terai region to subzero winters in the upper mountains. Spirituality has always been an integral part of this nation which has more than 125 caste and ethnic groups, and 123 spoken dialects, and is characterized as naturally pure, tranquil and culturally unique.
For people leading a busy and hectic life, I always advise them to head for Pokhara and explore it at a relaxed pace. Though it is a tiring road trip from Kathmandu to Pokhara, you can just checked into one of the many hotels in town near Fewa Lake. Most of the hotels in Pokhara has stunning views of the Annapurna Himalayas, and have an easy access to the thriving life on the lake street of Pokhara.
Get greeted by heavenly sight of the entire Annapurna range early in the and try spotting the glistening peak of 6,993-metre high Machhapuchhre or Fish Tail, which is one of the few virgin mountains that one is not allowed to climb. The hypnotizing sight normally gets engulfed in mist as jealous clouds take over and blanket the range.
You can start with a trip to the streets of the old town. Morning walks on the wet roads of old town were delightful. You can see and take pictures of acres of farmland, typical Nepalese houses, domesticated animals like buffaloes, cows, goats and chickens, and spectacular blue skies. The ambiance is further lightened up by chirping birds. You can chat with friendly locals as they get ready for the daily chores in their Newari houses made of red bricks having ornately-carved wooden windows.
Pokhara’s old town, located between Tibet and Kathmandu, used to be a major trade route some 300 years ago. The main attraction is the 200-year-old Bhimsen Temple, known for its erotic carvings, and also the ancient Bindhya Basini Temple.
You can also go to Gupteshwar Mahadev Gupha near Devi’s falls. The water from the falls flows into a 500 feet long tunnel into the subterranean cave where a Shiva Lingam was once discovered. Caves can be approached through artistically painted pathways and the limestone formations; the Flowstones inside the cold and damp cave are stunning.
You can also spend time boating on Phewa Lake and visit the Tal Barahi temple in the lake. Getting through the crowd on the jetty and on to the boat is an adventure in itself, but is fully worth the efforts. Once on the lake, it is a wonderful experience to connect with nature minus the hassles of tourist crowd.
Misty Phewa, blanketed by lavender water hyacinths has a faint emerald hue due to the surrounding lush-green fields and forests. It is quiet and peaceful away from the touristy end of the shore. The fishermen along the shores and a few on their boats too are never bothered by tourist presence around them and just keep themselves busy at work with their nets. Occasional sights of a paraglide soaring high above snow-covered mountains will invite you to climb up the hills and take a chance to fly free like vibrant birds.
You can take a tea stop at the Tal Barahi temple in the middle of the lake and offer prayers to goddess Barahi. You can then row to the southern fringe of the lake, the starting point of a small trek to the World Peace Pagoda and trek for about an hour to reach World Peace Pagoda. It’s a beautiful dome shaped Pagoda shining atop a hill and has four images of the Buddha facing the four directions. Besides the peaceful ambiance at the pagoda, it also is a great vantage point offering spectacular views of the Annapurna range and nearby hills.
Once back in the city of lakes, which once was a hippie heaven; you can now chill and venture out to experience the night life. It is a place which will decrease your blood pressure in the daytime as you experience the rustic natural beauty all around. And will help you pump up your blood pressure again as the sun sets down and you go out on the lake streets of Pokhara for a stroll for souvenir shopping or simply grab a table at a cafe and enjoy a plate of momo with Himalayan tea or freshly-ground, organic coffee with pastries and croissants or locally brewed beer.
The vibrant city of Pokhara offers so much that it hard to list down all. Believe me guys, there’s much more to do – which you wouldn’t be able to do in just one trip…But I am sure, you will come back for a trip again to enjoy these activites
*Indulge in extreme sports - Paragliding, bungee jumping, zip-lining, river rafting or flying over the peaks in an ultra light aircraft
* Visit Sarangkot to see the sunrise over the Annapurna and Fishtail mountains
* Visit museums like International Mountain Museum and Gorkha Museum
How to Reach
Pokhara has an airport where small aircrafts takeoff and land. You can fly to Pokhara directly from Kathmandu. The travel time is about 40 minutes.
Nepal does not have a railway network, so the nearest Rail Head is Jainagar or Gorakhpur or New Jalpaiguri in India, from where one can take buses to reach Pokhara after crossing the border. It usually takes about 12 - 14 hours.
You can also take buses from Kathmandu to Pokhara and the travel time is about 7 hours.
This enchanting city has several beautiful lakes and offers stunning panoramic views of Himalayan peaks.
So, trekkers and travelers can spend a few nights in Pokhara before and after their trip.
The valley of Pokhara is bestowed by the nature. Stark big mountains just up north provide with a fertile land, beautiful lakes, green forest and access to pure water. This spark shows up in the Pokhreli (locals of Pokhara) face.
Enjoy floating in the Fewa Lake with wooden boats. It almost sounds classical. Sunset from the Lake is also another beautiful activity. For the day, there are several spots in the valley you can visit.
Some of Pokhreli Hotspots are:
Mahendra Cave - a mysterious Cave
Davis' Falls - A waterfall that disappears into the ground.
Peace Pagoda - a beautiful Pagoda on the hill top.
Sarangkot Hill - Another hill famous for sunrise and mountain views.
The serenity of lakes and the magnificence of the Himalayas rising behind them create an ambience of peace and magic.
So today the city has not only become the starting point for most popular trekking and rafting destinations but also a place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Scroll through this section to find trips that are connected with the beautiful town of Pokhara. Don't miss it!