Pokhara, a significant tourism destination in Nepal lies between the Great Himalayas and Mahabharata Range in the central region of the country. It is the only place in the world from where one can enjoy the magnificent view of mountains having elevation above 8000 meters while sitting below 1000 meter above sea level. Out of the 14 highest mountains of the world, which are known as eight thousanders having elevation above 8000 meters, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu can be seen from Pokhara. It is an enchanting city nestled in a tranquil valley, which is also gateway to the world famous Annapurna circuit trekking trail.
Places to visit in Pokhara:
Fewa Lake, the second largest lake in the kingdom, roughly measuring 1.5 km by 4 km, is the centre of all attractions in Pokhara. The enchanting lake is an idyllic playground. Brightly painted wooden boats and sailboats can be rented on reasonable cost around lakeside. The lake is neither deep (roughly 47 meters at most), the water is warm and swimming is pleasant. The eastern shoreline of the lake, popularly known as Lakeside or Baidam, consists of seemingly endless strip of lodges, restaurants, bookshops and souvenir shops. One of the fascinating parts of lakeside is the splendid view of the mountains, especially when the still water reflects the peaks, creating a double image.
This is the most important religious monument in Pokhara. Built almost in the middle of Fewa lake, the two storied pagoda representing the Pokhara-Barahi-Temple5female force of Hindu (Shakti). Devotees can be seen, especially on Saturdays, carrying male animals and fowl across the lake to be sacrificed to the deity.
Begnas and Rupa Lake
The lakes are located about 15km from Pokhara at the end of a road that turns north from the highway to Kathmandu. Divided by the forested rupahillock called Panchabhaiya Danda, the lakes offer the perfect nature retreat because of their relative seclusion. Splendid boating and fishing can be done here.
World Peace Pagoda
The pagoda is a massive Buddhist stupa and is situated on top of a hill on the southern shore of Fewa 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.
Locally known as Patale Chhango (Hell’s fall), Devi’s fall (also known as Devin’s or David’s) is an awesome waterfall lying about 2 km south-west of Pokhara airport on the highway to Tansen, Butwal. An interesting modern legend says that a foreigner named David was skinny-dipping in the Pardi Khola (river) when the floodgates of the dam were opened, sweeping him into an underground passage beneath the fall, never to be seen again.
Gupteswar Cave, 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. An entrance fee of NRs. 50.00 is charged and taking pictures inside the cave is prohibited.
Mahendra Cave is the large limestone cave. Shepherd boys are said to have discovered it around 1950. A two hour walk to the north of Pokhara, it is best to bring your own torch to see the stalactites and stalagmites, although most of them have been carted out by souvenir hunters. Chamero Gupha locally called Chamero Odhaar (“House of Bats”) located near by Mahendra Gufa.
The Old Bazar
Pokhara’s traditional bazaar is colorful and so are its ethnically diverse traders. In its temples and monuments can be seen ties to the Newar architecture of the Kathmandu Valley. Located about 4 km from Lakeside, the market’s original charm is alive and well.