Pokhara’s bewitching beauty has been the subject of many travel writers. It’s pristine air, spectacular backdrop of snowy peaks, serene lakes and surrounding greenery make it The Jewel in the Himalayas”, a place of remarkable natural beauty. With the magnificent Annapurna range forming the backdrop and the serenity of three major lakes Phewa, Rupa and Begnas.So,it is also called as Seven Lake-City. Pokhara is the ultimate destination for relaxation. 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 the largest tourist city in the country, home to great Himalayan trails, residence of a large number of British Gorkha soldiers.Pokhara is the third largest city in Nepal with an area of 55.22 Sq. Km. and a population of 264,991 inhabitants, making one of the densely populated city. It is located at 28.25 Degree North and 83.99 Degree East and 827 m. above the sea level.The city is located approximately 200 Km. west of the country’s capital, Kathmandu. It serves as the headquarters of Kaski District, Gandaki Zone of the Western Development Region. Pokhara is the most popular tourist destination in Nepal. Three out of the ten highest mountains in the world Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I and Manaslu are within 30 Kms. of the city, so that the northern skyline of the city offers a very close view of the Himalayas. Due to its proximity to the Annapurna mountain range, the city is also a base for trekkers undertaking the Annapurna Circuit through the ACAP Region of the Annapurna Ranges of the Himalayas.
Places of Interest in Pokhara
Panaromic Mountain Views
Watch Pokhara with allnepal in YoutubePokhara’s Mountain View clearly the most stunning of Pokhara’s sights is the spectacular panorama of the Annapurna range which forms its backdrop. Stretching from east to west, the Annapurna massif includes Annapurna I to IV and Annapurna South. Although the highest among them is Annapurna I (8,091 m), it is Machhapuchhre which dominates all others in this neighborhood. Boastfully levitating in the skyline, the fish-tailed pinnacle is the archetypal snow-capped, needle-pointed mountain. If you want to see the mountains from close up, Everest Air offers a mountain flight from Pokhara that takes you on an aerial sightseeing tour of the Western Himalayas.
Phewa Lake, the second largest lake in the Country, is the center of all attraction in Pokhara. It is the largest and most enchanting of the three lakes that add to the resplendence of Pokhara. Here, one can sail or row a hired boat across to the water or visit the island temple in its middle. The eastern shore, popularly known as lakeside or Baidam, is the favorite home base for travellers and is where most of the hotels, restaurants and handicraft shops are located.
The Barahi temple is the most important monument in Pokhara, built almost in the center of Phewa Lake, this two-storied pagoda is dedicated to the boar manifestation of Ajima, the protectress 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.
Another of Pokhara’s natural wonders that unfailingly interests visitors is the Seti-Gandaki River. Flowing right through the city, the boisterous river runs completely underground at various places. Amazingly, at certain points the river appears hardly two meters wide. But its depth is quite beyond imagination – over 20 meters. Mahendra Pul, a small bridge near the old Mission Hospital, provides a perfect view of the river’s dreadful rush and the deep gorge made by its powerful flow.
Locally known as the Patale Chhango (Hell’s Fall). Devi’s Fall (also known as Devin’s and David’s) is a lovely waterfall lying about 2 Kms.Ssouth-West of the Pokhara airport on the Siddhartha Highway. Legend has it that a trekker (Devin, David..) was washed away by the Pardi Khola and mysteriously disappeared down into an underground passage beneath the fall.
Another of nature’s wonders in Pokhara is the Mahendra Gupha. This large limestone cave is locally known as the House of Bats, an apt name for it. At 2 hours walk to the north of Pokhara, it is best to bring your own torch to see the stalactites and stalagmites, as well as the local winged residents.
The Old Bazaar
Pokhara’s traditional bazaar is colorful and so are its ethnically diverse traders. Located about 4 Kms. from Lakeside, the market’s original charm is alive and well. This area strewn with shops selling commodities from edibles and cloth to cosmetics and gold is a pleasant and shady spot to stroll around.
The old bazaar is also home to one of Pokhara’ s most important shrines. Locally called the Bindhyabasini Mandir, this white dome-like structure dominates a spacious stone-paved courtyard built atop a shady hillock. It is dedicated to Goddess Bhagwati, yet another manifestation of Shakti. The park-like grounds offer a fine picnic area, and on Saturdays and Tuesdays when devotees flock there to offer sacrifices, it takes on a festive local flavor.
Pokhara is the starting and/or finishing point for some of the most popular treks including the Annapurna Circuit and the Jomsom Trek. It also offers a number of short treks for those who cannot opt for long, challenging ones. The most popular destination among them is Sharangkot (1592 m), a former Kaski fort lying atop a hill to the west of Pokhara. The panoramic view of the Himalaya seen from this point is superb. Kahundanda, Naudanda, Ghandrunk, Ghorepani, and Ghalchock are other favorite destinations around Pokhara.
The Pokhara Museum
The Pokhara Museum, located between the bus stop and Mahendra Pul, reflects the ethnic mosaic of Western Nepal. The lifestyles and history of ethnic groups such as the Gurung, Thakali and the Tharu are attractively displayed through models, photographs and arti- facts. One major attraction is a display highlighting the newly-discovered remains of an 8000-year-old settlement in Mustang. Open daily, except Tuesdays and holidays, from 10 am to 5 pm.
The Annapurna Regional Museum
Also known as the Natural History Museum, is another interesting visit in Pokhara. Run by the Annapuma Conservation Area Project (ACAP), the museum has an exceptional collection of butterflies, insects, birds and models of wildlife found in the area.It is located at Prithvi Narayan Campus east of the old bazaar. It is open daily except Saturdays and holidays from 9 am to 5 pm.