Phewa Tal ‘lake’ is the biggest lake which is the central attraction in Pokhara. You can walk along its edge or hire a boat (sail boat or paddle boat) and move around the Lakeside. It takes a day to explore the distant shores, villages, aquatic & bird life and to watch local fisherman collecting the day’s catch. Don’t miss the stunning reflection of the snow-capped Annapurna in the calm water of Phewa early in the morning.
The surface area of the lake is about 4.43 sq. km., and the maximum and average depth of the lake is 12.3 m and 11.71 m. respectively. The lake has about 51.9 million cubic meters of average volume of water. The best way to experience the Lakeside is to walk around the area, and it is good to get moving on foot.
There’s a myth about the formation of Phewa lake. Prior to its formation, a river Harpan Khola ‘river’ used to flow by the side of a small temple of Goddess Barahi and a village on the eastern bank of the river. It is said that one day Goddess Barahi visited the village in the form of an old woman begging door to door. The woman told the people who gave her alms that a few days later a flood would sweep away the village and that place would turn into a huge lake. As she said it rained heavily after some days for over a week and the village was swept away by the flood. At the same time the part of hill where Fishtail Lodge stands at present slipped down and blocked the river then the lake formed.
Begnas /Rupa Lake
These two picturesque lakes are perfectly serene and clean just 15 km. away towards east from Lakeside. A trip to these lakes makes a perfect day for an overnight trip from proper Pokhara. The activities like swimming, boating and fishing are possible in Begnas lake. It is surrounded by hillocks and greeneries except towards the south which is the entrance to the lake. Its area is 3.73 sq. km. with a round shape. There are many guest houses at the western shore of the lake from where one can have undisturbed views of the lake and the Himalayas. To get there, you should take the last left before the bridge at Begnas Chowk ‘junction’ which passes the fisheries.
Follow the road straight through Begnas Chowk ‘junction’, which climbs up the hill and reveals the isolated beauty of Rupa Tal ‘lake’ downward to the right hand side. After passing through a small village on top of the hill, where there is a luxury eco resort, take the next left down the road walk a few hundred meters to reach the Rupa lake. Rupa is extended from east to west with narrow width. Its total area is 1,15sq. km. and the shape looks like a serpent.
It is said that this lake looks like a lizard, changing its color from red, blue, green to other different colors. People say that there are many medicinal plants in the vicinity. One can have a very clear view of the mountain ranges from the hillock which separates the two lakes: Begnas and Rupa. While visiting Rupa one can also have an opportunity to observe the Fishery Research Center.
This is another 7 km. long fascinating sight in Pokhara which begins from K.I. Sing Bridge to Dhungesanghu with openings at Tulsi Ghat and Ramghat. The snow fed Seti river flows along a series of gorges through the heart of Pokhara. Its murmer can be heard and foaming water can be viewed from a bridge near British Camp, Narayansthan Bridge, Mahendra Bridge and Prithivi Highway Bridge near the Pokhara stadium. The river flowing more than 47 meter below the bridges struggling its way through an incredibly narrow canyon gives a thrilling sensation. One can easily and/or clearly observe the turbulent flow of water while watching from the bridge. On the left hand side, while crossing the new bridge, towards Gurkha Memorial Museum, there is the old K.I. Sing Bridge is made of cement and concrete. It is the first concrete bridge constructed in Pokhara.
There is a huge ingenious granite black rock like a big globe of about 8 m. height and circumference of 26 m. The stone lies in P.N. Campus complex in Pokhara. This round rock is named as Bhim Dhunga. This is the biggest rock in Pokhara valley. Bhima is one of the brothers of Pancha Pandava ‘five pandavas’ mentioned in Hindu mythology belonging about 1500 BC. According to the myth as narrated by the local people, the rock was thrown as a shot-put by Bhima, physically the mightiest brother of pandavas, from Bhimad. So it has its name as Bhim Dhunga. Dhunga in Nepali means ‘rock’ or ‘stone’. Local people have established a deity called Kali on the same spot. So it is also called Bhim Kali. Actually, the geographical legacy is that this huge rock has been carried down from the vicinity of the mountain during glacial period by moving glaciers. Mr. Krishna Prasad Poudel, a geographer opines that the very Bhim Dhunga with round shape might have been rolled down by catastrophic outburst.
This is a large limestone cave famous for its stalactites and stalagmites, located 9 km. to the north-east from Lakeside. This place was first explored by British expedition team in 1978 and then explored again by Daniel Gebuer in 1980. The length of the cave is 215 meter long and is stretched over 50 ropanies of land. The width of the entrance is 16 meters whereas in the center it is only 3.5 meter wide. In the beginning, this cave was called Bat Cave by the local people. Later on, it was named after the name of the then king Mahendra after his visit to the cave in 1960.
With its name as Chamere Gupha in Nepali, Bats’ cave is the popular name in English. This cave is located half kilometer west from Mahendra cave. It is still a popular and adventurous cave to get into. The natural environment of this cave has attracted thousands of bats as they feel no disturbance inside. People usually enter inside the cave carrying a torch light with a sense of adventure.
The visitors must be cautious, since the cave is not yet equipped with electricity and the path is also full of sharp stones. The water dripping from the ceiling makes the path wet and slippery. One can hear haunted sounds inside the cave even from the entrance. The area of the Bats’ Cave is 10 m. depth and 6 m. height along with its 135 m. length. There is a small stream flowing deep under the rock. At the far end of the cave there is a small narrow hole. However, the cave at its center is amazingly spacious. There are large boulders cut out of solid rock inside the cave. Standing on the boulder you can look around the cave. In the middle of it you can see hundreds of bats hanging on the ceiling. Walking through the darkness in the light of a torch, and finding the exit of the cave is indeed a tough and adventurous task. If one is not courageous enough, better not to enter the cave.
It is located 3 km. to the south west from Lakeside near Devi’s fall. It is believed to be five hundred year old and was discovered in 1992. The cave is a popular pilgrimage site. There is a natural image of Lord Shiva, which was naturally found beneath the earth. Well-maintained steps are constructed with the provision of sufficient light to enter the cave. This cave is one of the outlets of Devi’s fall. There is a small tunnel behind the image of Shiva that links the cave to the Devi’s fall. It takes about 10 minutes to reach Devi’s fall through the tunnel. Visitors to this cave have the opportunity to enjoy the underground view of the Devi’s fall.
Devi’s Fall is a fascinating waterfall located 2 km. southwest from Lakeside on the Siddhartha high way towards Syangja. The fall exists because the overflow or excess water of Phewa Lake is drained out through a hole and water runs underground to a distance of about one kilometer down which mingles with a rivulet called Phusre khola ‘rivulet’. The hole is about 29 feet in diameter and 50 feet deep. A big flow of water speedily flowing down into the mouth of the cave exposes lovely rainbows flickering unsteady into the water vapor. Then the big mass of water flows invisibly and vanishes below the hole which provides extremely exciting and pleasant feelings. The local name for the waterfall is Patale Chhango.
The name Patale Chhango in Nepali has become popular among the tourists and tourism operators as ‘Devi’s fall’, after the miserable death of a Swiss lady by slipping in the water fall.
In 1961, Swiss couples were having a bath immediately above the waterfall with their dog. Around 2 Pm, when the water gates of the Phewa Dam were opened as usual, overflow of the rushing lake water approached them. It is said that their dog saw the rushing flood from a distance and barked loudly. However, the couple could not pay any attention to the mere sound of the dog. In a twinkling of an eye, the rushing water approached them and swept away the lady down into the hole. However, her husband survived.
Pokhara is the only place in the world from where you can wander 8000 m. high peaks staying below 1000 m. from sea level. Mt. Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) is one of the most prominent peaks. It is regarded as a holy mountain, and therefore, it is forbidden to be climbed. Two of the world’s 14 highest mountains, Dhaulagiri and Annapurna can be seen from various parts of Pokhara city. This is not enough, we can view the whole range of mountains from Dhaulagiri to Manaslu in a glance if we just make a half an hour hike from Pokhara to any hilltops.
In contrast with the plain land setting, small hills and hillocks on the shadow of towering Himalayan range is the great virtue of natural heritage in Pokhara. The vision of the beautiful scene of the Himalayan range is the prime attraction of these hilltops. Each of these hilltops has enchanting and romantic views of Pokhara valley, green forest, gorgeous and sky scraper snow capped mountains and beautiful lakes.
Accessible by surface transport or two to five hours of trekking or pony, some of these hilltops are full of agro (farming) and cultural activities. There is a home stay facility for the visitors with rural tourism activities in the surrounding villages of these hilltops.
Kaski was the ancestral state of the Shah Kings of Nepal and Kaskikot was the capital of Kaski since 1650 years ago. It lies 16 km. to the north from Lakeside. This hilltop is easily accessible by any type of vehicle or on foot. It is such a nice destination that Pokhara valley, green forest with beautiful landscapes, gorgeous and sky scraper snow capped mountains and lakes are clearly visible from this hilltop. Kaskikot can be a one-day visit tour or more from Pokhara. It deserves the capacity to welcome the visitors.
This 1,592 m. the high mountain, located on the northern side of Phewa Tal, is one of the most popular destinations for its breathtaking panoramic views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges, the Pokhara valley and Phewa Tal. Enjoying the sunrise and sunset from this former Kaski fort is an experience not to be missed when visiting Pokhara. It is also a thrill to watch tandem and solo paraglide taking off daily just below the top. Walking up the stone steps from the north end of Lakeside (Sedi) takes 2 -3 hours, while taxis can take you up just below the summit. A day trip on a motorbike is a fun way to explore the mountain, its local villages all the way along the ridge top to Naudanda or down to Pame at the end of the Phewa Lake.
The word sarang means a traditional dance related to fighting and war. In such dances, men dance with swords in their hands by beating a drum. In Sarangkot, military guards used to live during the period of the Shah kings who had their palace in Kaskikot. The militaries in Sarangkot used to visit Kaskikot every day for sarang dance, and returned to Sarangkot every morning. Thus, the place, later on, is known as Sarangkot. It's a very windy place which provides a cool and exciting experience.
Austrian Camp Trek
Austrian Camp which is previously known as Thulakharka, offers striking views over the valleys and stunning views of the Annapurna Mountain range including the views of sunrise and sunset. It is an easy trek in the foothill of Annapurna near Pokhara This trip can be done all year round and is also very suitable for people without any hiking experience and people of all ages. Thulakharka is supposed to be one of the best places in the world to observe and count the migratory hunting birds which happens from the first week of September till mid December.
Duration : 2-3 days Difficulty : Easy Max Elevation : 2100m Start : Kande / Milanchowk
With an elevation of 1450 m., located 17 km. north-east from Lakeside, is a perfect hill station to view the Phewa and Kamal Tal ‘lake’ of Pokhara and Begnas, Maidi, Dipang, Gude, Nureni and Khaste lakes of Lekhnath including the view of all the ranges of mountain from Dhaulagiri to Manaslu. Thulakot also carries a historic importance as it was one of the Chaubise (twenty-four) kingdoms of Kaski. One should look for good weather before coming to this place as this place would look heavenly on a clear/sunny day when you can see the mountains so close that you might think you could reach there in a day. Thulakot is accessible by any means of transport, and there is regular service of local buses to this spot from Pokhara city.
This is an excellent hill station, from where all the mountain ranges, beautiful landscapes, in the full range of Pokhara valley and more than 8 districts can be seen in clear weather. The hill station is situated at an elevation of 1540m from Sea level and 11km south west from Lakeside Pokhara .The hill station is also equipped with a beautiful view tower and home stay facilities.
It is a hill station about 4 km. south of Pokhara airport with an elevation of 1082 m. from the sea level. It is a beautiful ridge, rich especially in topographical point of view. The view of the whole Pokhara valley, its lakes and surroundings, evergreen hills with the background of full Annapurna mountain range is so lovely and worth seeing from this hill that could be hardly taken from any place on the earth. Observing the scenes in the morning and at moon-lit night is even more pleasant and alluring. Watching take off and landing aircraft at Pokhara airport is an additional most pleasant scene from this hill station.
With an elevation of 1400 meters, located 10 km to the east from Lakeside, Kahun Danda is a joyful spot to have the panoramic view of snow capped mountains, beautiful landscapes, green hills, forests, rivers, lakes and the Pokhara Valley. One can see the forked summit of Machhapuchhre and other mountains from the hilltop.
It is not a fort or station for military purposes. It is a religious spot (hilltop) where in the festivals like, Chaite Dashain and Bada Dashain, male animals like buffalo, sheep, goat and also the birds like pigeon, duck, rooster etc are sacrificed in the name of the goddess Durga Bhagawati.
With an elevation of 1,100 m. from sea level, this hilltop is situated in the south-west side of Phewa lake. It has two special characteristics: in summer, this place remains the most cooling spot, and in winter, it receives direct sun the whole day, which makes the temperature favorable in both the seasons. The visitors can view more snow capped mountains from this hilltop than any other hilltop stations of Pokhara. Besides other mountains, Hatti Sunde (elephant-trunk-shaped), Rakanoyar, Glacier Dome, Manapathi etc. can be seen/viewed from this top including Larke and Ganesh Himal. You can also have a bird’s eye view of Phewa Lake from this hilltop.
There are 4 routes to reach to the top: first route is to hike an hour from Chhorepatan to the top, second route is to cross the Phewa Lake by boat near Barahi Temple and hike up an hour to the top, the third route is to hike 2 hours from Phewa Dam and crossing a very short suspension bridge via Raniban forest, and the fourth route starts from Kalimati of Pumdi Bhumdi, the other side of the Phewa Lake which is the shortest route to hike to Anadu hill enjoying the sceneries of village and green fields.
Museums in Pokhara
International Mountain Museum
The International Mountain Museum, located 1.5 km. south from Pokhara airport and about 5 km. from Lakeside, is devoted to the mountains of Nepal. It provides information on mountaineering and the cultures, environments, history, geography and ecology of the Himalayas. This is truly a unique site from where three 8,000 m. high peaks – Dhaulagiri, Annapurna-I and Manaslu are visible and no place in the world offers such a panoramic view in single sight. The museum opens daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
The museum reflects the ethnic mosaic – costumes, ornaments, musical instruments, and agricultural tools, hunting kits, smoking pipes, coins and manuscripts and reflects a good picture of a way of life of various ethnic groups of western Nepal. It is located 4 km. east from Lakeside at Nayabazar, and remains open from 10 am to 4 pm except Tuesdays and public holidays.
Annapurna Natural History Museum/h3>
It is also known as a natural history museum, located inside the complex of Prithivi Narayan campus. The museum is an exceptional collection of butterflies, insects, birds and models of wildlife as well as samples of various precious and semi precious stones and volcanic rocks. It opens from 10 am to 5 pm except Saturdays and public holidays. This museum is managed by ACAP.
Gurkha Memorial Museum
Pokhara and its surrounding places are widely known as the homeland of the world famous Gurkha soldiers. The Gurkha Memorial Museum, located in the premises of the British Camp, 7 km north-east from Lakeside, reminds the reminiscence of the Gurkha soldiers and their historical brave works in the battlefields of first and second world wars. It contains a good collection of used uniforms, medals, photographs and other materials used by those brave and courageous Gurkha soldiers during the first and second world wars. It opens daily 8 am to 4.30 pm.
Temples and Monuments
This is a typical small pagoda styled temple dedicated to Goddess Barahi built on a small landmass in the middle of Phewa lake. The temple is one of the most famous places of pilgrimage. The atmosphere is so tranquil that one can enjoy the green forest scenery just across the lake towards the south, full-scale scenery of the lake and amazing reflection of the Annapurna and Fish-tail Mountains on the surface of the lake. There are major celebrations during Dashain, the biggest Nepali festival which usually falls in the month of October. Boats and ferries are available on rent to get to the temple.
Kedareswar Mandir and Miteri Park
Kedareswar Temple is beautifully constructed as a replica of Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu in the premises of Komagane Miteri Park near to Fishtail Lodge and adjacent to Phewa Lake and dedicated to Lord Shiva. The premises of the temple is full of devotees to participate in the Bol Bam Yatra (celebration) in the month of Shrawan (mid July – mid Aug) and other religious practices are performed in the temple round the whole year. The park was named in memory of the official friendship relation between Pokhara city of Nepal and Komagane city of Japan. This is the right place to observe Nepali ways of performing wedding ceremonies in full length.
Bindubasini Mandir & the Old Bazaar
It is another most important Hindu shrine of Pokhara, located on the top of a small hillock to the north end of the old bazaar, 6 km. away from Lakeside. The white dome structure is dedicated to the Goddess Bhagwati and worshipers come here to perform sacrifices, especially on Saturdays. It is believed to be one of the oldest temples in the valley, and on some days you may get chances to witness Hindu wedding ceremonies taking place in the premises of this temple.
The monument of old Bazaar is located 4 km. north from Lakeside and just south beneath the famous Bindubasini temple. The monument closely resembles the Newari architecture of Kathmandu valley. It is a traditional bazaar and nowadays, a gathering place for many ethnically diverse groups of traders. This area has been protected as an old heritage site of Pokhara.
Bhadrakali Temple & Buddhist Monastery
Bhadrakali Temple and Karma Kagyu Chhonkerling Buddhist Monastery are situated in close proximity of Matepani near a small hillock, surrounded by rich luscious forest, 7 Km north-east from Lakeside. The location is superb for viewing the mountain and the Pokhara city. It is also a proper place for bird and butterfly watching and for a half day hike too. The temple and monastery are surrounded by thick green forest which provides cool breeze while climbing up the steps. This is one of the examples of our religious and social harmony especially between Hinduism and Buddhism.
World Peace Pagoda
Situated on the top of the hill south of Phewa Tal, the World Peace Pagoda also known as Shanti Stupa is a large Buddhist Stupa from where one can have tremendous views of the Annapurna, green hills, Phewa Tal and the Pokhara valley. The dome structure is a symbol of peace and has four gilt images of the Buddha from Japan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Nepal facing four directions. The height of the monument is 11 m. and situated at an elevation of 2,100 m. from the sea level. It was built by Japanese Buddhist and opened in 1999. There are mainly three ways to access the stupa including by car all the way to the top however the nicest way is by crossing the lake by boat and then hiking up an hour to the hill or drive to Chhorepatan and gently climb to the top.
Harihar Gufa Sanyas Ashram
Situated 10 km east from lakeside at an elevation of 1300m.on the top of Bhalam Village, this place is beautifully ornamented with Harihar (Shiva + Bishnu) and other Temples, historical cave for meditation, surrounded by many medicinal plant and trees, and most important attraction is to view the beautiful mountains and the Pokhara valley.
A short hike to the Temple from Bhalam village crossing Kalikhola suspension bridge is interesting and enjoyable.
Since 1959, a large number of Tibetan refugees have been living in Nepal. The number has reached up to twenty thousand now. Pokhara is the main land of Tibetan settlement. Most of the Tibetan live in various settlements around Pokhara. Two small Tibetan settlements, Tashi Ling and Paljorling are located near Davi’s fall and Sabhagriha Chowk respectively. The largest another Tibetan settlement called Tashi Palikhel is at Hemja on the Baglung highway about 9 km. away from Lakeside. The colorful gompa in the center of the Tashi Palikhel settlement is the home for more than 200 monks.
Adventures in Pokhara
Can you imagine sharing the same air space with the Himalayan griffin vultures and eagles as you shore up over the rivers, lakes, villages and terraced mountains all year round?
Pokhara is a truly wonderful and fulfilling experience for the adventure- seekers. You can fly high up in the air can share the same air space with the Himalayan griffin vultures, eagles as you fly over the rivers, lakes, villages and terraced mountains. The mountain appear over you to your north and below you, the landscapes dotted with paddy fields and hamlets. This is why Pokhara is one of the hot spot among the 5 best destinations in the world for paragliding. There are several companies in Pokhara operating daily Tandem flights with their professional pilots.
Ultra Light Flights
“Leave your woes behind on earth, soar to heights bathe, the clouds reach out for the mountains and kiss the azure sky as you fly across.”
Ultra Light Flights provide a unique sightseeing experience that enables the passengers to catch a bird’s eye view of Pokhara valley along with the beauty of lakes and the Annapurna mountain range. The feature of flying in the aircraft is that there is only one passenger flying with one of the experienced pilots. This aircraft is open and you can feel the chill breeze of the air and can enjoy taking beautiful photographs from the sky. The flights are operated from Pokhara airport especially from September to June.
Chartered Mountain Flights from Pokhara will take you to the close spectacular view of some of the world’s tallest Himalayas in Annapurna region. Pokhara offers crystal clear sky even during the winter. It gives value in addition to the experience of trekking. Helicopter services are also available for those who wish to make it more private affair.
River Rafting and Kayaking
Whether you would like to kayak in the Phewa or Begnas Lake or raft down the white waters of Seti River, Pokhara has it all. Several wild rivers run through the surrounding areas of Pokhara making the region a top rafting destination. Popular trips start from a half-day adventure of Seti River just 20 minutes from Lakeside which runs through the heart of Pokhara valley to several-day expeditions down the Kaligandaki, Trishuli, Marsyangdi and Lower Seti. The grades of the rapids vary from +2 to +5 depending on the river and the season.
Pokhara has opened two Canyoning spots recently in Ghalel and in Lwang of Kaski district. Both spots are approximately in equal distance from Pokhara about 20 km., which is about one-hour drive. The Pokhara canyoning at Ghalel is in operation whereas the other at Ghachok is still. Be a part of excitement and support the local people.
Cycling is a unique experience to know in and around Pokhara and a cheap way to explore it. One can pedal push your way through waterfalls, up and down treacherous slopes, lush forests and culturally heterogeneous communities and amidst centuries old monasteries and rice granaries. Biking or cycling up steep hills and through cruel mountain rivers is its other attractions. Bikes and bicycles are available on rent in several points around Lakeside but make sure the condition of the bike/bicycle before you set off.
There are two Golf courses and a driving range in Pokhara. Himalayan Golf Course is a world class Golf course, situated about 13 kilometers east from Lakeside, Pokhara. It offers an amazing golfing experience in a unique ground with 18 holes. It is popular as a Golf course in a paradise. Spectacular, stunning and unique location has made it an amazing Golf course in Asia. Besides this, Yeti Golf Course also offers unique golfing experience with its 9 hole course in the ground of Fulbari Resort.
This is an additional focus of adventure. It consists of a trolley cable mounted on a steel cable 1.8 kilometers in length; the ride descends 2000 feet vertical at an angle of 56 percent. With a resulting speed of over 90 miles per hour, it makes the most extreme zip-line ride in the world.
The ultimate thrill of a Bungee jump can now be experienced in Pokhara. It is the first tower bungee in Nepal. It has a vertical drop of 70 m. and 3 second free fall. This is available at Hemja … km. away from Pokhara town.
Pokhara is blessed with sunny weather almost round the year because of subtropical climate and the effect of ozone layer. So to cool off on a sunny day it is better to go for a dip in a swimming pool or Begnas lake. Many hotels and clubs in Pokhara have private swimming pools. However, one can swim, grab a drink and chill poolside for a day by paying some fee. At Begnas lake one can swim from the shore at the east and west ends where there are several guest houses and restaurants.
Pokhara has mainly three places open for rock climbing and are open for all the visitors.
Located closely just above Lakeside, in Methlang Village Sarangkot. It is a natural rock and provides opportunity for rock climbing lovers. It has 18 different routes, graded from 4C to 6B. The highest point is 23 m.
Bimal Nagar, a relatively newer destination located 65 km. East from Pokhara next to the Prithivi highway provides a very good rock climbing opportunity for natural rock climbers. It has more than a half dozen of 30 m. routes from where you can enjoy the view of Mt. Manaslu and the Marshyangdi river.
At the main entrance gate of International Mountain Museum (IMM), a 23 m. tall 6 facets rock climbing wall is built for all the enthusiasts and lovers of rock climbers to try it before they try in the natural mountains. IMM and NMA Annapurna Chapter organize a Wall Climbing Competition every year on 5th February to mark its opening anniversary.
Pony trekking in Pokhara is a great way to explore the country’s rich landscapes which might otherwise maybe inaccessible. Ponies are available on hire for short excursions or full day trip depending on your requirements. Pony treks follow nearly the same routes as the natural treks and the walking paths.
Places which are close to Pokhara like siding , Landruk, Siklis, and Ghanpokhara etc. are famous for adventurous and arduous honey hunting practices. Visitors must be aware of this type of hunting as published in the National Geographic Magazine of its unique and traditional hunting just by hanging on a locally made rope and sliding down to the massive cliff and hunting honey. Those who like to enjoy honey hunting can combine the trip with trekking from Pokhara.
Pokhara is not simply a gateway for trekking but also an extra ordinary destination for all sorts of tourists. Many hills and villages are easily accessible from Pokhara. While you stay at comfortable accommodations in Pokhara, you can enjoy village life at the same time. These villages still have unique specialties for their own cultures, traditions and rituals. There are many hills and hillocks around Pokhara like: Kahun , Sarangkot, Kaskikot, Naudanda, Australian Camp, Astam, Armalakot, Rupakot, Pachabhaiya, Thulakot, Pumdi, Mattikhan, Nirmal Pokhari, Dhampus, etc., which provide opportunity to enjoy local culture, sunrise, sunset, panoramic mountain view and many more.
Pokhara is the place that makes your relaxing wonderful and memorable. Boating on the calm waters of Phewa Lake is the perfect place to relax and marvel at the reflection of the Annapurna and Mt. Fishtail. Colorful wooden boats are available on rent on the lake edge near Barahi Chowk ‘junction’ and other edges around the lake area. You can hire a boatman to paddle you around the lake or you can paddle yourself. You can also hire aluminum paddle boats and sailboats on Phewa Lake. The other lake Begnas near Pokhara also provides the same opportunity for boating. Boats with or without boatman are available on rent there as well.
Jatayu (Vulture) Restaurant
Its’ an amazing place just 15 km to the north east from Pokhara at Ghachok, where you can see the activities of the rare bird – Vultures. Vulture does not hunt, but it uses the dead body of animals for its’ food.The specialities of this restaurant is to care the old animals untill their natural death , then for the vultures food.
Events and Activities
Nepal is also known as the country of festivals. The festivals are connected with our culture, traditions and lifestyles. Rice is our major crop and main food of Nepali people. Keeping the importance of this crop in mind, the tradition of rice plantation ceremony called Ropain Mahotsav is being practiced/performed from the ancient period, like Ropai Jatra in Newari Culture.
With the aim of promoting tourism through preserving this culture, Pokhara Tourism Council has been organizing this event in Pokhara since …. as a festive occasion. This festival invariably falls on the 15th of Asadh (accordingly, usually on the 29th of June) every year. It is a Nepali tradition to celebrate this festival by eating beaten rice with curd, singing Asare geet ‘song’, planting rice and playing with and/or in the mud. To make the festival more interesting, varieties of events like tourist race in mud, bullock race, fish catching competition etc. are performed.
Closely following the period of English New Year, Restaurant and Bar Association (REBAN) Pokhara has established a tradition to celebrate the Street Festival. This program begins from 28th December to 1st January every year. This festival has been proved to be an important event for the enhancement of tourism in Pokhara. This program is being held at Lakeside which is a tourism center in Pokhara.
In such a deal and performance, tourists get not only the tourism related information but a unique sort of pleasure out of those temporarily established street restaurants. In order to provide entertainment to tourists, folk dance and folk songs are followed by the culture, art and costumes of various indigenous communities are displayed on the same occasion. Varieties of competition like, Boat Race, Tourist race, Tug–of–war etc are performed to make the festival more interesting.
On the occasion of Nepali New Year, Phewa Festival is organized every year from 7th April to 15th April at Basundhara Park just opposite to Fishtail Lodge. The festival offers various events and activities like cultural programs with live bands, Children Park, competitions, New Year sale market, sales & exhibition of Nepali handicrafts, paintings, architectural and agricultural goods. It provides varieties of Nepalese cuisine deliciously displayed on the occasion. This is also an event where a tourist can experience the way of exchanging greetings of Nepalese culture on the eve of Nepali New Year.
On the other hand, the main streets of Lakeside are covered with varieties of restaurants and sale shops. Several items for fun and entertainment like cultural parade on the street, boat race, waiter race, tug-of-war, beer drinking competition etc. are performed.
National Industrial Trade Fair
The fair is organized every year in the month of November at the Exhibition Center in Nayabazar Pokhara. It provides ample opportunity to the small and cottage industries to promote their products. This festival runs for almost a week with significant commercial activities and cultural performances. Thousands of visitors are benefited by purchasing their household needs at a reasonable price (less than in normal) and also enjoy the festival with varieties of songs, dance, comedy and tasty foods.
The World Tourism Day
Every year, 27th of September is celebrated as a World Tourism Day in Pokhara welcoming the guest by Pancha Kanya ‘five girls’ with Garland and Khada in a musical environment. This day also reflects Nepali tradition, culture and hospitality to the guests. This is also considered to be an auspicious day in tourism. The guests are awarded a surprise gift of vouchers who step first, second and third in Pokhara Airport and at the Tourist Bus Park, Pokhara.
New concept of tourism has come into the forefront replacing the traditional ones in Nepal. As an adventurous game, paragliding competition has been started in Pokhara so as to familiarize the natural city of Pokhara in the world tourism market. This sport has become an alternative means of entertainment for all tourists coming to Nepal. Ever wondered, like a free flying bird up in the sky, if you could also soar high up in the air towards the pearly clouds, into the beautiful blue and experience the sensation of flying! It’s an amazing event of paragliding, closest to free flying without disturbing nature. This will be an incredible ride into the air. To promote sports tourism in Nepal, the Paragliding Championship has been organized since … in Pokhara and it falls every year at the end of February.
Essential & Useful Information
You can extend your visa at the Department of Immigration, which has an office in Shahid Chowk. Visitors can stay in Nepal on a tourist visa for 150 days per year. In order to extend your visa, you need to fill an application form found online, print it, and then take it to the Immigration office. The minimum extension is for 15 days, which costs US $30. You have to pay US$ 2 for each additional day of stay. For a visa application, you need your passport, a printed application, a photocopy of your passport with the latest visa, and visa fee in Nepali currency. The office opens Sunday-Friday from 10 am to 2 pm except on public holidays.
Normally, visitors can obtain a visa on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport or at all major entry points of Nepal like Kakarvitta, Birgunj, Sunauli (Belahia), Nepalgunj, and Mahendranagar.
Every trekker requires two permits to trek in Nepal. One is an Area Conservation Permit like ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) and another is a TIMS card (Trekker’s Information Management System).
You need to submit a passport sized photograph along with the fee for the permits. The fee is as follows:
ACAP and MCAP Rs 3000/- Everest and Langtang national park fee Rs 3000/- Blue TIMS (for trekkers accompanied by a guide) Rs.1000/- Green TIMS card (for trekkers without a guide) Rs.2000/-
Trekking agencies can obtain permits for you or you can visit the Tourist Service Centre located in Damside, Pokhara.
Climate of Pokhara
Pokhara has a sub-tropical climate, with mild summers and mild winters. The Himalayas and surrounding green hills keep the temperature moderate. Winter offers pleasant weather, especially from September to December. The temperature in Pokhara remains between 13˚c to 32˚c in summer and 6˚c to 27˚c in winter. The Monsoon in Pokhara starts from June and lasts till early September. Pokhara receives the heaviest rainfall in Nepal.
There are several banks and plenty of foreigncurrency-exchange services along the Lakeside area in Pokhara. Visa cards, Master cards and ATM cards can be used at any time. There are several 24-hour ATM card booths along Lakeside and in the city. Credit cards are accepted by most of the service providers. Withdrawing from ATMs is the easiest option as they have good rates and accept all major cards. The exchange rates for the day are quoted in the booths and are determined by the Central Bank of Nepal. Once you are out of Pokhara, ATMs are scarce, so always take enough cash for your needs plus a little extra in case of emergency.
Internet: There are several internet cafes in Lakeside along with free Wi-Fi services in most of the cafes, restaurants and hotels. Communicating with your family from Pokhara is convenient. Cyber cafes also offer ISD phone services. You can connect around the world at any time.
Mobile Phones: Tourists can easily obtain Nepali SIM cards. There are two companies: NCELL and NTC. NTC has better coverage in the mountains. You need to fill out a form and provide a photocopy of your passport and visa. Balance top-ups for both companies are available anywhere in Nepal.
Pokhara’s main post office is located about 1.5 km west from Lakeside. Sending post-cards home is easy and reliable, as every bookshop in Lakeside sells post cards and stamps. They usually have a small mail-box outside their shop. Courier services like Sky Net and UPS are also available in Lakeside in case you need to send important documents.
Nepal suffers from a shortage of electricity, so you will experience scheduled load-shedding. However, a majority of the hotels, restaurants, bars, and café will have alternative sources of electricity. the level of the electricity supply ranges from 200 to 220 volts.
Medical / Dental
There are several hospitals and nursing homes in Pokhara, many of which provide dental care and emergency services matching those in the West. Small pharmacies are available throughout Pokhara, which sell over-thecounter and prescribed medicine and supplies. If you need dentist or doctor during your stay in Pokhara, both are available in Lakeside. There is some hospital and clinics in central Lakeside provide western standard care and remain open round-the-clock, providing emergency, outpatient and inpatient services ranging from acute emergencies to primary care for both adult and children.
Ayurveda is a science of life and healing system, a culture based health system of Nepal. This system was evolved primarily in the Himalaya through the deep meditation of ancient seekers and sheers. We can find the knowledge and health systems being practiced in every household in Nepal . People around the world like to explore and experience the healing herbs, healing mountains and the healers. Ayurveda focuses on every dimension of life like promoting the health, harmonizing the body, senses, mind-emotions, and soul and also healing or curing of diseases.
So, walking through the different terraces and foothills and getting deeply touched by Ayurveda values is an excellent opportunity for tourists who like to visit Nepal. So, Ayurveda can provide many different modalities of therapies like whole body massages (different types), tranquilizing the mind with Shirodhara and Chakra Basti and detoxifying internal organs. Stress has been epidemic throughout the world and managing with ancient wisdom and lifestyle management is the wonderful remedy. Here you find the high altitude medicinal plants which are encapsulating wonderful healing strength. So, you can enjoy Ayurveda healing touch along with other natural trekking or adventures in Pokhara.
Pokhara offers a wide variety of accommodation suited to almost all types of travelers varying from cheap backpacker’s guest houses to luxury 5 star and boutique hotels. The majority of hotels are around the Lakeside area, but for those looking for solitude; a number of more secluded options are available in the surrounding hills and towns. There are at least 500 tourist-standard hotels.
Shopping and Services
Pokhara has a variety of stores selling everything from traditional Nepali Pashminas and paper products to the latest trekking and mountaineering gear. Along the Lakeside, the streets are full of shops catering to the tourists. A selection of souvenirs, clothing and jewellery is also available. In addition, there are plenty of bookstores and DVD shops including a number of mini-markets which stock all the essential supplies needed by a traveler, including confectionary, toiletries, alcoholic drinks, and snacks.
If you need something more, you can always find local shopping centers and supermarkets in the heart of the city where you can find traditional Nepali clothes, electronics, and other goods. Lakeside also offers a variety of other services, whether it is a relaxing massage after an arduous trekking adventure, a tattoo to remember your time in Nepal, or a yoga session to heal your mind and body.
If you need to plan your next adventure, you can avail the services of a trekking or travel agency. While choosing an agency, make sure that it is a member of Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) or Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA).
Most of the hotels in Lakeside offer in-house laundry services. Reliable laundry services are also available throughout Lakeside. The charges depend on the quantity of clothes and the timing. The services are reliable and well organized.
Bottled and mineral water is available in and around Pokhara. Many shops, offices and cafes have safe drinking water refill stations; they are the cheapest way to get drinking water in Pokhara. The water is from the same source as bottled water. We recommend you to use this facility and help reduce plastic waste.
Food & Drinks
Pokhara is renowned for its cuisines, which includes western, continental, and local food. Numerous restaurants, cafeés, and bars are scattered around the main tourist area in Lakeside and in the main city of Pokhara. The restaurants and cafeés have a wide variety of styles and budgets, so you can find something that suits your inclination. In addition to cuisine, Lakeside has an exciting night life with many bars and pubs remaining open till late night. Many of these places offer a view of Phewa Lake and you can enjoy your drink with live music and cultural shows.
Pokhara is also famous for its Nepali or Thakali cuisine, especially Dal Bhat (rice and lintel). You will also have curried vegetables and meat, pickles, chutneys, papadam, green salad and curd. The most distinctive feature of Nepali cuisine is the use of spices and chilly. Chilies are an essential part of nearly every dish and are considered so important that most Nepali people would not enjoy a meal without them.
Day 1: arrival in pokhara and transfer to hotel.
Day 2: tour to sarangkot for sunrise and lunch there then after back to bindabasini temple , mahendra cave, bat cave and gurkha museum then back to lakeside lunch there and right after trip to world peace pagoda , davis falls and gupteshwor cave by private vehicle and back to hotel for night.
Day 3: breakfast at hotel boating on phewa lake for an hour then after international mountain museum lunch inside in gurkha restaurant.then regional mountain museum ,butterfly museum and old bazaar and back to hotel for night .
Day 4: recreational day you can choose any upon your interest paragliding,rafting,bungee jump,mountain flight ,ultralight flight ,zipline then pokhara sightseeing is finished.
Day 5: back to another programme .
All the accommodation (B,L,D) during the programme.
Deluxe AC rooms on twin sharing basis.
Professional english speaking tour guide (local one from pokhara) .
All the permits needed for tours.
Transportation during exploration around the places in lumbini.