Pokhra is one of the popular destinations to be visit in Nepal. It is also famous with the name Jewel of the mid west. Pokhra is the valley of three lakes Begnas, Phewa and Rupa, tourists used to visit at this valley for relaxation and also for enjoying adventures sports like ultra light flights, paragliding, trekking, boating, mountain biking and bird watching. Pokhra is the valley with long list of place that must visit in Nepal. Pokhra is the place in Nepal where tourists like to visit many time on their extended holidays in Nepal. Fishtail mountain which is at the background of Pokhra valley is also a gateway to the Annapurna region.
Pokhra valley has long list of places to visit like Machhapuchhare which is also known as fishtail mountain, tourist can enjoy the view of the mountain from any place in Pokhra. The view of Annapurna range that forms backdrop is spectacular. Phewa Lake is also one of the tourist attractions in Pokhra, this lake is most beautiful and largest among three lakes, and tourists enjoy boating here. At the eastern shore of the lake, lakeside town is there where tourist relaxed.
Places to see
Pokhara is blessed with stunning panoramic views of the Annapurna range which forms its backdrop. Although not the highest in the range, Machhapuchhare dominates because of its proximity to the valley and can be seen from anywhere in Pokhara. Stretching from east to west, the Annapurna massif includes Annapurna 1 to IV and Annapurna South. Further away are seen the giants, Dhaulagiri (8,167m) and Manaslu (8,163m).
Pokhara owes its popularity to enchanting Phewa Lake and along its eastern shore has grown the Lakeside town where tourists gather. It is the largest and most beautiful of the three lakes attracting a large number of visitors who enjoy boating on its placid waters. Boat can be hired and many visit the island temple that lies out in the middle of the lake. The other past time is sailing. Lakeside or Baidam, is a thriving resort town of hotels, restaurants, bars and souvenir shops that allows travelers to relax and yet have all they need.
which is considered as the important monument in Pokhra is situated in the middle of Phewa Lake. It is two storied pagoda style temple which has manifestation of Ajima who shows female force Shakti. Large number of devotees can be seen on Saturday which is the official holiday of Nepal.
Seti Gandaki is the natural wonder of Pokhra and also famous with the name of vanishing river. This river is 2 meter wide and 20 meter deep and it vanish from the sight from many places. Mahendra Pul is the best place to enjoy the river, it is the small bridge located near Old Mission Hospital.
David’s fall also known as Nether Fall, local people of Pokhra used to call it Patale Chhango is a small waterfall located on the Siddhartha highway.
Mahendra Gupha is one of the major attractions of Pokhra. This cave is also famous with the name House of Bats as 1000 of bats live within the walls of the cave.
World Peace Pagoda
World peace pagoda is the four image of Lord Buddha facing all four directions. This can be seen on the southern shore of Phewa lake from the top of the hill.
The Old Bazaar
Old Pokhra bazaar at a distance of 4km from Phewa Lake is a traditional bazaar where large group of trader can be found. Monuments and temples in this bazaar resemble with the architecture of Newari of Kathmandu Valley. The market has everything to be purchased for tourists. In old bazaar there is one most important shrine of Pokhra is present that is Brindhyabasini Mandir.
Pokhra museum is also interesting place to visit. The museum has beautiful photographs, artifacts and model of Tharus, Gurungs and Thakalis history and lifestyle.
International Mountain Museum
Annapurna regional museum is also another interesting museum, this museum is run by ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project). This museum consist of models of birds, insects, wildlife found in Pokhra and butterflies hence this museum is also known as Natural History Museum.
Another interesting museum is International Mountain Museum which was established by Nepal Mountaineering Association. This museum was established with the theme “man, mountain and mountain activities around the world”. The purpose of this museum is to save the records from past to present day of mountaineering activities and development of mountain from all over the world. To exhibit the culture, lifestyle, heritage, custom, way of life, tradition of mountain people a Hall of mountain people is situated in Pokhra. Hall of World Mountains consists of models, photographs of all 14 peaks that are over 8000 meter. Flora and Fauna of Himalayan also explain in this hall. Hall of mountain activities exhibit activities that are related to mountain like trekking, mountaineering, equipments used in mountaineering.
Hall of Mountain People: This hall exhibits the customs, traditions, heritage, culture and way of life of the mountain people.
Hall of World Mountains: This hall showcases all fourteen peaks over 8000 m. and displays geological facts related to the origin of world mountain systems. The hall also exhibits and explains the flora and fauna of the Himalaya. Another aspect of the museum is the focus on great personalities like Kumar Khadga Bikrum Shah (founder president of NMA), Dr. Toni Hagen (Renowned geologist and lover of Nepal, who published the first pictorial "Nepal"), Reverend Ekai Kawaguchi (The first Japanese to visit Nepal in 1899), and Dr. Harka Gurung (Renowned scholar, geographer, development planner and first Tourism Minister of Nepal).
Hall of Mountain Activities: Highlighting historical ascents and explorations in and around the mountainous regions, this hall is dedicated to mountain activities such as mountaineering and trekking. Interestingly, it also showcases the development of climbing gears and other essential mountaineering equipment.
Jomsom Treks and Annapurna circuit are the famous places for trekking. To enjoy trekking even in the short holiday there are small treks like Ghandruk or Ghorepani trek, Sarankot, and Naudanda.
Things to do
Driving a bike in a valley is a thrill and an adventurous sport. To enjoy motor biking at Pokhra valley it is important to have reliable map, a good motor bike and most important lots of time.
Boating is another interesting thing to do at Pokhra valley. Boating can be enjoyed at any of the three lakes present in the valley. Tourists can hire boat on very reasonable prices for many hours or for a day. The best time to enjoy best boating at Pokhra valley is between the months from October to February that is the winter time.
To catch a bird view of entire Pokhra valley ultra light flight is good option. The specialty of this flight is that it can take off from any kind of place or land, even from that land also from where other flights threat to land. The maximum seat capacity of the flight is 2, one is for passenger and other is for pilot.
Paragliding is adventurous short duration sport. The real bird’s eye view of Himalayan and down below id temple, lakes, jungle, monasteries and villages.
Tourists can also enjoy fishing at the lakeside. Fishing rods are available on rent.
Two world class golf courses are situated in Pokhra and it is also the perfect place as per the climate and space to play golf.
Pony riding is a delightful way of getting around Pokhara. Rides are organized by operators for rides in the valley and the surrounding hills.
Trishuli is the river which is popular to enjoy rafting at Pokhra.
Pokhara is the perfect place for relaxing before and after a trek, and for the avid trekkers, a respite between treks. But there is much to see around Pokhara as well and some yearn to explore the sights and sounds around Pokhara. The usual sightseeing tour lasts about 3-4 hours but can be extended by several hours to spend more time at places that hold special interest.
To enjoy the climate, flora and fauna of the Pokhra and to understand the local culture of the Pokhra valley mountain biking is the best option. Mountain bikes are easily available for a day on rent.
Access (Getting there)
Pokhara is located roughly 200 km west of Kathmandu. Getting to your destination is the objective but even the journey between these two famed cities is part of the Pokhara experience. The easier and quicker means of reaching there is to fly out from Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu. Flying on a clear day gives one the thrill of catching an incredible panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains that stretch from east to west of Nepal’s boundary with Tibet. The changing landscape from the icy Himalaya in the north to the rich green Mahabharat range to the south and the sweltering sub-tropical jungles in the plains make this flight fascinating. There are daily flights and bus services between Kathmandu and Pokhara.
In Pokhra all kind of hotels are available which suits all type of budgets. From an economical hotel to a luxury hotel where tourist can enjoy the Himalayan range.
Pokhara enjoys mild tropical temperatures where the winters are not severe and the summers are not as sweltering as in the hot plains of the south. Given its proximity to the gigantic Annapurna massif, one would expect an extremely cold winter but their impact is minimal. Pokhara’s at 827m, enjoys a favorable warm climate making it such a haven for tourists. During summers, the heat and humidity dominates life in the valley while winters are pleasant especially from October to December. Monsoon in Pokhara begins from early-June to September though rain may come sooner as pre-monsoon showers from April or May. The valley’s maximum temperature can go up to 30-32 degree Celsius in the summer and a minimum of 6-degree Celsius during the winter. Days remain perennially warm through the seasons, except for some days during the monsoon and winter.