Pokhara (466 sq km) is located center part of Nepal about 202 km (125.52m mile) west from Kathmandu. It is a second largest valley in Nepal with an area of 466 sq km and situated 827 m (2713 ft) high altitude above the sea level. This city is in Kaski district is the rainiest area of Nepal known as city of lakes. It is the home of Gorkhas with 1.5 million populations. The temperature remains between 32 Degree Celsius in summer and 6 Degree Celsius in winter. The first foreigner Japanese man Ekai Kawaguchi was in 1899 in the valley.
He has written down about this city-In all my travels in the Himalaya I saw no scenery so enchanting as that which enraptured me at Pokhara (Ekai Kawaguchi Three Years in Tibet). Pokhara is the main recruiting area in Nepal for troops for the Gorkha regiments in the British and Indian armies. It is so beautiful because of the Phewa Lake and snow capped mountains as like as mirror of the view lovers. The Phewa Lake is the focus for travelers and the city name nearby Phewa lakes such as lakeside and dam side. There are hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and shops along the lakeside and dam side. All types of accommodations with 500 tourist standard hotels such as deluxe, medium and general standards are available in here. Culture Dance show, live Band, Clubs, Discotheque and more Nightlife are available.
Pokhara is popular for the tourist because of its lakes, snow capped mountain views, museums, caves, Tibetan Refugee Settlement, Forts, Seti Gorge, Paragliding, Ultra Light Aircraft, view towers, monasteries, temples, old bazaar, fishing, boating, kayaking, hiking, horse riding, Gulf course, Cycling and starting and ending point for the Annapurna trekking region beside the Annapurna Circuit. From Kathmandu people can take flight and bus (simple bus to air conditions), car are available to access to this city. Some places are famous for sights seen in the city, see in below.
Phewa Lake (6-22m deep):
Phewa Lake is situated at the lap of the queen’s forest (Raniban) west of the tourist city known as Lakeside. A size of 1.5 km width and 4 km Length Lake is the second largest lake in Nepal and it covers the 453 hectors of land. It is 6 meter to 22-meter dip in the dippiest point. This lake makes the city very beautiful and popular. There is a small island middle of the lake with a Hindu temple dedicated the boar incarnation of Preserver God Vishnu in Hindu pantheon. A pagoda style temple known as Tal Barahi Temple is visited several numbers Hindu pilgrims everyday with boating. Phewa Lake has 21 species of fish (such as Danio Devrio, Tor, Tor Mahseer, Mystus Cavasius, Chagurius, Channa Garchula, Schizothorax Plagiostomos, Barilius Bendelisis, Belone Cancila, Esomus Daurias, and Garra Gotyla etc.) Phewa Lake is useful for the Boating, Kayaking, Swimming, Fishing and water supply to the hotel and restaurants. The water is utilized for 1000kw electricity and irrigation for 320-hector land. Phewa Lake offers to do boating and fishing. Many people are waiting for their customer for boating and their employment by the many visitors make sure for them. National and International visitors makes the people busy here and it has the great view of Fishtail Mountain and many other while on boating. The surrounding forest, village, city and Paragliding sports, Ultra light sport makes the time so enjoyable here. You can go to the world peace Stupa after boating that takes 40 minutes climbing uphill through the lush forest.
In 1961 July 31 the Swiss couple Miss David was swimming with her husband accidentally the flood swept away her to the gorge and died then after the people found her corpse with long efforts. The water comes from Phewa Lake and became a waterfall there and after this accident, the name of the place is become the David’s falls. Approximate this waterfall is 100 ft long and will be reliable to observe during the monsoon time June to September in Nepal.
Gupteshwor (Mahadev) Cave (Hindu Temple):
Gupteshwor Cave is located opposite side of the David’s Falls, which is 3 km/1.86 mile away from Lakeside. When the astrologer Nirbikram Paudel dreamt 2:30 AM in Dec 24 1992 and found this cave. There is two part and the first part of 40 meters you can see the natural Shiva lingam and manmade Serpent deity, Holy Cowshed where is not allowed to take a picture. The second part is after 100 meters you can waterfalls and limestone figures on the rock inside the Gupteshwor Cave. The 4 months during the monsoon time (June, July, August and September) will be close.
Bindabasini Temple (Hindu Temple):
Bindabasini Temple is a Hindu temple is located on the small hill at the north of Baglung Bus Park. It is 17th century old and a mixed shikhara style temple. It is believed that the goddess Brinda has brought from Chunargarh in India according to her command to priest with dreamt, Goddess wanted to stay near the Himalayan view. When the goddess Brinda (Durga) took a seat here and became Bindabasini. During the Dashain festival (sep-oct) Goddess takes the animals sacrifice and the animals goes to new life. There is Shiva, Ganesh and Saraswoti temple around here.
World Peace Stupa:
World Peace Stupa is the symbol of peace, which is located on a hilltop above the Rani Ban (Queen’s forest). It is a Buddhist shrine. Situated at a large ground with the image of Buddha from Japan, Sri Lanka and Thailand have been installed in the Stupa. Visitors can take 40 minutes time a small hiking to the Pagoda after crossing with boating on Phewa Lake. Another route is you should take after David Falls the place calls Chhrepatan that climb takes 1 hour uphill to this Stupa. World Peace Stupa offers the great view in Pokhara. Approximate it is 1020m/3346ft high above sea level. The place is superb view possible for same time is visible such as forest, lake, city and panoramic view of snow capped mountains when the good weather season in Nepal. You can take a nice picture from here. The Dhaulagiri 8167m/26794ft, Annapurna I 8091m/26544ft and Fishtail 6993m/22942ft high above sea level and Fishtail is also named the Nepalese Mattorn Horn, that is beautiful mountain. From here and you can see many other like as Manaslu ranges too, which is another 8163m/26781ft high above sea level. World Peace Stupa is a wide range viewpoint you can see four directions 180-degree views. The environment is so clean and fresh air around here. It is a quite place to visit and reading your book and spends your time with your family may be a life memory for you.
Mahendra Cave and Bats’ Cave:
When the tiger killed the cattle of local people then they were chasing the tiger in order to kill instead of found the hidden cave in 1955 AD. After 4 years in 1959 AD Shah King Mahendra established in order to preservation this place with his own name. Here is limestone with figures and electric light is available.
The next 10 minutes walks to get Bats’ cave. You must have a flashlight before inter the cave and you will found there many real bats inside the Bats’ Cave. This place is interesting for the bird lovers.
Begnas Lake and Rupa Lake:
These lakes are 15 km/9.32 mile east from Lakeside. Begnas Lake is situated 677 m high above the sea level and 7.5 m dip. 225 Hectors land covers by the Begnas Lake. The next Rupa Lake is situated 701 m high above the sea level and the lake is 4.5 m dip. Rupa Lake covers 120 Hectors land. These lakes are uses for fish farm, bird watching, kayaking, swimming and boating. This place is very quiet for nature lovers. Medicinal and herbal plants as well as the sub – tropical green forest are around here. The other lakes are Dipang, Maidi, Khaste, Neurani and Gunde also around here.
International Mountain Museum:
International Mountain Museum is situated 1.5 km south from Pokhara airport. It established by Mountaineering Association in 5th Feb 2004 AD. There we can see the mountain system, culture, geography, People of mountain, rocks, pictures of 14 world highest mountains, librarary, the ethnic people of Nepal Tamang, Gurung, Magar, Sherpa, Kirat, Chhantyal and theirs culture, tradition, dress, utensils and weapons are exhibits. Flora, fauna, and many more around 2 hours time can spend easily inside here. Outside Manaslu model 31 ft high manmade pick are ok for climb. From here we can see the views of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu when good weather.
Annapurna museum is located Prithvi Narayan Campus east of old bazaar. There is the collection of butterflies (640 species), models of wildlife, various precious and semi precious stone, volcanic rocks etc are exhibits.
Gurkha Memorial Museum:
Gurkha museum has been established in the area of the British Camp. Pokhara is a home of Gurkha soldiers and here is the collection of their uniforms, medals, pictures and materials used by courageous soldiers during the time of First and Second World War.
It is located between Airport and Mahendra Pul. The collection exhibits of the lifestyles and history of ethnic groups such as Gurung, Thakali and Tharu.
The River Seti (white color) originated from Fishtail (6993m/22942ft) glacier and runs through the main cities (Mahendra Pul, Ramghat and Prithvi Chowk) area 40m/131.22ft depth. The place known as K I Singh Bridge is waiting for visitors to see Seti Gorge.
Sarangkot is 8km/4.97mile far from Pokhara city. It is situated 1592 m/5223 ft high above the sea level north of the Pokhara city at top of the hill known as fort of the village. This Place has a tower with Army post for the security of Telephone Tower. This is probably the best view point nearby Pokhara to see the Dhaulagiri 8167m, Fishtail 6993m/22942ft, Annapurna 8091and Manaslu 8163m high mountains with a close distance. The views of Pokhara city, Tibetan village (Hemja), Seti River and Phewa Lake are so beautiful. You should pay small money before to go this fort. Sarankot is a very popular place for the paragliding sport where you can see colorful paraglide in the sky. You can see a Hill region people around here. The road link is very close that is only 10 minutes climbing uphill to get here. Simple accommodation and foods are available here for the visitors. Sarankot offers a best sunrise view early in the morning with the mountains. It is a bit windy place so take your warm clothes for the views. There are lower place for view in the morning, which is near the paved road. It is 25-minute distance downhill from here that also calls the same place view but you can see the better views from this upper part, please try to go here for the best.
Tibetan Refugee Settlement:
Tibetan Refugee Settlement is another attraction in the city. Pokhara valley where are the Tibetan villages since 1959 AD with a group of Tibetan refugees have been living in Nepal. They migrated from Tibet when they felt problem from China in that time. Tibetan Refugee Settlement is in Kathmandu too. They live in Boudhanath and Patan. Altogether, there are 30000 refugees in Nepal. In Pokhara there are two places including The Tashiling Tibetan village is 3km distance south from Lakeside towards near the David’s Falls and Hemja village are the popular place to visit which is 7 km (4.34 mile) north of the city center. These villages have Tibetan Monasteries as well as their hand-made carpet factory with showroom and school in this area. The beautiful handmade carpet with 100, 80 and 60 nuts are available in here. The lifestyles of the people are remarkable. You can meet some of them are wandering around the Lakeside with their souvenirs bags that they like to sell for the tourist. You can visit the monasteries to see the monks and their spiritual life. They follow the Tibetan Buddhist known as Bajrayana Buddhism with counting the beads; practice the mantras, dress, foods, and religious dances. They have 4 different sect including Kaguapa, Gelukpa, Sakyapa and Ningmapa and they believe the reincarnation Lamas.