Pokhara

Pokhara is the most popular tourist destination in Nepal and also the center of adventure. It is located 200 km west from Kathmandu. The city of Pokhara is renowned for its geographic settings rather than the historical or cultural significance. It is unbelievably rich in its natural splendor. The central attraction of Pokhara is the ‘Phewa Tal’ (Tal meaning lake) which also happens to be the second largest lake of Nepal. A small island in the middle of Phewa Lake is the residence of a beautiful temple known as ‘Barahi Temple’. This is the most significant shrine in Pokhara, designed in two-storied pagoda and is dedicated to the boar manifestation of Ajima, the protectress deity representing the female force ‘Shakti’. A wide range of handicraft stores, restaurants, and hotels are located in the vicinity of Phewa Lake called the Lake Side.

Like Begnas and Rupa are other prominent lakes of Pokhara. Another natural wonder in Pokhara is the ‘Seti Gandaki River’. Flowing right through the city, this lively river runs completely underground. The river appears hardly two meters wide at certain points. But the depth is quite beyond imagination - over 20 metres! ‘Mahindra Pul’, a small bridge near the old Mission Hospital, provides a perfect view of this river's dreadful rush and deep gorge made by its powerful flow. Another must visit site in Pokhara is the ‘Devi's fall’ (also known as Devin's and David's) which is a lovely waterfall located about 2-Km south-west of the Pokhara Airport, on the Siddhartha Highway. It is believed that a trekker (Devin, David) was washed away by the ‘Pardi Khola’ and mysteriously disappeared down into an underground passage beneath the fall, thus named ‘Devi’s fall’.

‘Mahendra Gufa ‘ (Gufa meaning cave) is a large limestone cave, locally known as the House of Bats, is another natural wonder of Pokhara. The Pokhara Museum is an ethnic mosaic of western Nepal. It is located between the bus stop and Mahindra Pul. The lifestyles and history of ethnic groups such as the Gurungs, Thakalis and the Tharus are attractively displayed through models, photographs and artifacts in this museum. The Annapurna Regional Museum, also known as the Natural History Museum is another interesting visit in Pokhara. It has an exceptional collection of butterflies, insects, birds and models of wildlife that exist in the area. Other popular and touristic places in Pokhara includes: the old bazaar, the new bazaar & its surrounding areas, Sarangkot- an ideal location for magnificent Himalayan views.

Pokhara is also the starting and finishing point for some of the most popular treks including the Annapurna Circuit, Ghorepani Poon Hill, Annapurna Base camp and the Jomsom Trek. It also offers a number of short treks. Pokhara is the only city in Nepal from where you can observe various Himalayan peaks including the Annapurna Himalayan Range. Some of the famed mountains that can be observed from Pokharainclude Mt. Machhapuchre, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Hinchuli etc. There are more then five caves within the Pokhara Valley; some of the most popular includes Mahindra cave, Bat cave, Kali Khola cave, Shiva cave etc. Pokhara has several rivers flowing through itself.