Pokhara: Nepal’s Holiday Paradise
Pokhara is the second-largest city in Nepal and the headquarters of the Gandaki Province, located 200 km west of Kathmandu. Pokhara is located at an altitude of 822 m above sea level with a population of around 4,14,141. The name Pokhara was derived from the word Pokhari which means a ”pond” or lake in Nepali.
Pokhara is also known as a beautiful tourist destination in Nepal because of its lakes, caves, and temples. It is one of the major cities in Nepal that attracts several domestic and foreign tourists every year.
Places to see in Pokhara
One of the most relaxing things to do at Pokhara is to take a boat trip on Phewa Lake, one of Nepal’s largest lakes, located right in the middle of Pokhara.
The main attraction in Pokhara is Fewa Lake and Tal Barahi temple. Most of the tourists visit Pokhara for boating and worship in the Barahi temple. The shadow of Fishtails and Annapurna mountain is visible in Fewa Lake which is extremely adorable.
Tourists visiting Pokhara prefer to live at the lakeside which gives the impression of a western destination. The lakeside makes it look dark at night. Most of the hotels and lodges can be found near the lakeside area.
The lake is surrounded by lush green hills, which are reflected in its waters during sunrise and sunset. The entrance fee is 50 NPR (USD 0.50) per person or 500 NPR (USD 5) if you rent a canoe or paddleboat for 30 minutes.
World Peace Pagoda
Situated at the top of Anadu hill, World Peace Pagoda is a major tourist attraction in Pokhara. The shrine has been built by Nipponzan Myohoji, a Japanese Buddhist organization. The huge dome-shaped stupa is pure white in color. This shrine reflects the message of peace and harmony to all human beings irrespective of their religion, culture, or nationality.
Tal Barahi Temple
Barahi temple is situated on an island in the middle of the lake. The temple was built during the Nepali monarchy (pre-1990). The temple has been visited by thousands of people every year, who go there to worship Goddess Barahi, a local deity of Pokhara which they believe helps them to get rid of their sins and bless them with good luck
Davi’s Fall & Gupteshwar
David Falls is another attraction of Pokhara. It is also called Patale Chango. The water of Phewa lake passes from the gorge of David Falls through Gupteshower cave and moves towards Seti river. The stem of water looks adorable when a large body of water enters the gorge during rainy seasons.
In Chhorepatan, Gupteshawor cave is located where we can visit Gupteswar Mahadev and can be enjoyed inside the cave. Ahead of the temple in the cave water flow from David Falls can be seen.
Mahendra & Chamere (Bat) Cave
Mahendra cave is one of those caves which have been formed naturally by water eroding limestone rock for thousands of years. The cave is named after King Mahendra who was the king of Nepal from AD 1958 to 1972. The cave has two parts, an outer part, and an inner part. You have to reach through the outer part to reach the inner part via a small tunnel-like path.
Another Chameli cave is located near Mahendra cave. The Bat Cave’s entrance leads you to a series of chambers that were formed inside limestone rock over years by dripping water from the ceiling. The cave is the inhabitant of the bats over the walls and ceiling.
Sarangkot is a high hill located in the North-west of Pokhara. After reaching Pokhara
Sarangkot is a place to be visited. From here panoramic views of Pokhara valley and Lekhnath city can be seen. Famous mountains like Annapurna, Fishtail, Dhaulagiri, and other mountain ranges can be seen in front of the eyes. Even Paragliding and Zip Fly are done from Sarang Kot.
Apart from this, there are many places to visit in Pokhara like Bindavasini temple, Begnas, Rupa Lake, Matepani Gumba, International Mountain Museum, and many others.
Things to do in Pokhara
Pokhara is not just a city where people come to relax, it is an adventure hub. It is popular for various adventure activities like paragliding, zipline, Bungee Jumping, and so on. Here are some adventurous things to do when you visit Pokhara.
Pokhara is heaven for paragliders. Tourists can enjoy the views and spectacular scenery of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges from up above along with different parts of the city including Fewa Lake and Phewa Lake.
It is an amazing experience that you will never forget.
There are two seasons to fly a paraglider in Pokhara: autumn (September-November) and spring (March-May). You can also take a tandem flight during other seasons but it will not be as smooth as autumn or spring season flights. so if you are planning a trip to Pokhara, make sure you do this activity when you are there!
There are many sites from where you can paraglide but Sarangkot hill is more popular among tourists as paragliders can enjoy their flight while facing the majestic mountain ranges above. Flight from SarangKot landed on the bank of Fewa lake.
Cost: USD 90-100 per person
Another attraction of Pokhara is the ultralight flight. Ultralight Flight is one of the most exciting and adventurous tours that tourists can enjoy in Pokhara. Ultralight aircraft are lightweight single-seat airplanes that can fly at a maximum height of 6500 feet above sea level.
It offers you an excellent opportunity to view the panoramic views of the Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri range, Fishtail (Mt. Machhapuchhre), Lamjung Himal, and Manaslu range. One can also enjoy the magnificent views of Phewa Lake while flying over it. You can also see the beautiful valley, green forests, and other natural beauties while flying above them.
Cost USD $100 – $450 per person
Zip fly from Sarang Kot to Hemja is the longest zip flyer in the world. It can be done by two people so it is popular among new couples. the beauty of Hemja village, dense jungle, and mountain ranges can be observed while flying from the Sarang Kot to Hemja.
You can have an experience of this activity only if you are over 12 years old and weigh no less than 35 kgs or more than 125 kgs.
Cost: USD 145-150 per person
For those who are interested in adventure tourism, Bungee Jumping is exciting. Bungee Jump from the tower also came into operation in Hemja. Must be at least 13 years old and weigh between 35 and 125 kgs to experience bungee jumping.
Cost: USD 45-50 per person
Pokhara is the best place to go hiking in Nepal. There are many hill stations to hike around Pokhara where you can go for a day hike or two or three days. Some of the popular destinations to hike are Sarangkot, Naudanda, Hemja, Kaskikot.
Pokhara is an entrance point for trekking in different places including Upper Mustang, Muktinath, Punhil, Annapurna Base Camp, and West Ghandruk.
Pokhara is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Boating in Nepal. There are nine lakes in pokhara however Phewa, Begnas and Rupa lakes were popular.
Visitors can enjoy a boat trip on Phewa Lake or Begnas lake or Rupa Lake. The lake is surrounded by lush green hills, which are reflected in its waters during sunrise and sunset. Similarly, you can enjoy fishing too.
The entrance fee is 50 NPR (USD 0.50) per person or 500 NPR (USD 5) if you rent a canoe, paddleboat, rowboat, and motorboat for 30 minutes.
Pokhara is famous for boating as well as rafting. You can enjoy white water rafting in the Seti River, which is just 8 km away from Pokhara city. Kayaking and canoeing are other activities you can try on the Seti River.
Mountain biking, birdwatching, sky diving, museum tour, and rock climbing are some other activities you can try in Pokhara.
Getting to Pokhara from Kathmandu
Pokhara is accessible by road and by plane. If you take a plane then it takes around 30 minutes to reach pokhara airport whereas if you take a bus it will take around 7-8 hours. The price of a bus ticket is around $5 whereas the plane ticket can be anything up to $125 depending on which airline you fly with and whether you book in advance or not.
Airlines company who provides air service to pokhara are as follow:
- Buddha Air
- Yeti Airlines
- Agni Air
- Nepal Airlines
The lake city is situated on the laps of the Annapurna range and at the base of Fishtail Mountain. The serenity and tranquillity of this city make it a perfect place to relax after a heavy trekking schedule. The beautiful hills, lakes, and caves provide visitors with an opportunity to explore the beauty of Pokhara.
Getting to Pokhara from India
There are no direct flights between India and Pokhara so the best way is to fly to Kathmandu from major cities in India such as Delhi, and Mumbai. Flights depart daily from those cities. After reaching Kathmandu you can take domestic flights or buses to Pokhara.
If you’re coming from India by bus then you can take a direct bus from Varanasi or Gorakhpur or Raxaul to Sunauli/Bhairahawa or Birgunj respectively. From there you can take a direct bus to Pokhara.
Another option is to take a bus to Kathamandu. From Kathmandu, it’s another 200 kilometers to Pokhara, which takes about 6-7 hours by bus
If you’re using a train then you have to take the train from Gorakhpur to Nautanwa. After reaching Nautanwa you have to take a taxi to Sunauli and Sunauli to Pokhara.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Pokhara famous?
Pokhara is famous for its wonderful location. It is surrounded by green hills and the panoramic views are just outstanding. The city is on the shore of Phewa Lake, Nepal’s second-largest lake. This city is a perfect holiday destination with plenty of exciting activities to do around the area.
What are the special features of Pokhara?
Pokhara is a unique city in Nepal. It has lots of beautiful lakes, excellent climate, pleasant scenery and the nature is wonderful. Whether you are here for adventure tours or holiday tours, Pokhara can meet all your needs. You can visit Pokhara whenever you want to spend some relaxation time in an exotic destination.
Is Pokhara worth visiting?
Of Course, Pokhara is definitely worth visiting. There are tons of sightseeing destinations and things to do.
How far is Pokhara from Kathmandu?
Pokhara lies about 149 km and takes about 4-5 hours by road to reach from Kathmandu. Different airlines fly from different locations in and around Kathmandu to Pokhara every day.
What are the things to do in Pokhara?
2. Ultralight flight
3. Zip lining
4. Bungee jumping
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