If Kathmandu is the cultural hub of Nepal, Pokhara is the centre of adventure. An enchanting city nestled in a tranquil valley beside a lake. It is the starting point for many of Nepal’s most popular treks and rafting expeditions. The social atmosphere on the shore of Phewa Lake is one of vitality as hipster backpackers crowd the many bars and restaurants exchanging recommendations on guest houses, treks, food and politics. Beside the lake and above the clouds, Pokhara is a place of remarkable natural beauty . The serenity of Lake Phewa and the magnificent fishtail summit of Machhapuchhre (6997 m.) rising behind it create an ambience of peace and magic. At an elevation lower than Kathmandu, it has a much more tropical feel. You will notice it in the diversity of flowers and plants which make up its environs. Indeed, the valley surrounding Pokhara is home to thick forests, gushing rivers, emerald lakes and the awesome panorama of the Himalaya.
Lastly, Pokhara is part of a once vibrant trade route extending between India and Tibet. To this day, mule trains can be seen camped on the outskirts of the town, bringing goods to trade from remote regions of the Himalaya. This is the land of the Magars and Gurungs, hardworking farmers and once famous warriors who had earned worldwide fame as Gurkhas for the British. The Thakalis people also live here. The Thakalis are some of Nepal's most successful businessmen. They trade in places like Tukuche and Thaksatse. Furthermore, many are owners of Nepal's hotels and motels. Due to extensive trade all over Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet, many Thakalis have resettled in Pokhara.
Popular attractions in and around Pokhara
Phewa lake and its water sports are the main tourist attraction of Pokhara city. The north shore of the lake has developed into a tourist district, commonly called ‘Lake-Side’; with hotels, restaurants and bars catering to the tourists. The water from Phewa lake's outlet is used to generate electricity.
a unique temple situated on the lake and dedicated to Varahi (one of the Matrikas, a group of seven or eight mother goddesses in the Hindu religion). In Nepalese she is called Barahi.
The main temple which is of white plaster is dedicated to a form of the Goddess Bhagwati. Goddess Bhagwati is Pokhara's guardian deity, also known as Shakti or Kali and many manifestations. Bindyabasini at night (below).
Devi's Falls marks the point where the Pardi Khola stream vanishes underground. When the stream is at full bore, the sound of the water plunging over the falls is deafening. According to locals, the name is a corruption of David's Falls, a reference to a Swiss visitor who tumbled into the sinkhole and drowned, taking his girlfriend with him! I’m not sure I believe this one, but it is beautiful.
There are many caves around Pokhara for cave explorers. We can only name a few here. If you enjoy caves (I do!) this is a great spot
This Cave divided into two parts. The first parts is about 40 meters long and there is a natural cave and temple to the Lord Shiva. In this first part you are not allowed to take photos. In the next part, after the temple (which goes to the bottom part of Devi’s fall) you may take photos. Gupteswor at right >>>.
Mahendra Cave, Bat Cave, Kumari Cave : (see link below)
Seti Gandaki Gorge:
The Seti Gandaki is the main river flowing through the city. The Seti Gandaki (White River) and its tributaries have created several gorges and canyons in and around the whole city which create long sections of terrace features to the city and the surrounding areas. These long sections of terraces are interrupted by gorges which are hundreds of meters deep. The Seti Gorge runs through the whole city from north to south and then west to east and at certain places these gorges are only a few metres wide. In the north and south, the canyons are wider.
The Old Bazaar:
A stark contrast to Lakeside Pokhara, the old Pokhara Bazaar, 4 km away from Phewa Lake, is a traditional bazaar and a colorful gathering place for an ethnically diverse group of traders. The temples and monuments bear a close resemblance to the Newari architecture of the Kathmandu Valley. The old bazaar is also home to one of Pokhara’s most important shrines, the Bindhyabasini Mandir. Old Bazaar >>>.
World Peace Pagoda :
Balanced on a narrow ridge high above Phewa Tal, the brilliant-white World Peace Pagoda in Pokhara is a massive Buddhist stupa which was constructed by Buddhist monks from the Japanese Nipponzan Myōhōji organisation. Besides being an impressive sight in itself, the shrine is a vantage point which offers spectacular views of the Annapurna range and Pokhara city.
<<< Peace Pagoda
Sarankot or Sarangkot is a Village Development Committee in the Kaski District of the Gandaki Zone of northern-central Nepal. At the time of the 1991 Nepal census it had a population of 5,060 persons. The village is located on a mountainside ridge at an altitude of 1600m with panoramic Himalayan views. From Sarankot, to the North we can see Dhawalagari . The Annapurna range is fully visible when the weather is clear. To the south the village overlooks the city of Pokhara. It is truly a beautiful vista and a lovely village.