Famously known as the lake city with numerous lakes adorning the valley, Pokhara is the ultimate vacation spot of Nepal. About 200 kilometers (124 miles) west of Kathmandu, the valley lies at an altitude of 915 meters (3,002 feet) above sea level. While Kathmandu is mainly famous for its cultural, religious and architectural treasures, Pokhara is appealing for its natural beauty.
Lakeside area is famous as the tourist destination with a musical nightlife and the serenity of the lake. Mesmerizing views of mountain peaks, hills and the tranquil lake make for a superb experience. Different temples of high religious value, lakes, caves, and vantage points are the major attractions of the city. The city is a blend of wonderful natural and social experiences that create lifelong memories.
The following are the major attractions of the beautiful valley that can be explored within a few days.
The second largest lake of the country, Phewa Taal, is the major tourist hub of the city. The eastern shore of the lake, known as lakeside or Baidam, is the area with most of the hotels and restaurants and is the base of most of the tourists. The wonderful views and the serenity of the lake make it a perfect spot to enjoy the ambience of the beautiful valley. People can hire boats to sail or row themselves and reach the island temple of Barahi in the middle of the lake or explore the surrounding areas.
The temple of Goddess Durga is of high religious importance to Hindus and is usually crowded during Saturdays as devotees throng to make sacrifices and worship the deity. The island temple is perfect for a walk and to enjoy the majestic views of the mountains and tranquility of the lake.
The temple of Bhagwati, another manifestation of Lord Durga is equally crowded with devotees on Saturdays and Tuesdays. The parks around the temple make a perfect picnic spot for local and foreign tourists. The temple premise at the top of a hill comprises a number of other smaller temples and statues and provides a wonderful view of the town.
It is one of the closest vantage points from the lakeside area. You can take an early morning hike or cycle ride to the top and enjoy the sunrise view from here. It is the highest vantage point of Pokhara at an elevation of 1,592 meters (5,223 feet) from sea level. One can enjoy the exquisite views of Annapurna range, Machchhapuchhre (Fishtail) and Lamjung Himal along with the peaceful Pokhara valley and Phewa Lake.
World Peace Pagoda
It is a Buddhist-styled Pagoda atop the Ananda hill. The symbol was built by monks with the support of the locals. The pagoda is situated at the height of 1100 meters (3,609 feet) in the hill and is also a viewpoint for Annapurna range, Pokhara valley and Phewa Lake. The pagoda itself is 115 feet tall and 344 feet in diameter. The second tier of the pagoda has four shrines of Buddha, namely Dharma Chakra Mudra, Bodh Gaya, Kushinagar and Lumbini. Each shrine represents an event in the life of Buddha and the location of its occurrence. The stupa can be reached by boat or a short hike. As a symbol of peace among all races and creeds, the pagoda is one of the most serene, peaceful places in the world. A hall is situated nearby with Buddha statues where Buddhist rituals are carried out every day.
It is a famous waterfall on the southwestern side of Pokhara airport. Also known as Patale Chhango or Hell’s fall In Nepali language, it got its name as a tourist named David is believed to have disappeared after being washed away by the Pardi Khola. The waterfall is 500 meters (1,641 feet) long and 100 feet deep and passes through Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave. It is best viewed from June to September during the rainy season.
Gupteshwor Mahadev is a holy Hindu site which is also a cave. The attraction of the cave is the Shiva linga, the phallic symbol of Lord Shiva. One can see Davis Fall properly from the edge and enjoy the ambience of the cave.
While these are some famous tourist destinations, Pokhara is also famous for adventure sports. Paragliding, zip flyer, trekking and various other exciting sports can be performed from different vantage points. Pokhara is also the starting point for major trekking expeditions. Ghandruk, Poonhill and other short treks can also be done from Pokhara. Rupa and Begnas Lake, Mahendra Cave can also be included in the day trips. The different ethnic settlements around Pokhara are perfect for cultural tours. Overall, Pokhara tour is a combination of tranquil and beautiful nature along with fun adventures.