Pokhara Valley is the second-largest valley in the hilly region of Nepal. It lies in the western part of Nepal, 203 kilometres west of Kathmandu Valley. Pokhara is a big tourist spot because it has the beautiful Phewa Tal Lake, great mountain scenery, and is the gateway to the most popular treks in Nepal. There are several excellent one-day trips and short works in the area. Some of the best river rafting tours in Nepal begin nearby. It is a pleasant laid-back, relaxed place to stay for a while. Located at just 800 m above sea level, it is close to the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, and there some outstanding views to the north. Machhapuchhare (Fishtail Peak), which is one of the most beautiful mountains in the world, is right next to the city. Pokhara is also famous for boating, trekking, rafting, and extreme sports like rafting, canoeing and bungee jumping and many other adventure activities.
Here, the information on the different tourist spots of Pokhara is presented below.
Phewa Lake is a freshwater lake in Nepal formerly called Baidam Tal located in the south of the Pokhara Valley that includes Pokhara city; parts of Sarangkot and Kaskikot. It is the second-largest lake in Nepal; the largest in Gandaki Pradesh after the Rara Lake in the comparison to Nepal’s water bodies. It is the most popular and most visited lake in Nepal. It is the only lake in Nepal to have a temple Tal Barahi Temple at the central part of the lake. Phewa Lake is located at an altitude of 742 m (2,434 ft.) and covers an area of about 4.43 sq. km. The Annapurna range on the north is only about 28 km (linear distance) away from the lake. The lake is also famous for the reflection of mount Machhapuchhare and other mountain peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges on its surface. The Tal Barahi Temple is situated on an island in the lake. Boating is possible in Phewa Lake and takes in the surrounding forest and settlements near it.
Begnas Lake is a freshwater lake located in the south-east of the Pokhara Valley. The lake is the third-largest lake of Nepal and second-largest, after Phewa Lake, among the eight lakes in Pokhara Valley. Begnas Lake area with several resorts is a popular destination for tourists visiting Pokhara. The water from the lake is used for irrigation and some parts of the lake are used as caged fisheries. The Begnas lake area has some swampy areas around it, many of which have been converted to paddy fields. Annapurna and Manaslu Range can be seen very clearly from the lake.
Rupa Lake or Rupa Tal is a freshwater lake in Nepal located in the Rupa Municipal of Kaski District. It is the third biggest lake in Pokhara valley of Nepal and at an altitude of 600 m (1,969 ft) covering area about 1.35 sq. km. The lake is elongated north to south and is fed by perennial streams. Its watershed area is 30 sq. km. It supports many floral and faunal species. A total of 36 species of water birds have been recorded in the lake which represents about 19 percent of the total 193 wetland-dependent birds found in Nepal. Rupa Lake is the one of main tourist attractions among Begnas Lake of the Pokhara city. It provides enough space for boating experiences for national and international visitors. Cage culture as well as pen culture have been practiced in Rupa Lake for fish farming.
Devi’s fall is a waterfall located at Chorepatan Pokhara in Kaski District. The water forms a tunnel after reaching the bottom. This tunnel is approximately 500 feet (150 m) long and runs 100 feet (30 m) below ground level. On 31 July 1961, a Swiss couple went swimming but the woman drowned in a pit because of the overflow. Her body was recovered 3 days later in the river Phusre with great effort. Her father wished to name it “David’s falls” after her but changed to Devi’s fall. Its Nepali name is Patale Chango, which means “underworld waterfall”. This is one of the most visited places in Nepal. After exiting the tunnel, the water passes through a cave called Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave or “cave beneath the ground”. The cave also acts as a tourism site because it has complex designs and people even forget the way inside the cave. It is an attraction for tourists and locals. Thousands of Nepalese visit for recreation and enjoyment. Visitors can try their luck on the luck pond constructed thereby throwing and placing the coin on the statue of God. Likewise, one can find a model of traditional typical Nepali houses and a series of statues of Nepali people wearing traditional dresses where visitors can click photos.
Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave
Located close to Davis Falls on the other side of the World Peace Stupa in Pokhara the Gupteshwor Mahadev cave is Nepal’s most famous cave. The cave is said to be have been discovered in the 16th century. The main cave entrance was not constructed until 1991. The main cave contains two chambers with several shrines located throughout. The largest of these shrines is dedicated to Shiva. There is lighting in the cave that has a power back-up. The cave was allegedly discovered in the 16th century by some local men who stumbled upon it when clearing some grass. Within the dark cave, they discovered many shrines and statues dedicated to Shiva and other Hindu deities. These included Mahadev and Parvati, Nageswor, and Saraswati.
Mahendra Cave is a cave located in Batulechaur of Kaski district, close to the Kali Khola. It is the large limestone cave. It is a rare example of a cave system in Nepal containing stalagmites and stalactites. The cave attracts thousands of tourists every year. A statue of Hindu Lord Shiva can be found inside the cave. The cave gets its name from former King, Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev. This cave was discovered in the late 1950s by young shepherds of Pokhara. Since then it has remained one of the most visited places in Pokhara. The cave corridors are completely dark with continuously dripping water overhead. The cave is formed in limestone, which falls to the ground and continuously forms electrical sparks. Due to the darkness, artificial lighting is provided inside approximately half of the accessible cave. The cave consists of about 100m of easily accessible passages and a further 100m of low unstable corridors entered by way of a collapsed passage only perhaps half a meter high. The place where Mahendra cave lies is full of greenery. The grazing horses and mules can frequently be observed in this area. This place lies in the bottom of a hill covered with greenery. Many surrounding hills full of greenery can be observed from here.
The Bat Cave is a solutional cave in the Kaski District in Pokhara, Nepal. It is known for a habitat of Horseshoe bats inside the cave, over the walls and ceiling. The cave is formed of limestone. It is a show cave and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Pokhara. The cave has one entrance and one exit. The exit is narrower than the entrance and needs climbing. The indigenous belief is that only those who have not sinned should pass the exit hole. The cave is surrounded by forest. It is close to the nearby Mahendra Cave. The cave is U-shaped and inside the cave are carvings of Hindu deities.
Pokhara Planetarium and Science center
Planetarium at Bataulechaur is a tourist location with different attractions; among them, planetarium, science center, mirror maze, mystery house, are the attractive points of this place. This place is most useful for visitors & students having the purpose of educational tour with entertainment.
Seti River Gorge
Seti River Gorges is carved by Seti-Gandaki is one of the natural wonders of Pokhara. Seti River is famous for its deceptive river course and its milky white water. The water cuts a deep gorge right across the mighty Mahabharata range and then runs a deep chasm in the middle of the town. The gorge can be seen from a park in the Old Pokhara close to the Gorkha Museum. According to the local myth, the elders in Pokhara believe and fear that the entire city floats on the waters of the Seti. K.I. Singh bridge at Bagar, Mahendrapool & Prithivi highway Bridge near bus park, provides a perfect view of the river’s dreadful rush and the deep gorge made by the turbulent flow of white water.
The Bindhyabasini temple is the oldest in the city of Pokhara, Nepal. It regularly attracts a large number of locals, Nepalis from across the country, and foreigners alike. The main temple is devoted to goddess Bindhyabasini, a Bhagawati who is the incarnation of Kali. There are smaller temples of goddess Saraswati, Shiva, Hanuman, Ganesha in the premises. The temple is situated atop a small hill and can be accessed via stone staircases on the East and North East. The views of the Himalayas from the North of the temple are breathtaking while from the South one can see the expanse of Pokhara city.
Matepani Gumba located in Matepani, Kundahar area of Pokhara, Kaski District of the Gandaki Zone in western Nepal. It was established in 1960 A.D. by Nyeshang people who migrated to Pokhara from Manang. Situated on a small hill, east of the Pokhara city, the monastery is about five kilometers from Mahendrapul. This gumba is situated on the top of a green hill mountain. Several times a day one of the Buddhist monks will grab a gong and announce the time for prayer with a bang. Like ants out of the woodwork, all of the students and teachers of the monastery come clambering out of their dormitories and offices to enter the grand hall of the gumba. The interior of the Matepani Gumba is decorated with bright elaborate murals depicting stories from Buddha’s life and myths related to the various deities which make up the religion.
International Mountain Museum
International Mountains Museum is situated 2 miles southeast of Lakeside Pokhara. The museum is easily accessible by bus and car. IMM records, documents and exhibits the past and present developments related to mountain and mountaineering around the world. The museum contains three main exhibition halls: Hall of Great Himalayas, Hall of Fame and Hall of World Mountains. Inside the museum, there are exhibits on famous peaks, descriptions of famous mountaineers, the culture and lifestyle of mountain people, flora, and fauna including geology, in an attempt to represent the traditional culture and values of the Nepalese people. Living museum outside the building and within the Museum premises awaits the visitors in 5.10 hectors of land area. The living museum shows the real setting of the culture of indigenous people of different tribes and clans of Nepal, their homes, and culture in real models. The model of Mt. Manaslu is also built on the premises of IMM to give visitors brief experience about mountaineering expedition. The 31 feet high model of Mt. Manaslu is often crowded with a lot of visitors scaling and taking photographs.
Pema T’sal monastery
Pema Tsal Monastery, located at the outskirt of Pokhara-Lekhnath Metropolitan City is just a 20 minutes’ drive either from the Pokhara Airport or Tourist Bus Station. It offers the natural beauty of the Annapurna Himalayan Range, green hills, and Seti River. Pema Tsal Sakya Monastery is also known as Pema Ts’al Sakya Monastic Institute. Hotel Pema Tsal is constructed on the premises of the monastery to accommodate the visitors. The revenue generated from the hotel will support 120 students from economically deprived backgrounds residing at PTSMI. By staying at the hotel, you can take part in various activities of the monastery like being with the monks for prayers and rituals in the morning, interact and play with them in their leisure, observe the classroom teaching, and philosophy debate class in the evening and have a Buddhism Class. Pema means Lotus and Tsal means garden. Lotus is a very sacred flower for Hindus and Buddhists. It is symbolically equal to the Buddha for Buddhists. It symbolizes purity, beauty, majesty, grace, fertility, wealth, richness, knowledge and serenity.
In Pokhara, the Regional Museum is where one can find insights into the ancient culture and history of Pokhara Valley with the help of exhibits from the time as old as the Stone Age and covering centuries of evolution of the civilization. With a simple setup and artifacts depicting the tribes, their lifestyle and traditions, the stately museum houses collections that depict the tribal population of the town as well.
The 200-year-old Bhimsen Temple is dedicated to the Newari God of trade and commerce. It is said to be the oldest temple in the city and it replicates the pagoda style of architecture. The exterior of the temple is covered with intricate erotic carvings and exquisite woodcarvings on doors, windows, pillars, and struts.
Annapurna Butterfly Museum
Annapurna Butterfly Museum was established in 1965 in the city of Pokhara. The museum houses almost all of Nepal? 660 common, rare and endemic species of butterflies. The collection is kept in such a way to illustrate their mimicry and camouflage. Several charts comparing these species with others found in parts of the Palearctic region are also showcased.
Tibetan Refugees Camp
The four official Tibetan settlement camps in the city of Pokhara is a small world in itself. These refugee camps were built for the thousands of Tibetan refugees that came to settle in Nepal after the Chinese takeover. They sell beautiful handmade jewelry, trinkets, carving, and carpets for the visitors to showcase the beauties of Tibet. This is a popular place where tourists come to buy souvenirs.
Gurkha Memorial Museum
Located near Mahendra Pul in Pokhara, Gurkha Memorial Museum is a grand structure dedicated to commemorating the service of Gurkha soldiers. Gurkha soldiers joined the British Army in 1815 and this museum is a beautiful picture gallery to learn more about the lives of Gurkhas. The museum has a collection of all sorts of historic Military items – guns, rifles, uniforms, the famous Gurkha knives, and many photographs of places where the Gurkha soldiers had served. Quite interesting history of this military force from the past to the present day.
Moreover, you can observe the nightlife of Pokhara in the evening time in Lakeside Street. Trisara, Blue Lagoon, Club Amsterdam, Bullet Basecamp, Firefly, All that Jazz, Busy Bee pub, Club Nasha etc. are the popular discotheque of Pokhara. The other most interesting is the old center in the north of the city (Bagar, Purano Bazar) where you will still find many old shops and warehouses in the Newari style.
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