Thursday, August 20, 2009

Visit Pokhara Nepal | Pokhara Tourism | Mountain Hills | Phewa Lake

About Pokhara

The name Pokhara is derived from the word Pokhari, which in Nepali means pond or a lake. There are about eight different lakes in Pokhara. Pokhara Sub-Metropolitan City (Nepali: पोखरा उपमहानगरपालिका Pokhara Up-Mahanagarpalika) is a city of close to 200,000 inhabitants in central Nepal located at 28.25°N, 83.99°E, 198 km west of Kathmandu. It is the third largest city of Nepal after Kathmandu and Biratnagar. It is the Headquarters of Kaski District, Gandaki Zone and the Western Development Region. It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations of the country. 

Pokhara lies on an important old trading route between China and India. In the 17th century it was part of the influential Kingdom of Kaski which again was one of the Chaubise Rajaya (24 Kingdoms of Nepal) ruled by a branch of the Shah Dynasty. Many of the mountains around Pokhara still have medieval ruins from this time. In 1786 Prithvi Narayan Shah added Pokhara into his kingdom. It had by then become an important trading place on the routes from Kathmandu to Jumla and from India to Tibet.

Originally Pokhara was largely inhabited by Brahmin, Chhetri and Thakuri (the major villages were located in Parsyang, Malepatan, Pardi and Harichowk areas of modern Pokhara) and the Majhi community near the Fewa Lake. Later in the 18th century A.D the newars of Bhaktapur migrated to Pokhara and settled near main business locations such as Bindhyabasini temple, Nalakomukh and Bhairab Tole. The establishment of a British recruitment camp brought larger Magar and Gurung communities to Pokhara. At present the Khas (Brahmin, Chhetri, Thakuri and Dalits), Gurung (Tamu) and Magar form the dominant community of Pokhara. There is also a sizeable population of Newars in Pokhara. A small Muslim community is located on eastern fringes of Pokhara generally called Miya Patan.

Geography OF Pokhara

Pokhara is situated in the northwestern corner of the Pokhara Valley, which is a widening of the Seti Gandaki valley. The Seti River and its tributaries have dug impressive canyons into the valley floor, which are only visible from higher viewpoints or from the air. To the east of Pokhara is the municipality of Lekhnath, a recently established town in the valley.

In no other place do mountains rise so quickly. In this area, within 30 km, the elevation rises from 1,000 m to over 7,500 m. Due to this sharp rise in altitude the area of Pokhara has one of the highest precipitation rates of the country (over 4,000 mm/year). Even within the city there is a noticeable difference in the amount of rain between the south of the city by the lake and the north at the foot of the mountains.

The climate is sub-tropical but due to the elevation the temperatures are moderate: the summer temperatures average between 25–35 °C, in winter around 5–15 °C.

In the south the city borders on Phewa Tal (lake) (4.4 km² at an elevation of about 800 m above sea level), in the north at an elevation of around 1,000 m the outskirts of the city touch the base of the Annapurna mountain range. From the southern fringes of the city 3 eight-thousanders (Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu) and, in the middle of the Annapurna range, the Machapuchare ('Fishtail') with close to 7,000 m can be seen. This mountain dominates the northern horizon of the city and its name derives from its twin peaks, not visible from the south. The porous underground of the Pokhara valley favours the development of caves of which three prominent ones can be found within the city: Mahendra, Bat and Gupteswor. In the south of the city, a tributary of the Seti coming from Phewa Lake disappears at Patale Chhango (Nepali for Hell's Falls, also called Devi's or David's Falls, after someone who supposedly fell into the falls) into an underground gorge, to reappear 500 metres further south.

Pokhara At Glance

Pokhara spans 8 km from north to south and 6 km from east to west but, unlike Kathmandu, it is quite loosely built up and still has much green space. The Seti Gandaki flowing through the city from north to south divides the city roughly in two halves with the down-town area of Chipledunga in the middle, the old town centre of Bagar in the north and the tourist district of Lakeside (Baidam) in the south all lying on the western side of the river. The gorge through which the river flows is crossed at five points, the major ones are (from north to south): K.I. Singh Pul, Mahendra Pul and Prithvi Highway Pul. The eastern side of town is mainly residential.

Pokhara has become a major tourist hub of Nepal, more than making up for the loss of its trading importance. The city offers a combination of nature and culture with a distinct tourist district in the southern subdivisions of Baidam, Lakeside and Damside. It is mostly known as starting and ending point for Annapurna treks.

Get In At Pokhara

You can travel to Pokhara from the capital Kathmandu using the tourist bus travels that are readily available or the local microbuses or buses which leave Kathmandu for Pokhara almost every 15 minutes. These buses are available until late afternoon. There are night buses as well running on this route but these can be a painful ride, so avoid them. The local buses will cost you around NRs. 400 to 600. Coming from the southern border to India, several buses leave to Pokhara from the border city, mainly in the very wee hours (first at 4AM). It takes about 9 hours and costs between 280 and 380 Rs. Flights cost roughly $90 each way and take only 1/2 hour from KTM. They have the bonus of giving you a bird's eye view of the countryside and of the mountains themselves.

Places to Visit in Pokhara-:

Phewa Lake-:

Phewa Lake, Phewa Tal or Fewa Lake is a lake of Nepal located in the Pokhara Valley near Pokhara and Sarangkot. It is the second largest lake in Nepal and lying at an altitude of 784 m (2,572 ft) it covers an area of about 4.43 km2 (1.7 sq mi) with an average depth of about 8.6 m (28 ft) with maximum water depth is 22.8 m (75 ft) when measured with echo-sounder (depth measuring gauge; PLASTIMO ECHOTEST II) on 5 December 2009. Maximum water capacity of the lake is approximately 46 million cubic meters (37,000 acre feet). Annapurna looms in the distance from the lake and the lake is famous for the reflection of Mount Machapuchare on its surface. The holy Barahi mandir (temple) is situated on the island located in between in the lake.


The eastern Pokhara Valley receives irrigation water through a canal running from a reservoir by the Seti River in the north of the city. Phewa Lake is also used for commercial fishing. The tourist area is along the north shore of the lake (Lake Side and Dam Side). It is mainly made up of little shops, little hotels, restaurants and bars. The larger hotels can be found on the southern and south-eastern fringes of the Pokhara city, from where the view of the mountains, mainly Machapuchare, or Fishtail Mountain, is seen best. To the east of the valley are few smaller and few bigger lakes, the largest being Begnas Tal and Rupakot Tal. Begnas Tal is also known for its fishery projects.
Phewa Lake was slightly enlarged by damming. It is in danger of silting up because of the inflow during the monsoon. The outflowing water is partially used for hydro power. The dam collapsed in the late 1970s and it was rebuilt by the Chinese. The power plant is located about 100 m (330 ft) below at the bottom of the Phusre Khola gorge.

Begnas and Rupa Lake-:

There are about eight different lakes in Pokhara and besides the the fewa lake, the other two lakes known as Begnas Lake and Rupa lake located about 15 km from Pokhara are ideal places for relaxation, boating and fishing. Begnas Tal is quiet, clean and peaceful Get to Begnas by bus, or by a taxi, or cycle from Pokhara. Visit Begnas Bazaar for a unique hillside market experience. There are a few basic hotels to stay in and the odd refreshment shop. The walk along the road leading to Begnas Tal is fascinating, the seasonal rhythms of daily life in the country make great images.

Begnas Lake is Surrounded by pristine Nature, with gurgling mountain springs forming natural boundaries on either side, the Begnas Lake Resort spans a whole hillside of unspoilt forestland. To the North and the North-East are the great Himalayan snowy peaks, below which lie terraced paddy fields and the tranquil Begnas Lake, lending a perfect picture frame for the window of every guestroom. Surrounding the resort area are Chestnut, Orange and other fruit bearing trees interspersed by bushes of Coffee, Cardamom and flowering plants. The entire resort breathes of pure, unadulterated Nature. In this healing and life-nourishing environment, we have established the Himalayan Nature Spa that offers a wide range of classical Ayurvedic treatments as well as soothing and rejuvenating massages conducted by an experienced team of Ayurveda experts from Kerala.

Devi's Falls (Patale Chhango)-:

Devi’s fall is one of the deepest caves in Asia. This waterfall was first explored in 1970 by the B.K.R.E. Himalaya, and later explorations were made in 1980 and 1982 by D. Gebauer (Atlas of the Great Caves of the World). According to the book, the Devi’s fall measures 48 metres deep and 1,479 metres long.
Devi's Fall Pokhara Nepal
Devi’s fall is also locally known as Patale Chhango. This is the most fascinating waterfall in Pokhara and the first of its kind in Nepal. During the monsoon season the water level in Devi’s fall rises to an amazing height, the most turbulent water currents engulf even the safety barrier built around the falls. The increasing water level attracts local people and foreigners alike who seem to be rejoicing in the unusual very strong swirling and roaring of the water that takes a giant leap each time to show its uncontrollable might.
Pokhara is the only city in Nepal which is famous for water falls. As we drive by the river sides below the hills we can see several beautiful and dashing water falls flowing downhill and finally flowing to the rivers. The highway to Baglung consist of several water falls. The city itself has a Witness a unique waterfall that lies 2 Km from central Pokhara City. The water fall directly goes into a deep and narrow canal with no ends. It is believed that this deadly waterfall took the life of a tourist named David, who fell down into the canel and was never found, and hence the name David waterfall, named in his memory by the people of Pokhara. This place has many nick names like Davy's Fall, David's Fall or Davis's Fall, all mean the same thing. 

Mysterious Mahendra Cave-:

Visiting a cave when on vacation might sound like a strange attraction, but the Mahendra Cave is one of the sights in Nepal that has more to offer than expected. Located near the city of Pokhara, the cave and surrounding sights are worth the trip.

In the year 1950, young shepherds stumbled across the Mahendra Cave that was named in honor of King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev. Locals refer to the cave as the House of Bats (Chamero Odaar) due to this shy species of wildlife that call the cave home. Generally, the Mahendra and other caves in the region are explored with flashlights, but more recently lights have been installed into the cave. The lights have caused great concern amongst conservationists, as some of the bat species that inhabit the caves are very rare. Since the installation, the sightings of bats have declined as the lights clearly disturb the bats, forcing them to relocate. The lack of supervision when tourists and visitors enter the caves is also very disturbing as the constant noise and movement of humans is very stressful to the bats. For more Pictures of Mahendra Cave Click Here

Over and above being famed for housing bats, the Mahendra Cave is a natural cave that is made from limestone. The entire cave is decorated in spectacular stalagmites and stalactites that shine and glimmer when light is shone on them. Walking through the cave, armed only with a flashlight, is definitely more rewarding than when the cave is lit with artificial light. The stone that is dripping from the roof and covering the cave floor comes alive under the beams of the flashlights and increases the excitement of this dark adventure.

As one of the darker sights in Nepal, the Mahendra Cave gives visitors the opportunity to embark on an adventure. There is still much of the cave that has not been explored and gives the cave an atmosphere of awe, when thinking of the mysterious, unknown territory that no man has yet been privileged to see.


One museum display the life styles and history of the Gurungs, Thakalis and Tharu and other one Natural history museum and is functioned by the Annapurna Conservation area project. Butterflies, insects, birds and wild life found in the Annapurna region.

Mountains Views: Spectacular Panorama of the Annapurna range forms the backdrop of Pokhara valley. The mountains stretching from east to west includes Annapurna I to IV. It lies at the distance of 40kms from the valley and at the elevation of 900m. Among these Annapurna. Annapurna I (8.091m high is the highest peak. Mt. Machhapuchhare with its pyramid shape dominated all the other neighboring Peaks. The other peaks are Mt. Dhaulagiri 8167m, Lamjung Himal 6983m and Manaslu 8163m and Himalchuli.

1 comment:

  1. It is simply a visual haven. God bless all the people out there and help them in getting back to their old lives after the earthquake.Any nature lover can also visit Argentina to explore the beauty and dont forget to keep a detailed Argentina Road Map.