Pokhara is a Metropolitan and second largest city of Nepal after Kathmandu as well as the headquarters of Kaski District, Gandaki Zone and the Western Development Region. It is located 200 km west of the capital Kathmandu. Despite being a comparatively smaller valley than Kathmandu, its geography varies dramatically within just few kilometers from north to south. The altitude varies from 827 m in the southern part to 1740 m in the north. Additionally, the Annapurna Range with three out of the ten highest mountains in the world.
The Tal Barahi Temple is located at the middle of Phewa Lake. Many other religious places can be found in Pokhara like Bindabasini Temple, Gupteswor Mahadev Temple inside the Gupteswor Cave, peace and beautiful White peace Gumba and several others. The top of Sarangkot offers the amazing views of Annapurna range to the north of Pokhara including Annapurna and Machhapuchhre as well as the sunrise and sunset. Apart from these natural scenery Pokhara is also famous for many outdoor adventurous activities like Paragliding, Gip flying and many other.
Places of Interest in Pokhara:
Phewa Lake: the second largest lake in the kingdom, roughly measuring 1.5km by 4 km, is the center of all attractions in Pokhara. Brightly painted wooden boats and sailboats can be rented on reasonable cost around lakeside.The enchanting lake is an idyllic playground.The lake is neither deep nor particularly clean, but the water is warm and swimming is pleasant if you dont think about the probable pollution. The eastern shoreline of the lake, popularly known as Lakeside or Baidam, consists of seemingly endless strips of lodges, restaurants, bookshops and souvenir shops. One of the fascinating parts of lakeside is the splendid view of the mountains, especially when the still water reflects the peaks, creating a double image.
Devi’s Fall: locally known as Patale Chhango, Devi’s fall is an awesome waterfall lying about 2 km south-west of Pokhara airport on the highway to Tansen. An interesting modern legend says that a foreigner named David was skinny-dipping in the Pardi Khola when the floodgates of the dam were opened, sweeping him into an underground passage beneath the fall, never to be seen again.
Barahi Temple: this is the most important religious monument in Pokhara. Built almost in the middle of Phewa Lake, the two storied pagoda is dedicated to the boar manifestation of Ajima, Devotees can be seen, especially on Saturdays, carrying male animals and fowl across the lake to be sacrificed to the deity.
World Peace Pagoda: the pagoda is a massive Buddhist stupa and is situated on top of a hill on the southern shore of Phewa lake. Besides being an impressive sight in itself, the shrine is a great vantage point which offers spectacular views of the Annapurna range and Pokhara city. You can get there by crossing the lake by boat and then hiking up the hill.
Begnas Lake and Rupa Lake: the lakes are located about 15km from Pokhara at the end of a road that turns north from the highway to Kathmandu. Divided by the forested hillock called Panchabhaiya Danda, the lakes offer the perfect nature retreat because of their relative seclusion. Splendid boating and fishing can be done here.
Gupteswar Gupha: a sacred cave lies 2 km from Pokhara airport on the Siddhartha Highway leading southwest from the city. The entrance is right across from Devis fall and the cave is almost 3km long. It has some big hall-size rooms and some passages where you have to crawl on all fours. This cave holds special value for Hindus since a phallic symbol of Lord Shiva is preserved here in the condition it was discovered. An entrance fee of Rs 5 is charged and taking pictures inside the cave is prohibited.
Mahendra Gupha: locally called Chamero Odhaar, is the large limestone cave. Shepherd boys are said to have discovered it around 1950. A two hour walk to the north of Pokhara, it is best to bring your own torch to see the stalactites and stalagmites, although most of them have been carved out by souvenir hunters.
Bindbyabasini Temple: is the center of religious activity in the old bazaar. It is dedicated to Goddess Bhagwati, yet another manifestation of shakti. Worshippers flock here to perform sacrifices, and especially on Saturdays the park like grounds take on a festive fare.
Himalayan Vista: the magnificent Annapurna panorama that is visible on the northern skyline of Pokhara is quite incredible. The main peaks are Annapurna I to IV and the beautiful Machhapuchhare. Besides these, you can also see the Himchuli, Varahashikhar, Gangapurna and other peaks. The mountains will probably be hidden in the clouds between April and September. A nice evening on the banks of Fewa lake with the mountain range as the backdrop is what Pokhara is really about.
Seti Gandaki: flowing through the city, the boisterous river runs completely underground at places. Amazingly, at certain points the river appears hardly two meters wide. But its depth is quite beyond imagination-over 20 meters. Mahendra Pul, a small bridge near the old Mission Hospital, provides a perfect view of the river’s dreadful rush and the deep gorge made by its powerful flow.