The drive along the highway from Kathmandu to Pokhara was long and scenic.
Pokhara is a town with superb views comprised of valleys and now-covered peaks of some of the world’s highest summits, and the pride of the Himalayas.
Pokhara is Nepal’s western gateway. Nestled at the foot of mountains in a valley of great geographical diversity, its value and beauty are greatly enhanced by its seven lakes, valleys and gorges.
One of the local attractions is Petale Chhango, which is the Nepali name for Davids Falls, that features rushing water creating a roar before disappearing into an underground chasm. Water plays a huge role in this region, as shown by the Seti River that has cold, clear water. For the residents of the valley, it’s the very basis of existence, providing water and food in the form of a variety of fresh-water fish.
Like most of Nepal, Pokhara is rich in religion and religious rituals. To the north of town lies the venerated Mahendra Cave, while Bindhyabasini Temple that’s also located nearby is the oldest and most important in the valley. There’s also the hill-perched Buddhist Monastery in Matepani, from where one can get excellent views of the valley and also the countryside beyond.
Perhaps the greatest attraction for visitors to the region are the magnificent views of mountains peaks and glaciers, in particulr Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhre, and Annapurna.
For an insight into the Annapurna area’s people, geography, birds, plants, and animals, and to see one of Asia’s largest butterfly collections, drop in at the ACAP Natural History Museum located in the Prithvi Campus. Time is well spent at the pretty lake named Phewa Tal which is Pokhara’s most famous landmark and the popular rendezvous of all visitors. Lakeside is the area where one goes to see a bit of socializing and café life. Weather permitting, the luxurious garden on the lake is a fine place to relax.
Boats, canoes and sailboats can be hired in Lakeside and Damside, and one can visit the island temple dedicated to the goddess Barahi, and explore the opposite shoreline dotted with little villages like Gurung, Brahmin, Chetri and Jalari.
If you like the great outdoors, this is certainly the right place for you. With several diverse and interesting treks and rafting expedition options available at its doorstep, Pokhara is a nature lover’s and outdoorsman’s paradise. A day walk to the surrounding hills offers panoramic Himalayan views over the beautiful valley, and the chance to pass little villages. Head for the former fort at Sarankot, directly to the north of Phewa Tal. Other options are the ruins of the fort at Tulakot, Kahun Danda, and the World Peace Pagoda.
There are also several day village-tour options. Lumle, a traditional Gurung village, is an hour’s drive from town. An hour’s walk from here is Chandrakhot that offers good views of Modi Khola and the Himalayas. There are also the villages of Kaskikhot with its ancient fort and palace, and Dampus, which features impressive views of the Annapurna Range.