Pokhara Travel Information
Pokhara, the most popular tourist spot in the country, a place to view snow-capped mountains and to start your major trekking and expeditions to the Himalayas.
Pokhara is situated at about 827 meter from sea level and is located 124 miles (about 200 km) west of Kathmandu and can be reached by plane in 35 minutes or in 5 hours by bus. Pokhara is the next destination after Kathmandu for many adventure and pleasure trips in and around Pokhara. Pokhara is often called the enchanting Himalayan valley with a heart of major actions and adventures.
Surrounded by beautiful snow-caped mountains, with a magnificent lake of crystal-clear pure Himalayan water, all-year round pleasing weather, and friendly Pokhralis will greet you with a smile and leave you with the most unforgettable moments in your life. So pack up your bag, load your camera, and get ready for Pokhara experience!
Places to Visit
The Fewa (or Phewa) Lake 1.5 kilometer long, second largest lake in Nepal, offers an excellent view of the mountains and their reflections on the lake. Many tours and trekking operators and hotels are located on the lakeside. One can easily find a place to sit back, relax and enjoy great meal while enjoying scenery here. You will also enjoy boating on the lake. Most hotels and guest houses have traditional designs and layouts which match with the surrounding views. The photo on the right is of Rara Lake, another popular lake located in Pokhara. Davis Fall, you will remember this snap in Pokhara!!
Annapurna Range Skyline
The most spectacular sight in Pokhara is the sight of Annapurna range. See the following image which shows eight important mountains of the Annapurna range.
This range stretching from west to east includes Dhaulagiri, South Annapurna, Annapurna 1, Hiunchuli, Fish-tail (Machapuchare), Annapurna 3, Annapurna 4, and Annapurna 2. In Pokhara, the holy unclimbed mountain Macchapucchre ( also known as Fishtail Mountain), located in the middle of the Annapurna range, can be seen standing right in front of our nose.
Everyone in Pokhara wakes up early to greet the mountains during sunrise. The reflection of sunlight from a mountain is always a breathtaking site. You will never forget the sight of the fishtail mountain standing right before your eyes saying "Good Morning!"
Begnas and Rupa Lake
The name Pokhara is derived from the word Pokhari, which in Nepali means pond or a lake. There are about eight 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. Get to Begnas by bus, or by a taxi, or cycle from Pokhara. Visit Begnas Bazaar for a unique hillside market experience.
Seti Gandaki / Gorge
Seti Gandaki and Seti Gorge are other two important places to visit in Pokhara. The Seti gandaki flows right through the city, it runs completely underground at many places. There is a local myth that the entire land of Pokhara floats on the Seti river. Rivers in Nepal are known for their strength and the purity as entire source is from the Himalayan range.
Mahendra Cave (Gufa or Gupha in Nepali)
Mahindra cave is located about 10km north from central Pokhara. It is a natural site located across the Seti river pass the Batulechours village.
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 `The Davis Water Fall'.
Other Places to Visit
Other places to visit in Pokhara are Barahi temple, situated in the middle of Phewa lake, Pokhara Museum, Annapurna Museum, Bindhyabasini temple, and World Peace Pagoda.
How to get to Pokhara?
Mountain flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara is the best option. View Himalayas including the Annapurna range which lies right next to flight path. So sit back, turn your head to the right, and enjoy the flight. Be careful though, this will blow your mind away, don't hurt your neck, do not push the passenger on the right out through the window!!
Riding a public bus or a taxi to Pokhara is also a good option. Public buses run daily from Kathmandu. It takes about 5 to 6 hours by bus. Buses are crowded, but that's how Nepalese travel all life long, so what the heck, go ahead experience it, it's only for a day! Remember, public buses do not have A/C, Heaters and have frequent stops on the way. Bus will stop at Mugling for Lunch or Dinner. Have some Nepali food there, if you can digest spicy foods, or you can pick restaurants which specifically cater to foreigners. Taxis are expensive, probably will cost you as much as the Air-fare. When you travel by land, you get to see more places to enjoy the scenery that you would not be able to see from the air.
About buying the tickets :
How to get Cheap Ticket to Pokhara ? Buy them directly from the Airlines located in Kathmandu. Visit their website and make online reservations. Upon your arrival in Kathmandu, buy tickets from their Sales Office. If needed, ask your Hotel's travel desk to help you find the airlines office.
Facts on Pokhara City
These facts are based on Data from HMG Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, and Websites of Municipalities. Last update on May 9 2006
Population About 170,000 thousand. It is believed that Pokhara was the city of Mallas, the rulers of Nepal about 250 years ago. The Newar community of Kathmandu Valley migrated to Pokhara, built houses like those of Mallas, and started developing settlements which lead to the development of this city. Today, Pokhara is developed by tourism, import and export business of both domestic as well as foreign products to various towns and villages in Kaski and other districts of Nepal
Land Area 47.5 square miles (about 123 sq kilometers), About half of the area is the Sub-Metropolitan City area.
Location Longitude : 83 58' 30"E to 80 02' 30" E
Latitude : 28 10' N to 28 16' N
Altitude 2900 feet (about 884 meter)
Distance 124 miles (200 kilometers) from the Capital, Kathmandu
114 miles (about 184 kilometers) from the Indian border located about 2.5 miles from Bhairahawa (Also called as Belhia)
Weather Pokhara receives very good amount of Rainfall every year. Rainy months include May to September, where July is the most heavy rain fall season receiving upto 33 inches (about 845 mm or millimeter) rainfall. Pokhara has a mild weather all year around, however during December to February, temperature can drop to freezing point. Pokhara gets more rain than any other city of Nepal. Best time to visit this city is October and April, but if you have an umbrella in your hand, then cross that out, please!
Official Holidays All Major National Holidays and Each Friday Half Day (Evening Shift) and Saturday Full Day.
What does Pokhara mean for Nepal?
It is a main center for the import and distribution of the domestic and imported foreign goods for various districts that are linked to Pokhara. Pokhara is the main entry point for goods going to the Kaski district of Nepal. Pokhara's population is growing more than ever, as the city has become the immediate choice for those who are leaving Kathmandu because of pollution or congestion factors, and it is also the number one choice for Nepalese living abroad for buying lands or houses in Nepal. Population of vehicles in Pokhara is also increasing. Pokhara will eventually develop the nearby villages and towns both by tourism industry as well as by local business, which will benefit all