Pokhara is the 3rd largest city of Nepal. Located on the mid-western terrains at Kaski district, it has established itself as an ultimate holiday getaway and is popular for its exotic locations, cheaper accommodations, recreations and sports, in recent times. Located about 200 km west of Kathmandu, it is connected via 174 km (108 mi) long Prithi Highway.
Due to its close proximity to Annapurna region, trekkers tend to make a brief/long stop at Pokhara before and after the trek.
Pokhara Regional Airport, the only airport in the region, connects Kathmandu and Manang via daily flights. The major highways link the city with major commercial towns of different districts, which has helped in flourishing trade between western and eastern states of Nepal. Pokhara bus park and Baglung bus park are the operating bus stops in Pokhara.
Located on the old trading route between China and India, the King of Kaski district in mid 18th century envisioned it as a major commercial center. Earlier a part of Chaubise Rajya (24 Kingdoms of Nepal), it was later annexed to Greater Nepal by Prithvi Narayan Shah during 1786. It had by then become an important trading place on the routes from Kathmandu to Jumla and from India to Tibet.
Pokhara, during earliest time, was mostly inhabited by the Brahmin, Chhetries and Thakuri tribe of people. Later, Newars of Bhaktapur city migrating to Pokhara and the establishment of British Army recruitment center brought the influx of indigenous tribes into the region.
Also accommodating the newer immigrants of Tibetan refugees, the total population of Pokhara is estimated at 1,000,000, today (Nepal Census 2013).
The western Himalaya tribesmen often visit Pokhara to sell sheep and other cattle, mostly before the Hindu festival of Dashain.
Today, Pokhara, mostly the lakeside section (Baidam), has been recognized as the major recreational destination in Nepal. The modern settlements and rapid urbanization has amassed major inflow of foreign migrants into the region.
Weather & Temperature
Pokhara’s weather is sub-tropical with moderate temperature most of the times. During summer, the temperature may sore up to 25 to 35°C and during winters it may drop down to 15 to -2°C. The major geographical factor of the region is it’s location on the foot-hills, causing continuous rainfall. Pokhara counts as a region with highest rainfall (5,600 mm/year) in the whole Nepal, where most downpour takes place during Summer/monsoon season (June-August).
∞Places to go∞
(Main Article: Annapurna Circuit Trek)
The starting point for Annapurna base camp trek, along with Ghorepani-Poon hill and Ghandruk trek, are located in close proximity to Pokhara. Trekkers returning from their 3 weeks long Circuit trek also end their trip at Pokhara. 3 of the 8 highest mountains in Nepal; Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu, are located within the 30 km. Influx of tourists has risen in recent times to enjoy the close views of these mountains.
Out of many lakes found in the region, Phewa lake, Begnas lake and Rupa lake are considered the major lakes of Pokhara. The banks of Phewa is most populated compared to others.
- Mahendra Cave
Mahendra cave is the most popular among many cave found in Pokhara. It is located in Batulechaur, at the northern end of the Pokhara city.
- Davis Fall
Davis Falls (Underworld falls) is a waterfall located at Pokhara. Named after a Swiss tourist who was swept away in the very location, the interesting aspect of the falls is that the water travels through a natural tunnel prior. The water from the fall flow about 500 ft through the natural tunnel at the depth of 100 ft.
Sarangkot 1,600 m (4,921 ft) is a beautiful village on the top of a hill. It is a popular tourist destination located on the outskirts of Pokhara. One can enjoy the majestic vistas of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna mountain ranges from the top. The popular sports of Pokhara; Paragliding and Zip line, take place at Sarangkot.
- Purano Bazaar
Pokhara Bazaar or Purano Bazaar, 4 km away from Phewa Lake, is the oldest known settlement of the grater Pokhara region. Ethnically diverse and rich in local traditions, the arts and architecture here bear a close resemblance to the Newari architecture of the Kathmandu Valley. Visiting Purano bazaar, one can find a stark contrast between the newer and older settlements of Pokhara.
∞Hotels & Accommodation∞
- Star Hotels & lodges
Fish tail lodge (5-Star), Fulbari resort (5-Star),Fermount hotel, Hotel Barahi, Shanri-La Village resort, Waterfront Resort and Fewa prince.
- Guest Houses
Most of the guest houses in Pokhara are located in lakeside vicinity. The minimal charge of a room p.night can be Rs. 500 or lesser, with rates going higher during peak tourist seasons.
- Bars & Diners
Pokhara Thakali Kitchen, Busy Bee, Club Amsterdam, Mike’s Breakfast, German bakery and so on. Busy Bee and Club Amsterdam, both located at the lakeside, are the most popular bars at Pokhara with Live musical performances shown every night.
∞Sports & Activities∞
- Paragliding -Paragliding in Pokhara takes place at Sarangkot. One can do tandem flights (30-40 mins), cross-country flights (1 hr+) and expedition tandem flights (several hours). The tandem flights take off from Sarangkot and land at the lakeside, Pokhara.
- Zipline -Introduced in early 2011, zip line has been attracting many adventure and sports enthusiasts to Pokhara. Released from the top of Sarangkot, 1.8 km long with a 600 m vertical drop, it is an extreme adrenaline rushing sport.
- Boating -Boating can mostly be done in Phewa lake. Generally, a passenger can choose to boat himself or take a rower along.
- Cycling -The wider landscape and mostly open roads encourages cycling in the region. One can hire a cycle for a day or half and visit almost every tourist spots of Pokhara.