Trekkers throng Pokhara as it is a popular starting point for many treks in the Annapurna Range. The Annapurna Circuit
Trek is a daunting challenge that is fitly rewarded with striking views of Pokhara valley atop Mt. Machhapuchhre, while the Manaslu trek takes you to the summit of the lofty peak. The Sarangkot trail is a much shorter one, which is perfect for novices. Pokhara is a crowd favourite as it is the impeccable place to unwind, rest and rejuvenate after a long trek. There are many short hiking trails for the uninitiated as well, so try out a new hobby at Pokhara! While you're at it, try to spot some exotic birds - Pokhara is the favoured nesting site of the green-backed tit.
Phewa Lake is a must-visit - the freshwater lake soothes the soul as the smooth water ripples out, perfectly reflecting the blue sky. The banks of the lake are paved and lit, so you can take a long walk along the stunning water with your loved one. Boating is also allowed at Phewa - take your significant other on a date in the middle of the lake. It definitely wins on the romance front!
If you are in Pokhara to contemplate and discover yourself, the World Peace Pagoda
is the place to be. Built by Buddhist monks from Japan, the Pagoda stands as a testament to unity and brotherhood, overlooking Phewa Tal. You can either row to the Pagoda or take a bus, and introspect at this revered site. This is a stunning viewpoint too, from where you can see the entire valley. There are many temples you can visit - especially the Tal Barahi Mandir
which is situated on an island in Phewa Lake. Other temples including the Bindhyabasini Temple
, the Radha Krishna Shanti Ashram Lame Al, the Sitladevi temple, the Kumari temple and the Akalaa temple are revered by Hindus - a visit to these sacred places is said to assure blessings and boons! The Matepani Gumba is a Buddhist monastery you can check out as well.
Pokhara is home to people of the Gurkha community, who are known for their commendable military service. Check out their contributions to the country at the Gurkha Museum
, for a fascinating insight into the history of Nepal. If you're a mountaineering enthusiast, the International Mountain Museum
is a must-visit - this interesting museum houses artefacts from adventurous expeditions and even has a scalable version of Mt Manaslu. Try your hand at rock climbing too!
The Seti Gandaki River ends at Davis Falls
, which has intriguing local lore attached to it. The waterfall briefly disappears underground, and reappears further down the path! The Mahendra Cave
, the Gupteshwar Mahadev Cave
and the Chamare Gufa are natural caves close by, which you can explore - don't forget to channel your inner Indiana Jones!
If adventure sports are your calling, Pokhara is nothing less than Mecca to you - the charming city offers paragliding
and river rafting to all thrill-seekers. Soar like a bird over the magnificent Phewa Lake and try to touch the snow-capped peaks as you paraglide over Pokhara. You can take solo or tandem rides, depending on your expertise. River rafting and white water rafting are offered on Seti Gandaki and her tributaries - try to conquer the cold, gushing waters of the Himalayas on your way down!
Pokhara is quaint and idyllic in the sense that there are no auto rickshaws in the entire region. You can opt to walk to cover the sights, which is healthy and invigorating too. Burn some calories so that you can munch on the local Nepali delicacies guilt-free, as you explore the delights of Pokhara. You can even hire bikes and enjoy the fresh mountain air as you pedal away to the stunning sights of Pokhara. This affords the luxury of time a well - you can relax and spend as much time as you want at your favourite destination.