Pokhara, Nepal; The city of lakes, one of the dream destination for Travelers

Pokhara ( Nepali: पोखरा ) is a metropolitan city in Nepal, which serves as the capital of Gandaki Province.It is also popular as the city on the shore of Phewa Lake, in central Nepal and sits at an elevation of approximately 822m. It is located 200 kilometres (120 miles) west of the capital, Kathmandu. To the east of the Pokhara valley, there are seven smaller lakes such as Begnas Lake, Rupa Lake, Khaste lake, Maidi lake, Neureni lake, Dipang lake hence it is also called the city of lakes.

People who live or have lived in Pokhara City are known as Pokhareli. In demographic terms, the Gurung people are the dominant ethnic group, hailing from the hills around Pokhara such as Sikles, Armala, Ghalel gaun, Ghandruk, Lumle etc., with Brahmin from Syangja, Newar and Magar making up the rest of Pokhara's population.


Flight duration from Kathmandu to Pokhara is approximately 30 minutes.

Pokhara is known to be a popular tourist destination for visitors from all over the world. It is also known as a gateway to the Annapurna Circuit, a popular trail in the Himalayas and famous religious place Muktinath. Tal Barahi Temple, a 2-story pagoda, sits on an island in the lake. On the eastern shore, the Lakeside district has yoga centers and restaurants. In the city’s south, the International Mountain Museum has exhibits on the history of mountaineering and the people of the Himalayas.

Why Visit Pokhara; the city of Lakes?

In recent decades, Pokhara has become a major tourist destination: it is considered the tourism capital of Nepal, mainly for adventure tourism and the base for the famous Annapurna Circuit trek as well as many paragliding and river rafting opportunities. 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.

Best time to Visit Pokhara

September to November is the best time to visit Pokhara; it is also considered as the peak tourist season. December to February are the coldest months in Pokhara. Apart from that, there are adventure activities like bungee jumping, zip flying and paragliding during the Winter and Spring months (April - May). Autumn season, a great time to visit Pokhara for budget travellers.

Why must you visit Pokhara? Some major Attractions of the city.
  •  Adventure Sports
  •  Phewa Lake and Davis Falls : Major attractions
  •  Different Caves
  •  City of Lakes
  •  Museums in Pokhara
  •  Temples and Religious Places
  •  Trekking and Hiking Hub

Do you love to Trek ? Checkout : The major trekking trials to explore in the Himalayas of Nepal .

Lets dive into more info about the major attractions of this beautiful city of the lakes.

Adventure Sports in Pokhara, Nepal

Pokhara is the most famous adventure activities hub in Nepal. There are a lot of fun and exciting things to do in Pokhara, loved by tourists of all age groups.

Some of the recommended list are :

1. Bungee Jumping
2. Annapurna Base Camp Trek popularly known as ABC Trek
3. Boating in Phewa/Begnas Lake
4. Seti River Rafting
5. Paragliding
6. Ultralight Flight
7. Zip Flying
8. Skydiving
9. Kayaking
10. Visit Bat cave

City of Lakes and Rivers

Pokhara valley is rich in water sources with 10 Lakes and 9 Rivers. They are listed below.
  • Phewa Lake
  • Begnas Lake
  • Rupa Lake
  • Dipang Lake
  • Khaste Lake
  • Maidi Tal (Lake)
  • Niureni Tal
  • Gude Tal
  • Kamal Pokhari Tal
  • Kashyap Tal (Thuli Pokhari)
  • Seti Gandaki (Seti Khola)
  • Kahun Khola ( Khola = River )
  • Bijaypur Khola
  • Furse Khola
  • Kali Khola
  • Yamdi Khola
  • Mardi River
  • Harpan Khola
  • Hadi Khola

Phewa Lake and Devi's Falls : a major attraction

Phewa Lake is the second largest lake in Nepal. It is a semi-natural freshwater lake enveloped by rani ban or queen's forest and stunning reflection of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges in the clear lake waters. It is also a perfect place to experience the ever so glorious Himalayan sunrises. One can hire a colourful boat called doonga and sail through the lake for a relaxing ride.

Davis Fall in Pokhara is an extraordinary waterfall which creates a 500 feet long underground tunnel as it reaches its bottom. This tunnel has brought the fall its name, i.e. Patale Chango in the Nepalese language, which means "underground waterfall." Fed by Phewa Lake Dam, the waterfall is surrounded by abundant flora. A landmark of Pokhara, Devi's waterfall is a must-visit when in Nepal. Witness the grandeur of nature as you see this colossal fall struggling with rocks to set itself free.

Devi's Waterfall/ Davis Waterfall is different from other falls in the country due to its natural phenomenon. It marks the point where the Pardi Khola stream disappears underground and leaves no clue of its existence. When the monsoons are at full power, the splashes of water against the boulders create a terrific site.

Museums and View points

The city promotes two major hilltops as viewpoints to see the city and surrounding panorama: World Peace Pagoda, built-in 1996 A.D. across the southern shore of Phewa Lake and Sarangkot, which is northwest of the city. In February 2004, the International Mountain Museum (IMM) was opened to the public in Ratopahiro to boost the city's tourism. Other museums are Pokhara Regional Museum; an ethnographic museum; Annapurna Natural History Museum which houses preserved specimens of flora and fauna, and contains a particularly extensive collection of the butterflies, found in the Western and Annapurna Conservation Area region of Nepal; and Gurkha Museum featuring the history of the Gurkha soldiers.

Cable cars in Pokhara

Annapurna Cable Car takes tourists from Lakeside to Sarangkot and back. Another one being built will connect Phewa Lake with World Peace Stupa.

Hotels in Pokhara

There are two 5-star hotels and approximately 305 other hotels that include one 4-star, five 3-star, fifteen 2-star and non-star hotels in the city.

Religious Places to visit in Pokhara

There are numerous temples, Gumbas (Buddhist monasteries) and Churches in and around Pokhara valley. Many temples serve as combined places of worship for Hindus and Buddhists. Some of the popular temples, Gumbas and Churches are:

  • Tal Barahi Temple (located on the island in the middle of Phewa Lake)
  • Bindhyabasini temple
  • World peace pagoda
  • Lord Shiva Statue
  • Bhadrakali Temple
  • Matepani Gumba
  • Akala Devi Temple
  • Nepal Christiya Ramghat Church, established in 1952 A.D. (2009 BS), the first-ever church in Nepal
  • Bhimsen Temple
Climate in Pokhara
  • Highest Temperature : 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) on 4 May 2013
  • Lowest Temperature : 0.5 °C (32.9 °F) on 13 January 2012
The city has a humid subtropical climate; however, the elevation keeps temperatures moderate. Temperatures in summer average between 25 and 35 °C; in winter around −2 to 15 °C. Pokhara and nearby areas receive a high amount of precipitation. Lumle, 25 miles from Pokhara city center, receives the highest amount of rainfall (> 5600 mm/year or 222 inches/year) in the country. Snowfall is not observed in the valley, but surrounding hills experience occasional snowfall in the winter. Summers are humid and mild; most precipitation occurs during the monsoon season (June–September). Winter and spring skies are generally clear and sunny.

Transportation services to and from Pokhara

Pokhara is well connected to the rest of the country through permanent road and air links. The main mode of transportation are Cars, Motorbikes, Public Buses, Taxis and the Purano Bus Park is the main hub for buses plying countrywide. The all-season Pokhara Airport with regular flights to Kathmandu and Mustang are operated by various domestic and a few international airlines.

Pokhara has extensive privately operated public transportation system running throughout the city, adjoining townships and nearby villages. Pokhara Mahanagar Bus Bebasaya Samiti (green, brown and blue buses), Mama Bhanja Transport (blue buses), Bindabashini Samiti(blue buses), Phewa Bus Bebasaya Samiti(mini micros) and Lekhnath Bus Bebasaya Samiti (green and white buses) are the private companies that provide public bus transportation facility in and around Pokhara Valley. The public transport mainly consists of local and city buses, micros, micro-buses and metered-taxis.

Pokhara city has a lot to describe about hence we are not explaining more. We will come up with another article about the things to do in Pokhara.

Planning to travel on holiday to experience extreme adventures in Nepal ? Read more of my Nepal travel guides and get more inspiration for city and hiking adventures, alongside historical and cultural sightseeing. Give us some feedback.

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