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Mountain View PokharaThere is good reason why many tourists have fond memories of Pokhara. It is the most popular tourist spot in the country, a place to view snow-capped mountains and to start off major trekking expeditions to the Himalayas. A valley like the capital, Pokhara is however, noticeably more laidback and less cramped.

Pokhara is the next destination after Kathmandu for many adventure and pleasure trips in and around it. It is often called the enchanting Himalayan valley with a heart of major actions and adventures. The best way to see Pokhara and surrounding village life in an honest light is to trek through it.

Peace Stupa PokharaYou could start giving those city legs some exercise by hiking up to the Shanti stupa situated on the hillock that overlooks Fewa Lake. With ample greenery and far from the city, the site is a treat to urban dwellers. Cycling around the city in the mornings is a great way to see the local life.

Pokhara is also the gateway to many amazing trekking trails. Lace up and hit the trails for a short refreshing trek. There are many short treks from and around Pokhara. The Dhampus trek is a fantastic two day trek that starts from Phedi which is at a short driving distance from Pokhara. From Phedi, trekkers climb through beautiful forests for at least three hours and reach the hilltop named Dhampus. The view from here includes that of the Annapurna south peaks of Annapura range including Fishtail. Dhampus itself is quite and serene, a good place to unwind and spend time with friends. The sunrise and sunset from here are equally amazing. It is not just a scenic viewpoint but also a culturally rich ethnic village providing you with a great opportunity to observe the daily lives of the villagers. Accommodation is usually in a small family run lodge which offers clean continental and local dishes.Beautiful Paragliding Pokhara

Likewise, the Ghandruk trek is a short and easy cultural trek providing some wonderful insight into the lives of the ethnic people whose villages are in the area. The trek offers great views of the Himalayas with mountains such as Fishtail visible clearly. The trail winds through scenic river valleys, rhododendron and orchid bushes and has some moderate ascents and descents.

Trekkers will have to leave Pokhara early in the morning to get to Phedi. The trail climbs steeply up the hill to our right towards Dhampus. Walking along this ridge gives great views of the Mount Annapurna and Manaslu. Through Birethati, the trail turns right after crossing the River Modi and reaches Ghandruk in about four to five hours. The trail here is quite steep.

Trekkers can spend time in neighboring villages or straight off move down to Modi River and climb up again to Landruk, walk through paddy fields and Dhampus Short Trek from Pokharamove uphill to Pothana via Durali village. Pothana, situated on the ridge of a hill, offers scenic views of the Annapurna range. Trekkers will then descend to Phedi and get back to Pokhara.

Simillarly, the trek to Ghorepani-Poon Hill, which is located in the Annapurna region, makes up one of the most scenic and fun trails in Nepal. The trek offers spectacular mountain views along with charming villages inhabited by the ethnics, dense rhododendron forests full of birds and deep sub tropical valleys, all set below the Annapurnas. One of the highlights of this trip is Poon Hill. When the sun rises, Poon Hill seems to touch the snow capped Himalayan giants.

Village Near Pokhara

As with the Ghandruk trek, trekkers begin their trip at Pokhara’s Nayapul, walk along the banks of the Modi River and get to Birethanti – a large village with many shops and teahouses. From there, the trail continues through the village, following the northern bank of the Bhurungdi river and then climbing steadily to Hille and then to Tikhedhunga. The next stop for trekkers is Ulleri, a large Magar village. The trail continues to ascent gently through oak and Rhododendron forests towards Banthanti, Nangethanti and finally to Ghorepani at 2775m. Trekkers will get to hike up to Poon Hill with superb sunrise and senset views and panoramic views of the Himalayas. Coming back to Ghorepani, trekkers will then move to Tadapani from where a downhill trail through forests reaches Ghandruk. From Ghandruk, it’s back to Nayapul and then to Pokhara.

Rupa Lake PokharaNow, let us switch over from trekking to another identity of the city, Lakes. The very name of Pokhara is derived from the word Pokhari, which in Nepali means lake. There are about eight lakes in Pokhara and besides the the Fewa lake, the other two lakes known as Begnas and Rupa lake located about 15 km from Pokhara are ideal places for relaxation, boating and fishing. Begnas Lake from Pokhara can be reached by bus, taxi, or cycle. Visit Begnas market for a unique hillside market experience.

Apart from Begnas Lake, boating in Fewa Lake is the most popular activity here. The Lake is 1.5 kilometer long and the second largest lake in Nepal. It offers an excellent view of the mountains and their reflections on the lake. Many restaurants and hotels are located on the lakeside and one can easily find a place to sit back, relax and enjoy great meal while enjoying scenery here. You will also enjoy boating Fewa Lake Pokharaon the lake. Most hotels and guest houses have traditional designs and layouts which match with the surrounding views. Hire a boat and burn off some calories as you circle around the huge lake. Swimming in the lake is not a good idea although there are plenty who dive into the clear waters to beat the heat.

Another reason the tourists visit Pokhara more now than ever before is for Paragliding off the surrounding hills and getting an uninterrupted view of the city and the lake. You can either do it yourself or fly off with an expert from the site. If you would like to watch the sunset from a comfortable seat in the air, supported by a buoyant evening air with prime views of Fewa Lake and mountains then paragliding is just for you.

Paragliding in  PokharaApart from lakes, another most spectacular sight in Pokhara is the sight of the Annapurna mountain range. This range stretching from west to east includes mount Dhaulagiri                                                   dhaulagiri ,South Annapurna  South Annapurna , Annapurna 1                                           annapurna1 ,Annapurna 2  Annapurna II Nepal , Annapurna 3                                         Mt. Annapurna III Nepal ,Annapurna 4  Mt. Annapurna 4 Nepal , Fishtail                                                  Mt. Fishtail Nepal. In Pokhara, the holy unclimbed mount Fishtail, 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 these 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!"

Pokhara is the only city in Nepal which is famous for waterfalls. As we drive by the river-sides below the hills we can see several beautiful and dashing waterfalls flowing downhill and finally flowing to the rivers. A visit to Pokhara would not be complete without a trip to one such unique waterfall called the Devi’s fall, a beautiful deep gorge with powerful scaffolding built around it.Devi's Fall Pokhara

The best time to view this spectacular sight is during the monsoon season when the water swells up. The landscape and nature that surrounds the Devi’s fall is as spectacular as the waterfall and visitors will find many photographic opportunities at this sight. Visitors to the Pokhara region are recommended to take a trip to this site to hear the legend of the falls and enjoy a peaceful afternoon near the foaming water. It is an area that is known for its beauty and tranquility, and the legend of the Devi’s fall adds a touch of mystery and adventure to this sight.

Also popular is the Mahendra cave, named such after late ex-king Mahendra. The limestone cave, lit with electric lights has some amazing rocks. Ten minutes into the cave should get you to the Bat cave with thousand of bats hanging on the cave’s ceiling.

The famed Lake side, a short but activity filled strip along Fewa Lake is full of some great bars, clubs and restaurants. Some of them offer some decent live music too. For food, the Thakali cuisine is definitely worth a try. It is the staple of the people from the Thak region is one of the most popular cuisines in Pokhara. Consisting of a typical dal bhat set with chicken curry and greens, Thakali food is best eaten at local eateries. Do not miss the amazing pizza at Mama Mia. For some fresh fish with your lunch however, forget lake side and ask for directions to Duna Tapari.

From budget lodges near the lake side to star resorts, there are plenty of options for spending the night. For USD 7.00, one should be able to get a decent sized room with attached bath. AC rooms come for upwards of USD 20.00 and resort charge upwards of USD 30.00 for bed and breakfast. For luxury seekers, Pokhara offers world class five star hotels too. It is advisable you consult your travel agent for the best rates and hotels.

Pokhara receives very good amount of Rainfall every year. Rainy months include May to September, where July is the heaviest rain fall season receiving up to 33 inches (about 845 mm) 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.

Pokhara is easily accessible by road and is a mere five hours ride from Kathmandu. A flight to Pokhara is roughly 30 minutes. Once you get there, taxis might be your best bet. Local buses are available too. For moving around the city, hiring a cycle for upwards of USD 2.00 for a day might be a good idea.

To sum it up, Pokhara has lots to offer to you like the sparkling lakes, oddly shaped mountain peaks, amazing local cuisines, a happening nightlife, a budding adventure sport scene and gateway to some of the most popular treks in Nepal. This unmatched city of Nepal will greet you with memories for a life time. All these await you in the country’s most popular getaway!


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