Pokhara Attractions, Nepal
Tourist Attractions in Pokhara
There are various exotic places of interest in Pokhara. Some
of these places are the Seti River Gorge, Devi Falls,
Sarangkot, Phewa Lake, International Mountain Museum, Fine Art
Gallery, Regional Museum, Karma Dubgyu Choling Nyeshang
Monastery, Mahendra Caves and Bindya Basini Temple.
International Mountain Museum
The International Mountain Museum is the home of
mountaineers, adventurers and summiteers worldwide. This
museum has been opened recently to commemorate the 50th
anniversary of the first ascent of Everest by Hillary
and Norgay. This museum is visited by various visitors.
The museum is set on landscaped grounds and divided into
various areas of interest.
Fine Art Gallery
The Fine Art Gallery is located near the airport and
modest in its setting. The gallery displays the works of
the owner, artist Yadab Chandra Bhurtel. The main part
of the collection are bold strokes worked on
paper and emphasize on the female form. Nepali culture and
landscapes are reflected in other works.
The Mahendra Caves attracts various visitors. This large
limestone cave is locally known as the House of Bats. This
cave is full of stalactite and stalagmite formations. The
exact size of the cave complex cannot be decided. A famous
geologist visited the cave, but could not cover all parts of
the cave complex or find an end to it, although he explored
for two whole days.
The Devi Falls is situated about 2 kms. south of the airport
on Siddhartha highway to Kathmandu. The Devi Falls is a sink
hole, where the Phewa lake drains into the Pardi Khola and
disappears underground and emerges about 200 m away. There are
various legends about the area, and it is a frequently visited
tourist spot. Locally known as the Patala Chhango (Hell’s
Fall), Devi’s Fall is a lovely waterfall. Legend has it that a
trekker (Devin or David) was washed away by the Pardi Khola
and mysteriously disappeared down into an underground passage
beneath the fall.
Sarangkot is situated towards the north of the Phewa lake.
This area carries historical significance, and derive its name
from the Magar language. The word Sarang means sword, and Kot
is the position from where defence was established and used to
store arms and ammunition. Most of the people prefer to walk
up the gentle slopes to enjoy the mountain views. From the
top, one can enjoy the view of the lake and township below.
The views of sunrises and sunsets against the snow clad
mountains are especially spectacular from here. Sarangkot is
also gaining popularity as the take-off point for para-gliders.
The Phewa Lake is the second largest lake in Nepal and
is the centre of all attractions. It is the largest and
most enchanting of the three lakes that add to the
resplendence of Pokhara. The changing light of the sun
on the Phewa Lake is an aesthetic delight. On one side
of the lake are clusters of restaurants and pubs.
Boating, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, bird
watching, fishing and angling are some of the activities
which can be done on Phewa Lake. The Phewa Lake is also
a place to enjoy the spectacle of a variety of species
of birds for which the lake is a natural habitat. In the
midst of the lake
stands the Varahi temple,
dedicated to Varaha, the boar, the third incarnation of Lord
Karma Dubgyu Choling Nyeshang Monastery
Karma Dubgyu Choling Nyeshang Monastery is set on the top of
the hill and gazes down at the sprawling town. The peace and
tranquility reign here under the shadows of the immense Buddha
figure. The monks inside the monastery are extremely willing
to help with prayers and information.
The Pokhara Museum display maps, photographs, musical
instruments, clothing, jewellery and clay models that depict
traditions, ceremonies and lifestyle of the people from this
region. The Pokhara Museum reflects the ethnic mosaic of
western Nepal. The lifestyle and history of ethnic group such
as Gurung, Thakli and the Tharu are attractively displayed
through models, photographs and artifacts. One major
attraction is a display highlighting the newly-discovered
remains of an 8000-years old settlement in Mustang. The museum
is open throughout the week except on Tuesdays and other
national holidays. The Annapurna Regional Museum, also known
as the Natural History Museum, is another interesting visit in
Pokhara. The Museum has an exceptional collection of
butterflies, insects, birds and models of wildlife found in
Bindya Basini Temple
Bindya Basini Temple is a famous religious temple. The Bindya
Basini Temple is located on the road to Sarangkot. The temple
is dedicated to Goddess Durga in her Bhagwati manifestation
and animal sacrifices are made on Saturdays. The shrine is a
shaligram (marine fossil) of black ammonite.
The Barahi Temple is the most important monument in
Pokhara. Built almost in the center of Pehwa Lake, this
two-storied pagoda is dedicated to the boar
manifestation of Ajima, the protector’s deity
representing the female force Shakti.
Gorkha or Gurkha is situated about 18 km north of Siling
on the Prithvi Highway, about 136 km west of Kathmandu
and 106 kms. east of Pokhara. Gorkha was the ancestral
home of the Shah dynasty and is connected with the
Prithvi highway by a good all-weather road. Under the
rule of the king Prithvi Narayan, the Thakuris, Tamang
and Magar soldiers
were known as
the Gurkhas. The Prithvi Narayan Shah built an impressive fort
with the temple and palace complex on the top of the hill,
overlooking the town to celebrate his conquest of the
Kathmandu valley. The Gorkha Durbar is situated about 1 km
from the bus stand. There are various important buildings that
surround the tank. Some of the temples of Vishnu, Krishna and
Ganesh are also situated near it. There is also a column with
a statue of the great king.
Flowering right through the city, the boisterous river runs
completely underground at places. Amazingly, at certain points
the river appears hardly two meters wide. But its depth is
quiet beyond imagination, over 20 meters. A deep gorge is made
by its powerful flow.
The Old Bazaar
Pokhara’s traditional bazaar is colorful and so are its
ethically diverse traders. In its temples and monuments can be
seen ties to the Newar architecture of the Kathmandu valley.
Located about four km from Lakeside, the market’s original
charm is alive and well. The old bazaar is also home to one of
Pokhara’s most important shrines. Locally called the
Bindhyabasini Mandir, this white dome-like structure dominates
a spacious stone-paved courtyard built atop a shady hillock.
It is dedicated to Goddess Baghwati.