Welcome to Pokhara
The Adventure Capital of Nepal
Pokhara Nepal – Travel and Tourism Information
Known for both its breathtaking natural beauty and as a destination for adventure, the city of Pokhara, Nepal has earned its nickname of ‘Jewel in the Himalaya.’ Nestled at the foot of the Annapurna Range section of the Himalayas, Pokhara is best known for its fresh air, beautiful scenery and majestic landscape, but the city also offers a plethora of activities for both those seeking relaxation and those yearning for the rush of adrenaline. Here are just some of the activities awaiting visitors to Nepal’s second largest city.
Things To Do in Pokhara Nepal
Whether you are a paragliding pilot yourself or would like to try with an experienced tandem pilot you can trust, there’s no better rush than flying in the sky with the beautiful Lake Phewa below and the Himalayas at your side.
There are plenty of locations for yoga in Pokhara which makes it difficult to find the teacher you trust and the style that is right for you. We work with a trusted few yoga instructors and centers to help you book the best experience during your stay.
From one day hikes to two or three day treks, and even the famous Annapurna circuit or just base camp (ABC) choosing the right trek could be daunting. We help you decide which location, difficulty, guide personality and trekking company is best for you.
Enjoy The Day at Phewa Lake
Of the seven lakes located in Pokhara, Phewa Lake is the most popular. Flourishing forests line the southwestern shore. The eastern shoreline offers a never-ending line of cozy hotels, restaurants offering all types of worldly cuisine, book stores and souvenir shops chocked full of gifts to remember your visit. Phewa Lake is the second largest in Nepal. On calm days when the water lies flat, the Annapurna Mountain Range casts a mirror-like reflection on the surface creating a magnificent double image. The Tal Barahi Temple sits on a small island in the center of the lake. This two storied pagoda received numerous visitors each day. Visitors can rent colorful doongas or sail boats to coast along the shores or hire a boat tour for a relaxing sightseeing journey. Anglers may want to rent a rod, but some bait and try their luck landing one of the 100 different species of fish home to Nepal. Charters are also available. For those who do not want to enter the water, the Phewa Lake can still be enjoyed with a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the banks.
Visit Pokhara’s Many Museums
Pokhara is home to several museums that celebrate the culture, history and attractions of the city. One well-liked location is the International Mountain Museum. Established by the Nepal Mountaineering Association entranced Pokhara’s locals and tourists with displays depicting the history and dangers of climbers who tamed the surrounding mountains. Gear used on the many of the first accents of the Himalayas are presented as well as historical records of every successful climb since the first in 1950 of Annapurna. Visitors can also learn about the culture of the Pokhara area as well as the geology of the surrounding mountains and the flora and fauna found there. Upon entering the main gate, guests are treated to the mountain skyline shaped roof. Outside they can enjoy a 21-meter climbing wall and a 9.5-meter climbable model of Mount Manaslu.
Another popular destination is the Annapurna Natural History Museum. This particular institution was founded by the American Peace Corps in 1965. It’s large butterfly collection, earning it the nickname ‘The Butterfly Museum’ includes almost all of Nepal’s 660 different species as well as a large collection of mountain butterflies found all over the world. Because locals do not believe in killing animals to display them, the Annapurna Natural History Museum demonstrates over 90 different types of animals by illustrating them on life-size pieces of plywood. There are also displays of the numerous species of moths and dragonflies. Pokhara visitors are treated to exhibits that explain how tectonic blocks formed the Pokhara Valley and surrounding Himalayan range. Other exhibits showcase the various rocks, fossils and minerals found in the Pokhara area. A relief map of Nepal hangs inside the gallery.
Other museums located in Pokhara include the Gurkha Memorial Museum and the Pokhara Museum. The Gurkha Memorial Museum is dedicated to the history of the Gurkha army. This elite brigade is known for its intense training and hardened men. Displays deliver stories of the army’s experiences and includes photographs, uniforms and medals. The Pokhara Museum enticed guests with the history and culture Pokhara’s many ethnic groups including the Gurung, Thakali and Tharu.
Take in the Sights of Devi’s Fall
Pokhara is the only city in Nepal famous for waterfalls including the brilliant Devi’s Fall. Located two kilometers southwest of the regional Pokhara Airport, Devi’s Fall is an awe-inspiring sight. The waterfall marks the site where the Pardi Khola stream flows through a tunnel before falling through tunnels and arches before disappearing underground. Visitors can plant their dreams at a wishing well and take pictures with the many headless clay figures. Legend has it that Devi’s Fall was named after a tourist who vanished after being sucked into the sinkhole and drowned.
Test Resolve in the Darkness of Caves
The intricate water system of the Pokhara area developed a series of cave systems that can be taken in around the city. One such cave, the Mahendra, is the most popular cave in the country. Mahendra Cave rests at the bottom of a lush green hill. It was discovered in the 1950’s by Pokhara’s shepherds and is a rare example of a cave system located in Nepal that is adorned with stalagmites and stalactites. It is filled with limestone the causes electrical sparks as it continuously falls to the ground. The canal inside is completely dark so artificial lighting has been added in order for guests to take in the amazing site. Deep inside, a statue of Lord Shiva greets visitors.
Another breathtaking site it the Gupteswor Mahadev Gupha. The entrance to this sacred cave is found directly across from Devi’s Fall. With a length estimated at 3 kilometers long, the cave wows visitors with terrain that fluctuates from large hall-sized rooms to narrow passages requiring cavers to get on their hands and knees in order to crawl through. Decades ago, a natural formed idol-like object that resembled Lord Shiva was found deep inside the cave. In the early 1990’s the residents of Pokhara formally consecrated the object and moved it to at temple at the mouth of the cave. Today, guests can stroll down long flights of stairs to visit the temple.
Grab Some Clubs and Hit the Greens
Pokhara is home to the Himalayan Golf Course. One of only two 18-hole courses in the country, this 6100-yard layout with a par of 70 includes 11 greens. It has been deemed one of the ten most unique golf courses in the world. The course has been highlighted in international magazines and in feature and travel films. It lies in a canyon surrounded by some of the planets largest mountains and incorporates many Scottish-influenced features such as fairway mounding, the use of natural surroundings in its setup and split fairways. Golfers must contend with not only the many obstacles including cliff drops of hundreds of feet, but also with cattle and buffalo that roam freely. These animals provide this Pokhara course with the majority of the grass mowing. The Himalayan Golf Course has hosted the Nepal Surya Western Open, a prestigious professional tournament, for over a decade. It’s most famous hole is located on an island in the center of the Bijayapur River. It is known as the only natural river island hole in the world and has been chosen by top golf architects and one of 80 of the most unique holes.
A small village located above Pokhara, Sarangkot was annexed by Pokhara in 2015. The village can be reached by an hour-long hike from Pokhara’s Phewa Lake or by local busses. Sarangkot offers visitors a first-hand glimpse at slow-paced peaceful village life. From the Sarangkot View Tower, guests can take in a panoramic view of the stunning landscape and can experience the amazing sunrises over the Annapurna Mountain Range the village is famous for. Guests can take in top-quality bird watching and may even see a leopard or tiger. Sarangkot is also a jumping off point for paragliding around the Pokhara area.
Visit Pokhara’s Many Temples
A religious area, Pokhara is dotted with temples and shrines. The most important religious shrine in town is the Tal Barahi Temple located in the center of Phewa Lake. The Bindyabasini Temple lies a mere 20-minute walk from Pokhara and is the center of religious activity in the old bazaar section of town. Guests wind up a flight of stairs to visit this temple well-known for solemnizing marriages. The Ganesh Temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesh. Hindu’s believe that he must be worshipped before embarking on new endeavors to ensure prosperity. Possibly the oldest temple in Pokhara, the Bhimsen Temple is famous for its intricate wood carvings on door and windows. Perhaps the most beautiful temple is the World Peace Pagoda. Situated on the peak of Anandu Mountain at the southern shore of Pokhara’s Phewa Lake, the World Peace Pagoda is an enormous Buddhist stupa that has been painted white to symbolize peace. Statues of Buddha have been positioned at each compass point. The gold cupola on top can be seen from great distances. Here guests are treated to beautiful panoramic views of the valley below.
Enjoy Palette Pleasing Cuisine
Pokhara is home to a multitude of different restaurants offering diners a wide array of taste bud satisfying choices. Krishna’s Kitchen is a splendid Thai garden restaurant. Visitors can choose from meals prepared with homemade tofu, organically grown herbs and vegetables and can wash meals down with decadent teas and a superb wine list. Natssul delights patrons with a wide array of Korean barbecue, pork dishes, chicken and kimchi. The widely popular Moondance Restaurant side along Pokhara’s Phewa Lake. Its roaring open fire pulls customers in as they enjoy dishes of seafood and steak. Caffe Concerto keeps the mood light with jazz music and an open fireplace. Customers can’t help but be charmed by the warm atmosphere and the dishes of pasta, pizza, pesto, and other Italian cuisine. The New Everest Steak House offers 34 different versions of steak and flies their beef in from West Bengal. Pokhara offers many more opportunities to satisfy stomachs, the hard part is deciding which one to choose.
Trek around the Pokhara Vicinity
The landscape of Pokhara is teemed with trails to hike or mountain bike across. Whatever experience level or point of ambition visitors are at, there is a path available. Those seeking adventure may want to try their hand at the Annapurna Circuit. This 128-mile horseshoe-shaped trek winds its way through and on the outskirts of the Annapurna Mountain Range. Hikers who take this journey, which can last up to three weeks, will experience jungle terrain, pine forests and every other sort of landscape the Pokhara area offers as they cross over two separate river valleys. Voted the best long distance trek in the world, the Annapurna Circuit touches the Tibetan plateau during the point where the trail crosses the Thorung La Pass, the highest point on the trail. Trekkers can visit Buddhist villages and Hindu holy sites and are able to take advantage of the numerous lodges and restaurants along the way.
If the Annapurna Circuit seems overwhelming, Pokhara has plenty of other trails to offer its guests. Trekkers can choose from day hikes to week hikes that will take them through rice fields, local villages and subtropical forests. Those looking to spend as little as a day or up to a week may wish to try either the Ghachowk Trek, the Ghorepani Circuit or the Kahun Danda. Treks lasting from one to three weeks include the Jomsom Trek and the Annapurna Sanctuary.
There is more than one way to enjoy a hiking trail. For those who don’t want to walk their way around, Pokhara has shops where visitors can rent mountain bikes, grab a map or hire a guide and have some fun. The multi-terrain territory of the Pokhara area accommodates all levels and styles of riders. The Pokhara Downhill route offers bikers amazing views of the mountains and the World Peace Pagoda. While riding through villages and countryside, riders will experience a wide array of conditions such as staircases, slopes that range from mild to steep and suspension bridges.
Get The Adrenaline Flowing
There is more to Pokhara than its amazing view of beautiful landscapes. For those seeking adventure, Pokhara and the surrounding area provides a great number of jaw-dropping activities. Zip Flyer Nepal offers its Pokhara riders an intense ride down a 2000-foot vertical drop moving at a momentum of 100 miles-per-hour. Covering a distance of almost two miles, this ride, one of the tallest and steepest in the world, thrills guests with views of the landscape of Machpuchare Mountain and other aspects of the Annapurna Range as well as the Seti River. One of the tallest and steepest zip lines in Nepal offers those that dare 1.8 kilometers of dense forest views and jaw-dropping sights of the Annapurna Range and Seti River.
For those that would rather take to the skies, Pokhara will set your winds a glide. Paragliding services let their customers share the wind with local animals like vultures and eagles as they soar over one of five tandem paragliding areas of the world. The Pokhara area is blessed with lying in a location that has stable thermals and convenient take-off and landing zones. Over a dozen companies will enable their customers to fly tandem and experience the beauty of the Pokhara area from above.
Finally, for those that wish to keep their feet somewhat on the ground, Pokhara does not disappoint. Visitors can jump, swim and scramble their way down from waterfalls to deep pools. All gear can be rented right in Pokhara so there is nothing to have to worry about. River rafting tours allow passengers to experience the intimate passages of the delicate caves and caverns built by Pokhara’s intricate water system. Those that want to soar with the eagles can book an ultra-light flight allowing an experienced micro-place pilot to give the most breath-taking views of the Pokhara area.