Pokhara is situated at an elevation of 915m above sea level and 200m west of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. Pokhara is richness of valley in pure natural beauty is indeed one of the main attractions to the visitors from all over the world.
Just imagine the joy of observing the majestic Himalayas, three peaks above 8000m from an elevation of below 1000m within a very close aerial, distance. Pokhara valley is equally superb giving as they do elevated close-ups to the snowy peaks.
The serenity of Phewa Lake and the magnificence summits like Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) (6977m) and the five peaks of Annapurna range rising behind it create an ambience of peace and magic. Pokhara is the land of the Magars and Gurungs who have earned worldwide fame as Gurkha soldiers. Brahmins, Chhetris and Thakalis are other major communities here.
1. Sightseeing around Pokhara:
• Mahendra Cave: Put on the hat of Tom Sawyer or Robinson Crusoe, and let’s enter the pious Mahendra Cave, a limestone hole with terrible stalactites and stalagmites (watch out!). To enter the mystery, there are images of deities carved on the walls which they say appeared naturally, and where they say… (Let’s keep the tale for the tour).
• Phewa Lake: Part of Pokhara’s beauty lies in the view of Phewa Tal. Of course, there are also other lakes, namely the Begnas Tal and Rupa Tal, but Phewa emerges as the model lake of Pokhara, especially thanks to the backdrop of the Mt Machhapuchhare (Fish Tail Mountain). You will, I am sure, be infused with the desire to touch the poetic reflection of Mt. Machhapuchhare on the lake’s pristine surface. We can fulfill that desire too: just take a boat ride.
• World Peace Pagoda: After a short hike, you will reach the top of a neighborhood hill, wherein dwells the World Peace Pagoda, a peaceful Buddhist monastery with a tranquil environment. It will feel good to be above here, you know. And, of course, from this viewpoint, the lovely landscape of the Pokhara valley will call for a picture or two.
• David’s fall: We all love waterfalls, don’t we? Well, other than the rushing Seti Gorge, which is an incredible sight itself to see, Pokhara also holds another roaring water body – the exquisite David’s fall, or the Hell’s fall, as the locals say. What’s more, there’s even a good enough spot for swimming too, especially during the early Monsoon season.
• Bindhya Basini Temple: Of all the temples around Pokhara, this one here has received the most praises. It’s magnificent. You will probably like it in the night, when the temple is animated in lights.
• Museums for the Interested: Biologists would be enthralled by the collection of flora & fauna at Annapurna Natural History Museum while the International Mountain Museum (a new building) houses an interesting ethnic gallery besides Toy Mountains. For historians, there’s a small museum, going by the name Gorkha Memorial Museum and, as the name suggests, pertaining to the origin of the brave Gorkhas, whose epic boldness battle with the British colonizers is much applauded even to this day.
2. Boat Riding:Tour of Pokhara is not complete without a boat ride on the Phewa Lake. Just ride it to the middle of the lake, where there’s the popular Barahi Temple, settled in a small island in the Phewa.
Paragliding (Fly like a Bird and See the World From Above);
Would you not like to see the world from the bird’s point of view? If yes, then we shall take a short hike from Pokhara to Sarangkot, where you can take a scary jump off the cliff and soar in the free air like a bird.
For your information, the greatest paragliders, with wind on their side and by take-off from high altitudes (higher than Sarangkot), can manage 1 to 2 hours of flight, and in that time, you can cover hundreds of miles (just watch out for planes though and, yeah, eagles too).
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