Pokhara being the central hub for adventure activities and with abundant natural wonders, there are many places of interest, landmarks, temples, Himalayan view-points. The most popular places to see and witness in Pokhara are:
Pokhara and its surroundings are the natural paradise. It’s an ideal location for Himalayan views with one of the four most beautiful mountains in the world ‘Machhapuchhre’ or Fishtail located here. The best trekking trail in world ‘Annapurna Circuit’ ends in Pokhara. Ghorepani with the largest rhododendron forest of 16 species of rhododendron and 6 species of pheasant is located near Pokhara. Sarangkot, one of the 5 best paragliding destinations in the world is inside Pokhara. Likewise, the deepest gorge in the world is also here. Pokhara has the greatest contrast in landscape and nowhere in the world can the highest mountains over 8000 meters be witnessed as in Pokhara. Pokhara undoubtedly is the extraordinary and one of the beautiful places in the world. The view of Fishtail and Annapurna range on the Fewa Lake creates an unforgettable panorama.
Pokhara is considered the city of lakes. The second largest lake in Nepal is Fewa Lake is located in the central part of Pokhara and is the prime attraction. Boating in the Fewa Lake is refreshing often done in brightly painted wooden boats upon renting. Lekhnath Municipality, popularly known as a garden city of seven lakes, 15km east from Pokhara, is worth visiting. Other important lakes around Pokhara are Begnas and Rupa lakes. These lakes are surrounded by sub-tropical green forest and medicinal and herbal plants. Though small in a size other lakes like Dipang, Maidi, Khaste, Neurani and Gunde have high potential and ideal for entertaining purposes like fishing, butterfly & bird watching and herbal plants. Dipang Lake is so tranquil and it is called a “Honeymoon Lake”. Though these lakes are little outskirts of Pokhara but equally good for boating, kayaking, sunbathing, fishing, relaxing, bird watching, swimming, butterfly observation and much more.
Seti Gorge is actually originated from the Machhapuchhre glacier and is a mysterious wonder Pokhara. Seti meaning white in Nepali; the Seti River runs through the main city with about 40 meters depth. The river has a dreadful rush before disappearing at a place called Bagar into a deep gorge. This gorge can be spotted from the bridge in the city like K.I. Singh Bridge, Mahendra Bridge, Ramghat, Prithivi Chowk and northwest end of the city.
Davi’s Fall (Patale Chhango)
Davi’s fall is a wonderful fall where the water of Fewa Lake falls down into the deep rocky gorge. If the volume of water falling down the gorge is high, it forms an amazing scene of a rainbow with sunlight and produces water vapors especially during the summer seasons.
Pokhara has several limestone caves which are interesting geographical locations. Some of the amusing and popular caves are Mahendra cave, Bat’s cave, Crystal cave, Gupesthwor cave. Crystal cave is towards the northern section of Pokhara at the Batule Chaur area. Gupteshwor cave is dedicated to the Hindu Lord Shiva towards the opposite side of Davis’ Fall. A small temple of Shiva can be found inside the cave.
The museum is located at Prithivi Narayan Campus east of the old bazaar. It is also called the natural history museum with the exceptional collection of butterflies, insects, birds as well as samples of various precious and semi-precious stones and volcanic rocks.
Gurkha Memorial Museum
The world famous Gurkha soldiers reside in Pokhara and it’s surrounding areas. Gurkha Memorial Museum is established reminding the reminiscence of those soldiers and is located inside the premises of British Camp in Pokhara. The museum has a collection of used uniforms, medals, pictures and materials used by Gurkha soldiers during the first and second world wars.
Tal Barahi Temple
It’s the temple on a small island located in the middle of Fewa Lake. From the shore of Fewa, it takes just 10 minutes to reach the temple. From the temple is a great view of the green forest just beyond the south side of the lake and the amazing reflection of the Annapurna and Fishtail mountains on the lake surface. During the biggest Nepali Hindu festival of ‘Dasai’ in September/October, there’s a major celebration at this temple.
This temple is situated on the eastern shore of Phewa Lake in the premises of Miteri Park.
Towards the north end of the old bazaar, there’s a small hill where the temple is located at it’s top. It is the most popular temple and believed to be one of the oldest temples in the valley. On lucky days Hindu wedding ceremony taking place can be witnessed in the temple premises.
Old Bazaar Area (Heritage Site of Pokhara)
Just south beneath the Bindabasini Temple in the heart of the city is the old bazaar. In fact, it’s the historical Newari community bazaar and this area has been protected as an old heritage site of Pokhara. There are old houses, temples inside the bazaar and one can observe the cultural and day to day lives of the Newars.
Bhadrakali Temple & Buddhist Monastery
4 km away from the Pokhara airport at Matepani has Hindu temple and Buddhist monastery located harmoniously on a nearby hillock which is surrounded by rich luscious forest. This location commands great views of the Pokhara city and the adjacent Himalayas. It’s also the ideal location for bird and butterfly watching including half-day hikes.
World Peace Pagoda
Just above the Fewa Lake on a hill top of the Rani Ban is a massive Buddhist Stupa which is known as World Peace Pagoda. The stupa is a symbol of peace where huge statues of Lord Buddha from Japan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand are placed. One can have majestic views of the Himalayas, lakes and Pokhara city from here. The stupa can be reached after boating at Fewa lake and a small hike to the top. Alternatively, you can start the climb from Chorepatan closer to Davis Falls.
Annapurna Base Camp
The Annapurna Base Camp is a high glacial basin lying 40 km directly north of Pokhara. This oval-shaped plateau sits at an altitude of over 4000 meters, and is surrounded by a ring of mountains, the Annapurna range, most of which are over 7000 meters. With the only entrance a narrow valley between the peaks of Hiunchuli and Machapuchare, where run-off from glaciers drain into Modi Khola River. The Base Camp is believed to be the home of several deities, from Hinduism and Buddhism as well as older animistic gods. The peak of Machapuchare at the entrance is believed to be the home of the god Shiva.
Ghorepani (Poonhill) is the best place for the spectacular view of Annapurna region as anyone can easily reach here. Ghorepani is a village in Myagdi District in the Dhaulagiri Zone of northern-central Nepal. It lies 17 kilometers from the district capital of Beni at an elevation of approximately 2874 m (9429 ft). The village lies within the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) and contains a number of “guest houses” that provide lodging and meals to mountain trekkers, many of whom spend the night before a pre-dawn trek to the top of nearby Poonhill (3210m/10531 ft) to watch the sunrise.
Mustang formerly Kingdom of Lo, is a remote and isolated region of the Nepali Himalayas. The Upper Mustang was a restricted demilitarized area until 1992 which makes it one of the most preserved regions in the world, with a majority of the population still speaking traditional Tibetan languages. Tibetan culture has been preserved by the relative isolation of the region from the outside world. Upper Mustang is more fascinating to observe the multiple colored flowers, lands with bushes and the snow covered peaks in the background of the wonderful landscape. Along the Upper Mustang, one can see the glorious panorama of the mountain ranges including Dhaulagiri (8167m), Annapurna I (8091m), Manaslu range (8,163m).
Muktinath is a sacred place for both Hindus and Buddhists located in Muktinath Valley at an altitude of 3,710 meters at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass (part of the Himalayas) in Mustang, Nepal. A Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is in the Muktinath area and other important sites are the 108 water spouts where it is believed flows the holy water. Closer by is the holy pond where Hindus take a dip and also take a bath in the holy waters believed to wash away their sins. Nearby is the Jawalmai Temple where internal flame has been burning from the ancient times. Likewise for Buddhist pilgrimage, a monastery is located side by side the temple.
Ghandruk village is mainly in-habitat by Gurung community, and there’s also a Gurung Museum in the village. Great views of Himalayas can be observed from Ghandruk like Annapurna South, Gangapurna, Annapurna III, Hiunchuli, Machhapuchhre Himal. Ghandruk is a popular place for treks in the Annapurna range of Nepal( i.e. specially for Annapurna Base camp trek), with easy trails and various accommodation possibilities. From Ghandruk there are views to the mountains of Annapurna including Machapuchare, Himchuli.
Chitwan National Park
The Chitwan National Park is a very popular tourist destination in Nepal. Visitors have the option to enter the park from the eastern town of Sauraha or the western village of Meghauli. Sauraha is the most popular entrance and is where most of all the package tours go. It has more than 150 hotels for all budgets, dozens of restaurants and bars and many tour agencies offering jungle treks and elephant safaries. Meghauli Village is a small Tharu settlement recently open as a “village tourism destination” with the creation of 5 Tharu Homestays. Here there are also 7 luxury jungle resorts and all the infrastructure to run the same jungle activities than in Sauraha, but in a much more intimate environment and with the plus of offering a real Nepali village experience. But here there are no ATMs, internet cafes or souvenir shops, and just a hand full of local restaurants.
It is believed that the founder of Buddhism, Buddha was born in Lumbini of Nepal. Lumbini has served as the sacred place for Buddhist all around the Globe. The peaceful vibes and the scenic beauty of the holy place Lumbini makes you feel like the paradise. You get a chance to discover the history the sacred place along with the experience of the Mayadevi Temple, holy pond. Lumbini offers you the great archaeological triumph of mankind, including 62 archaeological sites exhibiting different events in Buddha’s life.
Thorong La or Thorung La is a mountain pass with an elevation of 5,416 metres (17,769 ft) above sea level in the Damodar Himal, north of the Annapurna Himal, in central Nepal. The pass is located on a trail which connects the village of Manang in the Manang District to the east, with the temple of Muktinath and the nearby village of Ranipauwa, in the Mustang District to the west. Thorong La is the highest point on the Annapurna Circuit, a 300 km (190 mi) route around the Annapurna mountain range. In addition to trekkers, the pass is regularly used by local traders.
Dhampus provides some majestic close-up views of the snow-capped peaks like the Annapurna’s and other panoramic mountains The sunset and sunrise views over the Himalayas are also equally mesmerizing from Dhampus. Besides great mountain views, one also get to witness serine and beautiful countryside of Nepal including observing the daily lives of the people living in the mountains as well as have some interaction with the locals. Dhampus is also the gateway to the Annapurna Conservation Area and also the entry points for the trek to the Annapurna Base Camp.
Mardi Himal Base Camp
Mardi Himal is located east of Modi Khola and across the Hiunchuli Valley. Mardi Himal is off-the-beaten paths and away from crowded trails. Situated just east of the Annapurna Base Camp, the Mardi Himal is a hidden gem, as few travelers make their way to Mardi Himal’s Base Camp. Mardi Himal also pleases you with the beauty of flora and fauna. En-route trek to Mardi Himal some great Himalayan panorama can be observed from Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m) to Mt. Annapurna (8091m), Annapurna II (7937m), Annapurna III (7555m), Annapurna IV (7525m), Annapurna south (7219m), Hiunchuli (6441m) and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail Mountain) (6988m) etc.