Nepal Travel Guide
Pokhara Area - Center of Tourism
Nepal Tourism - Pokhara
Pokhara Center of tourism
Pokhara Photo Gallery
Poon Hill and Pokhara
Museums in Pokhara
Gorkha Memorial Museum
International Mountain Museum
Pokhara: Center of Adventure
News on the area
Annapurna Region Trekkings - Overview
Pokhara (Kaski district)

Pokhara, known to be a paradise for tourists to relax and while away the time in this scenic city, specially after trekking on the famous circuits of Ghandruk, Ghodepani, Annapurna and Machhapuchhre. Pokhara has the capacity to accommodate 8,000 tourists in its guest houses and hotels and most of them would be booked to the hilt in years gone. Around 6,000 tourism entrepreneurs are running their business in the Sub-metropolitan city on rented houses. Around 5,000 hotels in the city are operated in rented buildings. Statistical records at the Tourism Office, Pokhara, show that the city would draw as much as 1 million tourists annually.

View from Sarangkot near Pokhara

Filled with lush vegetation and dotted with shimmering lakes, the Pokhara valley had as a backdrop one of the most dramatic vistas in the world: a 140-kilometer panorama of towering Himalayan peaks that in the clear air seemed close enough to reach out and touch.

Annapurna Massif
The Pokhara Valley is lying 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu, at the foot of the Annapurna Massif.

The city of Pokhara is connected to the rest of Nepal by two highways and numerous daily air flights.

The valley remains as beautiful as ever, and only slightly less peaceful. The valley's low altitude (900 meters) and sub-tropical climate allow bananas and citrus trees, cacti and rice to flourish, while a half-dozen lakes dot the landscape. Behind this lush scenery rise the snow-covered mountains. Dhaulagiri, Himalchuli, Machhapuchhre and the five peaks of the Annapurna Massif fill the horizon, rising, it seems, directly from the valley floor.

Pokhara can be reached in thirty minutes via flights from Kathmandu, 6 hours by bus or, more comfortably, in a rented car with driver. Those with enough time can take the traditional route to Pokhara, travelling on foot through Nepal's hill country. The week-long trek from Kathmandu is easy, ideal for families with children, and passes through the ancient capital of Gorkha. Simple food and lodging are available in small villages along the way.

Pokhara is one of the few places in the world with such a dramatic view in a subtropical setting. Machhapuchhre, for example, is only 45 kilometers from the hotels on Phewa Lake's shoreline, without a single mountain range between. This spectacular setting has made Pokhara justifiably popular with Nepal's visitors. For some, Pokhara is the starting or ending point for a trek into the Annapurna region. Others enjoy the peaceful valley for its relaxed pace-a good antidote to urban Kathmandu-and its many recreational opportunities.

The heart of Pokhara , the "new town" around the bus station, is full of modern shops selling everything from instant photos to videos. The town's old bazaar, stocked with traditional goods like copper pots and cotton cloth, stretches along two main streets in the northern section. A half-hour walk south of the bus station is Lakeside, a neighborhood of lodges, restaurants and shops-the area favored by travellers.

Phewa Tal
Pokhara's main attraction is Phewa Tal (tal means "lake" in Nepali) and the peace and quiet of fewer cars. Lining the lakeshore are a number of good lodges and restaurants. Budget travellers looking for a quiet place should try the side lanes leading off the main road.
Several larger hotels near the airport offer up-scale accommodations with expansive gardens and mountain views. The Fishtail Lodge at the east end of the lake is worth a visit .

Once settled in Pokhara, you may be content to relax for a few days and admire the beauty. It is worth getting up very early in the morning to enjoy the beautiful view of sunrise on the Himalaya.

Dawn is also the time to pick out the summit of Annapurna I, a 8000-meter peak in the north of the city. The large grassy meadow in the middle of Lakeside offers a clear view of the mountains, and is also a good place to watch the fishermen, some still paddling old-style wooden dugout canoes, heading out for their morning's work.

Machhapuchhre, the "Fishtail Peak", dominates the horizon northwest of Pokhara like an ice-capped pyramid. After a few days' walk to the northwest, the twin peaks which form the fishtail become visible.

The 6977 meter mountain remains officially unclimbed. It is not allowed to climb to the Machhapuchhre's main peak, out of respect for the deities who are believed to reside there.

Phewa Tal, one of the largest lakes in Nepal, is the centerpiece of the valley. Swimming or fishing are best done from a boat. Rent a rowboat for a few hours or a whole day and visit the opposite shore, stop at the small island temple of Varahi in the middle of the lake, or find a secluded corner of your own.

The old bazaar is lying a two-hour walk from Lakeside. The dozens of small shops lining the streets sell everything from silver jewellery to soap.

Day walks and overnight trips in the valley and surrounding hills give a glimpse of rural Nepal to the visitor. One of the most popular journeys is the three-hour walk up to Sarangkot, the prominent 1700-meter hill just past the lake's distant end. In Sarangkot the Himalayan range is stretched out directly in front of you. It's possible to stay in Sarangkot overnight, or to continue several hours further along the ridge to the village of Naudanda, another popular viewpoint, before heading back to Pokhara via Surkhet.

Begnas Lake
Day-trips from Pokhara
Rupa and Begnas Lakes, 15 kilometers east of town, less-visited alternatives to Phewa Tal.
Kahun Danda, the ridge to the east of Pokhara, identified by the view tower atop it.
Mahendra Gufa, a series of large limestone caves near the village of Batulechaur.
The Tibetan refugee camp at Hyangja, an interesting destination, and a good place to shop for Tibetan crafts.
Begnas Lake
Begnas Lake
More information and pictures
Weather in Nepal
Nepal Maps
Trekking Programmes
Nepal Trekkings: Trekking Profiles
Panchase and Ramche Danda Trekking
Lamjung - Taprang Trekking
Annapurna Region: Modi Khola Trek
Mountain Peaks Mountain Peaks
Annapurna I
Annapurna South
Annapurna II
Annapurna III
Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak
Dhaulagiri from Poon Hill
Peace Stupa