Thursday, July 31, 2014

TRAVEL GUIDE: POKHARA – The Place of Magnificent Heights


Pokhara is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal. It is the starting point for most of the treks in the Annapurna Circuit through ACAP region of the Annapurna ranges in the Himalayas. Three out of the ten highest mountains in the world known as Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu are within 30 miles of the Pokhara City. No wonder this city has become a favorite rendezvous for mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

HOW TO GET TO POKHARA FROM KATHMANDU

Option 1: BUS

Take the tourist buses from the terminal in Thamel. Fare rate as of this writing is NPR 700. It is a 200km journey west of the country’s capital which takes around 6-7 hours. The road to Pokhara has a lot of switchbacks and can be very dusty during summer season but it offers nice views of hills, rivers, and rural Nepalese lifestyle. During the rainy season commuter’s bus can encounter a lot of road problems and thus flying from Kathmandu to Pokhara is suggested as better option. 

Option 2: PLANE

There are various reputable airlines that operate regular flights from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Although this option can be very expensive, it is deemed to be more comfortable as it can shorten the travel time to just 40 minutes to 1 hour.  Also, the flights offer passengers a magnificent bird's eye view of the countryside as well as the splendid sights of mountains themselves.

WHAT TO DO / WHERE TO GO IN POKHARA

1.       Feast on the superb views of lakes (Phewa/Fewa Lake, Begnas Lake, Rupa Lake, Dipang Lake) and Devil’s Waterfalls.
The World Peace Pagoda
2.       Visit the World Peace Pagoda (Shanti Stupa) - The first Peace Pagoda to be constructed in Nepal in 1999. This temple located on a top of a hill, offers a great view of the Annapurna Mountains. The easiest way to get here from the city is by taking a taxi (NPR 1000 two way) to the base of the World Peace Pagoda and then take a 5-10 minute walk. You may also opt to go on foot but this can be a little challenging (but exciting) as you must first walk around or row across Phewa/Fewa Lake then trek through the forest where leeches abound during the monsoon.
3.       Climb up Sarangkot and inhale the spectacular sunset.
4.       Go spelunking. (a) Mahendra Cave is the most famous cave located in Batulechaur. (b) Chamare Gufa or Bat Cave is known because of the innumerable bats hanging by the cave's walls. (c) Gupteswar Mahadev Cave is another famous cave because of its religious importance.
That marked stone 
5.       Visit museums and learn something new! There are two museums in Pokhara: the International Mountain Museum and Gurkha Memorial Museum. We visited the International Mountain Museum, a museum about mountaineering and its history where detailed descriptions and photos of people living in the Himalayas can be found. This can be a haven for mountaineers like us as this museum provides information about 14 highest peaks of the world together with their most famous expeditions. Entrance Fee: NPR 300.

      If International Mountain Museum is dedicated to mountaineers, the Gurkha Memorial Museum is said to be dedicated to the famous soldiers of Nepal.
View from Raniban Retreat House 
6.       Stay a day or two at Raniban Retreat House! This retreat house is perched in a secluded place atop a mound rising 420 meters of Raniban hill forest. It has the best view of Himalayan panorama, the great Fewa Lake, and Pokhara Valley. The World Peace Pagoda is also just a stone away from this hotel. Aside from its tranquil location which is perfect for relaxation and heart stopping views, Raniban Retreat House also offers good food and excellent services.  Indeed, a one stop best deal shop.

      It takes a little effort to get to Raniban, from the city centreor airport. You have to hire a taxi and ascend the 500 stone steps in order to get to main gate but believe me, the place, the people, the views, are all worth it!

SEE OTHER PHOTOS OF POKHARA

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This entry is part of our Nepal Backpacking Trip which happened last June 23 – July 01, 2014 (JUST CLICK ON THE LINK FOR DETAILS OF EACH ARTICLE)
·                     TRAVEL GUIDE TO NEPAL
·                     GOING AROUND KATHMANDU
·                     TRAVEL GUIDE: BHAKTAPUR – THE LIVING HERITAGE
·                     TRAVEL GUIDE: NAGARKOT AND THE AMAZING VISTAS THAT WE FAILED TO SEE
·                     TRAVEL GUIDE: POKHARA - THE PLACE OF MAGNIFICENT HEIGHTS
·                     TRAVELGUIDE: CHITWAN – THE HEART OF THE JUNGLE
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2 comments:

  1. You are right friend! Pokhara is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal. It is also the second and also largest city of this country. I’m tourist and like to visit in different and historical places in the world. I have visited there before los angeles to grand canyon bus tours. This city offered to see the natural beauty. The Phewa Leke, International Mountain Museum, Gurkha museum and Pokhara Regional museum are the most famous places for visitors.

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  2. Nepal is a just wonderful spot for tourist. I mean one can have the best vacation there with so many good memories. Thank you for sharing something about the NEPAL

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