Pokhara

Overview

Introduction

Most tourists stay in Pokhara or environs for a day or two to relax along the lake, but the main reason to go there is that, at 90 mi/145 km northwest of Kathmandu, it's the starting point for treks into the Himalaya—you can see the Annapurna range from town on a clear day.

There's not much in Pokhara itself. The resort area on Lake Phewa has better accommodations generally, although Pokhara has had a building boom, so visitors now have a wider selection of accommodations from which to choose. You can rent a rowboat and paddle out to a temple, located on one of the lake's islands (birds are sometimes sacrificed before the altar there).

Spelunkers might also enjoy an excursion to nearby Mahendra Cave, once believed to house Nidhini, a female demon who devours people and cattle. The white stupa on the hilltop across the lake is the new Peace Pagoda, worth the climb for superb views of Pokhara and the mountains.

If you're not planning a full trek, a day trek can be made to Sarangkot, a small village about a two-hour walk into the mountains. The mountain panorama you get from Sarangkot is far superior to what you can see in town, and in the other direction there's a fine view of the Lake Phewa resort area. The village has comfortable lodges but can suffer from a shortage of water at times. The night view of Lake Phewa is impressive, and sunrise showers the snowcapped mountains with exquisite color.

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