Posted in : 2nd Mar, 2019
At an early age, I was fascinated with the travel agency profession. Although I did not know anything regarding the business, I always believed it was the fanciest job to do. Between then until 2008, it did not erupt again in my head.
After I joined the travel agency then there was a passionate eruption. I remember the year was 2008.
Born and bought up on Nepal, it was ever clearer to me that tourism is the main thing which will help the economic development of the country.
We have everything here in Nepal. From eight of the ten tallest mountains in the world, beautiful terraced valleys, to sweltering tropical jungles teeming with wildlife. We are gifted by nature and people love nature. So what would be more appealing than tourism in Nepal?
Now, tagged as a travel agent, I had to have the intimate knowledge of the fascinating tourist destinations in Nepal. This made me pack all my bags and venture to different places in Nepal that were attracting tourists.
As I was born and raised in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, I had barely visited the best places in Nepal.
First, my dream destination was Pokhara. I was already developing itineraries and Pokhara was on every tour packages in Nepal I had designed. Although, I had been there two times, this time I wanted to explore it as a tourist.
Only 200 km from Kathmandu, Pokhara valley is a paradise of Nepal. This valley sits at an elevation of 830 meters from the sea level. This valley is also referred to as “City of Lakes and Mountains” because of its tranquil lake and the Himalayan peaks filling the skyline. Moreover, Swiss geologist Toni Hagen, who has walked 14,000 km in Nepal, has referred to this place as “one of the most extraordinary and beautiful places in the whole world”.
This 124-square-kilometer valley is dotted with a half, dozen lakes. The large, three-km long Phewa Lake is the major tourist attraction and for the locals the only attraction.
I took a bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara. I always like traveling by bus, love the magnificent sceneries, taste local food during small stops en route.
The drive to Pokhara is very scenic, you will be driving through the mountainous roads to Pokhara; you are greeted by the hills on the left side and roaring mountain river on the right. The winding mountain roads, fresh air, it is just blissful.
After 6 hours’ drive through the mountainous road, I was finally in Pokhara. I took a taxi from the bus station to my hotel. It was already evening and I was hungry. After checking in the hotel, I changed my dress and ventured to popular strolling place in Pokhara “The Lakeside”.
Indeed, the lakeside is where the heart of Pokhara lies. Everything revolves around the lakeside. There were tourist strolling, the restaurants lit up like Christmas trees with smooth tunes of 80’s rock bands. I entered into a restaurant for the dinner and decided to call off the day as I had to wake up early the next day for an excursion to Sarangkot hill for the sunrise view.
I woke up at 0430 AM, took a taxi to catch a glimpse of an early morning sunrise. The weather was fantastic and was sure to get the best glimpse of the mountains and the sunrise. After driving 30 minutes from Pokhara valley floor (830 meters) to Sarangkot at an elevation of (1,590 meters), I could already see the Annapurna Mountain glittering by the first rays of the sun.
There were a lot; a lot of tourists gathered there, all with their DSLR’s to capture the view. I saw a group who were from Israel kneeling down and all the individuals in the group were bowing down repeatedly as the mountain started to glow. I do not know why they were doing that and did not bother them by asking why??
Furthermore, the sight of shimmering Phewa Lake is stunning enough. Likewise, the north the hillside drops straight down to Suikhet valley, with a breathtaking vista of Mt. Dhaulagiri, the Annapurna range, and Mt. Fishtail filling the horizon.
After spending 1 hour, I was back to the hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast, it was time to start a tour of Pokhara valley
This was my first sightseeing point. Indeed, it is a dramatic sinkhole. The Pardi Khola “River” flows from the south end of Phewa Lake for two km and suddenly drops into this sinkhole. It is a sight to behold. I was at the right time, the water flow was massive and it immediately disappeared into the hole. However, you will be disappointed if you visit this place during winter as the water flow dwindles to a disappointing trickle. Persuasive Tibetan trinket- sellers are seen at the entrance.
This cave is also referred to as “House of Bats” and one of the famous sightseeing spots in the Pokhara Valley. This site is believed to be the abode of the red-eyed, long-haired demon Nidhini. Upon entering the cave, I found it to be so immense. I could enter about 135 meters, and then I began to feel claustrophobic. Every step I took was intimidating. The goal was to reach out to the outlet which is a small hole. I was determined to get out of the hole. There were few people in front and behind me. Many of them did not go further and returned back. However, few people and I made it to the exit hole. I had to be grabbed and pulled by one person after making the final ascent to the hole. Wow, this was a kind of experience.
It is recommended for travelers to bring a flashlight to venture inside this intimidating cave.
In the Nepal tour package, this is Pokhara’s only temple of note. What interested me more was its shady hilltop location, then the actual temple. The main temple dedicated to goddesses Bhagwati. I remember the day was Saturday and suddenly the atmosphere turned into a festive like with worshippers flocking in, a lot of goats and chickens were brought to be sacrificed. The park-like land, a moment ago was already turning red like a battleground by the blood of sacrificed animals. The crowd turned the silence into a scream and it was interesting though. It is advisable for travelers to visit this temple on Saturdays if you wish to see this type of environment.
This is a fun thing to do in Pokhara. Getting out on the lake is the best way to appreciate it. Immediately, I took the paddle in my hand and began rowing towards the beautifully forested southwestern shore. It was calmer in this side of the lake with the forest giving still water a deep emerald hue. It was already 30 minutes since I left the shore so I then rowed back to the starting point, of course, visiting Tal Barahi which is situated right in the center of the lake.
It was already afternoon, so I decided to visit the World Peace Stupa. The sunset view from this place is incredible. What could end the day more gratifying?
This Buddhist Stupa lies on the ridge overlooking Phewa Lake at an elevation of 1113m. Standing more than 40m tall, the Stupa looks as if it has been cross-bred with a lighthouse. The views from the top are phenomenal. The view from here is just about the best wide angle panorama you can get of this part of the Himalayas. Over on the far left, you will see the towering hump of Mt. Dhaulagiri and its westerly sisters, in the middle, raise Annapurna and the graceful pyramid of Mt. Fishtail and off to the right is Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Himalchuli and Mt. Buddha. Small café around provides the refreshments.
This was my last night in Pokhara so; again, I visited the lakeside for dinner. Matter of fact, I found lakeside to be my favorite place to chill, drink beer, and watch live music.
The tour of Pokhara has been quite an experience for me. There are other places in my mind that I visited after Pokhara. However, I would like to end my Pokhara trip here.
No doubt, it is one of the best tourist destinations in Nepal and every Nepal tour package had Pokhara in it.
These were the main attraction in the Pokhara valley. I had only 3 days’ time before I had to get back to my work. The trip to Pokhara was one of the experiences.
Customize tour packages in Nepal with Pokhara valley