Top Things to do in Pokhara
Pokhara is the second-largest city in the Kaski district. It is located 200km west of Kathmandu in the western part of Nepal at an altitude of 900m above sea level.
It is the second most visited city in Nepal and is famous for its tranquil atmosphere and natural landscapes.
Pokhara lies on the shores of the Phewa Lake with the Seti Gandaki river flowing through here creating several gorges in and around Pokhara.
Pokhara is famous as the city of Lake. Lakes in Pokhara like Phewa Lake, and Begnas lake, are the major source of attraction here.
Similarly, from here you can have a magnificent view of three out of the ten highest mountains in the world (Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manasalu). The Machhapuchhre (“Fishtail”) is the icon of the city.
On the other hand, Pokhara is rich naturally and culturally. There are naturally blessed places in Pokhara such as Sarangkot from where one can catch the magnificent Sunrise and sunset view.
Furthermore, you will get the closest view of Mount Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Machhapuchhre. There are numerous Gumpas and temples in Pokhara such as Taal Barahi, Bindabasini, and the world peace stupa.
In recent days, Pokhara is the tourism capital of Nepal.
Top Things to Do in Pokhara
Pokhara is a city with awesome riverside and mountain views from lakeside cafes, nice walks, and a chilled-out vibe. Many tourists that come for tours in Nepal make Pokhara their base. Lakeside is the center of tourism in Pokhara.
Besides, the sunrise view from Sarangjot, paragliding, and hiking to the world peace stupa is other activities that people love to do in Pokhara. Also, Pokhara has better accommodation options, restaurants ranging from local food, and great Dal Bhat to fancy coffee shops, and good pizza places.
There are several things that this famous tourist place offers to the visitors.
Enjoy Boating in Tranquil Phewa Lake
Phewa lake is the 2nd largest lake in Nepal, boating here is one of the recreational activities. This beautiful emerald lake is the heart of tourism in Pokhara.
Similarly, Boating on the lake will let you witness many birds paddling around the little island hosting the Tal Barahi Temple, Pokhara’s most famous Hindu temple.
You can paddle around the lake in the brightly painted boats. The boats are available for rent along with the boatman at Lakeside.
You can do boating for about 45 minutes to an hour. Boating around the lake lets you enjoy the wonderful landscapes as well as the view of the thick forest around.
Also, you will get to see the reflection of Mt. Machhapuchhre in the freshwater of Phewa lake. From the lake, you can see fascinating scenes of Paragliding and Ultralight in the sky.
Watch The sunrise view from Sarangkot
Other major activities that you can carry out in Pokhara are the sunrise view from Sarangkot. Sarangkot is, without a doubt, the place that offers the best views of the Annapurna range.
Sarangkot is probably the most spectacular viewpoint in Pokhara, a great spot to see the sunrise.
However, to catch the early sunrise view, you have to get up real early and drive for a 40-minute taxi from Pokhara to Sarangkot.
From this viewpoint, you can have uninterrupted, panoramic views across a number of the most striking Himalayan peaks, including the Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhare, Annapurna II, Lamjung, etc.
Paragliding with Stunning Mountain Backdrop
Pokhara is the hub of different adventure activities in Nepal and among them is paragliding.
Recognized as one of the top five tandem paragliding spots in the world, Pokhara has stable thermals, easy take-off, and landing sites, the safety of a large lake, with the magnificent backdrop of Himalayans.
On the other hand, Paragliding in Pokhara takes you up in the sky which is about a 30 minutes adventure ride. The activity is worth experiencing which lets the visitors gather ever-lasting memories with maximum thrills.
One could be a beginner or an experienced one, despite any age group.
If you are physically well then you are suitable for this wonderful experience. The experience of paragliding in Pokhara is only fun either way. Also, there is an insurance cover along with the package.
Accelerating at a height of 1592 meters, Pokhara valley looks different from the ground-level views, the humongous ranges of Annapurnas, peaks of Mount Everest, and even the Mount FishTail.
Cherishing every little observation from high above, one can rush to the happy moments by landing near a spot at Phewa Lake.
Therefore, paragliding in Pokhara is a wonderful flying experience that offers stunning views of temples, lakes, and jungles as well as majestic Mount Fishtail, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri Himalayan range.
Adrenaline Bungee Jumping in Pokhara
For nature admirers, Pokhara has something more to offer than just natural scenery. It is famous for adventure sports and Bungee Jumping is one of them.
People who live Adventure must try this extensive sport where you can feel the rush of wind as you jump from an altitude of 525 feet at Pokhara.
The bungee jump site is located at Hemja, only 25 minutes away from Lakeside, Pokhara. It is the third-highest natural jump in the world. offering a 75-meter vertical drop with 3 seconds of free fall.
It is a wonderful flying experience where you will have a fascinating view of the Pokhara Valley.
Experience Adrenaline White Water River Rafting near Pokhara
Pokhara is well known for trekking and touring. And apart from this, it is one of the best places for adventure sports.
With the amazing mountains and peaks, the river water is directly flown from the Himalayas because it is suitable for rafting and sports.
Similarly, the rivers are long and clean, they’re surrounded by amazing mountain, hill, and jungle landscapes. Kathmandu and Pokhara are the two cities in which most travelers base themselves on single-day white water rafting.
So, you can experience white water rafting from or near Pokhara. The rafting that can be done from Pokhara are:
Kali Gandaki River Rafting
This river flows down through the Kali Gandaki Gorge, which is the deepest gorge in the world. Kali Gandaki River rafting is accessible from Pokhara.
This medium-length rafting expedition is a wonderful opportunity to explore the landscapes in Nepal. The put-in point of this adventure sport is Maldhunga which is 3.5 hours from Pokhara and the take-out point is Mirmi which is 5 hours from Pokhara.
Paddling across the 55 kilometers long river will make you feel an exciting experience of class 3 and 4 rapids which will race your heart. The guides are usually friendly and highly skilled.
Upper Seti river rafting
The short and sweet rafting adventure of only 30 minutes from Pokhara’s Lakeside offers 1 ½ hour of non-stop adrenaline-filled class III+/IV rapids.
With fantastic Annapurna mountain views, crystal clear Himalayan whitewater, and a beautiful gorge decorated with a suspension bridge and prayer flag Seti river rafting is the ultimate half-day rafting trip in Nepal.
Marsyangdi river rafting
Marsyangdi is an ideal choice for those who want to experience an intense and thrilling white water rafting experience. The spectacular white water rafting shares some of the world-class rapids in Nepal.
It also shares the views of some of the most beautiful mountains in the Himalayas. The river lets you experience intense, challenging, and continuous crystal clear whitewater rapids,
Enjoy the delicious Lunch at Cafe
Pokhara is full of better cafes, restaurants, and hotels. The cafes and restaurants provide you with the services of delicious lunch. Pokhara is a paradise for food lovers.
This city is full of magical hidden spots where you can enjoy lunch with a panoramic view of the landscapes.
The cafes near the lakesides offer you the best food with the best view of the Phewa lake with the reflection of Mt. Machhapuchhre and Dhauligiri.
You can find such a wide variety of cuisine here, catering to many different nationalities and all their desires such as from Nepali and Indian cuisines to Italian and European, this city is full of delights.
Witnessing the Annapurna Range from Pokhara
Pokhara is a well-known city with a panorama of mountains. Pokhara is home to some picturesque lakes, and is, therefore, also known as the ‘City of Lakes’.
Besides the lake, another fascinating feature of the city is its sloped terrain and the view of the stunning Himalayan range.
The misty Himalayas which can be seen from all over the town provides breathtaking sights. The range of Annapurna Himal is one of the mountains that can be seen from the whole city.
Either from the viewpoint of Sarangkot or the base of Phewa lake, the Annapurna mountain range is the jewel of Pokhara. The starting point for the Annapurna Circuit trek is from Pokhara.
From Pokhara, You will be in awe of the dazzling sights of the Annapurna range from anywhere.
Hike to the World Peace Pagoda
World peace stupa is one of the cultural attractions in Pokhara. At an elevation of more than 1000m, this stupa is also called Shanti Stupa.
Shanti is a Sanskrit word that means peace in Nepali. The stupa shrine was built as a symbol of peace. From the top of the stupa, one can have a panoramic view of the Annapurna Himalayan range, Pokhara city, and Phewa Lake.
Nipponzan Myohoji along with the local people of Pokhara built this stupa. Standing at the top of the hill, the white-colored stupa comes under the second top attraction in Pokhara by Trip advisor.
A short hike to the World peace stupa in Pokhara starts from the Damside of Phewa Lake.
Then, after Walking from Lakeside for 2 hours along the trails through the forest, You can spot the fantastic white pagoda uphill and head towards it.
Furthermore, you reach the footbridge Pardi Khola, and then the route splits after crossing the bridge. We will walk through the right side on stone steep.
The view of the Phewa lake can be seen magnificently, after passing a small brick temple on the left and climbing up the regular step. Then, we will reach the world peace stupa passing through several cafes and lodges.
The stupa is painted a whole white which makes the stupa look more tranquil.
The stupa offers you a magnificent view of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Machhapuchhre.
Then, descend steeply along the paved path with cut stone steps, pass through several forests, and local villages overlooking beautiful Phewa lake and start boating there.
Evening Walk on the shores of Phewa Lake
When it is about Pokhara, how can someone miss the evening walk on the shores of Phewa Lake?
Phewa lake is a freshwater lake in Nepal. It is the 2nd largest lake in Nepal after Rara Lake. It is the only lake in Nepal with a temple in the central part of the lake.
The name of the temple is Taal Barahi. Similarly, located at an altitude of 742 m this lake covers an area of about 4.43 km sq. It has an average depth of about 8.6 m and a maximum depth of 24 m.
Likewise, walking along the shore of a tranquil lake with colorful paddle boats is one of the most wonderful experiences that visitors will have in Pokhara.
The evening life in Phewa lake or lakeside is much more active and lively. There are parks with lights, hotels, and clubs, pubs displaying the best cultural and rock performance.
Strolling at Phewa lake is about a lot more than fantastic evenings with great food and a great view of the lake. You will feel like dining with nature enjoying the food with lights and a lively environment.
Also, walking on the shore of the lake in the evening gives you different sorts of refreshments. Therefore, walking around the lakeshore at sunset is a beautiful experience.
Explore the Caves of Pokhara
Apart from the lakes and Himalayan views, Pokhara is famous for caves as well. Tourists are truly fascinated to observe the famous caves, including Mahendra, Gupteshwor, and Bats Cave.
Besides, there are several other caves like Harihar Cave, and Kumari Cave, which are currently in danger of extinction.
One of the favorite destinations for local and non-local tourists in Pokhara Metropolitan City is Mahendra cave. A 125 meters long cave was founded by the locals in 1951 AD.
The old name of the cave is ‘Adhere Bhuwan ‘ which King Mahendra eventually visited after reading about it in the newspaper. He then named the cave Mahendra in 1959 AD. Since then, tourists have had a high flow to this cave.
Gupteswar Cave is well known for religious tourism and is close to Davis Falls in Pokhara. The cave is divided into two sections with the 1st section only 9,992 feet long and the second one being around a kilometer in length.
However, visitors are restricted to enter the second section. There is a shiva temple inside the cave which is one of the major tourist destinations for national and international religious tourists.
The Bat cave or Chamero Gufa in Pokhara is a perfect destination for those who long for an easy adventure. As the name suggests, the bat cave is filled with thousands of bats thriving in the dark, gloomy, and moist chambers of the cave.
These Horseshoe Bats are found clinging upside down on the ceilings of dingy caves. In the end, one has to wiggle their way through a narrow escape.
However, this cave could get extremely confined for those who have claustrophobia
Trek From Pokhara
As we all know that Pokhara is a perfect destination for exploring nature and natural resources. There are plenty of places where people can feel the best of nature.
With its mesmerizing Himalayan peaks to the crystal clear Phewa and Begnas lake, it is a hot destination for tourism. Apart from sightseeing, several treks can be carried out from Pokhara.
From the natural and cultural trek to Ghorepani to the amazingly long and short trek to Annapurna, Pokhara is the starting point for all of these treks.
Short Trek |Ghorepani Poon Hill
Ghorepani Poonhill Trek is the most popular and relatively easier trek to the beautiful ethnic village of the Annapurna region. This trek lets you witness the Himalayan panorama and also lets you explore the local lifestyle closely.
Likewise, the Ghorepani Poonhill is a wonderful trek that provides you an opportunity to get a close view of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Annapurna, and the other Himalayan ranges.
Apart from the natural landscape, you can explore the Gurung and Magar villages in Ghandruk and Ulleri.
This trekking route lies in the Annapurna region with the highest elevation of 3210m. It is a moderate trek and anyone with good health will be able to carry out this trek efficiently.
The tour starts with an hour and a half drive from Pokhara to Nayapul. Then from Nayapul, trek for about 4-5 hours to Tikhedhunga.
Similarly, the next trekking destination will be Ghorepani at 2874m. From Ghorepani, get a view of the stunning natural landscapes as well as the panoramic view of hills and the Himalayas.
Then, trek to Poonhill and Tadapani which takes about 5 hours, and finally reach Ghandruk, a popular Gurung Village. After spending time in Ghandruk, trek back to Nayapul and drive to Pokhara.
The trek provides you with an exceptional opportunity to get close to nature and witness the village life untouched by modernization.
In Poonhill, you can have a memorable snap and capture the best moments of impressive Himalayan ranges from here. On the other hand, this trek is relatively shorter and easier.
So, if you have a short time but want the best of nature then, this Ghorepani Poonhill Trek is suitable for you.
Long Trek | Annapurna Base Camp
Annapurna Base Camp is a perfect package for witnessing the spectacular view of the Nepalese Himalayas, diverse terrain, natural landscapes as well as the culture and tradition of Nepalese people.
It is a wonderful journey to the Himalayas of Nepal. This trek lets us witness the diverse vegetation, culture, and wildlife along with the spectacular close-up view of the Himalayas such as Annapurna, Machhapuchhre, Himchuli, and Dhauligiri.
In spring the trek displays beautiful flowers including the national flower, Rhododendron. Besides, the trek even offers to witness the deepest gorge Kali Gandaki gorge.
The base camp trek to Annapurna starts from an hour and a half drive from Pokhara to Nayapul at an elevation of 1070m.
Then pass through several villages in Syauli, Deurali, and reach the base camp at an elevation of 4130m. Annapurna base camp trek is a trek to the base camp of the 10th highest peak in the world.
Therefore it is a moderate level trek and trekkers with a moderate level of physical fitness can complete this trek.
Long Trek | Annapurna Circuit
Annapurna circuit takes us to a region with diverse terrain, culture, and wildlife along with a spectacular view of the Himalayas. It is by far one of the easiest and shorter treks in Nepal.
The circuit trek is around the entire Annapurna ranges of central Nepal crossing the highest pass at Thorung La (5416m). The Annapurna circuit trek takes us through the edge of the world’s deepest gorge Kali Gandaki.
The circuit trek to Annapurna represents the stunning view of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Annapurna I, II, III, IV, Nilgiri, Machhapuchhre, Manaslu, as well as Himchuli and Lamjung.
On the other hand, the circuit trek introduces us to the popular tourist destination Manang, Mustang, and Muktinath in the Himalayan region.
One can experience the diverse culture, natural vegetation, geography, and different climatic zones of the Annapurna Region.
This challenging trek to dusty, bumpy, and narrow roads passes through several villages in Jagat, Dharapani, and Chame and reaches Pisang following the Marsyangdi river valley.
Besides, the trail passes through several Tibetan settlements with acclimatization. Then passing through Thorung Phedi the trek takes us to Thorong La Pass at an altitude of 5416m and finally to Muktinath.
Similarly, from Muktinath, drive to Tatopani and head up to Ghorepani Poonhill and witness the culture and tradition of mostly Gurungs and Magars living over there.
Likewise, from Poon Hill, hike down to Birethanti and then drive to Pokhara.
Buy souvenirs in Pokhara
Though Pokhara is famous for trekking and sightseeing, there are many places where tourists can shop and find something special as a souvenir from Pokhara.
So, you would love to keep a memento from a place that will always be in your heart. Shopping in Pokhara or buying a souvenir in Pokhara Is quite easy. As you will find the local shops around the street.
You will not have a hard time finding the place. You can take a look at the handicraft items, the Tibetan rugs, etc.
So, here is the list of things you will find easily as a souvenir in Pokhara.
Silver handicrafts jewelry
Yak wool handicrafts
Handmade clothes like sweaters, shawls, bags, dolls