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Pokhara - The Valley of Lake

If Kathmandu is the cultural hub of Nepal, Pokhara is its center of adventure. An enchanting city nestled in a tranquil valley; it is the starting point for many of Nepal's most popular trekking and rafting destinations. The atmosphere on the shore of Phewa Lake is one of excited vitality as hipster backpackers crowd the many bars and restaurants exchanging recommendations on guest houses and viewpoints, both by the lake and above the clouds.

Pokhara is a place of remarkable natural beauty. The serenity of Phewa Lake and the magnificence of the fishtailed summit of Machhapuchhre (6,977 m) rising behind it create an ambience of peace and magic. At an elevation lower than Kathmandu, it has a much more tropical feel to it, a fact well appreciated by the beautiful diversity of flowers which prosper in its environs. Indeed, the valley surrounding Pokhara is home to thick forests, gushing rivers, emerald lakes, and of course, the world famous views of the Himalaya.

The powerful rule of the old kings of Kathmandu, the Lichhavis and the Mallas, held sway over this valley for some time. As these dynasties fell prey to their own troubles, Pokhara Valley and the surrounding hills disintegrated into small kingdoms, frequently at war with each other. These were called the Chaubise Rajya or the Twenty-four Kingdoms. It was among these that Kulmandan Shah established his kingdom. His descendant Drabya Shah was the first to establish Gorkha, home of the legendary Gurkha warriors.

Finally, Pokhara is a part of a once vibrant trade route extending between India and Tibet. To this day, mule trains can be seen camped on the outskirts of the town, bringing goods to trade from remote regions of the Himalaya. This is the land of the Magars and Gurungs, hardworking farmers and valorous warriors who have earned world-wide fame as Gurkha soldiers. The Thakalis, another important ethnic group here, are known for their entrepreneurship.

Situated some 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu at an alleviation of 3000ft,Pokhara is a natural gift to our country. It has a rare Combination of the long arrays of snowed peaks, crystal clean lakes, panoramic Annapurana Himal and the warm climate, which remains favourable all the year round mansoon rains are strongest from June to August and other months are relatively dry. It has the beautiful Phewa tal(lake),Seti river,Mahendra Cave and the various places interest for the tourist like, Kl singh Bridge,Bindya Bashini Temple, museum, Davi’s Fall and Buddhist Temples.

Phewa Tal
Tal means lake in Nepali. Phewa Tal is the largest lake in the valley , measuring 1.5 by 4km .The lake is the Pokhara Valley.The lake is best situated for boating and Bird watching and especially photographing the scenic mountains. The excellent settings of the lake and the reflactions of the Annapurna Mountains is something , no visitors would like to miss during a boating trip. Annapuran rises directly from the valley floor and seems close enough to touch .

Bahari Temple
Built in the middle of phewa lake is dedicated to the goddess Ajima – the grand mother. The universal protector is the boar manifestation of goddess shakti. She is often worshipped with the sacrifice of animals.
Legend goes that on one fateful night.God came to a villages in Pokhara disguised as a traveler looking for a shelter . Only a poor couple offered him shelter and the only meal thry had . Next morning ,it was found that the entire village was submerged in water expect the old couple’s Therefore,in honor of the compassionate old couple the temple of Tal Varahi was built in the middle of the lake.

Sarangkot
Situated at 1500meters is a former fort of Kaski Kings . An early morning drive to watch the sunrise is the recommended trip. Nowhere else in the world can one enjoy such a magnificent panorama up so close. Starting from Dhaulagiri in the extreme left, the view includes Annapurna South ,Ist ,IInd ,IIIrd ,IVth ,Machhapuchhare and Lamjung.

World Peace pagoda
A massive Buddhist stupa on top of a hill on the southern shore of phewa Lake . Beside Being an impressive sight by itself , the shrine is a great lake and pokhara City.

Davi’s fall
Lacally known as patale Chhahgo is an awesome waterfall lying about 2km south-west of Pokhara airport on the highway to Tansen .
Legend has it that in the month of july 1961, a Swiss couple were bathing in the stream Pardi Khola , Just above the fall. A sudden flood from the Fewa Dam swept away Mrs. Davi and mysteriously disappeared down in to an undergroung passage beneath the fall. Since fall has been called Davi’s Fall .

The old Bazaar and Bindyabasini Temple
Pokhra’s traditional bazaar is colorful and so are its ethnically diverse traders. Newar architecture and craftsmanship is expressed in its temple and windows. The past richness is expressed in its art and craftsmanship.

Bindyabasani Temple is the center of religious activities in the old bazaar.It os dedicated to Goddess, Bhagawati , another manifestation of Shati. On Tuesdays and Saturdays ,people sacrifice animals and believe that she will help them fulfill their desires and wshes. Legend has it that the stone image of the Goddess was being brough from binda , India to the Kingdom on the north of Annapurna . The carriers rested in Pokhara and when they were about to continue the journey, the image could not be lifted from the ground.

Gupteswor Guffa (Cave )
A sacred cave lies 2km from Pokhara airport on the Sidartha Highway leading South-West from the city. The entrance is right cross Davi’s Fall and the cave is almost 3km long. It has some big hall –size rooms and some passages where you have to crawl on all fours this cave holds special value for Hindus since a phallic symbol of lord shiva is preserved here in the condition it was discovered.

Mahendra Guffa
It is another interesting natural site across the seti river past Batulichaur Village in the north of Pokhara Village. It is one of the stalactite caves found in Nepal.As the cave has not yet been well explored, it is worth while to explore the interior.
Tibetan Village .

Tibetan Refugee Camp
There are two Tibetan villages in the vicinity of Pokhara .One of the them is called Tashiling and the other villages name is Tashi Palkhel. Tashiling is in the south past Patale Chhago.Tashi Palkhel is towards the north of Pokhara .The Tibetan people living in these villages keep themselves busy by producing and trading in woolen carpets and other handicraft items.

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