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Kathmandu To Pokhara Visit
It has been a long time we did not backpack due to lockdown. My wife and I decided to visit medium distance travel. The very first place that comes to our mind to visit nearby Kathmandu was Pokhara. Pokhara Valley is famous for Lakes, Caves and sightseeing. Pokhara is the famed tourist district in Nepal, known for its magnificent mountain views, adventurous trekking trails and serene lakes.
I checked the websites of some travel agencies offering tour and trip packages from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Most of the trip packages were 2-night stays. The price was reasonable but we later decided to go on our own as we would have the freedom to ride anywhere if we took our own vehicle.
We planned to go on our scooter. So 2 weeks prior I asked some of my friends if we can ride on a scooter. Most of the review was disappointing as the highway is a little unsafe to ride a scooter and the distance from Kathmandu to Pokhara is longer to travel on a scooter. But we decided to go on a scooter.
The total travel distance from Kathmandu to Pokhara is 201 km by road via Prithvi Hwy. It seemed it would take 10 to 12 hours during estimation but took 11 hours to reach Pokhara from Kathmandu on a scooter.
Route: Google Route
I had been twice to Kulekhani from Kathmandu and returned the same day. So I do have experience of 12 hours drive in a day so I was pretty sure can travel to Pokhara from Kathmandu. I asked about her views too. She was excited about the views that she could see during the ride.
Saturday 5:30 am
We backpacked and started heading Kathmandu to Pokhara at 5:30 am. Started from Nayapati – Sundarijal, Kathhmandu at 5:30 am on Honda Grazia Scooter. After around 40 minutes of drive, we reached Kalanki. Fueled full tank – 5 liters of petrol and headed Naubise down-road.
The road condition was a little bit off-road due to road construction going on between Thankot and Naubise.
Luckily there was no traffic jam in that area so enjoyed the riding. After around 2 hours of drive, we stopped at a local tea shop somewhere in Dhading. It was cold and foggy so decided to take a few min breaks.
Took around 20 min break and started heading to Pokhara. Dhading to Pokhara distance was approximately 171.8 km, which we had to travel.
Around 11:30 am
As per the plan, we took Thakali rice at the Mugling. Spend around 40 minutes. Fueled full tank again as already 100 km passed. Discussing our next stop will be Begnas Lake, we headed forward.
I had studied the route map well a few weeks prior. I opened the Google map when I reached Lekhnath, Pokhara University Area.
I checked for Talchowk and turned right heading to Begnas Lake.
Asked a few locals the way to Begnas and finally reached there around 4 pm.
The magnificent view of the Himalayan range, reflection in the Begnas lake healed the tiredness that we had reaching there. The glimpse of the lake was beyond my imagination and expectation.
One can boat here in Begnas. Begnas Lake is a popular tourist destination located in Kaski District, Nepal. It is known for its serene and peaceful surroundings and is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and picnicking. The lake is surrounded by lush green hills and forests, making it a great place for nature lovers and those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. The lake can be reached by a 2-hour drive from Pokhara and is a popular side trip for those visiting the city.
We headed towards Rupa Lake as it was nearby Begnas Lake. Rupa Lake is a freshwater lake located in the Kaski district of Nepal. We reached in around half-hour to Rupa Lake but it was quiet and we just stayed around 5 minutes there. Took some clips and move towards Lake side.
A day prior we had booked a hotel from Kathmandu for a room, it was nearby Lakeside. Finally we reached at around 6:30 pm at the hotel in Lakeside, Pokhara of 11 hours of drive.
We took a walk around the Phewa Lake that evening till late night.
Sunday 8:00 am
The Pokhara trip started from visiting World Peace Pagoda also called Shanti Stupa. We planned a hiking from the Phewa Lake to Shanti Stupa.
We hired a boat, visited Tal Barahi Temple and crossed the Phewa Lake. We then started hiking to a 2-story pagoda stupa.
It was around 1 hour hiking to reach the Shanti Stupa. The stunning view from the Shanti Stupa was outstanding.
The views from the sputa is stunning.
The Shanti Stupa in Pokhara, Nepal is a popular hiking destination. To reach it, one can hike up to the hilltop through a scenic trail which offers panoramic views of Pokhara city and the Himalayan range. The trail is approximately 2 km long and can take around 1-2 hours to complete, depending on your pace.
The Shanti Stupa, also known as the Peace Pagoda, is a Buddhist structure that was built to promote peace and nonviolence. The stupa is a white-domed structure with a golden spire at the top, and it is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens. The stupa is a popular spot for visitors to come and meditate, pray, and find inner peace. Visitors can climb the stairs to the top of the stupa, where they can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the city below.
Then we move down to Fewa Lake. Boating back to Lake side.
The lake is the second-largest in Nepal and is surrounded by beautiful scenery, including the Annapurna mountain range and the Machhapuchhre mountain.
There are several types of boats available for rent, including traditional wooden boats and motorboats. Visitors can take a leisurely boat ride on the lake, enjoying the views of the surrounding mountains and the Tal Baharahi Temple and shrines located on the lake’s islands. Some of the boats also offer a close-up view of the World Peace Pagoda which is situated on a hilltop overlooking the lake.
Boating on the lake is a great way to relax and take in the natural beauty of Pokhara. It is also a popular activity for couples and families, and many boat rental companies offer guided tours of the lake and its surroundings.
The best time to go boating on the lake is in the morning or late afternoon when the light is the best for photography and the weather is more pleasant. It’s also a good idea to bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat as the sun can be quite strong.
We had traveled Sarangkot, Shree Bindhyabasini Temple, Mahendra Cave, Bat Cave, Devis Fall, Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave and returned to the Fewa Lake in the evening.
The nightlife was awesome in Pokhara. Enjoyed a lot. It was a magnificent short trip, 3 days and 2 nights.
It took 10 hours in returning back to Kathmandu from Pokhara.
Pokhara’s natural beauty makes it one of the best places to visit in Nepal, thus I would highly recommend all tourists to visit this lovely city. If you love adventure and want to experience something not many people have experienced, Pokhara might just be the city for that.
Note: Pokhara to Mugling Distance is 90.4 km and Mugling to Kathmandu distance is 110.4 km. In total Pokhara to Kathmandu distance is approximately 201 km.
Even you can plan a trip in new year to Pokhara. Whether you’re traveling solo, or with friends and family, there are plenty of things to do in Pokhara. Some of the beautiful things that set this town aside are its friendliness and hospitality, easy-going lifestyle, good weather and warm beaches.
The city has a lot to offer, including one-of-a-kind river cruises, featuring many historical sights and experiences, as well as some unique religious experiences that will take you on a journey through time. The tourism infrastructure in Pokhara is growing rapidly during the past decade because of its proximity to Mount Annapurna and Kanchenjunga Himalayan mountain range.
If you want boating even near than Pokhara then boating in Kulekhani will be the best option near Kathmandu.
Useful Link: Pokhara University, Lekhnath, Pokhara.
Short Video Taken At Pokhara With My Mobile Camera
Here are some tips for taking scenic videos in Pokhara, Nepal:
- Choose the right time of day: Early morning or late afternoon provides the best light for capturing stunning landscapes.
- Use a stable tripod: A tripod helps keep the camera steady and ensures sharp, clear footage.
- Experiment with different angles: Get creative and try shooting from unique angles, such as a low or high perspective.
- Capture motion: Incorporate movement into your shots, such as people walking, boats floating on Phewa Lake, or clouds passing by.
- Use a wide-angle lens: A wide-angle lens allows you to capture a larger view of the scenery, creating a sense of grandeur.
- Plan your shots in advance: Scout the location beforehand, and plan out your shots so you can move efficiently while filming.
- Respect local customs and environment: Always be respectful of local cultures and environments, and make sure to follow any regulations regarding filming in certain areas.
Remember to always prioritize safety when filming in scenic locations, and have fun exploring and capturing the beauty of Pokhara!
12 Places to Visit in Pokhara
Pokhara, located in the western part of Nepal, is a mesmerizing city that is renowned for its natural beauty, rich culture, and serene environment. The city is situated at an altitude of 827 meters above sea level and is surrounded by the majestic Annapurna range, including the world-famous Mount Machhapuchhre. From the tranquil Phewa Lake to the stunning Davis Falls, there are plenty of highlights to experience in Pokhara. Let’s dive into the top Pokhara visit highlights that every traveler should explore.
1. Phewa Lake: Phewa Lake is the largest and most famous lake in Pokhara, and it is considered the heart of the city. This tranquil lake, which is surrounded by lush forests, offers stunning views of the Annapurna range and the Machhapuchhre peak. Travelers can rent boats and kayaks to explore the lake or take a peaceful stroll along the lakeside. The lake is also home to the famous Tal Barahi Temple, which is situated on a small island in the middle of the lake.
2. Begnas Lake: Begnas Lake is a serene lake that is located 15 kilometers east of Pokhara. The lake is surrounded by lush green hills and offers stunning views of the Annapurna mountain range. The lake is a perfect place
3. Rupa Lake: A Lake offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains, one can enjoy boating and fishing. Nestled in the lap of lush green hills and surrounded by dense forests, Rupa Lake is a scenic and serene freshwater lake located 10 kilometers east of Pokhara. It is a popular destination for tourists looking for peace and tranquility away from the bustling city. The lake offers a picturesque view of the surrounding mountains and is a great spot for birdwatching, boating, and fishing. You can also take a leisurely stroll around the lake and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
4. Tal Barahi Temple: Located on an island in the middle of Phewa Lake, Tal Barahi Temple is a sacred Hindu shrine dedicated to the Goddess Durga. The temple is accessible only by boat, and it is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The temple’s stunning architecture and peaceful surroundings make it a must-visit destination in Pokhara. The temple is open from dawn to dusk, and you can take a boat ride to the temple and spend some time in prayer and meditation.
5. Shree Bindhyabasini Temple: Bindhyabasini Temple is a sacred Hindu temple located in the heart of Pokhara. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhagwati, who is believed to fulfill the wishes of her devotees. The temple is surrounded by lush green forests and offers stunning views of the Annapurna range. It is also a popular destination for Nepalese festivals, especially during the Dashain festival, when the temple is decorated with colorful lights and flowers.
6. Sarangkot: Sarangkot is a beautiful hill station located just 5 kilometers from Pokhara. It is one of the best places in Nepal to witness the sunrise and sunset over the Himalayas. From the top of the hill, travelers can enjoy panoramic views of the Pokhara valley, Phewa Lake, and the Annapurna range. Additionally, the hill station is a popular destination for paragliding enthusiasts who wish to soar over the stunning landscapes of Pokhara.
7. Shanti Stupa: The World Peace Pagoda, also known as Shanti Stupa, is a beautiful Buddhist monument that is located on top of a hill overlooking the Phewa Lake. The stupa is one of the 80 Peace Pagodas around the world and was built to promote world peace and harmony. Travelers can reach the pagoda by hiking or taking a boat across the lake. Once there, visitors can admire the stunning views of the Annapurna range and the Pokhara valley.
8. Davis Falls: Davis Falls, also known as Patale Chhango, is a unique waterfall that is located in the southern part of Pokhara. The waterfall is named after a Swiss woman named Davis, who lost her life while swimming in the stream that feeds the waterfall. The waterfall drops into a deep gorge and disappears into an underground tunnel, creating a mystic and fascinating experience for visitors.
9. Bat Cave: Located on the outskirts of Pokhara, Bat Cave is an enchanting underground world that is home to thousands of bats. The cave is a natural wonder that offers a unique and exciting experience for adventurous travelers. The cave is easily accessible and can be explored with the help of a guide. You can witness the mesmerizing sight of bats flying in and out of the cave, and explore the stunning rock formations that have been shaped over millions of years.
10. Mahendra Cave: The Mahendra Cave is a limestone cave that is located in the northern part of Pokhara. The cave is named after the late King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, who visited the cave in 1950. The cave is a popular tourist destination and offers a unique underground experience.
11. Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave: A Hindu shrine located inside a cave.
12. International Mountain Museum: The Gurkha Memorial Museum is a tribute to the brave Gurkha soldiers who have served in the British Army for more than 200 years. The museum is located in the heart of Pokhara and showcases the history and achievements of the Gurkha soldiers. Visitors can explore the museum.
7 Things to do in Pokhara
1. Paragliding: Paragliding is a popular activity for adventure seekers and offers breathtaking views of the Annapurna mountain range and the surrounding scenery. It offers a unique perspective on the region and is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should not be missed!
2. Boating in Fewa Lake: Phewa Lake, also known as Fewa Lake, is a popular tourist destination in Pokhara, Nepal, offering boating as one of its main attractions. Boating in Phewa Lake offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and a peaceful escape from the bustling city.
3. Boating in Begnas Lake: Begnas Lake is a serene and peaceful lake located in the Lekhnath municipality of Kaski district in western Nepal. Boating in Begnas Lake is a popular activity for tourists seeking a more relaxed and less crowded experience. The lake provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains, as well as opportunities for fishing, bird watching, and other leisure activities.
4. Spa: Pokhara, Nepal is a popular tourist destination and offers a variety of spa options for visitors seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. Visitors can enjoy even massages, facials, body treatments, and more.
5. Zipline: Zip-lining in Pokhara, Nepal is an exciting and adventurous activity that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Zip-lining in Pokhara allows visitors to soar through the air and experience the thrill of flying while taking in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
6. Cable Car: The cable car provides a unique and breathtaking experience, taking visitors on a scenic journey up to the top of the hill. From the top, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the city, the lake, and the surrounding mountains. Whether you’re looking for a unique and thrilling experience or simply a peaceful escape with stunning views, the Cable Car in Pokhara is a must-visit attraction.
7. Canyoning: Canyoning in Pokhara offers a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of nature and the thrill of adventure. The best time to go canyoning in Pokhara, Nepal is from September to November and from March to May. During these months, the weather is warm and dry, making it the perfect time for outdoor activities like canyoning. The monsoon season from June to August is not ideal for canyoning as the rivers are high and the water is murky. Additionally, the winter months from December to February can be cold and the water is too low for a safe canyoning experience. So, it’s best to plan your canyoning trip during the best season to enjoy a safe and memorable experience.
Accommodation in Pokhara
When it comes to accommodation in Pokhara, there are options for every budget and preference. From luxury resorts to budget hostels, you will be sure to find something that suits your needs. Some of the best areas to stay in Pokhara include Lakeside, which offers stunning views of the Phewa Lake and the Annapurna mountain range, and Damside, which is a quieter area with fewer tourists.
For those looking for a luxurious stay in Pokhara, there are plenty of options available. Some of the most popular luxury hotels in the city include the Pavilions Himalayas, Temple Tree Resort & Spa, and the Fulbari Resort & Spa. These hotels offer amenities such as swimming pools, spas, and fine dining restaurants, along with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and lakes.
For travelers looking for something in the mid-range, Pokhara has a variety of options available. Some of the best mid-range hotels in the city include the Hotel Orchid, Hotel City Inn, and Hotel Fewa Holiday Inn. These hotels offer comfortable rooms, good service, and convenient locations, all at an affordable price.
For backpackers and budget travelers, there are many hostels and guesthouses available in Pokhara. Some of the best budget options in the city include the Kiwi Backpackers Hostel, Hotel Snowland, and Hotel Mountain View. These options offer basic amenities at an affordable price, along with the chance to meet other travelers.
Food in Pokhara
Pokhara offers a diverse culinary experience for tourists. From traditional Nepali cuisine to international options, there is something for everyone. Some of the best places to eat in Pokhara include Lakeside restaurants and cafes, which offer stunning views of the lake and mountains.
Traditional Nepali Cuisine
When it comes to traditional Nepali cuisine, some of the best dishes to try include Dal Bhat, a staple dish made of rice, lentil soup, and vegetables, and Momo, a type of dumpling filled with vegetables or meat. Some of the best places to try these dishes in Pokhara include Moondance Restaurant and Nepali Kitchen.
For those looking for international cuisine, Pokhara has plenty of options available. Some of the most popular international restaurants in the city include The Lemon Tree, which offers Mediterranean cuisine, and OR2K, which offers Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine.
For those looking for a more adventurous culinary experience, Pokhara also offers a variety of street food options. Some of the most popular street food dishes in the city include Chatpate, a spicy noodle dish, and Samosas, a deep-fried pastry filled with vegetables or meat.
Safety in Pokhara
While Pokhara is generally a safe city for tourists, it is important to take certain precautions to ensure your safety. Some of the most important safety tips to keep in mind include being aware of your surroundings, avoiding traveling alone at night, and keeping your belongings safe.
Information about Pokhara
- Location: Pokhara Metropolitan City, Kaski District, Gandaki Province, Nepal
- Elevation or Altitude: 822 m (2,697 ft)
- Area Code: 061
- Postal code of Pokhara: 33700
- Area: 464.2 km²
Where is Pokhara and why is it famous?
Pokhara is a city located in the Western part of Nepal. It is famous for its beautiful scenery, including the stunning Phewa Lake, and for being the gateway to some of the world’s most popular trekking routes such as the Annapurna Circuit and the Jomsom Trek. Pokhara is also known for its adventure sports activities like paragliding, zip-lining, and bungee jumping.
- Location in Western Nepal
- Famous for its natural beauty and scenic Phewa Lake
- Gateway to popular trekking routes and adventure sports activities
What is the best time to visit Pokhara?
The best time to visit Pokhara is from September to November and from March to May. During these months, the weather is clear and mild, and the views of the surrounding mountains are stunning. However, it is important to note that Pokhara can get crowded during peak tourist seasons, so it is best to plan ahead and make reservations early.
- Best time to visit is from September to November and from March to May
- Clear and mild weather
- Stunning views of surrounding mountains
What are some popular trekking routes around Pokhara?
Pokhara is known as the gateway to some of the world’s most popular trekking routes. Some of the most popular trekking routes around Pokhara include the Annapurna Circuit, the Jomsom Trek, the Mardi Himal Trek, and the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek. These treks offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains, as well as unique cultural experiences along the way.
- Annapurna Circuit
- Jomsom Trek
- Mardi Himal Trek
What are some tips for traveling to Pokhara?
Traveling to Pokhara can be an exciting adventure, but it is important to be prepared. Here are some tips for traveling to Pokhara:
- Obtain necessary visas and permits before traveling
- Be prepared for altitude sickness if trekking
- Dress in layers as the weather can be unpredictable
- Carry cash as many places do not accept credit cards
- Respect local customs and traditions
What are the transportation options for traveling from Kathmandu to Pokhara?
There are several transportation options for traveling from Kathmandu to Pokhara, including:
- By flight – Kathmandu (KTM) to Pokhara aerial distance is 146 km, approximately 30 minutes via air.
- By bus
- By private car or taxi
What is the fastest way to travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara?
The fastest way to travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara is by flight. Flights take approximately 25-30 minutes and are offered by several airlines, including Yeti Airlines, Buddha Air, and Simrik Airlines. However, it is important to note that flights can be subject to delays or cancellations due to weather or other factors.
- Fastest way is by flight
- Flights take approximately 25-30 minutes
- Offered by several airlines including Yeti Airlines, Buddha Air, and Simrik Airlines
What is the most budget-friendly way to travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara?
The most budget-friendly way to travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara is by bus. However, it is important to note that the roads can be bumpy and uncomfortable, and the journey can be tiring.
- Most budget-friendly way is by bus
- Buses run several times a day
- Take approximately 6-7 hours to reach Pokhara
What is the most scenic way to travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara?
The most scenic way to travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara is by private car or taxi. This option allows you to stop along the way and take in the beautiful views of the Himalayas and the Nepalese countryside. However, it is important to note that this option can be more expensive than taking the bus.
- Most scenic way is by private car or taxi
- Allows you to stop along the way and take in the beautiful views of the Himalayas and Nepalese countryside
What should I consider when choosing a transportation option?
When choosing a transportation option from Kathmandu to Pokhara, there are several factors to consider, including:
Consider which factors are most important to you and choose the option that best meets your needs.
About Author: Travel writer and adventurer who undertook a challenging journey by scooter from Kathmandu to Pokhara. His experience of the rugged landscape and encounters with friendly locals have inspired his writing and continue to fuel his passion for exploration.