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 fish-tailed 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.
Pokhara is part of a once vibrant trade route extending between India and Tibet. To this day, mule trains can be seen camped on the out-skirts 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 worldwide fame as Gurkha soldiers. The Thakalis, another important ethnic group here, are known for their entrepreneurship.
Pokhara is located roughly 200 km west of Kathmandu.
The journey between these two famed cities is certainly part of the Pokhara experience. Flying over the snow-capped Himalaya to the north and green Mahabharat range to the south is thrilling, while the overland journey past sparse rural settlements nested along the Trisuli river provides a view of life particular to Nepal's middle hills.
There are daily several flights between Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Places to see
Mountain Views * Phewa Lake * Barahi Temple * Seti River * Devi's Fall * Mahendra Cave
The Old Bazaar * The Pokhara Museum * The Annapurna Regional Museum