The Ultimate Guide to Pokhara, Nepal

Paragliding, Annapurna Region, Himalayas, Pokhara, Nepal

Posted by

Pokhara is one of the major cities of Nepal, which lies in the heart of Nepal. Pokhara sits at an altitude of 882m from sea level and is primarily inhabited by Gurung, Magar, Brahmin, and Chhetri. Located approximately 200km east of Kathmandu, the capital, this city has a total area of 464 sq km along with a total population of more than half a million. A lot of Nepalese want to visit this city of seven lakes because most have heard of its beauty, its culture, and the unlimited fun people have had here.

Most of the visitors, especially first-time visitors, prefer to experience the high/nightlife of Lakeside (high in social status). Sitting on the lap of Phewa lake, Lakeside is the most visited area of Pokhara and in the whole of Nepal, next to Kathmandu. What attracts people is the plethora of things one can do at Lakeside; paragliding, rafting, trekking, kayaking, lounging by the lake with chilled air, boating, etc.


Paraglider flying over the Fhewa (Phewa) lake in Pokhara, Nepal
Paraglider flying over the Fewa (Phewa) lake in Pokhara, Nepal

Technically, paragliding starts at the top of Sarangkot, but most of the businesses that offer such services are based at Lakeside. I think we all know why that is. This flying experience offers a solo ride (if one is skilled enough to) and a tandem ride, meaning a professional glider will pilot the flight while the inexperienced enjoy the experience. One can paraglide the whole year-round, but it also depends on the weather on the day of gliding. But rest assured, as the weather here is usually good and rarely unsuitable.


Ultralight plane flies over Pokhara and Machapuchare in Annapurna region, Nepal
Ultralight plane flies over Pokhara and Machapuchare in Annapurna region, Nepal

As technology progressed, means of entertainment worldwide have also shifted towards tech. Rollercoasters, ultra-realistic simulation games, digital sports, are a few examples. Similarly, ultra-light has been one of the main rides for visitors here in Pokhara. So, what’s ultra-light? One may ask. Basically, it’s a light and mini version of a plane that only capacitates 2 people at a time. People love the experience as it is more personal (only two people at a time) and one to remember. The flight goes as close to the Himalayas as possible and also shows the passengers around the city. Though it is a bit on the high end, it’s all worth it as the experience is unlike any other.


Expedition tents in the Annapurna Base Camp, Himalaya mountains, Nepal in a cloudy day
Expedition tents in the Annapurna Base Camp, Himalaya mountains, Nepal in a cloudy day

Since Pokhara is a valley, there are hills all around that one can trek on, but those hills are not that high and challenging. Usually, people who love to trek prefer a more lengthy course and one which is difficult to climb or maybe more thrilling. Needless to say, Lakeside is also full
of businesses that offer treks to the Annapurna Circuit. One can enjoy trekking while soaking in the gorgeous views of the Himalayas.

Rafting and Kayaking

Moving on to rafting and kayaking. There are a number of options one can choose from when it comes to rafting and kayaking. Out of all, rafting in Upper Marshyangdi is the most chosen option. This white water rafting experience is one to remember as it boasts one of the most expeditious waters on the whole of the earth. Moreover, rafting in Kaligandaki and upper Seti are other options that are also a good choice. All of the places mentioned above also support kayaking; if one is feeling adventurous on the way from Kathmandu to Pokhara, they can stop the boring bus ride and join in on the kayaking/rafting fun from the Trishuli River.

Pokhara, Nepal: Kayaking with splashes on red kayak on lake, Pokhara
Pokhara, Nepal: Kayaking with splashes on red kayak on lake, Pokhara


Colorful long tail boats on Phewa lake in Pokhara, Nepal with mountain view
Multi-colored long boats on Phewa lake in Pokhara, Nepal with mountain view

Similar to rafting, boating is also quite a fun experience. We understand that not all people are adrenaline junkies, and rafting can be a bit too much for most people. Boating is a safer option for those people, and most people prefer it. One can hire a bright multi-colored boat with or without a paddler/boatman. The boat is often used for sightseeing around phewa Lake.

Besides that, the boats are also used for transporting goods and people to Barahi temple, which is located in the middle of the lake. There are local myths of how the temple got to be in the middle of the lake. One might just hear some locals talking about it when they visit. Furthermore, the boats also take the customers to a hill across the busy hustling streets of lakeside, which is the standing ground for the world-famous World Peace Pagoda. If they feel energetic enough, they might as well just climb the hill and reach the pagoda.


Lakeside Cafe table in spring evening, Pokhara Nepal
Lakeside Cafe table in spring evening, Pokhara Nepal

After all those experiences, one might want to take a day off just to laze around all day, to recharge themself. Well, one doesn’t have to go too far for that. There are a lot of restaurants by the lake where people can just slouch all day and enjoy the view of the lake. Besides Lakeside, Pame is a place up north-west of Lakeside that offers the same experience but a bit better since there are comparatively fewer people visiting, which is better than a bustling restaurant, and it’s closer to the lake than the ones at the lakeside. Some are built over the bank too, while some possess a beautiful garden along with the riverbank that waters the Fewa Lake.

Other attractions in Pokhara besides Lakeside


Majhikuna is one of the best experiences one can have in Pokhara. Just like Lakeside, it is based on a nearby lake, but it’s not Phewa Lake; it’s Begnas Lake. The atmosphere is quiet and peaceful there, unlike the club-filled Lakeside. There are a few homestays and hotels in the
area. Most of those businesses are paired with a restaurant as most of the locals visit the place just for food rather than a night stay. So why would people from Pokhara travel more than 15kms just to eat? Because it’s finger-licking good. Majhikuna serves one of the best fish dishes in the whole of Pokhara. Along with the delicacies, this place is more close to nature than Lakeside. Visitors can enjoy the cool, fresh air along with the view of a clean lake.

Rupa Lake

Aerial view of Begnas and Rupa lakes near Pokhara in Nepal
Aerial view of Begnas and Rupa lakes near Pokhara in Nepal

Similarly, Rupa Lake is the most underrated place in Pokhara. The reason why it is underrated or less visited is the fact that the route to Rupa Lake is not a good one, especially in the rainy season. Out of the 50 minutes it takes to reach Rupa Lake (from the center of Pokhara), visitors have to walk/ride off-road for about 10 minutes before reaching the destination. The view of Rupa Lake is the best, second to Majhikuna. Since this place is not visited by many, it is best for those who think the less, the merrier. Just like Majhikuna, Rupakot also has some tasty fish dishes, but there’s more; it might just be the best fish-eating experience in the whole of Pokhara.

Variety of Food

Pokhara has food ranging from continental, western, and other Asian cuisines such as Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and such, also the famous Thakali style dinner, which is quite popular here. Most of such establishments are run by native cooks of the respective cuisine. But those restaurants are mostly for a heavy meal; let’s look into something more casual. Bubble tea is what the pop culture demands as of now; needless to say, one can find bubble tea at Lakeside, along with smoked cheese balls, branded ice cream parlors, coffee shops, and other eateries that will surely grab one’s attention.

Morning Jog

That’s a lot of food. People might need to exercise a bit before they eat their next fill. But we all know how boring exercise can be but not here in Pokhara. People can take a jogging/walking route up to the top of Kahundada to experience a close-up view of the Annapurna Himalayan range, which is worth all the sweat. Or perhaps one might want to
enjoy a morning walk or jog with some good sunrise scenery, then the best option is to jog uphill to the top of Nirmal Pokhari. People often go there to enjoy the beautiful sunrise and sunset.

Day trip venues in Pokhara

Pokhara does not have a lot of historic places, but there are some memorials and museums for the ones who have contributed a lot for the sake of the country. Gurkha Memorial Museum is dedicated to the brave Gurkhas who sacrificed their lives for their motherland. This memorial museum exhibits a ton of weapons used by Gurkha Soldiers and also medals worn by them. One can go there and feel proud that they are the descendants of such brave ancestors.

Similarly, tourists can also visit the International Mountain Museum, which is dedicated to the Himalayas and mountaineers who explored where none had set foot. The museum glorifies Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, Tenzing Norge Sherpa, and the first instruments they used to climb icy mountains. In addition to respect for the mountains and mountaineers, the museum also has a model of big scary Yeti, which is a fun addition to the existing artifacts.

Besides that, tourists might also want to visit Devi’s Fall, a roaring natural waterfall famous for its raging nature. People can buy a lot of souvenirs there along with some rare coins from ancient Nepal. Just opposite Devi’s Fall is Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave which is famous for its underground waterfall. Moreover, traveling a bit to the west will take the travelers to the beautiful settlement of the Tibetan refugees. It’s a beautiful place to eat Tibetian fast foods while one enjoys the scenery.

Moreover, Mahendra Cave is also an attraction for visitors. Famous for the statue of Lord Shiva deep inside it, this limestone cave has been visited by most of the tourists who visit Pokhara. This deep and completely dark cave extends 200m, half of which is accessible easily. Likewise, the Bat cave is another local attraction that is famous for its inhabitants, horseshoe bats. Located nearby Mahendra cave, this cave is also made of limestone but unlike it, this cave has only one entry point and an exit point. The exit point is a narrow hole that only a few can pass through, locals believe that only those who have not sinned shall pass through it.

Seti River Gorge is another attraction on the list. It is a narrow river which flows approx. 50 meters below the mainland surface. So why would a river attract visitors? First off, the river is raging most of the time. Second of all, the river dives deep into a tunnel and disappears which is kind of an amazing view.

Moving on, one of the unusual attractions of Pokhara is the trout farms. Frankly, we’ve never heard of trout farms in other cities. These trout farms attract visitors as they house tons of live fish which customers can choose to eat. Since trout is an extremely beneficial fish, people tend to invest time and money just to have a taste. Both kids and adults are overwhelmed after seeing different kinds of fish they rear. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t only house trout, they also have goldfish, koi, and other aquarium fishes for decorative purposes.

Sign up to receive content in your inbox.