Must see attractions in Pokhara

  • Sights in Pokhara

    Old Pokhara

    For a glimpse of what Pokhara was like before the traffic, chaos and tourist restaurants besieged the erstwhile village, head out to the old town, north of the bustling Mahendra Pul. The best way to explore is on foot. From the Nepal Telecom building at Mahendra Pul, head northwest along Tersapati, passing a number of religious shops selling Hindu and Buddhist paraphernalia. At the intersection with Nala Mukh, check out the Newari houses with decorative brickwork and ornately carved wooden windows. Continue north on Bhairab Tole to reach the small two-tiered Bhimsen Temple, a 200-year-old shrine to the Newari god of trade and commerce, decorated with erotic carvings. The surrounding square is full of shops selling baskets and ceramics. About 200m further north is a small hill, topped by the ancient Bindhya Basini Temple. Founded in the 17th century, the temple is sacred to Durga, the warlike incarnation of Parvati, worshipped here in the form of a saligram.

  • Sights in Pokhara

    Phewa Tal

    Phewa Tal is the travellers’ focal point in Pokhara, and is the second largest lake in Nepal. In contrast to the gaudy tourist development of Lakeside, the steep southwestern shore is densely forested and alive with birdlife. The lush Rani Ban, or Queen’s Forest, bestows an emerald hue to the lake, and on a clear day the Annapurna mountains are perfectly reflected on its mirror surface.

  • Sights in Pokhara

    Devi’s Falls

    Also known as Patale Chhango, this waterfall marks the point where the Pardi Khola stream vanishes underground. When the stream is at full bore after monsoon rains, the sound of the water plunging over the falls is deafening. The falls are about 2km southwest of the airport on the road to Butwal, just before the Tashi Ling Tibetan camp.

  • Sights in Pokhara

    International Mountain Museum

    This expansive museum is devoted to the mountains of Nepal, the mountaineers who climbed them and the people who call them home. Inside, you can see original gear from many of the first Himalayan ascents, as well as displays on the history, culture, geology, and flora and fauna of the Himalaya.

  • Sights in Pokhara

    Varahi Mandir

    Pokhara’s most famous Hindu temple, the two-tiered pagoda-style Varahi Mandir stands on a small island in Phewa Tal, near the former Ratna Mandir (Royal Palace). Founded in the 18th century, the temple is dedicated to Vishnu in his boar incarnation. It’s been extensively renovated over the years and is inhabited by a loft of cooing pigeons. Rowboats to the temple (per person return Rs 100) leave from Varahi Ghat in Lakeside.

  • Sights in Pokhara

    Gurkha Museum

    Located just north of Mahendra Pul, near the KI Singh Bridge, the Gurkha Museum celebrates the achievements of the renowned Gurkha regiments. Accompanied by sound effects, it covers Gurkha history from the 19th-century Indian Uprising, through two World Wars to current-day disputes and peace-keeping missions, with a fascinating display on Gurkhas who have been awarded the Victoria Cross medal.

  • Sights in Pokhara

    World Peace Pagoda

    Balanced on a narrow ridge high above Phewa Tal, the brilliant-white World Peace Pagoda was constructed by Buddhist monks from the Japanese Nipponzan Myohoji organisation. There are three paths up to the pagoda and several small cafes once you arrive. Sadly, there have been muggings on the trails in the past. Check the latest situation before you head off.

  • Sights in Pokhara

    Seti River Gorge

    The roaring Seti River passes right through Pokhara, but you won’t see it unless you go looking. The river has carved a deep, narrow chasm through the middle of town, turning the water milky white in the process. The best place to catch a glimpse of the Seti River is the park just north of Old Pokhara near the Gurkha Museum.

  • Sights in Pokhara

    Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave

    Across the road from Devi’s Falls, this venerated cave contains a huge stalagmite worshipped as a Shiva lingam. The ticket allows you to clamber through a tunnel behind the shrine, emerging in a damp cavern adjacent to the thundering waters of Devi’s Falls.

  • Sights in Pokhara

    Bindhya Basini Temple

    The ancient Bindhya Basini Temple sits atop a small hill in Old Pokhara. Founded in the 17th century, the temple is sacred to Durga, the warlike incarnation of Parvati, worshipped here in the form of a saligram (a fossilised ammonite shell, considered a sacred form of the Hindu god Vishnu).

  • Sights in Pokhara

    Bhimsen Temple

    This small, 200-year-old, two-tiered temple is dedicated to the Newari god of trade and commerce. It's decorated with erotic carvings, and the surrounding square hosts shops selling baskets and ceramics.

  • Sights in Around Pokhara

    Bat Cave

    You won’t find Adam West or Christian Bale lurking in the dark and spooky Bat Cave, but instead thousands of horseshoe bats, clinging to the ceiling of a damp and slippery chamber and occasionally chirruping into the darkness – claustrophobics beware. Daredevils can continue to the back of the vault and wriggle out through a tiny chute to the surface. Torches are supplied, and guides (Rs 300) can show you the narrow exit tunnel. Ask about tours to other caves in the vicinity.

  • Sights in Around Pokhara

    Mahendra Gufa

    Near Bat Cave is the underwhelming Mahendra Gufa, the first large cave to be discovered in Pokhara. The first 125m of the cave is lit only to reveal dusty vandalised limestone formations, some revered as Shiva lingams. Beyond the electric lights there are bats.

  • Sights in Pokhara

    Pokhara Regional Museum

    North of the bus station on the road to Mahendra Pul, this little museum is devoted to the history and culture of the Pokhara Valley, including the mystical shamanic beliefs of the original inhabitants of the valley.