Old Pokhara

Area in 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.