Nestled amidst the Himalayas, the beautiful city of Pokhara in Nepal is as much for the daydreamers and the romantics as it is for the daredevils and the adventure seekers. There is no dearth of things to do and experiences to have in Pokhara; we promise you – there won’t be a single dull moment in this quaint little gem of a place!
Here’s a list of 9 exhilarating as well as leisurely travel experiences one can have in Pokhara.
9 Must-Have Experiences in Pokhara, Nepal
Most famous for being the starting point for the Annapurna Base Camp trek as well as for the Annapurna Circuit trek, for which one needs high fitness levels and experience in high altitude trekking, there still are several easy trekking routes near Pokhara that you can undertake even if you are an amateur. Some of these easy and short distance trek routes include the Dhampus Village trek, the Ghorepani Poonhill Trek and the Sarangkot hilltop trek. The last one promises some of the most spectacular views of sunrises and sunsets!
If you search for Pokhara photos on your browser, you will see images of a beautiful lake with loads of boats in it. So, needless to say, boating is an inescapable experience to have in Pokhara! The Phewa lake (Phewa Tal) in Pokhara is the second largest lake in Nepal and is a popular tourist attraction. Boating excursions take over it daily with options to choose between a traditional wooden row boat, a sail boat or a pedal boat.
For a bird’s eye view of the entire mountainous region surrounding Pokhara, you should go paragliding! From snowcapped peaks to glistening lakes, from verdant valleys and terraced mountains to hidden villages, you will see stunning vistas from up there. Whether you opt for tandem or solo, be assured that paragliding over Pokhara will be a once in a lifetime experience.
Also read: Best time to visit Pokhara, Nepal
4. Bungee jumping
Want to push your limits and try a sport that will get your heart racing like a Formula 1 car? Try bungee jumping! And what better place to try it than the picturesque city of Pokhara? Specially because the bungee jump in Pokhara is relatively less scary for a first timer; the vertical drop is of just 70 meters. Compared to the tallest bungee jump in the world, the Macau Tower jump in China, which has a drop of 233 meters, the one in Pokhara sounds like a cakewalk! Ready to take the leap of faith?!
Also read: 10 Surreal Places To Visit In Nepal
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With an initial incline of 56º, the zipline in Pokhara is the steepest in the world. Zoom past the glorious Annapurna massif on this zipline which is approximately 1.8 kilometers long and has a vertical drop of roughly 600 meters. Oh! Did we mention that this zipline is one of the fastest in the world too? That’s sure to give you an adrenaline rush!
6. Butterfly watching
Don’t enjoy adventure sports? Want to indulge in the natural beauty of Pokhara instead? Then you’ll probably love the activity of butterfly watching. Nepal is home to over 650 butterfly species, the most in the world, and Pokhara is the best place to spot some of the rarest butterflies. Some extraordinary butterfly species you can spot here include the kaiser-i-hind butterfly, the golden emperor butterfly, purple sapphire butterfly and the stunningly beautiful Krishna Peacock butterfly. In fact, Pokhara is also home to a butterfly museum and you should definitely check it out. Spotting a rare butterfly will definitely be one of the unique travel experiences in Pokhara.
7. Kayaking and rafting
Water sports in Pokhara are as popular as trekking and paragliding. Kayaking and whitewater rafting in the city happen over the Kali Gandaki, Seti and Narayani rivers. Due to the vigorous nature of the rivers, most of the kayaking excursions require some level of skill and experience. Whitewater rafting, on the other hand, requires no level of experience and even a newbie can experience it while visiting Pokhara. And the best time to undertake these water sports is from March to May and September to November.
Foodies, rejoice! Nepalese cuisine is a delectable blend of aromas, spices and fresh produce. Halal friendly and vegetarian friendly as well, some dishes that you must indulge in while in Pokhara include daal-bhat-tarkaari, momos, sel roti (donut meets bagel!), dhindo thali and chatamaari (pizza meets crepe!). Top it off with a locally brewed Everest Beer.
9. Bird watching
Nepal is a bird watcher’s paradise; it is home to over 850 species of birds. And, the dense forest around the lake in Pokhara is home to many of these species. If you are an avid birdwatcher or want to take up the hobby, a visit to Pokhara will prove to be fruitful; Besra, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Cinereous vulture, Pied Harrier, Red-thighed Falconet, Long-tailed Thrush, Red-billed Leiothrix and Rufous-bellied Niltava are just some of the many birds you will be able to spot here.
There are also several tourist attractions that you just have to check out while visiting Pokhara. These include the Bindabasini Temple, the Gupteshwar Mahadev Cave along with the Devi’s fall and the International Mountain Museum. And, if you have time and can spare half a day while visiting Pokhara, do give the picturesque town of Bandipur a visit. With preservation efforts by the government clearly showing, Bandipur is a Newar town with its ancient architecture and age-old flavor still intact. A visit to Bandipur will make you feel like you have taken a step back in time.