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A Weekend in Pokhara – All You Need To Know
Pokhara, a Backpacker’s paradise, nestled along the massive Lake Phewa, and surrounded by the Annapurna and Manaslu ranges, is Nepal’s most popular adventure and leisure destination, with activities suitable for all age groups.
Pokhara is the gateway to many treks in the Annapurna regions, and on clear mornings, you can enjoy an unobstructed view of the 8000m + Annapurna and Manaslu ranges, from anywhere in Pokhara, and also acts as the relaxing spot for the trekkers, after completing the Everest Base Camp Trek.
I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity of exploring Pokhara and other gems of Nepal, along with a bunch of like-minded travelers from all over the world. And all credits for this goes to Tourism Board, and PATA – Nepal Chapter, without whom this 7 Day Nepal Experience wouldn’t have been possible.
We stayed in Pokhara just for 2 nights, and still managed to indulge in a plethora of things, that too staying almost 10 KM away from the lakeside central boulevard at this amazing Mountain Glory Forest Resort and Spa.
Before reaching the resort, I was apprehensive, as proximity to the city center was a huge warning signal, but the moment we reached Mountain Glory Forest Resort and Spa, I realized how wrong I was. Staying at Mountain Glory Forest Resort and Spa, in a way became a highlight of my brief stay in Pokhara.
Despite being a good 10 KM away from the Pokhara lakeside promenade, I would definitely recommend everyone to stay at Mountain Glory Forest Resort and Spa. Keep reading to know why do I say so!
A Weekend in Pokhara – All You Need To Know
- Where to stay in Pokhara?
- Things To Do In Pokhara
- Start the day by seeing the Sun rise from Sarangkot
- Peace out at the World Peace Pagoda in Pokhara
- Go Boating in Lake Phewa
- Time to go Shopping in Pokhara
- Go Café Hopping at the main Lakeside promenade in Pokhara
- Put on the chef’s hat, and take some Cooking Classes
- Experience the beauty of Pokhara, on a Cycle
- Indulge in some adventurous activities, in and around Pokhara
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How to Reach Pokhara
In case you are wondering how to reach this backpackers’ paradise known as Pokhara, the best way is flying in or taking the road.
By Air: You can fly to Pokhara directly from Kathmandu. The travel time is about 40 minutes. You may choose to fly either Yeti Air, or Buddha Air, to and fro from Kathmandu. While the flight schedules in Nepal are uncertain due to the weather conditions, the experience of flying the narrow-bodied jets, is one amazing experience!
By Rail: Railways are not available in Nepal. If you are planning to travel fromIndia, make your way by train to Jayanagar or New Jalpaiguri, cross the border and thenboard a bus to Kathmandu which takes about 12 – 14 hours from the border.
By Bus: Buses are very easily available from Kathmandu to Pokhara and the travel time is about 7 hours. They leave early morning around 6 – 8 AM. Check out Bookaway and get your tickets sorted with ease!
However, be warned, that the roads in Nepal, are not the ones you would enjoy being on for 7 – 8 hours, as there are a lot of segments of the roads, which need a major rework. Having said that, travelling by road, is by far the cheapest way of exploring Nepal, if you are ready to withstand a back breaking yet picturesque road journey.
Just to give you an idea
Kathmandu to Pokhara, by Air: 150 Km | 45 – 50 minutes
Kathmandu to Pokhara, by road: 220 Kms | 7 – 8 hours
Best Time to Visit Pokhara
Pokhara is one city, which will surprise you no matter, which part of the year you visit.
However, the best months to visit Pokhara are March – May, and September – November. While, June – August is the time when the rain gods bless Pokhara with their showers, which has a charm of its own, December – February are the coldest months, with temperatures dipping as low as 5-degree C.
Where to stay in Pokhara?
Mountain Glory Forest Resort and Spa, Pokhara
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The best things are always kept for the last 😍 . Swipe Right to see the rest of the series 😊 . * . After almost 10 hours on the road yesterday from Lumbini to Palpa to Pokhara, we finally managed to reach our hideout in the lap of himalayas @mountaingloryforestresort late at night. . Despite being located away from the city centre, I fell in love with it the moment I stepped in last night. . And this is what I woke up to this morning, making it all worth it 😍 Despite being cloudy, I had an amazing view of the Annapurna ranges from my balcony early morning. . With 50+ rooms all facing the Mountains, and with floor to floor glass windows and doors, this is literally luxury redefined in the lap of Himalayas. . #ShotOnNokia 7.1 @nokiamobilein . . . . . . . . #VisitNepal #HTM2019 #GatewayToTheHimalayas #LifeTimeExperiences #EatTravelLiveRepeat #ETLRWithArnav #etlrtraveldiaries2019 #luxuryhotels #luxuryhotelsworld #highONhimalayas #indiantravelblogger #himalayangeographic #hotelsandresorts #luxurylifestyle #luxurytraveldaily #beautifuldestination #beautifulhotels #resortsworld #nepaltourism #nepaldiaries🇳🇵 #nepalhotels #solotripping #insta_travels #photographers_of_india
Trust me, there’s no better place than, Mountain Glory Forest Resort and Spa to stay in Pokhara.
Yes, the hotel is 10 KM away from the lakeside.
there’s an amazing infinity pool, overlooking the mighty Himalayas.
All the rooms, be it Deluxe, Suite or the Presidential Suite, have massive floor to ceiling glass doors and windows, opening to the unobstructed panoramic views of the valley, and the Himalayan Ranges
Dining with a view, has a different meaning altogether here.
The views of the Annapurna ranges, on a clear morning, will make you realize, what being mmesmerized by the beauty of Nature, feels like.
Spread over around 8.5 acres, with perfectly landscaped gardens, and pathways, connecting the 60+ luxurious rooms, and each room having all the modern amenities, including a luxurious bathtub, and a private balcony, opening to the panoramic views outside, I would recommend everyone and anyone who is travelling to Pokhara, to enjoy the experience of staying at the spectacular Mountain Glory Forest Resort and Spa.
Also, did you know that all rooms have a well-stocked mini bar and also there is a well-equipped, fully functional gym, a state of the art lounge, and an in-house Spa as well. All of this ensures, that you have an amazing experience when you decide to spend a few nights in the luxurious Mountain Glory Forest Resort and Spa.
Trust me, you won’t be disappointed at all!!
Things To Do In Pokhara
Like already mentioned above, there are a lot of activities that you can do in Pokhara appealing to all kinds of age groups and all kinds of interests.
Here are some of the Things to Do in Pokhara if you too are bound by time, like we were, and have only 1-2 days in Pokhara.
Pro Tip : Read These Top Things To Know Before Visiting Nepal – You can thank us later in comments!
Start the day by seeing the Sun rise from Sarangkot
The best place to catch a magical sunrise is from Sarangkot, a small hilltop which is famousfor its breath-taking view of the Annapurna range and Fishtail specially during sunrise. From Dhaulagiri (8167m) in the west to the perfect pyramid – Machhapuchhare (6997m) and the rounded peak of Annapurna II (7937m) in the east, the panoramic view of the mighty Himalayas is a sight to behold.
The best time to be at Sarangkot, is early in the morning, before the first ray of sun touchesthe snow-capped peaks, or later in the evening, when the sun goes down, and turns the sky into a colourful canvas.
It takes almost 45 – 60 min to reach Sarangkot from Pokhara in a taxi, so if you want to witness the sunrise, you need to start from Pokhara, as early as3:45 – 4 AM.
PS – Before you plan to head out to view the sunrise at Sarangkot, make sure to check the weather forecast, and confirm with your hotel. If it’s a cloudy affair, chances are that the mountain ranges won’t be visible at all.
Peace out at the World Peace Pagoda in Pokhara
Did you know that two of the eighty peace pagodas in the World, are in Nepal? One being the World Peace Pagoda in Lumbini – The birthplace of Lord Buddha, and the other one being the World Peace Pagoda in Pokhara.
Located at a height of 1113m, and offering panoramic views of the Annapurna ranges, the mighty Lake Phewa and the city of Pokhara, the World Peace Pagoda in Pokhara, has become a very popular tourist attraction in the past years.
While you can always head out by taxi, up the partial black topped road from Chhorepatan to the World Peace Pagoda, and climb the last few steps to the top, there are a number of hiking trails and cycling trails as well, whichyou can choose from.
Depending on your fitness level, and your adventure spirit, you can cross the Lake Phewa in a boat, and hike all the way up to the World Peace Pagoda, and then head back your hotel, in a taxi or your cab, or vice versa.
While at the top, take your time to enjoy the panoramic views of Pokhara city, Lake Phewa and the Annapurna ranges. This you can do from the top, or from any of the numerous cafes, in the vicinity, where dining with a view is definitely recommended, or you can just enjoy the view with a glass of freshly brewed cold coffee!!
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Overlooking the mighty Lake Fewa from the Pokhara Peace Pagoda. . Did you know that while you can always take the vehicle up to a certain point and climb the last few steps, you can also hike up to the Peace Pagoda right from Lake Fewa. . . Hospitality Partner – @mountaingloryforestresort . Travel Partner – @nepaltourism @patanepalchapter . . #ShotOnNokia 7.1 @nokiamobilein . . 📸 – @the_vagabong . . . . . . . . . #HTM2019 #VisitNepal2020 #highONhimalayas #EatTravelLiveRepeat #nepaltourism #pokharanepal #pokharadiaries #experiencenepal #VisitNepal #shutterbugsindia #ourlonelyplanet #outlooktraveller #tripgram #tripadvisor #indiantravelblogger #nomadsofindia #ETLRWithArnav #TravelDiaries2019 #himalayangeographic #highmountains #himalayasnepal #travel_capture #travel_photography #globetravelgram #discovertheglobe #world_destinations_ #dreamdestinations #discovertheglobe
Go Boating in Lake Phewa
Boating in the majestic Lake Phewa, surrounded by the mighty Himalayas, is one of the most popular and recommended things to do while in Pokhara. Feel the fresh cool mountain breeze kiss your face, as you make your way around Lake Phewa in your paddle boat.
The local legend says that, Phewa Tal or Lake Phewa, covers the area of a once-prosperous valley, whose inhabitants one day scorned a wandering beggar. Finding only one sympathetic woman, the beggar warned her of an impending flood. As the woman and her family fled to higher ground, a torrent roared down from the mountains and submerged the entire valley. The “beggar” was none other than the goddess Barahi Bhagwati.The woman’s descendants settled beside the new lake and erected the island shrine of Tal Barahi.
Keep at least an hour and a half in hand for your boating experience, and don’t forget to pay a visit to the Temple of Tal Barahi, located on an island in Lake Phewa.
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There are some places which surprise you and make you fall in love with it with its lovely Vibes. . And Pokhara was one of them. . Pokhara has it all, from a bustling promenade lined with pubs, bars and souvenir shops oozing the backpacker Traveller Vibes, to the peaceful and serene Fewa Lake, where you can definitely find your zen. . Then there's also the temples and the Pokhara Peace Pagoda which offers an amazing panoramic view of Pokhara. . Not to forget that Pokhara is the base for many High Altitude Mountain Treks, making this city the #GatewayToTheHimalayas . . Hospitality Partner – @mountaingloryforestresort . Travel Partner – @nepaltourism @patanepalchapter . . #ShotOnNokia 7.1 @nokiamobilein . . . . . . . . . #HTM2019 #VisitNepal2020 #highONhimalayas #EatTravelLiveRepeat #nepaltourism #pokharanepal #pokharadiaries #experiencenepal #VisitNepal #shutterbugsindia #ourlonelyplanet #outlooktraveller #tripgram #tripadvisor #indiantravelblogger #nomadsofindia #ETLRWithArnav #TravelDiaries2019 #himalayangeographic #highmountains #himalayasnepal #travel_capture #travel_photography #globetravelgram #discovertheglobe #world_destinations_ #dreamdestinations #discovertheglobe
Time to go Shopping in Pokhara
If there’s one thing I can suggest from experience is, do your shopping from Pokhara, rather than spending time doing the same thing in Kathmandu. Most of the times, the rates of a lot of items, turn out to be cheaper in Pokhara, than in Thamel– The backpacker’s hub in Kathmandu.
Ranging from souvenirs to trekking and adventure gear, from handmade jewellery to T-shirts with embroidered motifs, from Thanka paintings to Pashmina shawls to all kind of clothing for both the sexes – the streets of Pokhara, are a shopper’s paradise.
So, get your bargaining skills sharp, and shop your hearts out.
Go Café Hopping at the main Lakeside promenade in Pokhara
Someone has rightly said, for every shop selling souvenirs in Pokhara, there’s a café or a restaurant.
This, you will find is 100% true, when you start exploring the busy and happening lake side promenade, which is lined with both shops, and cafes.
While, I personally didn’t get that much of time to explore the cafes in and around the area, you should definitely be checking out Godfather’s Pizzeria, The Kebab King, Busy Bee Café, Marwadi Restaurant, AM/PM Organic Café and Café Concerto, as these have been recommended by other travellers who have also explored Pokhara, but in a much-relaxed manner.
However, if you are able to squeeze a day or two more in Pokhara, here are some of the experiences you should definitely take out time for.
Put on the chef’s hat, and take some Cooking Classes
Did you know that there are three existing former Tibetan refugee camps in and around Pokhara?
As Pokhara has no Buddhist holy places, many older Tibetans have remained in the camps, regarding them as havens where they have kept their culture and language alive till date.
And you know what, you can meet them, interact with them, and even learn a thing or two from them?
How, you may ask?
Well, if you’ve got time at your hand, and are able to make your way to the Tibetan Refugee camps, you can learn how to cook some traditional delicacies, like the yummy Momos, and the traditional Dal Bhat, by joining some cooking classes.
Not only do you get a hands-on learning experience, in these cooking classes, but you also get an opportunity to interact and converse with the Tibetan refugees, and know more about them and their history.
Planning on Trekking in Nepal? Here’s what you definitely need to pack for Trekking in Nepal!
Experience the beauty of Pokhara, on a Cycle
With N number of trails around Pokhara, exploring on a mountain bike or a cycle, is an amazing experience.
With trails starting from 5 KM – 50 KM, and cycles being available from almost everywhere, for just around 200 – 500 NPR/ day, this is something which you should definitely experience.
After all, it’s not every day, that you feel the cool breeze coming from Lake Phewa, your face, as you pedal your way around some picturesque trails.
Pedaling through Pokhara, you are bound to see things, that are often missed out by every other tourist.
Indulge in some adventurous activities, in and around Pokhara
If you like that feeling of adrenaline rushing through your bodies, then you should definitely be checking out activities like, Paragliding, Bungee Jumping, Ultralight flights, Zip lining or White-Water Rafting in and around Pokhara in Nepal – The Birthplace of Adventure Tourism.
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And the Nepal Adventure Continues … . . Chitwan National Park ✔️ Lumbini ✔️ Palpa ✔️ Pokhara ✔️ . Swipe right to see the rest of the pics as I wandered along the #StreetsOfPokhara . . After experiencing the rawness of nature in Chitwan National Park, the peace and tranquility in Lumbini – The Birthplace of Lord Buddha, we ended up in the lakeside town of Pokhara. . Pokhara – A lakeside city in the lap of Himalayas, is the gateway to many popular High Altitude Himalayan Treks like Annapurna Circuit. It is also the second largest city in Nepal in terms of Area and I extremely popular with backpackers from around the world. . While boating in the Phewa lake and hiking up to the Pokhara Peace Pagoda, is a wonderful experience, a stroll around the lake side promenade is highly recommend when the sun sets. The whole street comes alive with tourists from around the world as there are plenty of populer bars and pubs and souvenir selling shops along the street. . . Hospitality Partner – @mountaingloryforestresort . Travel Partner – @nepaltourism @patanepalchapter . . #ShotOnNokia 7.1 @nokiamobilein . . . #HTM2019 #VisitNepal2020 #highONhimalayas #EatTravelLiveRepeat #nepaltourism #pokharanepal #pokharadiaries #experiencenepal #GatewayToTheHimalayas #VisitNepal #shutterbugsindia #ourlonelyplanet #outlooktraveller #tripgram #tripadvisor #wanderontravelcommunity #indiantravelblogger #nomadsofindia #ETLRWithArnav #TravelDiaries2019 #wanderlustwednesday #himalayangeographic #highmountains #himalayasnepal
Thanks a lot for taking out time and reading this post. It means a lot. If you enjoyed reading this post, do share your thoughts and feedback in comments, and share this post with your friends over social media.
If you feel, there’s something missing out, feel free to share it in comments. Even I’ll learn something new in the process.
Disclaimer : No compensation was received for this article, however Mountain Glory Forest Resort and Spa offered our stay complimentary, and PATA – Nepal Chapter took care of the experiences in Pokhara as I was one of the hosted Travel Bloggers selected by Nepal Tourism Board to promote the #VisitNepal2020 campaign, part of the Himalayan Travel Mart (HTM 2019). As always, the opinions on theETLRblog.com are (and always will be) my own!