Glimpse of Pokhara
Presence of panoramic view of Western Himalayan ranges like-Fishtail, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri etc and surrounded by various vegetations of the mid hills and inhabitants of incredible cultural practices of multi ethnic group are the essence of this tiny town Pokhara in Nepal. This is also a place beautified with its natural gifts of lakes, flora & fauna, caves, gorges where pilgrims or worshipers have access to popular temples, mosques, churches and monasteries. Pokhara can be considered as an ideal and one of the most preferred destinations because of its unique characteristic combination of both nature and culture.
How to Get Pokhara
By Air: You could use Air service from Kathmandu to Pokhara. There are about 17-20 flights daily operates in this rout.
By Bus: There are many buses run daily from Kathmandu to Pokhara and Pokhara to Kathmandu. Some of have air-condition service and they offer free of lunch on the way with safe and comfortable journey. Some buses do not offer such services but you will have safe and comfortable journey. Bus fare varies starting from 5$ to 30 $ depending up on the service they offer.
History of Tourism in Pokhara
Initially, Pokhara was explored as a transit point for mountaineers around 1950 and 1960. It was explored by a few thousand tourists in 1962. The first historic ascend of Mt. Annapurna (8091 m) on June 3, 1950 by a French national Maurice Herzog and a team of mountaineers was the historic pioneer step in exposing Pokhara as a mountainous tourist destination in the world. Dr. Tony Hagen, the Swiss Geographer visited Pokhara in 1950. British Colonel Jimmy Roberts in association with globally pioneer package tourism inventor, Thomas Cook (United Kingdom) in 1966 remained another milestone for the exposition of Pokhara and its surrounding areas from the perspective of tourism. However, the literature shows that it was popular among the visitors even before the century as quoted in the travelogues published by E. Kawaguchi (1899). It is a fortune for us all which also deserves the responsibility of everyone in saving and preserving this gift and make presentable for all. There merged a sense of collective efforts not only in its preservation but exposure of such paradise on earth for the people of the world. Pokhara is the transit point for the tourists intending to go to Annapurna region. That is why; tourists first arrived Pokhara and then proceed to Annapurna area. Those who have planned to visit Pokhara, are also found to be fascinated to visit Annapurna area too as they hear and see about it. So, the Annapurna region and Pokhara are interconnected and inseparable from tourism point of view.
Hippies were also the first Westerners to reach Pokhara in Western region in the 1970s. From the time of the monk Ekai Kawaguchi who travelled Nepal and visited Pokhara in 1899 to Maurice Herzog’s climbing expedition in 1950 and Toni Hagen’s geographical researching tour in 1952, Pokhara was visited by fewer foreigners. However, it was the Hippie era which made not only Nepal but also Pokhara famous in European and American markets. The year 1970, when hippies started coming to Pokhara making significant change in tourism, can be considered the opening decade of modern tourism in Pokhara. They have enormous roles for exploring new mountainous tourist sites that contributed to the identification of new trekking routes and sites in Annapurna and other regions of Nepal.
Why is Pokhara a Unique Destination?
- The valley is filled with lush vegetation, swift flowing rivers and dotted with clear, shimmering lakes.
- A 140 Km of panorama made up of towering Himalayan ranges seen close enough to be touched on a clear day.
- It is the only place in the world from where one can enjoy the magnificent view of mountains having elevation above 8000 meters, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu can be seen from Pokhara. It is an enchanting city nestled in a tranquil valley.
- A gateway to the world famous Annapurna circuit trekking trail.
- Destination for adventure sports such as paragliding, ultra-light flights, bungee jumps and zip line fly with boating, bird watching, trekking and mountain biking as the other attractions, Pokhara has it all.
- The relaxed atmosphere on the shores of Fewa Lake gives a trekker a much needed respite from days of hiking up and down the hills and mountains on one of the popular Annapurna treks.
- The enchanting Pokhara valley with the dominating presence of Mt. Machhapuchhare (Fishtail Mountain) in the background is the gateway to the Annapurna region where many a trekker finds one’s Shangri-la.
- The crowded bars and restaurants are the places to seek companionship, where tall stories and real life experiences are shared with perfect strangers. The friendly Nepalese make a tourist feel at home to the point where many stay on for extended periods and come each year to seek those friends he’s made and find peace of mind.
- City of Lakes: Freshwater lakes in Nepal located in the south of the Pokhara Valley and Easts. The Annapurna range on the North is only about 28 km (linear distance) away from the lake, and the lake is famous for the reflection of mount Machhapuchhre and other mountain peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges on its surface.