If you speak about Nepal, a couple of things immediately pop up, Mt. Everest and the country’s capital Kathmandu. No doubt, witnessing Mt. Everest, the world’s tallest mountain is on everyone’s travel wishlist and the easiest way to get there is via Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. However, if you happen to visit Nepal, you should also visit the country’s second-largest city Pokhra.
The picturesque Pokhra not only boasts of the famous Annapurna circuit trek, but its natural beauty, spectacular topography, and serene environment will keep you mesmerized.
The city offers a plethora of reasons for a traveler to get close to nature. Here are a few things which make Pokhra an eco-friendly destination in Nepal and it should be on the iteniary for any traveler looking for sustainable tourist spots.
Phewa Lake or Fewa Lake is one of the largest lakes in Nepal and is also one of the most beautiful sights in the country. The reflection of the mountains and greenery in the water, the colorful boats lining up the shore, and the tinkling of bells at the temple located on a small island in the lake, add to the charm and serenity.
While Pokhra is known for its Phewa Lake, there are a few others in the vicinity. Begnas Lake and Rupa Lake are two big lakes located in the southeast of Pokhra. There are a few smaller ones as well – Dipang Lake, Khaste Lake, and Gude Lake.
Begnas Lake is about 14 km from Pokhara and very close to this Lake is Rupa Lake, which is nature’s paradise. Adjacent to Rupa Lake is Pokhra zoological park.
World Peace Pagoda (Shanti Stupa)
Shanti Stupa — commonly known as the Peace Pagoda — is located at the top of Anadu Hill.
The dome-shaped white-painted pagoda has four images of the Buddha facing in four directions. Along with the tranquility, the place also offers spectacular views of the city, lake, and the Annapurna Mountains.
Treks and Hikes
Annapurna is a mountainous region just outside of Pokhara, a pop for mountaineers trekking. Two popular longer treks are the Annapurna Sanctuary and Annapurna Circuit.
If trekking in the Annapurna region, sounds arduous and not what you like, you can embark on some smaller hikes.
Sarangkot is a perfect morning warm-up, where you go to see the sunrise over the Annapurna and Fishtail mountains.
Kahun Dharahara is the second nearest hill close to the city, which is famous for short hikes.
Devi’s Falls or Patale Chango is a rather unusual waterfall, where the water flows down the hill, into a 500 meters long tunnel, and emerges from a cave further downstream. Devi’s Fall is the name given after a Swiss woman, Mrs. Davis, who was pulled in by the currents while swimming there in 1961. Patale Chango means underworld waterfall in Nepali.
Mahendra Cave is another popular ecological attraction, famous for its stalactites and stalagmite rocks.
One more reason which makes Pokhra an eco-friendly destination in Nepal is the easy availability of Hemp products.
There are many shops in the market close to Phewa Lake where you can get clothing, bags, and other accessories made from hemp fabric and stinging nettle fabric.
Hemp has gained wide recognition for being a sustainable choice for fashion.
We have shared a story about one particular shop in Pokhra which sells Hemp products. You can read it here.
If you are a thrill-seeker, there is a range of adventure activities that you can indulge in – bungee jumping, zip-lining, river rafting, or flying over the peaks in an ultralight aircraft, but one of the highly recommended will be paragliding.
Pokhra is one of the best destinations for paragliding, the spectacular backdrop of the green mountains and the serene Phewa lake add calmness to the thrill of being in the air.
Vegan and Vegetarian Food
To close off the list, food is another factor that makes Pokhra an eco-friendly destination in Nepal. In addition to many vegetarian restaurants, the city also has chic food joints selling vegan and plant-based meat options.
Some of the vegetarian dishes which you can try are Dhal-Bhat, Wo, and Sel Roti, among others.
Dhal-Bhat is the most popular dish amount the locals, dhal is the lentil soup mixed with spices, while bhat is rice. The dish is often accompanied by a variety of seasonable vegetable curries, pickles, and salads.
You can find many Thakali restaurants in Pokhra. The Thakali are people from the Thak Khola region in Nepal and their Dhal-Bhat cuisine is named as Thakali food.
Wo or Bara are patties made with ground lentils and make a perfect snack option. Another sweet and crispy savory is Sel Roti, made with rice flour it is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.