Pokhara is known for adventure tourism. Paragliding, zip line, white water rafting, Himalayan treks are few recipes in the adventure tourists menu. Sarangkot is the place were you take off to the skies on para-gliders. But due to lack of time, we were merely tourists. After an inspiring and bewitching sunrise, we set out to explore the other tourists spots in Pokhara.
The first destination was Bindhyabhasini Temple. One of the most popular temples in Nepal, Bindhyabhasini Temple offers ravishing view of the Annapurna mountain ranges and the city of Pokhara.
The next stop is gonna be of interest to you, if you are a Batman fan. Yes, it is the Bat cave. As the name suggested,we found zillions of bats hanging on the cave roofs. Unfortunately we didn’t find the Wayne Manor nearby. Not bad, if you wanna be the next Batman, but the tourists are not gonna be very happy. It was a good thing that we hired a flash light. Without it, we’d have been wandering in the pitch black darkness of the cave. We did not try the alternate exit, through which one has to crawl his way out, as we didn’t wanna get our clothes dirty. Well, we didn’t find that exit though we searched for it. Should’ve hired the guide as well. Since taking a photograph with the flash can agitate the bats, so avoided it to be on the safer side.
After exploring the bat cave, we headed off to the next cave – Mahendra Cave. This is cave 2 out of 3 in Pokhara. Unlike Bat cave, this cave is pretty long and is illuminated At the end of it, we found a small temple. This cave too has an alternate exit and we did crawl out through it. Not as tough as the bat cave exit though.
The next place in the itinerary was the Gurkha Museum. The exhibits narrated the great stories of the Gurkhas. The bravery of the Gurkha enthralled and inspired us. Since photography was allowed, we made it a point to capture all the glorious exhibits and descriptions. Just opposite to the museum is the Seti River Gorge, which would’ve made a good view had the Nepal tourism board maintained it. It looked to me like the waste dump of Pokhara. The gorge is pretty deep but don’t even think about comparing it to the Grand Canyon.
Now, all the above places took hardly 2 hours of our time. So we decided to take a stroll along the Phewa lakeside. The first thing we did was to take a boat savari to Barahi Temple which is located at the middle of the lake Phewa. It offers an alluring view of the beauty of Pokhara. Now, we had a little trouble with getting back to shore as, we found no boat offering a savari, since most people hired the boat as a whole.
After lunch we decided to try a little adventure. We hired 3 “so-called” mountain bikes and set out to the Shanti Stupa. The cycles were kinda junk and did give us a lotta trouble with the chains and the gears. We cycled for about 5 km and reached near the road to the Stupa. But since we were amateurs we decided not to try our luck with the 1 km vertical climb to reach the Stupa. So instead we turned back and then headed to the Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, the 3rd cave in Pokhara. The notable feature of this cave is that it runs under the highway and offers an underground view of the Davis Fall. This is one cave where the phrase, “Mind your head” is very relevant. And there’s water trickling down from all directions. The cave is named so because of the temple that’s present in the beginning of the cave.
And now to our last destination, the Davis Fall. It is a really good waterfall, but the Nepal Tourism Board has “Censored” half of it. The overgrown vegetation surrounding the falls really mar the beauty of the waterfall. After the waterfall, we cycled around the lake. We skipped one important tourist attraction in Pokhara, the Mountaineering Museum, since we lost nearly an hour trying to get our cycles fixed. During our return journey, the stand of one of the cycle came off. We tied it up and continued our cycling expedition. We were slightly worried when we returned the cycles and we did tell the owner about the stand problem. Her chuckle conveyed the question, “That’s all that came off?”
That winds up my Pokhara Diary. But I really wanna come back to this place again. All the adventure sports are pulling me back to this place, and so is the natural beauty of the place. One fact about Pokhara is that, there is no other place where you can see some of the highest peaks so close to you. Even during my Kashmir journey, I never so a peak so close.
Tomorrow, we bid farewell to Nepal. And trust me, the return journey was one hell of a ride.