So you want to visit the adventure capital of Nepal? Pokhara, nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, is a picturesque city for thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. From paragliding over the mountains to exploring hidden caves, Pokhara has something for every type of traveler. So pack the bags and prepare for an unforgettable journey, as we explore the top places to visit in Pokhara. Where the adventure never ends!
Check out my Pokhara Travel Guide, for everything you need to know about the city of lakes in Nepal!
Top 20 Places to visit in Lakeside, Pokhara:
With numerous attractions and activities, it can be overwhelming for first-time visitors to decide what to see and do in Pokhara. Therefore, I have compiled a list of the top 20 places to visit in Pokhara, covering everything from religious sites and cultural landmarks to natural wonders and adventurous activities.
Let’s dive right into the list of best places to visit around Lakeside Pokhara!
1. Dam Side Park
Dam Side park is on the south part of Phewa Lake and provides magnificent views of the mountains to the north. During the clear months, you can see a panoramic view and reflection of the Himalayas in the water. The lake is surrounded by lush green hills, making it an ideal spot for relaxation and contemplation. Additionally, Phewa Lake is surrounded by countless restaurants, shops, and hotels, which offer a great way to spend a day.
Of course Fewa lake is the main attraction of the city, but I recommend visitors to enjoy it from a quiet and secluded park, even just for a picture or two!
2. Peace Pagoda:
The World Peace Pagoda at Lakeside, also known as Shanti Stupa, is a Buddhist monument located on a hill overlooking Fewa Lake below. It is a must-visit destination for those interested in Buddhism and world peace. The Japanese monk Nichidatsu Fujii built these pagodas around the world to promote world peace and understanding among all people and religions.
The World Peace Pagoda is known for its stunning architecture and impressive Himalayas and Pokhara city views. The pagoda is a large white dome-shaped structure atop the hill overlooking Phewa Lake below. It offers a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape, stretching from the mountains to the north to the international airport to the east. Visitors can climb to the top of the pagoda and admire the views while enjoying the peaceful atmosphere.
One of the best ways to reach the Peace Pagoda is by boat and then a short hour-long hike. See my blog covering the Peace Pagoda and Shiva Statue hike!
3. Shiva Statue:
After visiting the Peace Pagoda, turn your gaze further up the hill. This is where the iconic Shiva Statue in Pumdikot is. Impressive for its size and intricate design, the statue is one of the largest in Nepal, standing at around 51 feet tall. However, the entire temple stands at an impressive 108 feet. Depicting Lord Shiva in a meditative pose, holding a trident, and surrounded by 108 shiva lingas, the statue is beautifully crafted and stands out as a grand and impressive sight.
The Lord Shiva statue was finished in late 2021, and provides a 360-degree view of the Pokhara valley below and picturesque views of the Annapurna Range, Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, and Manaslu.
4. Begnas Lake:
Begnas Lake is another popular destination for its serene atmosphere and beautiful surroundings. The lake is located in a peaceful and remote area and is a great spot for relaxing next to the lake’s shores. Visitors can take a boat ride on the lake, swim, or enjoy the beautiful scenery. Finally, Begnas lake is also a great spot for sunset viewing.
5. Rupa Lake:
Rupa Lake is known for its crystal-clear waters and peaceful atmosphere. Visitors can take a leisurely boat ride on the lake. All while enjoying the stunning views of the mountains and the lush green forests. Additionally, the lake is a great location for animal lovers, as it is more peaceful than the other lakes!
It is home to various fish species, including carp and tilapia, making it a popular destination for fishing. The lake is also a migratory bird habitat home to different bird species, including kingfishers, herons, and egrets.
Sarangkot is a hilltop village and popular tourist destination known for its stunning panoramic views of the Himalayas and Pokhara valley.
Located at an elevation of approximately 1,592 meters, one can take in the crystal clear views of the Annapurna range, including the famous peaks of Annapurna South and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail). Visitors can also enjoy the beautiful scenery of Pokhara valley and Fewa lake. The views are particularly stunning during sunrise and sunset, making it a popular spot for photography.
Another reason to visit Sarangkot is for the adventurous activities it offers. Sarangkot is a popular spot for paragliding in Pokhara and allows visitors to fly over the city and lake to get a bird’s eye view of Pokhara.
To visit Sarangkot, it used to require a 30-minute taxi ride from Lakeside. Luckily, in 2022 the Annapurna Cable car was finished, allowing visitors to reach the viewpoint in under 10 minutes!
7. Devis Falls:
Devi’s Fall, also known as Patale Chhango, is known for its natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere. It is a waterfall formed by the Pardi Khola stream and drops into a deep gorge, creating a spectacular sight. The sound of the water creates a soothing atmosphere. The waterfall is also considered a sacred site by the locals and is believed to have healing powers.
According to local legend, the waterfall was named after a swiss woman named Devi, who is said to have been swimming with her husband and drowned.
Finally, Devis falls is an attraction that thousands of Nepalis and tourists visit for recreation and enjoyment each year. Visitors can try their luck on the luck pond constructed, thereby throwing and placing the coin on the statue of God. Likewise, one can find a model of a traditional Nepali house and a series of sculptures of Nepali people wearing traditional dresses where visitors can take photos.
8. Gupteshwor cave:
One of the three main caves in Pokhara, the cave is located just a few kilometers from the city center, it’s a sacred cave that houses a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Visitors must climb down steep stairs to enter Gupteshwor Cave, adorned with intricate rock formations and natural sculptures.
The highlight of the cave is a sacred waterfall that flows from a small opening in the roof, creating a mystical atmosphere. It’s a must-visit attraction for those who appreciate natural wonders and cultural landmarks.
9. Chamero Cave:
The Bat Cave in Pokhara is a popular tourist destination located on the hillside of Batulechaur, just a short distance from the city center. It’s a natural cave home to a large population of bats, and visitors can witness the nocturnal creatures in their natural habitat. The cave is also adorned with stunning rock formations and natural sculptures, and visitors can explore the various chambers and tunnels. It’s a unique experience for nature lovers and those who appreciate the beauty of natural wonders.
10. Mahendra Gufa:
Mahendra Gufa, also known as Mahendra Cave, is a natural limestone cave in Pokhara, Nepal. It’s named after the late king of Nepal, Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, who discovered the cave in the 1950s. The cave is popular for its stunning rock formations, stalactites, and stalagmites, and visitors can explore the various chambers and tunnels. It’s also home to a colony of bats, adding to the mystical atmosphere of the cave. It’s a must-visit attraction for those who appreciate natural wonders and geological formations.
11. Bindabasini Temple:
Bindabasini Temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Bhagwati, considered an incarnation of the Hindu goddess Durga is located on a hilltop in the heart of Pokhara.
Offering beautiful views of the city and the Annapurna mountain range, the temple is considered sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists and is visited by thousands of devotees every year. The temple complex houses several smaller shrines and statues, including one of the goddesses, Bhagwati, which is said to be over 200 years old. The temple also has an interesting history. It is believed that a local king built the temple in the 18th century, and it is also said that the temple was created to honor a vow made by the king’s wife.
12. Tibetan Refugee Camp:
The Tibetan Refugee Camp in Chhorepatan, offers visitors a glimpse into the rich culture and history of Tibet and the Tibetan people. The camp is home to a community of Tibetan refugees who fled their homeland following the Chinese occupation of Tibet in the 1950s. Visitors can learn about these refugees’ struggles and experiences and understand the political and human rights issues they continue to face.
Visitors can explore the camp’s small market, which sells traditional Tibetan handicrafts, textiles, and other goods. Alongside the markets, you can eat the best Tibetan food available in Pokhara at Little Tibet Cafe! While enjoying the peaceful environment and viewing the mountains to the north, you can enjoy famous Tibetan dishes like keema noodles, ting momos, and shafaley.
After eating to your heart’s content, check out the Tibetan history museum and the Tibetan rug showroom.
13. Pema Dechenling Buddhist Monastery:
Pema Dechenling Buddhist Monastery is a beautiful and peaceful place that offers visitors a chance to escape the city’s hustle and bustle and experience tranquility.
Nestled on the hillside overlooking the lakeside, the tranquil Buddhist Monastery can be easily hiked to from the bustling streets of Pokhara’s Lakeside. As you ascend the rock steps, the noise of the city disappears behind the branches and leaves of the jungle. Pema Dechenling Buddhist Monastery is not just a secluded gumba where monks can practice a simple life outside the city. They also have opened their doors to tourists and locals for meditation and yoga classes.
With its own guesthouse, travelers from around the world make this monastery their home for a few days as they calm the soul and get back in touch with the true meaning of life. The monastery also has a small cafe where tourists can enjoy tea while enjoying the lake’s views.
14. International Mountain Museum
The International Mountain Museum in Pokhara is a great place to visit as it is a unique and informative museum that offers visitors an in-depth look at the mountains’ history, culture, and science. The museum has several exhibits that showcase the natural beauty and diversity of the mountains and the challenges and opportunities they present to the people who live in and around them. The museum covers mountain ranges worldwide, and visitors can learn about the mountain’s history, geology, flora and fauna, culture, and adventure.
Located away from the main parts of the city, the museum is a peaceful place to take in the views of the mountains to the north. The complex is large and great for picnics, rock climbing, or just enjoying the gardens around the museum.
15. Tal Barahi Temple:
The Tal Barahi Temple, also called the Lake Temple or Barahi Temple, is an important Hindu religious site on a small island in the Phewa Lake of Pokhara, Nepal. This temple is dedicated to the goddess Barahi and is considered Pokhara’s most important religious monument. Due to its location on an island in Fewa Lake, visitors can only access it by boat.
The temple represents the manifestation of Ajima, symbolizing the female force in Hinduism. Devotees often make pilgrimages to the temple during the Nepalese months of Baisakh (April-May) and Kartik (November-December).
It is also a great location to see the Barahi Aarti every night at dusk. It is a powerful and interesting religious ceremony to pay homage and prayers to the temple, and the lake.
16. Movie Garden:
The Movie Garden in Pokhara is a British/Nepali collaboration, offering a unique experience showcasing the greatest films of the past 50 years. It is set in a hidden location at the edge of the jungle, surrounded by bamboo with a stunning view of Fewa Lake.
The half-covered and half-open-air seating allows for year-round enjoyment, rain or shine. Visitors can relax before the film starts by enjoying pizza and drinks. It is a great place to catch a movie and enjoy an evening around Lakeside! It is also one of three movie theaters in Pokhara.
17. Annapurna Natural History Museum:
The Annapurna Natural History Museum in Pokhara is a must-visit destination for those interested in the diverse flora and fauna of the Annapurna region. The museum showcases various specimens of butterflies, insects, birds, and animals found in the region, as well as the geological and cultural history of the area. It also features exhibits on local medicinal plants and herbs and an impressive collection of fossils. Visitors can learn about the region’s natural beauty and its importance to the world’s biodiversity.
18. Gorkha Memorial Museum:
The museum focuses on the history of the British Army and the Indian Army from the past to the present day. It features numerous photographs showcasing the various campaigns they have participated in and their regimental life. The three-story galleries come alive with sound and colored light, while displays include uniforms, equipment, and medals. Visitors can also view details of the Gurkha Victoria Cross winners, the highest bravery medal, and their citations.
19. Basundhara Park:
The park is on the north shores of Fewa Lake. Basundhara Park is a popular attraction among locals and is a quiet getaway from the main parts of Lakeside. The park offers a tranquil environment for locals and visitors to indulge in activities such as boating and fishing. Visitors can rent boats, play volleyball, visit the rock art garden, or relax in the peaceful park.
20. Jangchub Choeling Monastery
Founded by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in 1967 and supervised by Lama Dupsing Rinpoche, the Jangchub Choeling Monastery is renowned and historic in Pokhara. Originally accommodating only 35 monks, it has since grown to house hundreds of monks and holds numerous Kagyu and Tengyur scriptures. As an educational institution, the monastery offers information on philosophy, poetry, grammar, and more. Visitors can admire the intricate wall designs and artwork, making it a fascinating tourist attraction in Pokhara.
Key Takeaways: 20 Best places to visit in Pokhara
Pokhara is an absolutely beautiful tourist destination in Nepal. With it being the gateway to the Annapurnas and considered by many to be the tourist capital of Nepal, there is something for everyone.
Whether you are looking for adventure or just relaxing at Lakeside, this list of the best places to visit in Pokhara will give you something to do and enjoy your stay in Pokhara, Nepal.
FAQs: Best places to visit in Pokhara, Nepal
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the top places to see and visit in Pokhara Nepal.
The beautiful places to visit in Pokhara are Fewa Lake, Dam Side Park, Peace Pagoda, Shiva Statue Pumdikot, Begnas Lake, Rupa Lake, Sarangkot, Devis Falls, Gupteshwor cave, Chamero Cave, Mahendra Gufa, Bindabasini Temple, Tibetan refugee camp, Pema Dechenling Buddhist Monastery, Mountain Museum, Tal Barahi Temple, Movie Garden, Annapurna Natural History Museum, Gorkha Memorial Museum, Basundhara Park, Jangchub Choeling Monastery.
Pokhara is a top tourist destination in Nepal, renowned for its stunning Himalayan range and beautiful lakes. Visitors flock to the valley for outdoor activities such as boating, trekking, paragliding, ziplining, and extreme sports like rafting, canoeing, and bungee jumping.
Two days in Pokhara is more than enough while visiting. You will have enough time to engage in adventure activities, hike, see museums, and relax along the lakeside.
Pokhara’s stunning allure has captured the attention of numerous travel writers. The location’s pure air, the breathtaking vista of the snow-covered Annapurna Range, and the tranquil Phewa, Begnas, and Rupa Lakes have earned this destination the title of ‘the Jewel of the Himalaya.’