Pokhara has something for everyone: whether lakeside relaxation is top of your agenda, or something more adventurous – Pokhara is acknowledged to be one of the world’s best paragliding spots – you’ll find it here.
120 miles west of Kathmandu, Pokhara is situated in a valley of great variety, with an almost-1000 metre altitude differential. You will find many climbers in Pokhara; and three of the world’s ten highest mountains are within 30 miles of the city: Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Annapurna I (8.091m), and Manaslu (8,163m). The peak of Sarangkot (1,590m) is a popular viewpoint, affording a spectacular Himalayan vista in one direction, and beautiful lake-views in the other.
Perhaps of particular interest in Pokhara is the museum of Gurkha history. Gurkhas have long been regarded as amongst the finest fighting units in the world, and have fought as part of the British (and Indian) Army for over 200 years; the British began recruiting them before the ink was dry on the Treaty of Sugauli following the 1814-16 Anglo-Nepalese War. Over 200,000 Gurkhas fought in the two world wars, of whom 16,000 were killed; and they have fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan. This small museum should be visited by anyone with an interest in British, Indian, Nepali or military history: one cannot fail to come away moved and impressed by the bravery of the men – and now women – who have enlisted to fight in these units.
Undoubtedly, Pokhara is regarded as the tourism capital of Nepal, with all the benefits and challenges that brings; but there is a reason for that, and the stunning views, fascinating museums, and opportunities for relaxation and adventure ensure that this is a must-see part of Nepal.