Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Introduction Of Pokhara

Pokhara is situated in the northwestern corner of the Pokhara Valley, which is a widening of the Seti Gandaki valley. The Seti River and its tributaries have dug impressive canyons into the valley floor, which are only visible from higher viewpoints or from the air. To the east of Pokhara is the municipality of Lekhnath, another town in the valley.
In no other place do mountains rise so quickly. In this area, within 30 km, the elevation rises from 1,000 m to over 7,500 m. The Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu ranges, each with peaks over 8,000 m, can be seen from Pokhara and there is a lake named Phewa Tal (Tal means lake in the Nepali language), three caves (Mahendra, Bat and Gupteswor) and an impressive falls (Patale Chhango or Devi's Fall) where the water from the Phewa Lake thunders into a hole and disappears. Due to this sharp rise in altitude the area of Pokhara has one of the highest precipitation rates of the country (over 4,000 mm/year). Even within the city there is a noticeable difference in the amount of rain between the south of the city by the lake and the north at the foot of the mountains.
The climate is sub-tropical but due to the elevation the temperatures are moderate: the summer temperatures average between 25–35 °C, in winter around 5–15 °C.
In the south the city borders on Phewa lake (4.4 km² at an elevation of about 800 m above sea level), in the north at an elevation of around 1,000 m the outskirts of the city touch the base of the Annapurna mountain range. From the southern fringes of the city 3 eight-thousanders (Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu) and, in the middle of the Annapurna range, the Machapuchare (Nepali language: Machhapucchare: 'Fishtail') with close to 7,000 m can be seen. This mountain dominates the northern horizon of the city and its name derives from its twin peaks, not visible from the south.
SummarySpend a fortnight in Shangri-La as you stalk some of the biggest carp specimens in Asia - and possibly the world. Staying in tranquil surroundings on the shores of Lake Phewa in Pokhara, you are perfectly positioned to catch massive carp, either from the bank or from one of our canoe-boats. The fish in this lake have yet to be challenged by the skilled carp angler, but it is only a matter of time before a 50kg + common carp is landed, and the world record is smashed. With many carp species resident in the lake, some of which have already been unofficially recorded at over 60kg, and catfish of over 100kg, we are confident that Phewa Tal will soon arrive on the world carp fishing map. Make way France!
Trip DescriptionIn a country where huge mountains dominate the skyline, imagine our surprise to find out that Carp in Phewa Tal grow as big as a man. The locals have been pulling specimen fish out of this lake for hundreds of years, and we often see our neighbours carting 20/30kg+ Bigheads to the fish market in town.
Staying at Frontiers Adventures’ idyllic retreat ‘Maya Devi’ on the shores of the lake, you have absolute freedom to fish - night and day - from a variety of spectacular swims. A boat is also available for your use throughout your stay, and food and drink is in plentiful supply just a few metres from the shore. Maya Devi is situated 2km to the north of Pokhara, in quiet and peaceful surroundings. At night, all you can hear are cicadas buzzing and the fish rising – a perfect backdrop to an adventure fishing holiday. And the real bonus is that the restaurant is within ear-shot of your bite alarm!
The following species have been recorded in Phewa Tal - Mirror, Common, Grass, Big Head, Nasice and Silver Carp, and as if that wasn’t enough, the mighty Mahseer was introduced about 50 years ago – known locally as the ‘King of the Mountains’ – and is in plentiful supply.
There is another lake in the Pokhara valley which reputedly has even larger fish – Begnas Tal. You are at liberty to fish there whenever you want; we will take you to the best places to fish, and introduce you to a few locals to help you decide on the best rig and bait. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, we can also arrange a 6-10 day expedition to western Nepal, rafting down the Karnali in pursuit of the Mahseer. Fishing for these powerful and notorious game fish is best in the spring months of February to April, not least because the river is at a low level, giving you a fighting chance of landing each take!
Your accommodation is in your private luxury chalet, built in traditional Gurung style, with master bedroom upstairs leading to a private balcony overlooking the lake, downstairs lounge area, and bathroom with shower, washbasin and lavatory.
It is difficult to describe the tranquillity and beauty of where you will be staying, but you are unlikely to come across a more spectacular location for chasing a world class fish. Check out our pictures and then tell us we’re wrong! Or better still, take up the challenge and put Nepal on the IGFA map.
Outline Itinerary
Day 1
Arrive Kathmandu. Check into hotel
Day 2
Sightseeing around valley
Day 3
Domestic flight to Pokhara, transfer to Maya Devi village.
Day 4-11
Fishing – Phewa Tal, Begnas Tal or Rupa Tal
Day 12
Domestic flight to Kathmandu, check into hotel
Day 13
Catch return flight to UK / elsewhere
AccommodationKathmandu Guest House – 3* (Kathmandu) - 3 nightsMaya Devi Village 3* (Pokhara) - 9 nights

Pokhara lies on an important old trading route between Tibet and India. In the 17th century it was part of the influential Kingdom of Kaski which again was one of the Chaubise Rajaya (24 Kingdoms of Nepal) ruled by a branch of the Shah Dynasty. Many of the mountains around Pokhara still have medieval ruins from this time. In 1752 the King of Kaski invited Newars from Bhaktapur to Pokhara to promote trade. Their heritage can still be seen in the architecture along the streets in Bhimshen Tol (Old Pokhara). Hindus, again, brought their culture and customs from Kathmandu and settled in the whole Pokhara valley. In 1786 Prithvi Narayan Shah added Pokhara into his kingdom. It had by then become an important trading place on the routes from Kathmandu to Jumla and from India to Tibet.
Originally Pokhara was largely inhabitated by Brahmins, Chhetris and Thakuris (the major villages were located in Parsyang, Malepatan, Pardi and Harichowk areas of modern Pokhara) and the Majhi community near the Fewa Lake. When the newars of Bhaktapur migrated to Pokhara they settled near main business locations such as Bindhyabasini temple, Nalakomukh and Bhairab Tole. Newars also brought many cultural dances like, "BHAIRAB DANCE, TAYA MACHA, LAKHE DANCE" which adds to cultural diversity of the Pokhara. After the British recruitment camp was shifted here Magar and Gurung community settled here in large numbers coming down from the hills. At present the Gurung (Tamu), Khas (Brahmin, Chhetri, Thakuri and Dalits) form the dominant community of Pokhara and the nearby hill areas in terms of population. Sizeable population of Newari community is also present within the Pokhara metropolitan area, however, in adjoining areas of Pokhara there are no newar settlements. A small muslim community is located on eastern fringes of Pokhara generally called as Miya Patan.
From 1959 to 1962 some 300,000 refugees came to Nepal from neighbouring Tibet, which had been annexed by China. Four refugee camps were established in the Pokhara valley: Tashipalkhel, Tashiling, Paljorling and Jambling. These camps have evolved into settlements. Because of their different architecture, prayer flags, gompas and chorten, these can easily be distinguished from the other settlements.
Until the end of the 1960s the town could only be reached by foot and it was considered even more a mystical place than Kathmandu. The first road was finished in 1968 (Siddhartha Highway) after which tourism set in and the city grew rapidly. The area along the Phewa lake developed into one of the major tourism hubs of Nepal
Pokhara spans 8 km from north to south and 6 km from east to west but, unlike Kathmandu, it is quite loosely built up and still has much green space. The Seti Gandaki flowing through the city from north to south divides the city roughly in two halves with the down-town area of Chipledunga in the middle, the old town centre of Bagar in the north and the tourist district of Lakeside (Baidam) in the south all lying on the western side of the river. The gorge through which the river flows is crossed at five points, the major ones are (from north to south): K.I. Singh Pul, Mahendra Pul and Prithvi Highway Pul. The eastern side of town is mainly residential.
About half of all tourists visiting Pokhara are there for the start or end of a trek to the Annapurna Base Camp and Mustang.
Lake Phewa was slightly enlarged by damming. It is in danger of silting up because of the inflow during the monsoon. The outflowing water is partially used for hydro power. The dam collapsed in the late 1970s and has been rebuilt again. The power plant is located about 100 m below at the bottom of the Phusre Khola gorge. Water is also diverted for irrigation into the southern Pokhara valley.
The eastern Pokhara Valley receives irrigation water through a canal running from a reservoir by the Seti in the north of the city. Phewa lake is also used for commercial fishing. The tourist area is along the north shore of the lake (Lake Side and Dam Side). It is mainly made up of little shops, little hotels, restaurants and bars. The larger hotels can be found on the southern and south-eastern fringes of the city, from where the view of the mountains, mainly Machapuchare (Fishtail), is seen best. To the east of the valley are few smaller and few bigger lakes, the largest being Begnas Tal and Rupakot Tal. Begnas Tal is also known for its fishery projects. There are no beaches in the valley, but one can rent boats in Phewa and Begnas Tal (lakes).

Tourism and economy
Bindhyabasini Temple in the evening
After the annexation of Tibet by China that led to the Indo-China war the trading route to India became defunct. Today only few caravans from Mustang still arrive in Bagar (Pokhara).
Pokhara has become a major tourist hub of Nepal, more than making up for the loss of its trading importance. The city offers a combination of nature and culture with a distinct tourist district in the southern subdivisions of Baidam, Lakeside and Damside. It is mostly known as starting and ending point for Annapurna treks.
Pokhara is quite a modern city with only few touristic attractions in the town itself. Most interesting is the old centre in the north of the city (purano bazar) where still many old shops and warehouses in the Newari style can be found. Mule caravans still arrive there from Mustang.
Temples worth visiting in the older part of town are Bindhyabasini temple and Bhimsen temple. Another temple, Barahi temple, is located on an island in the Phewa lake. It is accessible only through boats available at the shores of the lake.
The modern commercial city centre at Chiple Dhunga and Mahendrapul (now called Bhimsen Chowk, named after a Shahid (Martyr) in Jana-aandolan II, April, 2006) is halfway between the lake and Purano Bazar, the old centre. Apart from this there are several subcentres in other parts of town: in the north in Bagar, in the south between Prithvi Chok and Srijana Chok (mainly hardware stores), and in the east, on the other side of the Seti, in Ram Bazar.
On a hill overlooking Phewa Tal from the south is the World Peace Stupa (at 1,113 m) QTVR built in 1996 with a view of the lake, across the city and of the snow peaked mountain range consisting of namely, Fishtail, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himals (mountains).
The best viewpoint of Pokhara is Sarangkot (1,600 m) and Thulakot (in Lekhnath a part of famous Royal Trek from where four lakes Phewa, Begnas, Khaste and Dipang and whole Annapurna range is seen) to the west of the city. Paths and a road lead to the top from where one can enjoy spectacular views of the Annapurna range, Manaslu, Dhaulagiri and the city itself. In the top of the hill of Sarankot, there is a beautiful Buddhist stupa/monastery, which also attracts many tourists.
The shortage of touristic sites in Pokhara is made up by its scenic views in and around town. Most of them are not mentioned in any guide or map. The Seti Gandaki (White Gandaki) and its tributaries have created spectacular gorges in and around the whole city. The Seti gorge runs through the whole city from north to south. At places it is only a few metres wide, but 100 m deep with a water depth of 20 m.
In the middle of the city, the gorge widens to a canyon looking like a crater. In the north and south, just outside town, there are awesome canyons, in some places 100 m deep. These canyons extend through the whole Pokhara Valley. Impressive views are possible from the Prithvi Narayan Campus and from the other side at the foot of Kahu Danda (conjunction of several rivers and canyons). Behind the INF-Compound one can see the Seti River disappear into a slit in an almost 100 m wall, especially impressive in monsoon.
Another place worth visiting is the Patale Chhango (Hell's Falls), more commonly called "Davis Falls", named after a tourist who fell into the gorge. The water of these falls comes from the Fewa Lake flowing to the Seti. The falls plunge into a hole and disappear. In monsoon this sight is most spectacular. Nearby, across the street is a little cave (Gupteshwor Cave). A more exciting cave is at the opposite end of the city in Batulechaur (Mahendra Cave). Betulechaur is known for the musicians caste of the Gaines.
Pokhara is the gateway to the trekking route "Round Annapurana", which is usually a trek of 25 days.
Pokhara is the location of the British Gurkha Camp in the north of the city. It is a recruitment camp for Nepalis as Gurkha soldiers. About 370 are selected annually in December out of a pool of over 20,000 applicants. About 140 eventually join the Gurkha Contingent in Singapore while the rest join the British Army.
The city of Pokhara has many educational institutions and regarded as best place for learning in western development region. Prithivi Narayan Campus ,the largest in terms of student enrollment in whole Nepal , IOE Western Region Campus providing engineering education, Foresty Campus, Nursing Campus under Tribhuvan University and Manipal College of Medical Science under Kathmandu university. There are many higher secondary schools for better education. The city has many boards firsts in SLC examination.
Pokhara Airport
Pokhara Airport is situated in the middle of town and offers flights to Kathmandu, Jomsom, Manang, Bhairahawa and Bharatpur. Helicopters to Manang and Jomsom are also available for charter.
Pokhara stupas.
Phewa lake and lakeside view from Sarangkot
Lakes and rivers
Phewa lake in 1982
Phewa Lake or Fewa Tal is a lake of Nepal located in the Pokhara Valley near Pokhara and Sarangkot.
The Seti River is a river running down from the Himalaya in north-west Nepal. It is one of the largest river in Nepal.
Lekhnath Municipality is known as "Garden city of seven lakes" as there are seven lakes.
List of lakes & rivers in Pokhara :
Phewa Lake
Begnas Lake
Rupa Lake
Seti River
Gandaki River
Gude Lake
Neurani Lake
Deepang Lake
Maidy Lake
Khastey Lake
Bijayapur River
Important education facilities in Pokhara
Prithivi Narayan Campus
Western Regional Campus for Engineering
Nursing Campus
Pokhara University
Pokhara Engineering College
Manipal College of Medical Sciences
Gandaki College of Engineering and Sciences
Urban Development Training Centre (UDTC)
Institute of Forestry - Tribh

AT A GLANCEDuration:13 Days / 12 NightsAccommodation:Hotel / Maya Devi villageTransport:Return flight Kathmandu-Pokhara. Jeep transfers.Activities:FishingGroup Sizes:Min 1 / Max 4Dates:Continuously from October to AprilGrading:Chilled outIncluded:All internal transfers (air and jeep), 3* accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara, guided tour of Kathmandu, all food at Maya Devi, B&B in Kathmandu.Excluded:Flights to/from Nepal, airport and departure taxes, aerated & alcoholic beverages, fishing equipment and bait.Price: £poa

AT A GLANCEDuration:13 Days / 12 NightsAccommodation:Hotel / Maya Devi villageTransport:Return flight Kathmandu-Pokhara. Jeep transfers.Activities:FishingGroup Sizes:Min 1 / Max 4Dates:Continuously from October to AprilGrading:Chilled outIncluded:All internal transfers (air and jeep), 3* accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara, guided tour of Kathmandu, all food at Maya Devi, B&B in Kathmandu.Excluded:Flights to/from Nepal, airport and departure taxes, aerated & alcoholic beverages, fishing equipment and bait.Price: £poa

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