Through My Lens

Exploring the World Through Photography

Tag: Pokhara

Gupteshwar Mahadev Cave in Pokhara, Nepal

Much like Devi Falls, this cave is located in a very commercialized section of the city and you must walk through a lot of shops before even getting to the…

Much like Devi Falls, this cave is located in a very commercialized section of the city and you must walk through a lot of shops before even getting to the ticket booth. The cave is very unique though, at least according to what I can normally see in California and I was glad I got a chance to see it.

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One of my favorite parks was the beautiful spiral staircase that you take just to get down to the entrance to the cave.

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The cave itself has religious significance for Hindu’s as it is dedicated to the god Shiva so you will see many people with shoes taken off at the entrance and a small temple about 40 feet down into the cave.

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I thought this was very interesting as the cave was dripping wet and many people were walking around and navigating the rough steps with bare feet or just socks.

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As you descend the long first staircase you will see the aforementioned temple.

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From here you continue down more stairs until you get to the start of the claustrophobic part. This area is where you need to bend over to get through the caves, the smallest section was probably around 4 feet and it comes and goes with some sections longer and some smaller.

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This entire section is about 125 feet and at the end there are very rough steps that lead you the rest of the way down.

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Here you are in a big cavern with the only real light coming from the main slit in the center. As you walk down the stairs to the viewing platform you can actually see the bottom of Devi Falls from here as well.

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It was hard to take a photo but pretty cool. In true Nepalese fashion the electricity went completely dark while I was down here as well so I had to use my iPhone light to get me back out.

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All in all the cave is a pretty cool thing to see. You would need more than an hour or an hour and a half to see Devi Falls and the cave as they are within walking distance of a each other, so it is worth a stop if you are into those things but it can be missed if you don’t have the time.

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Barahi Temple: Floating Temple in Pokhara, Nepal

One of the things I was shocked by in India and Nepal is all of the places that they have put temples. I have seen temples in caves, on mountain…

One of the things I was shocked by in India and Nepal is all of the places that they have put temples. I have seen temples in caves, on mountain tops and even on man-made platforms in the middle of a lake, like the Barahi temple in Fewa Lake. This temple, in the small mountain town of Pokhara, is a great stop that is quick, cheap and easy to access.

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History

The story goes like this. A goddess in the Hindu religion came to the village one night looking for shelter and food. Everyone in the village turned her away except for one old, poor couple that brought her in. The next morning they awoke to see their entire village under water except for their house, which is what is now the temple in the middle of the lake.

Barahi Temple 1

To get there you simply walk on the main path that heads along Lake Fewa till it ends at the boat hiring area only 200 feet from the temple itself. The prices are post but be aware bigger more comfortable boats cost more than the small ones. For us it was 100 rupees each, roundtrip to the temple, for the small boat it was 50 rupees round trip.

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After we paddled across the water I was dropped off on the small island where I started to explore the little plot of land. It was not much more than 75 square feet but it had a few really unique pieces that I have not seen at other temples.

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First, there was an overwhelming amount of pigeons that were flying and eating anything they could find. I realized as I walked around that there must be some sort of religious significance for this but I hard a hard time figuring out what it was. You could even buy feed for the birds as well.

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Second the temple itself was surrounded by bells. There were a few big ones on the outside and a ton of small ones all in a line around the temple itself. I saw more than a few people walk around and play the bells with their hands.

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Lastly, all of the religious icons seemed to be covered by wax. It was very unique as the wax seemed to melt on them as if through some sort of ritual. I didn’t go into the temple itself as it was only big enough for one person but it was beautiful.

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Barahi Temple 2

After exploring the area you can walk along the small island and take photos of the city, the pagoda and the mountains themselves. It is a great way to spend an hour and is easily worth the 100 rupee cost.

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Pokhara was one of my favorite cities in Nepal and I would love to hear what everyone else thinks of it in the comments.

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Hiking to Sarangkot in Pokhara, Nepal

If you want to experience a hike in Nepal but do not have time to trek like me, then I recommend making the trek to Sarangkot from Pokhara itself. This grueling…

If you want to experience a hike in Nepal but do not have time to trek like me, then I recommend making the trek to Sarangkot from Pokhara itself. This grueling hike will give you a taste of what trekking is like while rewarding you with an amazing vista when it is all complete.

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There are many ways to reach Sarangkot but the most popular is the South Trail, which starts at the lake and heads up 2000 feet in about 2.5 miles.

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The trail is beautiful, pretty much the entire way, but it is not easy-going up or coming down. It is also a little difficult to find, but if you try to follow the well-worn trail you should be ok.

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I mean, we got lost a few times on the way and ended up walking through a couple of corn fields before the farmer very graciously helped us back onto our path. There are many ways up the mountain, but this path is almost always stone stairs, so if you do not see those then you are probably not on the right path.

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The path starts in a dry creekbed and makes its way up the hillside through increasingly stunning forest and rice fields.

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When the trees give way to a clearing make sure to look behind you as you will see amazing vistas of the city and the Peace Pagoda below.

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Along the way we also met a dog that ran up and barked at us, but then proceeded to be our travel partner for most of the way. We affectionate called him “curry ” and he did help us find a path a few times.

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Here are few pictures from the hike and even though it is hard I cannot recommend it more as it gives you a picture of the countryside of Nepal.

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Here is a picture from the view at the top as well which lets you see where you started below.

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From the other side you can see the Annapurna Range. It is stunning, especially for sunrise or sunset and there is a little cafe there where you can get a much deserved water or tea if you feel so inclined.

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As my only trekking in Nepal I was thankful to be able to have this experience and it make me realize that I have to come back again sometime to do some actual hiking in this beautiful country.

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World Peace Pagoda above Pokhara, Nepal

As you walk around the town of Pokhara you will notice the World Peace Pagoda from pretty much every location you are at. This massive structure sits on the mountain…

As you walk around the town of Pokhara you will notice the World Peace Pagoda from pretty much every location you are at. This massive structure sits on the mountain to the left of the city and was created in 1999 as one of the many peace pagodas around Nepal. This was the second that I saw on my trip as I saw one in Lumbini as well. This pagoda was originally built here in 1973 but was town down by the government in 1974. Since that time many people tried to bring it back before it was eventually completed in 1999.

World Peace Pagoda Pokhara 5

To access it, the simplest way is to take a taxi to the base of the 500-600 rock steps and then climb them to reach the pagoda. Be warned, this road is slow going in the taxi as it is one lane and has small sections of dirt with the concrete.

World Peace Pagoda Pokhara 1

You can also access it by taking a boat across the lake then climbing up the other side but I didn’t do that myself so I can’t really comment.

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As you walk the steps you will be greeted with many different little shops and eateries where you can take a pause for a cold drink on the way up or down, and while not too hard, it will still be a good little workout to get to the Pagoda.

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For me though, I enjoyed the stairs as it seemed like a more unique way to experience the monument then just driving somewhere and getting out.

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As you near the top there is a small restaurant with epic views and you will start to see the city below and the Annapurna range in the distance, if the weather is clear.

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The Pagoda itself is almost identical to the other one I saw, but at its perch on top of the mountain it is a very worthy experience. As you would expect in Nepal there are prayer flags all along the way as you approach and many Buddhist people were meditating and enjoying the surroundings when I was there. Here are some of he pictures.

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The first of these pagodas was built in Japan in 1954 and since then the goal has been to build 100 of them throughout the world.

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I found this area to be very peaceful and I really enjoyed just sitting up here near sunset and just relaxing as I look out over the view. I highly recommend it as no trip to Pokhara would be complete without it.

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Devi’s Falls In Pokhara, Nepal

I have a hard time figuring what to write about Devi Falls as it is a pretty strange way to experience a waterfall. Pretty much it goes like this, you are…

I have a hard time figuring what to write about Devi Falls as it is a pretty strange way to experience a waterfall. Pretty much it goes like this, you are driving down a busy street and you stop by a massive amount of shops, in the middle of all of them is a small sign for Devi Falls. After walking through the shops you will be at the ticket counter and entering into the falls area, then boom, a waterfall.

Devi Falls 1

I love waterfalls and I go out of my way to see them, but it is not as enjoyable to have a relaxing waterfall experience in the hustle and bustle of shops and city. That being said I am still glad I went as the falls themselves were amazing and unique since the water runs through a tunnel from the lake before it enters the falls.

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Devi’s Falls were discovered in 1961 when a man named Daniel, who’s had a wife named Devi, were swimming in the lake and she got sucked into the tunnel. Her body was never found but the falls were discovered. After that the falls became a popular attraction for the many people in the area to come and see.

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Currently the small park offers a few nice views of the waterfall which descends through arches and tunnels as it makes its way to Gupteshwor Mahadevcave, the cave you can also visit across the street. Here are a few photos.

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The front view of the falls is the best as you can see most of it from here, I was a little confused about the layout of the other platforms as you walk to them and cannot see anything at all, so it seems like the layout could have been better.

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Here is a picture with me in it so you can get a sense of scale.

Devi Falls me

There is also a wishing well that is very popular and you can get coins from the ticket counter to toss in.

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Lastly, there is a very random area with 3D clay people with no faces that you can pose behind if you want to have a quick laugh and a funny photo.

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All in all this is a nice waterfall, but you could see Pokhara without seeing it if you are rushed for time.

Pro tip – the shops outside the falls are pretty cheap. I bought a medium-sized sounding bowl for only 500 rupees here (after bartering).

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Sunrise at Sarangkot: Annapurna Range in Pokhara, Nepal

Pokhara is known as the gateway to the Annapurna Range and you can see it with all of the knock off Northface shops they have in the area. However, no…

Pokhara is known as the gateway to the Annapurna Range and you can see it with all of the knock off Northface shops they have in the area. However, no trip to this city would be complete without marveling at the sheer size of these mountains from the cities best viewpoint, Sarangkot.

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This area is accessed by either taxi or hiking and having done both I would say taxi is a must for sunrise as the trail is very hard to navigate in the dark, but hiking is a good option for sunset if you are into a grueling walk up the mountain.

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After leaving the hotel at 4 in the morning I arrived at the top of the mountain around 4:30. After walking the last 20 meters to the top of the mountain and I was able to secure a great spot for the sunrise. Within ten minutes over 150 people came to the spot I was at, so I highly recommend getting there early if you want to get a good view.  You can also pay 100 ruppees to access the roof of a nearby coffee shop and enjoy a seat and a tea for the sunrise if that is more your thing.

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What followed was one of the best sunrises of my life. The massive above 20,000 foot peaks sparkled in the sun with their snow-capped peaks, and the sun itself split the mountains with rays you wouldn’t believe. I sat there for 45 minutes just taking it all in and taking photos. Here are some of my favorites.

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This was the first time I had seen these mountains on my stay as the fog had kept them pretty covered the rest of the time I was there, so I was blessed to see them as well as I did. The funny thing was when the sun was fully up, the mountains started to disappear into the clouds again and it was back to reality.

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I couldn’t believe how amazing this was and I highly recommend it as a must see in Pokhara. You may never see a better sunrise then this. The location itself is easy to get to and very popular, any taxi should be able to take you up the winding road to the top.

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