Raniban Is The Hill Running Along The Side Of The Phewa Lake.
If you have been to Nepal and did not see the pleasing Phewa lake your tour is incomplete in the true sense. I recall some unforgettable memories of visiting this center of attraction as a nature lover myself. The Nepalese call this second largest lake Fewa Tal.
In Nepalese language Tal means lake. It is in Pokhara city in the western part of Nepal. The lake gets its inflow of water from two major streams and several temporary streams. So, it is stream-fed, but a dam regulates the water reserve.
Phewa Tal generates a lot of electricity for Pokhara through its dam. Phewa Tal is categorized as a semi-natural freshwater lake. The lake has a water capacity of approximately 43,000,000 cubic meters.Annapurna Himalaya range, Nilgiri along with 20 other beautiful mountains are surrounding the Lake.
Raniban (Queen of Forests) is the hill running along the side of the lake. Mammals like a Common leopard, Bengal fox, and Barking deer are common in this forest. The forest has a rich collection of plants and birds also.
When Time You Shold Go There ?
The monsoon season starts from mid-June and stays till mid-September. It is very wet; in fact, Pokhara records the highest rainfall in Nepal. Best time to visit Pokhara is between the month of October and April.
How To Reach Pokhara & How Much It Costs:
By Bus or Car
There are both tourists as well as local buses and microbuses available. They leave at every 15 minutes’ interval starting early morning through the evening from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Also, there is a dine in service included bus service which costs around USD23 for a person. It starts at morning to cover popular tourist areas in Kathmandu and Lakeside in Pokhara.
If you want to travel comfortably, travel agencies offer air-conditioned cars with three people sitting arrangements. My friends and I took this option though it cost us a bit, we did not want to miss out much on the excellent countryside view. The rate varies on seasons (approximately USD120 –140) and the number of trips made.
If the last moment decision is taken to travel, you can purchase tickets online (USD120) to fly on some reputable airlines like Yeti Airlines, Buddha Air, and Simrik Air. When somebody buys the ticket online, they need to show the proof of purchase.
But in the case of purchasing the ticket from travel agents that are through cash transaction or bank transfers. There is a delay in almost all the flights for few minutes. A taxi from the Pokhara airport to Lakeside should cost Nepalese Rupee 250 (equivalent to USD2) if negotiated in advance.
Getting Around Pokhara
We took a taxi from Pokhara airport to lakeside where we stayed in a medium rate hotel with bed and breakfast. Comfortable taxis are available for rent. Pokhara city is small enough to find your way through on foot. Walking is necessary to get to places where vehicles or bicycles can’t reach.
1.Boating on the lake:
Boating is one of the not to miss activity in Phewa Lake at Pokhara. The hotel we were staying gave us information about a trusted tour company as well as a travel consultant operating in Nepal. They received us from our hotel and took us to a nearby boating station in Phewa Lake.
After some preliminary briefing, we got on a boat for few hours to explore the lake. These beautiful brightly painted boats are locally known as “Doongas.” At Phewa, you have a choice between pedal driven boats, rowboats, and sailboats.
One can one-self row the boat or hire a boatman to do so.The journey had been very peaceful but what made my day was viewing the reflection of Mount Machhapuchhre (Fishtail Peak) on the water surface of the lake. Because of its lower altitude, the weather is very enjoyable even in winter.
The water never freezes on the lake. Thanks for our experienced boating helper who packed lunch and bottled mineral water. We have spent almost three hours on tour, and at the end, they dropped us off at our hotel.
You can visit the Taal Barahi temple situated in the middle of Phewa lake. When I got there, I was completely mesmerized. The scenic beauty will certainly inspire a painter. It is the shrine of the water goddess (Barahi). People of Hindu belief visit the place for worship.
3.World Peace Pagoda or Shanti Stupa
World Peace Pagoda is on a hilltop on the south of Phewa Lake. There are four images of Buddha on each side of the pagoda, As the name suggests peace, the pagoda is completely white in color. Locally it is known as Shanti Stupa. This two-storied pagoda is built in honor of the protectress spirit. Buddhist monks from Japan made this pagoda.
4. Water Sports:
Along with boating on the lake, one can enjoy some of the adventure sports like fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and paragliding.
Fewa Lake is Nepali fishing capital. The lake is full of local fishes and a variety of alien fishes including German carp, grass carp, and catfish. Local shops near the boating area sell as well as rent out fishing equipment like fishing poles and rods.
People may walk or cycle along the lakeshore. The peaceful environment there is very relaxing. After a long day of trekking in the mountains, this is where you can take a break.
Besides bird watching the lake is best situated for photography as well. So, don’t waste a single moment deciding whether you need to take this trip. It is the journey worth your time and money.
Best Hotel & Resorts List In Pokhara
Many hotels, restaurants, and bars serving the tourists are located on the north side of the lake. The tourist district is commonly called Lake-Side or Baidam. Each year over 100,000 tourists visits Pokhara lakeside for its aesthetic and recreational reason.
Tourist can easily find comfortable accommodation in Pokhara which offers both lake views and mountain views. Besides hotels, individual huts are available for staying.We were looking for a hotel that was good for quiet staying.
Luckily the place where we stayed was popular for its calm and peaceful surrounding due to its distance from the city hustle bustle. The air was clean. We were quite content with hotel’s service that included general facilities like 24-hour front desk, daily housekeeping, 24-hour check in and checks out, power system, transportation service, 24-hour security, doctor on call, travel desk, parking, and Wi-Fi. The hotel also offered the service of a restaurant and a bar.
If you are for a luxurious stay, the following hotels are good choices:
1.Fish Tail Lodge: Centrally located resort offers fitness center besides other amenities and is 0.4 miles away from the lake.
2.Temple Tree Resort and Spa: You can see the Annapurna mountain range from here, and the lake is only 500 feet far. Also, the resort features Spa and Hot Tub/Jacuzzi.
3.Hotel Pokhara Grande: Though 1.5 miles from the lake, the hotel is one of the top picks.
4.Hotel Landmark Pokhara: The lake is only 825 feet from this very popular
If you are looking for the moderate expense and comfortable stay below are some fine choices:
1.Pokhara choice inn: features free Wi-Fi, restaurant, and the lake are only 0.3 miles away.
2.Hotel Grand Holiday: It has a rooftop restaurant and offers a mountain The lake is only 0.5 miles.
3.Galaxy Inn guest house: Only 547 yards from the lake this one offers free parking.
4.Hostel Kiwi backpackers: This guest house is pet-friendly.
Though I enjoyed our stay very much but being a people’s person, I would highly encourage a homestay. Homestay is living with the locals and learning directly from them about their culture. It helps to get the true feel of being a participant. I intend to do so on my next visit.
Tips For Tourists
Few things to keep in mind while planning for this enjoyable trip. It is wise to avoid night buses. These are available, but the ride is painful. During the rainy season, there may be problems with the roads and flying may make more sense.
Though the lake water has very low electrical conductivity, swimming around Lakeside is not recommended. There’s a lot of debris on the lake and safety is a strong concern there due to undercurrents. Also, while going for boating around the lake put on sunscreen, pack a camera and wear comfortable clothing appropriate for the weather.