Pokhara valley or Chitwan National park are the ideal place to visit if you have 2 more days in Nepal.
With the magnificent Annapurna range forming the backdrop and the serenity of three major lakes – Phewa, Rupa and Begnas – Pokhara is the ultimate destination for relaxation. Pokhara Valley, gateway to the Annapurna region where many a trekker finds his Shangri-la, sits high on the list of ‘must visit’ places in Nepal.
The mesmerizing Machhapuchhre also called Mt. Fishtail dominates the scenery because of its proximity to the valley and can be seen from anywhere in Pokhara. Stretching from east to west, the Annapurna massif includes Annapurna 1 to IV and Annapurna South. Further away are seen the giants, Dhaulagiri (8,167m) and Manaslu (8,163m).
Pokhara owes its popularity to the enchanting Phewa Lake, and along its eastern shore has grown the Lakeside or Baidam, a thriving resort town of hotels, restaurants, bars and souvenir shops that allow travelers to relax and enjoy. Phewa Lake is the largest and most beautiful of the three lakes, attracting a large number of visitors who enjoy boating on its placid waters.
Located in the middle of Phewa Lake, Barahi Temple is one the most important monuments in Pokhara. The two-storied pagoda is dedicated to the boar manifestation of Ajima who represents the female force, Shakti. Sacrifices take place here, and the largest crowds of devotees are seen on Saturdays.
Seti: An amazing aspect of Pokhara is the vanishing river, Seti, which goes underground and disappears in many places along its route through the city. At various points Seti is barely 2 m wide but its depth reaches an astonishing 20 m! A good spot for watching the river is MahendraPul at BhimsenChowk, a bridge near the old Mission Hospital. Here the river can be seen in all its ferocity gushing down the deep gorge that it has carved over millennia.
Devi’s Fall: Locally known as the PataleChhango (Nether Fall), Devi’s Fall is a fascinating waterfall located about 2 km south-west of Pokhara Airport on the Siddhartha Highway.
Mahendra Gupha: This is a large limestone cave at a two-hour walk to the north of Pokhara. Locally known as the House of Bats, it is famous for its stalactites and stalagmites.
World Peace Pagoda: The World Peace Pagoda can be seen on top of a hill on the southern fringe of Phewa Lake. It has four images of the Buddha facing the four directions. The dome-shaped pagoda is an impressive sight, and its hilltop location commands a great view. It is a great vantage point which offers spectacular views of the Annapurna.
The Old Bazaar: A stark contrast to Lakeside Pokhara, the old Pokhara Bazaar, 4 km away from Phewa Lake, is a traditional bazaar and a colorful gathering place for an ethnically diverse group of traders. The temples and monuments bear a close resemblance to the Newari architecture of the Kathmandu Valley. The old bazaar is also home to one of Pokhara’s most important shrines, the BindhyabasiniMandir, a white dome-like structure atop a hill.
Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park – where the world comes to spend hours tracking the elusive Bengal tigers, where guests and elephants bathe in the Raptiriver, and where Nepal has been able to successfully rebound its one-horned Rhino population. Here, you can take a ride with locals on old Kapok tree canoes as you navigate your way through wild water hyacinths and quietly pass by sunbathing alligators, an endangered remnant of the dinosaur era. The Park also attracts birdwatchers from all over the world. Needless to say, the Park is a rich treasure trove of countless Flora and Fauna, many of them endangered and protected.
History and Vegetation: Established in 1973, Chitwan National Park is the oldest in the country. It was granted the UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1984. The Park is located in the subtropical Inner Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal in the Chitwan District. The typical vegetation of the Inner Terai is Himalayan subtropical broadleaf forests with predominantly Sal trees covering about 70% of the national park area. It is home to at least 43 species of mammals which includes the “King of the Jungle” Bengal tiger, leopards, one horned rhinoceros, sambar deer, Red muntjac, hog deer, herds of chital and more. Also, every year many bird watchers throng to the Park to discover various species of birds like critically endangered Bengal florican, the vulnerable lesser adjutant, grey-crowned prinia, swamp francolin and several species of grass warblers.