How to go Pokhara from Kathmandu? Here are ideas, and tips about ways from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Are you worried about how to go to Pokhara from Kathmandu? Don’t worry about reaching Pokhara from Kathmandu.
If you think about how to go to Pokhara from Kathmandu by road or how to reach Pokhara from Kathmandu or how to get Pokhara from Kathmandu or how to go to Pokhara from Kathmandu by Air, then we request you not to worry. Here is the solution for you about how to go to Pokhara from Kathmandu.
As we all know that Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. There is only one International airport in Nepal that is located in Kathmandu. It means you will take off in Kathmandu.
Pokhara is one of the most scenic and exciting valleys in Nepal. Pokhara valley is the ‘Jewel of the mid-west, second major tourist sport in Nepal and the third biggest city of Nepal but the favorite of tourists from around the globe. Pokhara lies 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu. It is the starting point for most of the treks in the Annapurna range area.
How to go Pokhara from Kathmandu? Pokhara is linked by Air and by road from Kathmandu and the Indian border like Sunauli. If you want to go to Pokhara from Kathmandu by road then It takes six to seven hours by car.
If you want to go to Pokhara from Kathmandu by air then it takes only 25 to 30 minutes by flight from Tribhuwan International Airport. You decide that how to go to Pokhara from Kathmandu. Getting to your destination is the objective but even the journey between these two famed cities is part of the Pokhara experience.
Again, How to go to Pokhara from Kathmandu? The easier and quicker means of reaching Pokhara is to fly out from Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu.
Flying on a clear day gives one the thrill of catching incredible panoramic views of the snow-capped beautiful mountains that stretch from east to west of Nepal’s boundary with Tibet. The changing landscape from the icy Himalaya in the north to the rich green Mahabharat range to the south and the sweltering sub-tropical jungles in the plains make this flight fascinating.
Don’t believe fully in Google earth for reading Pokhara from Kathmandu by road. It’s not easy to feel. If you think about going Pokhara by road then it will be better to enjoy the road trip from Kathmandu to Pokhara either on regular deluxe Bus drive which will get on Local Buspark of Kathmandu or can hire a private chauffer. Regular deluxe Bus or private hired car driver will fulfill your destination from Kathmandu to Pokhara.
Flight service is also widely available between two cities, you can choose this if still, you not feel safe. But we suggest taking one way drive and a flight for return, so you can enjoy both.
There are daily flight schedules and bus services for Pokhara from Kathmandu.
Itinerary from Kathmandu to Pokhara
Temples and palaces, smothering smog and the smell of incense, a living goddess, the roar of the horn, human swirl, and extravaganza of colors – all this is the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu.
Arising at the crossroads of trade routes in a wide mountain valley, the city in the Middle Ages became the residence of the royal Malla dynasty. Until 1951, its White Gate was closed to foreigners.
But now Kathmandu can no longer be called a lost kingdom, and even sacred cows have to put up with crazy traffic on the roads. It stood the temple complex of Pashupatinath – an ancient temple of Shiva, restored monkey temple Swayambhunath. And raised from the ruins of the stupa Bodnath still attracts Buddhists from all over the world.
The small airport with the royal name Tribhuvan has located 6 km from the center of Kathmandu. The easiest way to leave here is by taxi, which will take you directly to the doorstep of the hotel. Negotiable price, a little bargaining is appropriate.
Near the arrivals area, there is a stop for the comfortable green Airport Bus buses. Buses run to Ratna Park Old Bus Station in the city center. The Thamel area, where most tourist hotels are located, is a 10-minute walk away.
What to see in Kathmandu in 1day?
- The oldest Buddhist stupa in Nepal, Swayambhunath or “temple of the monkeys”;
- The architectural complex Pashupatinath, the Shiva temple on the sacred banks of the Bagmati River, where cremation rites are held;
- Kashtamandap Temple, located on Durbar City Square, is the oldest surviving wooden temple in the world;
- Temple cloister of the living goddess Kumari;
- Thamel is very close to Durbar Square and you can walk without problems. It is full of all those things that you require during your stay such as restaurants, craft shops, trekking agencies, mountain shops, etc. Very dynamic and entertaining. Without a doubt one of the vital places to see in Kathmandu.
- Baudhanath stupa is your paradise if you are attracted to the world of Buddhism and Tibet. Sitting in front of the stupa involves contemplating the constant coming and going of Buddhist monks. Prayers as background music and many pilgrims give the regulatory laps to the stupa and roll the prayer wheels.
Transportation in Kathmandu
The slowest and cheapest mode of transport in Kathmandu is buses, tempos, and rickshaws. The conductor accepts payment, and there is a timetable, but it is often violated.
Almost all routes here pass through Ratna Park Old Bus Station, and minibusses leave from Kathmandu suburbs. There are three-wheeled tuk-tuks that are tempos with a cabin accommodating up to 10 passengers.
They stop for landing anywhere with a wave of the hand, the signal for landing is a blow to the roof with a hand. Payment of fare to the driver at the exit. In addition, minibusses and microbuses are used as a means of public transport, in which people are stuffed. Money is taken by the conductor.
Intercity buses are the main form of transport for trips in Nepal. They depart from the modern Gongabu Central Bus Terminal on Ring Road. True, due to the condition of the roads, the speed of movement is small. You can book a ticket for the desired flight directly at the bus station, at the hotel or at any travel agency.
The tourist attraction of the Thamel region is the cycle rickshaw. Suitable for travel over short distances, which are easy to walk on foot with Negotiable prices.
Taxi is a fast and comfortable form of transport. The fleet of vehicles is represented mainly by the small, shabby Suzuki Maruti of Indian production. The price must be agreed in advance. Within the city, this is not more than 400 NPR, even taking into account the extra charge for the European appearance of the passenger. After 21:00 the tariff increases by double.
Riding a bike on crowded vehicles, gassed and noisy Kathmandu is not a good idea. But in the country – just right. Great and all the necessary equipment can be rented at a hotel or in one of the many street offices. In this case, in addition to rent, you will need a deposit in the amount of the cost of the bike.
A journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara
If you have already visited the capital of Nepal and decided that you have sufficiently familiarized yourself with all the sights of Kathmandu, then it’s time to move on. The second most visited, after Kathmandu, a tourist center in Nepal is Pokhara. This wonderful city is located on the shores of Lake Fewa and is located 198 kilometers west of Kathmandu.
Pokhara is the city with the third-largest population in Nepal, second only to Kathmandu and the city of Biratnagar. But this fact does not make Pokhara less significant in the history of the country.
According to sources, Pokhara is an ancient city, which in the XVII century was the capital of the kingdom of Kashki. That is why most of the architectural heritage consists of ancient buildings, houses of past centuries, which are located on Bhimshen Tol Street.
Most of the population of Pokhara are the Newari peoples, gurungs, Tibetan settlers, and thakali. Tibetan monks are a special caste in the city. They moved to Nepal after the occupation of Tibet by China, back in 1960, and built four camps on the territory of the city.
There are three options to enter Pokhara. One is from Kathmandu, the other from Narayangadh and the third from Butwal via Palpa, Shyangja and then to Pokhara. To travel to Pokhara, the option is available from roadways to Airways. There is microbus, big bus service available to travel to Pokhara, and there is also a large bus service for tourists. And the charges also differ.
If you want to travel fast or enjoy a quick trip you can choose the microbus. In Kalanki, the microbus can also be found from 7 am to 4 pm. If you are not in a hurry, you can get a large bus.
That leaves from morning to 12 o’clock. There is also a night service for large bus services. Since there is no express service on the day bus, it will be very slow and tedious as passengers will be traveling from place to place.
You can also go from large tourist buses which are comparatively comfortable than microbuses and large buses. Tickets for these tourist ferry services can be found at Thamel Kathmandu.
They depart from Sorhakhutte at 9 am, and at Sauraha in Chitwan, they leave at least three times a day. In Pokhara, there is a dam side from where these tourist buses depart for various destinations. All the airlines that provide domestic aviation services are Buddha, Gorkha, Yeti, etc., Which fly to Pokhara several times a day.
A helicopter service is also available to reach Pokhara. Dynasty, Fishtail Air Helicopter Services offer their service at a reasonable fee. The bus service is operating from different parts of the country for you to come to Pokhara, while the microbus runs from Kathmandu every morning from 7 am till 3-4 pm.
If you prefer to go to Pokhara in your own car or motorcycle, then that will be perfect as well. The motorcycle consumes up to 4liters of petrol while the car may consume up to 8-10liters of petrol. But when you are on your own motorcycle or car, you can do more fun activities than just going straight to Pokhara.
Apart from this, contact with the travel agencies also provides convenient vehicles like private cars, vans to come to Pokhara, which is a bit expensive. But the enjoyment of arriving is quite different.
How to get to Pokhara from Kathmandu
To get to Pokhara from Kathmandu yourself, consider the following options.
Flight to Pokhara
This is one of the fastest and most comfortable ways. Although only 200 km between the two cities, one should not forget that this is a mountain road, and driving along it is quite tiresome. In Nepal, there are several airlines that deal only with domestic flights.
Therefore, you will not have problems with flying on an airplane. The duration of such a flight will not exceed 40 minutes, while on the right hand there is a breathtaking panoramic view of the Himalayas.
Tickets can be purchased on the websites of airlines, for example, Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines, Simrik Airline, and Nepal Airlines, etc., or at the offices of travel agencies. This is the fastest, as you might guess, with more comfort than other methods. There are many flights per day.
The advantage of these flights is, of course, the incomparable landscape! You can see the panoramas of all the mountains of Nepal in these 40 minutes – it’s worth it!
Keep in mind that airlines in Nepal may ask for a scan of a copy of the card with which the ticket was purchased, both sides of the card. You can also buy a ticket at tour agencies by paying in cash or by bank transfer.
Almost all flights are usually delayed for several minutes. It’s not long to fly, the planes are small, so for those who are afraid to fly, it is better to choose a ground-based mode of transportation.
Moving by public bus
A perfect area to buy the ticket in Kathmandu to do this tour is in the neighborhood of Thamel. There are thousands of agencies where to buy tickets, so don’t worry about that.
The price is around 1000 to 1200 rupees, in some agencies, they usually ask between 700 and 1000 rupees. In the same agency they will tell you what time and where you have to go to catch the bus, it can be at the station or at a stop on the street.
Local buses run regularly in Kathmandu-Pokhara intercity services. Basically, buses leave from the main bus station of the capital Gongabu Central Bus Terminal. Due to the difficult terrain and congestion of the road, the duration of the trip will be approximately 8 hours.
Tickets can also be purchased at the bus station. Local buses to Pokhara leave from Gongabu New Bus Station, approximately every 30 minutes or one hour between 7:30 AM and 5 PM. This station is about thirty minutes’ walk from the center of Thamel.
However, local buses can be very uncomfortable. Not only the comfort but the other disadvantage of using the public bus for traveling is it takes anywhere from 6 ½ to 8 o’clock these days to reach Pokhara by bus.
It stops when the driver needs to use the bathroom, and the only places he stops for food is where the driver gets free food. The restaurants they choose have dubious hygiene while being cramped in a bus for a very long walk.
Traveling by Tourist Bus
You can buy a ticket for a tourist bus at any tour desk of the hotel you are staying at or at the place of departure of the bus. There are agencies at the Thamel of Kathmandu where you can buy the tickets.
Such buses move faster and you will arrive in Pokhara an hour earlier than by public transport. Buses leave daily from Sorhakhutte, located next to Thamel at 7:00 in the morning and from Gangabu Bus Park. It is better to arrive 30 minutes before departure.
In addition to simple tourist buses, you can take a ticket for a more comfortable Greenline bus with air conditioning and wi-fi. The ticket price includes lunch at the Riverside Spring Resort.
The bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara leaves at 7.30 in the morning. Tickets can be purchased at the Greenline office in Thamel (Tridevi Marg) or booked online at greenline.com.np.They travel only one time per day between Kathmandu and Pokhara.
The bus leaves in both directions at 7-30 in the morning and arrives at about 15-00 or 16-00, so plan all day on the road. The longest (and possibly tedious) part of the journey is leaving and entering Kathmandu.
A city in which there is much more transport than the roads can handle will teach you to be patient. Departure from Kathmandu through the mountains on a two-lane serpentine road, by the way, makes this part of the trip much more interesting.
- The starting point is Sorhakhutte Bus Stop, Naya Marg Bazaar, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
- The ending point tourist Bus Park, Pokhara 33700, Nepal
- After the successful purchase, you will then receive all the details. Bus No, Seat No., Time of the report, Departure time, Departure point.
- The journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara will take about 6 to 8 hours (depending on traffic conditions).
- If you are a tourist and staying at the hotel, then the transfer from the hotel is offered for this excursion.
- After completing your purchase, you will receive all the details (phone number, email address, etc.) so that the local operator can arrange the transfer. Additional Information You will receive a confirmation when booking.
- They are not accessible to people with reduced mobility.
- Accessible in stroller Infants should be sitting on an adult’s lap and they are not recommended for pregnant women.
You can book a ticket for this bus online, but you can pick it up and pay at the office in Kathmandu or Pokhara the day before departure. They accept dollars and rupees.
However, the claimed free wi-fi only works within Kathmandu and Pokhara. For the remaining 5-6 hours, it simply does not exist, so you can buy a local SIM card with traffic if a permanent online presence is important to you.
On the way, the bus makes three stops, two of which are of a clean toilet plan (20 minutes each) and one for lunch (30 minutes). In roadside cafes and shops, you can buy billions of snacks (chips, chocolate, nuts, sweets) and take coffee with you.
Taxi and private car
The only way to travel to Pokhara is to own your own vehicle in your own time. It’s faster, less hassle, better food options and a chance to stop when you want to take pictures along the way.
The transfer from Kathmandu to Pokhara will take you directly from your hotel in Kathmandu to your hotel or to your final destination in Pokhara. The transfer from Kathmandu to Pokhara will transport you and your luggage in total comfort.
The advantage of hiring a private taxi or car for traveling is you can avoid the buses with children crying. You do not have to deal with taxis in Kathmandu or Pokhara. And best of all, it’s really a very reasonable price.
So why not go the easiest way that is much more enjoyable and hassle-free. You can get to Pokhara by general taxi, but such a trip will be many times more expensive, and the duration will be approximately 5 hours.
You can contact a travel agency where you will be offered car services with a driver. At the same time, after visiting Pokhara, you can continue your route through Nepal, for example, to the birthplace of Buddha – Lumbini or to Chitwan National Park.
The second is that you will go faster than the bus. You can avoid the Traffic jams on the outskirts of Kathmandu for several hours in the morning when all buses go. The road is one and very narrow. But soon they will build a roundabout for the exit.
The third is it is the alternative method for continuing your journey relaxing with a flexible and convenient way to travel between Kathmandu and Pokhara. You can also take advantage of a hotel, airport, or station pick-up or drop-off.
Choose a convenient starting time from the airport or your lodging and reach your preferred destination safely. The approximate distance between the two cities is 200 km and offers scenic views of Nepal’s countryside.
The car is accompanied by a professional driver who can assist you with any local information. You can also ask bathroom or coffee breaks or stop for a quick picture on the way.
As the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu is home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Hindu and Buddhist temples. Pokhara is less crowded and offers excellent opportunities to view the Annapurna Mountain and adventurous activities such as paragliding.
This car transfer eases the travel experience between the two cities. The booking price if private transport includes the Driver’s allowance, Fuel charges, Tolls, and other taxes. But it doesn’t include meals and drinks and Any other services. The approximate travel duration is 5.5-6 hours. However, this is subject to road conditions and traffic.
Benefits of choosing Private transportation for your journey
The best way to travel to Pokhara is not only easy but very affordable. The Kathmandu to Pokhara transfer uses luxury private vehicles where you can sit and enjoy the ride.
Private vehicles travel faster than regular buses, allowing you to reach your destination in Pokhara two hours faster. But it’s not just the speed that makes Kathmandu in Pokhara transfer the best deal. Consider these amazing features:
- Luxury private vehicle with a professional driver.
- Lots of room for luggage.
- Comfortable ride.
- Less travel time so you can enjoy more time in Pokhara.
- Stop when you want to stop. Travel fast, or stop often to take pictures of the incredible landscape along the way.
- Have breakfast and/or lunch in a hygienic restaurant along the way with good food, not a local place with dubious food at high prices.
- The total comfort of the environment, including air conditioning and heat, depending on the weather.
- No noisy children blowing whistles and crying as they are usually found in buses.
- Do not have to sit with local people who vomit motion sickness as they do on buses.
- No need to deal with high-priced and cantankerous taxi drivers either in Kathmandu or Pokhara.No need to support the music that splits from the driver’s limited selection.
When you consider all the benefits, why take the bus? You are definitely better and you have a wonderful peace of mind that you arrive relaxed rather than tired, worn out and grouchy on a miserable bus ride.
The disadvantage of traveling by road
There is not really a highway code and the condition of roads and vehicles makes driving extremely dangerous. Nobody uses the blinker and it debits without worrying about other vehicles. Not to mention the dogs, chickens, and cows that walk on the road. The cows are sacred and killing one, even by accident, leads to a prison sentence.
The distance between Kathmandu and Pokhara is not huge (174km) but it takes at least 6h drive on Prithvi Highway. In Nepal, the road is full of surprises and you never know when you will arrive.
It is therefore important to always allow for a significant amount of time. The road is very dented and the 4×4 is almost necessary. This two-lane road is the main artery of the country and there is a lot of traffic.
Large Tata trucks spew black smoke that makes the air unbreathable. Most of them have been sold by India, which does not want anymore because it is too polluting. Kathmandu stretches in a valley surrounded by mountains and pollution stagnates there.
It would be the third most polluted city in the world and the situation will probably deteriorate in the coming decades when the whole country will be industrialized.
The difference is striking when leaving the valley, the sky will be much blue and the air is breathable. As you journey forward to Pokhara, you can see the Langtang mountain range and its peaks of more than 7000 meters. The road is beautiful. You can follow the river Trishuli famous for rafting then along the chain of Annapurnas.
If you have a lot of time and a great desire to make stops along the way to see all the charms of mountain Nepal, then go! Nepal has several trails for those looking for adventures.
This itinerary seeks to meet your needs for the search for emotions, mixed with the culture and landscape offered by the kingdom of the Himalayas. A tour that combines the tradition of Nepalese peoples with the innovation of e-bike routes. Begin your journey from Kathmandu through little-traveled roads to Kakani. The profile will be mainly uphill.
Follow the paved road that crosses the hill to Nagarjun and you will reach Mudkhu, a very popular place among cyclists. Once in Nuwakot, you will be rewarded with the beautiful panoramic views of Langtang, Dorje Lakpa and Ganesh Himal.
Kathmandu – Nuwakot: 45 km – 4 hours
You will start your trip from Nuwakot with an easy jungle ride to Bandre. The route to Bandre is mostly downhill from until you reach the hustle and bustle of Trisuli Bazaar.
You will continue the road uphill towards Samari Bhanjyang along the gravel road where you will stop for lunch. You will continue touring the rice fields until you cross a suspension bridge to Dhading Besi.
Nuwakot – Dhading Besi: 48 km – 3 hours
Then your journey begins along the road to Gorkha via Murali Bhanjyang. Dusty roads start from this area. The route travels along the Budi Gandaki River until you reach Bungkotghat and finally Gorkha.
One of the highlights of the itinerary due to the historical importance of this city, where King Prithvi Narayan Shah ruled to unite the Nepal Kingdom.
Dhading Besi – Gorkha: 54 km – 4 hours
Again your journey begins with a beautiful downhill with a beautiful descent to reach Chepetar, from where the route will continue through the Madi Khola where the ascent to Bhanjyang will begin.
After reaching this town, it descends again for 10 km to the Marshyangdi River. The last leg of the trip continues to Besisahar through Bhote Odar.
Gorkha – Besisahar: 62 km – 5 hours
Mainly ascending day on dirt tracks. You will go to Begnas through the incredible landscapes of the Himalayas through small villages such as Ramkot, Sarke Bhanjyang, and Bhorletar, where you can stop for tea and enjoy the view.
From here the road descends gradually through the forest to reach a paved road destination Begnas.
Besisahar – Begnas: 55 km – 3 hours
Last day of the itinerary. It will be the easiest and through a paved road. The route will explore the ravines and small roads to avoid traffic and experience local life in this city.
Arrive early in Pokhara, where you can enjoy the rest of the day touring the streets of Lakeside.
Begnas – Pokhara: 20 km – 1 hour
Bandipur and Gorkha, two cities west of Kathmandu, are landmarks of the Newar culture, one of the many ethnic groups in the country of the Himalayas. You can discover them in a two-day getaway from the capital of Nepal.
From Kathmandu to Gorkha
You need to cover the distance of 140 km separating Kathmandu from the city of Gorkha. On the way, you will drop into one of the most sacred temples in the country – Manakaman, where, according to the beliefs of the Nepalese, all wishes are fulfilled.
To get to the temple you will have to take a cable car ride, but from above you have a stunning view of the Trisuli and Marshiyandi rivers. In Gorkha, you will visit the main square of the city – Durbar, where the museum and the temple are located.
And high on the hill, you can see the beautiful royal palace of the 15th century, which leads to a long stone staircase.
In the morning you can hit the road again, this time to the picturesque town of Bandipur, which speaks the non-Newer language. Now, this settlement is very small, however, in antiquity, it occupied an important position at the intersection of trade roads from Nepal, India, and Tibet.
Nature and architecture are very beautiful here. Small temples and narrow stone streets, small old brick houses decorated with balconies and terraces, on which bright fragrant flowers blossom. And overall this beauty, the majestic Himalayas rise.
Bandipur is another ancient non-New town in Nepal, worthy of the attention of virtual and real travelers. Unlike Bhaktapur and Patan, Bandipur is not world-famous, and therefore relatively few foreigners visit it.
Bandipur hid from the hustle and bustle of the remote and steep hills, at an altitude of about 1000 meters, 140 km west of Kathmandu and 80 km east of Pokhara.
Once Bandipur was an important center on the trade route connecting Tibet, Nepal, and India – at this time the heyday of the city fell. But in the 1970s, the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway was built in Nepal, which took over all the previous cargo turnover and cut off Bandipur from the new trade route.
So, by the will of fate, Bandipur forever turned out to be aloof from civilization, remaining a small, useless ghost town. With large land, it was connected only by a poor dirt road, which was constantly washed away by rains, making the city almost inaccessible.
Fortunately for the bandipuris in 1998, an asphalt road was laid to the city, connecting it with the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway. Since then, living in Bandipur has become better and more fun.
But now the town is in no hurry to grow, remaining a tiny settlement that can be bypassed in ten minutes, and in which hardly more than a thousand people live.
This is a completely charming, fragile and cozy town, preserved almost unchanged from ancient times. Since then, living in Bandipur has become better and more fun. Vintage2-3-story brick houses decorated with blooming terraces and balconies, toy temples and stone pavements, on which pretty and happy kids frolic.
Bandipuris closely monitor the cleanliness and order in their town, and this compares favorably with other eastern cities. There is absolutely nothing to do in Bandipur for more than two or three days, but these days will be filled with an idyllic and peaceful mood.
During this time, you can walk a hundred times along its seven streets and see each of the bandipuris thirty times. And they live in such a world and harmony among themselves, which you have not seen in modernized cities for a long time. Here no one shakes each other’s nerves, and people just smile, breathe and live – calmly and slowly.
Bandipur is located on top of a hill and there is no direct bus from Kathmandu or Pokhara. Your first objective should be to reach Dumre.
Getting to Dumre is easy by bus, both local and tourist, since, as we have said, it is almost in the middle of the route between Kathmandu and Pokhara. From Kathmandu, you can take the public bus or take a minibus to Pokhara at the Gongabu Bus Station.
From Pokhara in the Main Bus Park (Prithvi Chowk), public buses leave for Kathmandu and stop at Dumre.
Once in Dumre you will have no problem finding the local bus to Bandipur, you will hear the shouts of the ticket sellers. You also have the option of getting in a taxi. It only goes to account if you haggle a lot and if you can share the taxi.
The path to reach Bandipur, a walking path, allows you to enjoy the old trade route used by merchants in the past. It is a walk of just three hours and you pass through rice fields and a beautiful forest.
The path borders a cliff, passes through a Magar village, and exits at the top in Tudikhel (a flat area on a hill north of Bandipur that offers magnificent views of the Himalayas).
Leaving Bandipur is as simple as undoing the way there. Get off by bus to Dumre and from the same place where the local bus leaves you, change to the bus or minibus to Pokhara or Kathmandu, or wherever you go!
Among other things, in Bandipur you can see:
- Tudikhel: It is a flat area on a hill to the north of the town that offers magnificent views of the Himalayas on clear days.
- Gurunche Dada: A nice little hill where you can go for a little walk.
- Khadga Devi Temple: During the Dashain festival, many families and the entire city gathered to bid, offer and worship the Sacred Sword.
How to get from Kathmandu to Bandipur?
If you are in the neighborhood of Thamel, there is a fairly decent bus line ( Greenline ) that leaves daily at 8:00. The ticket costs food. It is true that it is not the cheapest option but the easiest to find. The bus takes about 5 hours (with lunch breaks) and stops at the bus station in Dumre.
From Dumre there are 2 alternatives, either take the local bus (highly recommended if you want to integrate with local people) or negotiate a taxi or 4 × 4. The schedules of these buses are not fixed, they leave once they are full.
Where to sleep and eat in Bandipur?
You will have no problem finding accommodation, there are numerous guest houses and hotels. For all pockets.
To eat there is also enough offer. To find the cheapest options you have to get away from the main street a little.
Moving to Pokhara
After Bandipur you will continue to Pokhara, do not take the tourist buses because you will have to pay the full fare from Kathmandu again. Wait for one of the local buses that cost NPR 200 – 300 from Dumre.
Around the city are picturesque lakes, and in the distance, there is a beautiful panorama of the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. In the evening you will have free time to slowly enjoy all this beauty.
Kathmandu to Gorkha to Pokhara
Gorkha or Gurkha is located some 140 km west of Kathmandu at the height of 1,135 m. The district is the ancestral hometown of Nepal’s royal family. The town of Gorkha is only at the distance of 24 km from the Pokhara-Kathmandu Highway.
This tour of Gorkha Manakamana gives more insight into Nepalese cultural life and history with mesmerizing landscapes and Himalayan sightseeing.
Manakamana, the wish-fulfilling goddess on the ridgetop is accessed by a 1.3 km cable car. The temple is one of the most popular Tantric goddess Temple in Nepal.
This side trip with an expert tour guide provides a close cultural encounter and the social and ethical reasons for blood sacrifice. There is a pleasant 3 – 4 hrs walk along the ridge with beautiful view of Mt Manaslu and Ganesh Himal at a distance.
Gorkha’s small town is perhaps the most important historical town in Nepal. From this kingdom, King Prithvi Narayan Shah, the ninth generation paternal ancestor of the Shah king, began his lifelong attempt to unify the independent states of Nepal.
It was a wildly ambitious project which succeeded due to his brilliance and the effectiveness of his locally recruited troops. The British term Gurkha originated from the name Gorkha, referring to the famed bravery of the fighting soldiers of the region.
Gorkha’s focal attraction is the magnificent Gorkha Durbar with a fort, a palace and a temple with excellent views of the peripheral valleys, and the Manaslu range.
Manakamana temple is on Kathmandu – Pokhara highway. An Austrian – engineered cable car sweeps up on the steep hillside to the ancient Manakamana temple, one of the most important temples in Nepal.
Hindus believe that the goddess Bhagwati, an incarnation of Parvati, has the power to grant wishes. Pilgrims sacrifice a goat or free pigeon according to their vow as their wishes are fulfilled. Beside being the center of culture and religion, the ridge top Manakamana temple also overs good view of Mt, Manaslu.
The journey from Kathmandu to Gorkha
To reach the city of Gorkha, it is possible to take daily buses from the cities of Kathmandu, Pokhara, Birgunj, and Saunali. It should be noted that buses are generally crowded but there are also microbuses that are faster and quite comfortable.
The trip can last between three to ten hours depending on the city where you leave. Gorkha is exactly four hours’ drive from Kathmandu, three hours from Pokhara city and two hours from Chitwan city.
- You can drive to Kurintar (100 km / 3 hrs) and take a cable car to Manakamana temple at 1,350 m hill overlooking the Gorkha and Himalayas towards the north. Walk down to Betini village (20 mins) to be guest of community homestay. You can enjoy the Village tour, sunset view over the Himalayas and cultural program in the evening.
- You can then begin your travel to Bkreshower Mahadev temple and Lakhan Thapa cave. The Himalayan view appears beautifully magnificent from the Lakhan Thapa cave and above. The trail further follows the ridge through the forest for 2 hrs and finally comes down to the little hamlet of Tinmane Bhanjyang. From there you can gradually climb down to Khimti Bhanjyang and drive to Gorkha.
- You can hike to the palace of Gorkha in the early morning. The hill offers a magnificent view of the Manaslu range.
Other options for your travel from Kathmandu to Gorkha
- By bus which you can take from Gongabu Bus Park. It will take from 3-4hrs depending on the condition of the road, weather, and traffic. The bus will drive you to Gorkha via Mugling. There is also another route via kurintar.
- By Car which you can rent from Kathmandu that will shorten your journey to 2hr.42 minutes.
- By plane from Kathmandu to Bharatpur then to Gorkha by car, taxi, jeep or bus that will take up to 1hr.45 minutes.
Activities in the city of Gorkha
The historic birthplace of Prithvi Narayan Shah, who united the principalities of Nepal in 1769, has retained a significant part of its centuries-old charm, and the main palace is Durbar, which is a central attraction.
Trekkers often depart from here along the great highway Manaslu, while enjoying this classic and very beloved cultural city.
Gorkha is the osseation of Nepal. Here live the most daring troops in the world, Gurkha. Only with Gorkha was the vision of modern Nepal drawn by the first king of modern Nepal.
Prior to this, Nepal was divided into small principalities, while Prithvi Narayan Shah, the first king of (modern) Nepal, had an intention of uniting the small principalities into a single force. In order to build a wall against the growing strength of an East Indian company.
Gorkha keeps the history of the country. Gorkha Durbar (Palace), which is built on a hilltop above the market below, is the best example of the architectural and military strategy of the past.
From the palace, you can see a 360-degree view of the village of Gorkha, which so far makes the palace a vantage point. But in the past, it was a strategy to protect the royal families from invading armies.
Gorkha is mainly populated by the Gurung tribe, which has earned enough praise in both world wars, including receiving the Victoria Cross award.
However, despite their cruel attitude on the battlefield, they are friendly people with a tradition of genuine hospitality. Around Gorkha, you can stroll through the jungle and admire how hunters collect wild honey.
- The Gorkha Durbar: The Gorkha Durbar is the former palace of King Ram Shah of Gorkha. Located on a hill, it offers a splendid view of the Himalayas. It can be reached from the Gorkha Bazaar via the grand staircase of 1500 steps. The palace is a perfect example of Nepalese architecture.
- Gorkha Bazaar: Gorkha Bazaar is a famous street in Gorkha with its many merchants where the inhabitants of the city do their business. This is an opportunity to discover the local life and do some small shopping.
- The Manakamana Temple: It is a temple built in honor of the goddess Durga. It sometimes hosts nearly 3,000 visitors in one day and even more during festivals. Located at 1,300 meters above sea level, like the Durbar, it offers breathtaking views of the mountains. You can access it with a cable car. Stopping in Gorkha is worth it especially for the hiking trails that abound from the city. Feel free to lose yourself in the countryside and enjoy the unspoiled nature. You will be able to cross a few small remote villages and meet families not used to seeing strangers, which will encourage human experiences and authentic exchanges.
Gorkha has a warm humid subtropical climate with a dry winter. The average temperature in Gorkha for the year is 18.5 ° C and the average rainfall is 555.9 mm. The best times to visit the city of Gorkha are in April, May, June, September, and October because the temperatures are evaluated at 14 ° C minimum and 28 ° C maximum.
Gorkha to Pokhara
To travel from Gorkha to Pokhara, you can go to the Gorkha bus park and take the bus to Pokhara. It may take 3-4 hrs to reach Pokhara by bus depending on the traffic and condition of the road.
A private car or jeep or taxi can also be rented from Gorkha Bazar if you want to travel more comfortably. It may take up to 2hrs to reach Pokhara.
Helicopter Flight to Pokhara and Annapurna District
You will have stunning views of the resort town of Pokhara, the Annapurna protected nature reserve, as well as mountains such as Dhaulagiri – 8167m, Ganesh Himal -7429m, Manaslu- 8156m, and Lamjung Himal- 6906m.
You will fly over the most beautiful lakes and rivers of Nepal – the river Marshyangdi, and lakes Bengas, Rupa and Phewa. Having a little rest in Pokhara, you will fly back along the Trisuli river bed.
If you wish, you can land for a short time on Poon Hill – 3 210m, from which a stunning panorama of all the mountains of the Annapurna district opens.
The helicopter can be chartered from the helicopter tour agencies such as Air Dynasty, Pokhara helicopter tour, etc. The excursion from helicopter may be expensive but it will save you the tiring journey from bus, cars or bikes.
The excursion will attract the attention of tourists from around the world with a rare combination of snow-capped peaks and mountain lakes and rivers fed by melting snow. This is the starting point for numerous popular trekking and rafting routes.
The calm expanse of Lake Pheva is complemented by the grandeur of Machapuchare creating a magical atmosphere of peace. Pokhara is the birthplace of dense forests, fast-moving rivers, crystal clear lakes and world-famous peaks of the Himalayas.
Where to stay in Pokhara?
Pokhara is Nepal’s third-largest city. Lakeside (the area near the lake) is such a reservation for tourists. The Nepalese themselves live much more modestly.
There are very modest bungalows with a shared toilet, guest houses, and hostels for the same amount, and hotels. The simplest and cheapest accommodation is better to search on the spot, the hotel can be booked in advance.
Along the lake is the Lakeside road, near it, are cafes, shops, restaurants, clubs. The noise of traffic, music from the cafe, a lot of people. If you want to get enough sleep at night, then it is better to settle either completely near the lake, or in the internal streets beyond the road.
What to see in Pokhara?
1. Lake Fewa:
Around the lake, you can walk, sit in a cafe, lie, swim on it in a boat or kayak, fly a paraglider above it, look at Fewa from neighboring mountains. Many activities related to the lake are in Pokhara.
The only thing that cannot be done is to go around the perimeter of the lake, moving only along the water’s edge. That fence will be a closed territory, then there is simply no passage. There are paths that allow you to partially walk along the lake through unique parks.
2. Temple of Barahi:
A small Hindu temple is located on an island in Lake Fewa, can be reached by boat or kayak. You don’t need to go specifically, but if you still rent a boat and ride on the lake, you can stop by.
3. Yoga centers and retreats:
Since a considerable percentage of visitors to Pokhara are exhausted trekkers, as well as yogis and vegans (or those who want to become them), there are several retreats and yoga centers on the lake.
Especially praised is the Sadhana yoga retreat (staff, lake view, great food). There are courses designed for any level of training and any number of days (from 1 lesson to 32 days). Prices depend on the yoga course and the number of days.
4. World peace pagoda:
Admission is free, you can put a donation in a box. The Buddhist peace pagoda stands on a mountain (1033m) on the opposite side of the lake, visible from any point on the lakeside. You can cross the lake by boat and climb the pagoda ( 30-45 minutes up from the pier). You can come here by bike or taxi along the ring road, or you can walk through the hills through the forest.
The walk is enjoyable too. First along the lake, then through the villages. You can watch how locals wash in the rivers and live in one-story houses with no windows (they live modestly).
Then you can go deeper into the forest, the rise is relatively gentle. Near the stupa there are several cafes overlooking Pokhara, you can order food, drinks, eat ice cream.
5. Washing bridges:
You pass this suspension bridge when you walk on a pagoda of peace. Under it, locals wash in the river and wash their laundry. An entertaining sight, if the life of ordinary Nepalese is interesting.
In front of this bridge, there is another fun suspension bridge. There are some military men with machine guns (West Regional Armed Police Battalion), the clothes are dried and white water flows into the lake.
6. Mount Sarangkot:
Mountain over Pokhara, paragliders fly from it. There is a temple, cafe. Many go to the mountain at dawn or sunset. At other times of the day, clouds come, the view is worse. You can take a taxi from Lakeside or on a bike.
You can also walk for 3 hours, Partially up the stairs. The rise is more difficult than a stupa in the world. Upstairs there are several cafes looking out overlooking the Annapurna massif.
7. Seti River:
The amazing phenomenon of Pokhara is the disappearing Seti River, which in many places disappears from sight, going underground. The Seti River bed barely reaches 2 m in width, while its depth is only 20 m.
A good view of the river is the Mahendra Pul bridge to Bhimsen Chowk. Here you can see all the power of the river, which rushes in this place into a deep gorge created by the river itself for many millennia.
8. Devi Waterfall:
Locally known as Patale Chango, the fascinating Devi Waterfall is located about 2 km southwest of Pokhara Airport along the Siddhartha Highway.
9. Mahendra Gupha Cave:
This is a large limestone cave two hours walk north of Pokhara. Locally known as the house of bats, it is famous for its stalactites and stalagmites.
10. Old Bazaar:
Quite an interesting place is the Old Bazaar, located 4 km from Lake Feva. In addition to being a local trade center, there are monuments and temples that are similar in style to Kathmandu architecture. Here is one of the main shrines of Pokhara – the Bindhyabasini Mandir Temple – a white building with a dome on top of a hill.
11. If you like Rafting you can choose from a few agencies that offer this type of activity in one of the beautiful Nepali rivers nearby.
There are many who cannot resist this activity because it offers you to fly over the lake with the Annapurnas in the background and next to eagles or huge bearded vultures.
There are many companies that organize tandem flights between 30 minutes and one hour long (no experience is required).
13. Trekkings of the Annapurnas:
Pokhara is the base city to start many of these trekkings, it is where travelers arrive before and after those long walks to rest and prepare their trip. These trekkings can be done alone or with a guide hired by one of the hundreds of agencies in the country, especially in Thamel before traveling to Pokhara.
Normally the agencies handle the permits, offer insurance if necessary and accommodation, although that is not cheap. On the other hand, there is the option to do them on your own.
For this, two mandatory permits are required, the Entry Permit and the TIMS. These permits can be processed in Kathmandu or in Pokhara itself. The permits in Pokhara can be obtained at the ACAP, the offices of the Annapurna conservation area.
These offices are very close to the bus station, 5 minutes walk. The documents that will be requested in the office are the passport and a couple of passport photos for each permit. If you do not carry them nothing happens, they are made there at the time and are free.
Right there they will tell you what permissions are the necessary ones and will facilitate everything without problems. Simply by filling in a couple of sheets and waiting a few minutes, you will have everything you need to start your adventure.
14. Golden Buddha statue:
A large golden Buddha statue on a hill in the Lakeside area. The climb is a bit complicated since it is a steep path without steps. Once upstairs you are surprised by the great statue and incredible views of Lake Pokhara.
You can get there walking from the main street of the Lakeside, it is in front of the restaurants. Although it is half-hidden, many people do not even realize the existence of this temple.
These are the options for you to travel to Pokhara from Kathmandu. There is a direct route from Kathmandu or you can visit Gorkha and Bandipur on the way. This basically you can complete in 2-3 days and journey back to Kathmandu again.