Pokhara

 

Pokhara is a city of close to 200,000 inhabitants in central Nepal located at 28.25°N, 83.99°E, 198 km west of Kathmandu. It is the third largest city of Nepal. It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations of the country.

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. 

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. 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 Machapuchhre (Nepali language: Machhapuchhre: '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. The porous underground of the Pokhara valley favours the development of caves of which three prominent ones can be found within the city: Mahendra, Bat and Gupteswor. In the south of the city, a tributary of the Seti coming from Fewa Tal disappears at Patale Chhango (Nepali for Hell's Falls, also called Devi's or David's Falls, after someone who supposedly fell into the falls) into an underground gorge, to reappear 500 metres further south.