Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Awesome Temples on a Hill and at a Lake in Pokhara Nepal

Pokhara's old city. This photo only courtesy of www.travelpod.com's themurphys.

Morning peace at Pokhara Lakeside. This photo only courtesy of www.froop.net.

This is the most beautiful place on Earth. That's what wikitravel would have you believe, but though debatable this cant be much of a hyperbole. (Vang Vieng comes to mind when I read statements like that.) The place is laidback, and sits beside a serene Lake Phewa.

My ride from Kathmandu - all 200 kilometers south - could have been a pleasure had it not been for the rollercoaster bumps that characterized the last 2 hours of the 7 hour mini-bus (van) ride that cost me just 350 nepali rupees. Upon arriving at the bus park, touts started to hover like hawks on us. An idiot even said "enough of your drama" when I told him I have a pre-booked hotel (Shikhar) in this city. The gall of the idiot who will always be a wallah - a foul-mouthed tout - all his life!

The streets looked dark. Though there's electricity, there was the obvious lack of street lamps, making the place eerie for a stroll at night - except at the main backpacker street with all the restaurants, ATM machines, art shops, treeking shops, etc.

Today, I went boating to visit a temple in the middle of the Fewa Lake. With just 30 rupees, I was in Barahi Temple. From there, I took a local bus which dropped me somewhere to walk towards Devi's Falls. The 10 minute distance became 20, and became 30 until I finally arrived at my destination. There wasn't much to see there - as well as at the Cave nearby.

After half an hour of negotiating with a taxi, I lucked out and succumbed to hiring a 700 rupee taxi that would take me to the World Peace Stupa - a glimmering white temple at the top of the hill, seen anywhere from the lakeside. I just badly wanted to get there. I wasn't disappointed! The view was spectacular - the Annapurna Mountain range is on marvelous view - snow-capped hills; Sarangkot and the paragliding area, central town down below. This should be my favorite place in Pokhara.

I am actually dreading the travel back to India. Everything just seems so tedious. I am 3 hours to the Sunauli border, but from there, I am to take a 3-hour bus to Gorakhpur, where the train station is. Will I be able to get a train ticket back to Delhi? I am dreading I won't! But God bless me! Delhi will be 13 hours away from there.

Sunset at Pokhara's lakeside. This photo only courtesy of www.travelpod.com's arikancharis.

This is the Eye in the Sky.

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