In May 2002, Junko Tabei, the first woman to summit Mount Everest (May 16, 1975) inaugurated the soft opening of the International Mountaineering Museum (IMM) in Pokhara along with Appa Sherpa (who had by then climbed Everest a dozen times). The museum complex, which covers an area of around five hectares, is themed as ‘Man, Mountain, and Mountain Activities’. It consists of the Mountain People Gallery (exhibiting culture and lifestyle of mountain people); Mountain Gallery (exhibiting geological facts about the origin of world mountain systems); Mountain Activities Gallery (chronicling historical ascents, explorations, and trekking exploits); Associates' Gallery (highlighting INGO and NGO activities in mountain areas); Library; and Audio Visual Hall. The museum is no doubt a grand addition to the other charms of the “City of the Lakes”.
Charms that include the serene Fewa Tal, the dark and dank Mahendra Gufa, and Devi’s Falls. Fewa Tal is a large-sized lake that’s really beautiful to look at. Boat riding on the lake is a great pleasure; it’s a lot of exercise as well, what with all the paddling. However, paddle to the other side, and you’ll find a row of nice eateries awaiting you with chilled beer and fried fish. The famous Bindabasini Temple on the lake is also worth a visit. Entering the dark depths of Mahendra Gufa, a cave in the mountainside, can be quite a thrilling experience, especially as the dim lights along the walls inside may shut down suddenly sometimes. Thrilling, what? As for Devi Falls with its cascading waterfalls, the closer you get to it (and you can get quite close), the more terrifying it becomes.
Actually, all said and done, it has to be admitted that Pokhara doesn’t have too many of such landmarks. Yet, this lovely city is by far the most favored destination for many tourists from around the country, and around the globe. The reason it is so is because of its fabulous scenic beauty. This is the one unique selling point of Pokhara that few other cities can rival. The early morning sight of sunlight glinting off the face of Machhapuchchhre Himal (Fishtail Mountain), which towers over the city, is something that is sure to give a fantastic start to your day, every day. Another thing about Pokhara that sets it apart from the pack is the traditional stone architecture of the place which gives a distinct identity to the city. All this makes Pokhara a city that inspires even the laziest to be out and about, whether hiking, biking, or boating. It’s a city for the adventurous at heart. And, really, who wouldn’t be in such a setting?
Talking about adventure, you can look forward to some great adventure activities like paragliding, parasailing, and ultra flight, besides both short and long treks around the area, and boating to your heart’s content on the lovely Fewa Tal. In fact, one of the country’s most popular paragliding sites is here in a hill called Sarangkot (1,592 m). Need it be said that soaring high above the city is an experience you are not likely to forget in your lifetime? It’s all pretty much of an adrenaline rush. And, to help you relax and rejuvenate, Pokhara has plenty of hotels and restaurants suitable for both high-end and budget travelers, many of which are situated on the famous Lakeside area. There’s no better way to wind down after a hectic day of adventure than by taking a leisurely stroll down Lakeside, and then sitting down at one of the many restaurants with a refreshing bottle of beer in hand.
Pokhara has much to offer, that’s for sure, and new experiences for you to try your hand out on. So, welcome to Pokhara, welcome to adventure.