Lake-to-Lake Cycle Route

Pokhara, the city of lakes is a major tourist destination in the world tourist map, attracting millions to the city to explore the natural beauty and attractive landscape around the valley. The Lake-to-Lake Cycle Route—developed by the municipality—links 9 of the 10 lakes and 18 of the 33 wards of the metropolitan city. By avoiding most of the built-up area is one of the best activities that will enable tourists to visit different places and viewpoints around the city.

This facility is expected to encourage the citizens of Pokhara to become more active, improving health and well-being of the society. The cycle route is being promoted by the Cycle City Pokhara, a green sensitive youth-based volunteer organization.

The Northern part of the Cycle Route facilitates lake to lake (Fewa to Rupa) movement of cycle tourists linking other seven lakes of PMC. The other section (Southern part) links Lakeside (Fewa lake) to the peripheral wards to the South providing users with Panoramic views of the whole Pokhara Valley and the Himalaya Range via ridgeline riding.

This cycling route starts from Fewa Lake (Western part of Pokhara) and circumambulate the Pokhara valley through Kamalpokhari-Gunde-Neurani-Khaste-Maidi-Dipang-Begnas-Rupa (in the extreme east) and riding through Lamgadi, Ritthepani, Chauthe, Majheripatan, Dhungesangu and Sitapaila to reach Fewa Lake through Damside.

Major Attractions of the Cycle Route

Fewa Lake

Fewa Lake (Fresh Water Lake) is the main tourism attraction of Pokhara standing at an altitude of 762 m from sea level with water-body area of 4.51 and 119 sq. km total catchment area. This lake area is probably the centre of attraction to most of the visitors attracting significant numbers of international tourists as well as domestic tourists to Pokhara city. The beauty of Fewa lake includes majestic view of Annapurna, Fishtail etc. Himalayan range and their reflection image formed on the water surface of the lake.

Besides, the adjoining area known as Lakeside has sophisticated services and facilities of food, accommodation and recreation activities and fulfil almost every needs of international visitors (on the eastern side of the lake). The western side of this lake has Raniban (Forest) which is very beautiful and rich in biodiversity. Tal Barahi temple is located at a small island like landform at the middle of the lake which can be reached with a 5-minute boating (From boat stand near Barahi Chowk).

This lake is top-most revenue generator from tourism business while comparing with other lakes of Pokhara valley. Very near to this lake is Annapurna Cable Car Service which takes visitors to high hill nearby called as Sarangkot from which visitors can have greater look of Pokhara city. Besides tourism value (Boating), the water of this lake is also used for irrigation and electricity-generation through Fewa Cannel of about 1 km south of Lakeside. This lake is actively conserved by Fewa Lake Conservation Committee, Boating Association and Fisherman Co-operative (Commercial Fishing).

This lake is a habitat of globally threatened plants and rare and endangered fish species. The fish of Pame area (upstream side of lake) is very mush famous for its taste. Besides, this lake is a source of livelihood for Majhi Communities (Wetland dependent communities) and Boat-users and also have cultural and religious value (Tal Barahi Temple).

Figure 2: Fewa Lake

Old Bazar (the culture & heritage site)


Figure 3: Bindyabasini temple

Heading to the east from the Hallanchowk at Lakeside by riding bicycle about ten minutes one can reach Srijana chowk, the city centre of Pokhara.  From the Srijana Chowk turning to the North the cycle lane heading to the Pokhara old bazar by riding another ten minutes. Ramkrishna Tole, Ganesh Tole, Bhairab Tole and Moharia Tole are the different points of old bazaar, the place with traditional Nepali houses and Newari culture. There are various festivals and celebrations, especially among the Newari community as per their traditional culture.

The Bindyabasini Temple, known as one of the holiest place of Pokhara situated on the small hillock and the northern side of the Old Bazar. Numbers of pilgrimage are paying their visit, especially by Hindus. However, there is another religious site known as Dharmasila Buddha Bihar very closed with the trading centre Mahendrapul of Pokhara.  Many Buddhist visit there for meditation and pray. Similarly, Narayanthan temple is situated at the bank of the Seti river (gorge) on the way to Foolbari and just 500 meter from the City centre.

The city centre Mahendrapul with Chipledhunga and New road area is the main trading and shopping places of Pokhara.  The Provincial museum is just one km south from the business center to observe the collections of Nepali folk culture and tradition. Ramghat of the Seti river and Shanti Ban Batika are just eastern side to the Museum and very nice view to see the Seti gorge and terraces of landscape.

Sitaladevi Temple


Figure 4: Sitaladevi temple

Sitaladevi temple is about 1.3 km East from Mahendrapul and on the way to Khaunkhola. The word ‘Sitala’ literally means ‘the one who cools’ in Sanskrit. When the Gods performed a sacrifice fire ritual for Goddess Parvati, Goddess Sitala appeared from the ashes. Jwarasura (one of the demons in Hindu mythology), who dispersed sickness throughout the globe, was born from Lord Shiva’s sweat at that time. Goddess Sitala cured the world from the sickness. Therefore, majority of the people visit this temple as it is recognized to cure the diseases and people feel relief and peace from their misery. The temple is mostly crowded during Monday and Saturday. We can also see Sitaladevi Park from the front side of the temple.

Matepani Monastery


Figure 5: Matepani monastery

Matepani monastery also known as Matepani Gumba was established in 1960 A.D. by Nyeshang monks who had relocated to Pokhara from Manang. It is the oldest and largest monastery in the Pokhara valley. The monastery is about one km from Sitaladevi temple.  It is located on top of a tiny green hill in the northeast of Pokhara city. The Gumba exquisite interior with beautiful colours in the painting that signifies and represents many instances of Buddha’s life and various narratives that make up Buddhist religion.

Another sight to behold is the magnificent statue of Lord Buddha in meditation. There are also a few statues located in a garden at the back of the monastery. Most of the people visit this area during several festivals such as Lhosar, Buddha Jayanti, special dedicated puja of family members etc. Aside from its religious significance, it has striking scenic beauty and ideal vantage point to adore the beauty of the Pokhara valley, mountains and Mt. Machhapuchre. The plants found in this area includes Sal (Shorea robusta), Sissoo (Dalbergia sissoo), Chilaune (Schima wallichii), Rani Salla (Pinus roxburghii), Peepal (Ficus religiosa) etc. This area is popular for morning walk and meditation among the nearby communities.

Jame Masjid Aqsa (Mosque)


Figure 6: Jame masjide aqsa

Jame masjid aqsa is located in Miyapatan, very closed from Buddha Gumba towards East, commonly known as the Jame Masjid Al-Aqsa, the oldest and best known mosque in Kaski District of Nepal. According to history, “Miya” is a term given by other communities to local mountainous Muslims, and “Patan” refers to the ground. We may simply conclude from history that Miyapatan refers to Muslim-owned territory. The mosque is beautifully designed with engraved Mihrab, square chambers, mosque halls, the central courtyard, and the capped domes, all of which are carved to perfection and add to the mosque’s architectural magnificence. The azan is beautifully repeated five times a day over the loudspeakers. The mosque is mostly crowded during the festivals such as Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitar and Eid-ul-Adaha, Eid-Milad-un-Nabi, Moharram, Shab-i-Qadar, Shab-i-Barat etc.

There are two ways to follow the cycle lane from the point of masjid aqsa. One direction is to ride towards east uphill for about 5 kilometres (about 45 minutes) to reach the Arba village, then return downhill, crossing the Vijaypur Khola Bridge and heading towards Chittepani, Kalika, Tiger Hill, and the lakes of the Lekhnath area. Another option is to head southeast to the highway, cross the Vijaypur Khola Bridge, and arrive at the army camp area, from where we can ride uphill to reach the Tiger Top.

Bhadrakali Temple


Figure 7: Bhadrakali temple

Bhadrakali temple is located in top of a tiny green hill in the east of Pokhara city. This hillock is closely located towards the southern side of Buddha Gumba. There are two ways to reach to the top: the eastern route takes 292 steps to the temple, while the southern route takes only 265 steps. The temple was previously known as “Mudule Thumpko”. This temple was built after the Goddess “Bhadrakali” ordered the Priest to dig through the hill, where they discovered the Goddess’s statue. Since then, it has been worshipped as “Bhadrakali”.

The hillock has the shape of a cone and lies at the center of human settlement. The temple is dedicated to Kali, the Hindu goddess and several other statues of gods and goddess e.g. Ganesh, Laximinarayan, Suryanarayan, Hanuman, which are quite popular among Nepali Hindu devotee and have other infrastructures like Yagyamandap, Maulo, Pati etc. This temple is famous being suitable area for conducting weeding ceremony.

The area is mostly crowded during festivals i.e. Dashain and quite popular for morning walk, exercises and meditation. Forest covered area includes Chilaune (Schima wallichii), Katus (Castanopsis indica), Mahua (Madhuca longifolia), Tiju (Diospyros melanoxylon), Rudrakshya (Elaeocarpus ganitrus) etc. We can also see playground and pond in the temple premises. The pond comprises various fish species such as Tilpe, Vitte and Maaur etc.

Kamal Pokhari Lake


Figure 8: Kamalpokhari Lake

Kamalpokhari Lake is located in ward number 13 of Pokhara metropolitan city. The lake is situated around 5 minutes riding bicycle towards Eastern side from Buddha Gumba. The total catchment area and water bodies cover 1.2 and 0.02 square kilometres respectively. The wetland-dependent communities around the area is the Jalahari community such as Majhi, Bote, Darai, and Podey. The Bans Khola is the major inlet of Kamalpokhari at Baralthar and Machaurigau. An outlet canal from this Pokhari drains to Khau Khola. The area is dedicated to the Kalinag consists of a snake statue in the middle part of the lake and has small temples in the west with several statues of gods and goddess i.e. Radhakrishna, Ganesh, Bishwokarma, Naag.

It is considered a famous site for religious pilgrimage for the people of the area during “Nagpanchami”. We can see lotus species during its blooming period that seems to be the most attractive part of the lake which is the reason for the lake to be named as Kamalpokhari. During Nagpanchami, pilgrims believed that worshiping the Kalinag after bathing in Pokhari and returning home with a leaf of the lotus plant to place near Naagdevta’s portrait satisfied the pilgrims’ inner desires. The Pokhari (Pond) consists of various fish species such as Maaur, Tilapia, Bam, Bhoti and Fageta. The plants found in this area includes Acmella paniculata, Ageratum conyzoides, Nasturtium officinale, Stellaria media, Commelina paludosa, Cyperus platystylis, Colebrookea oppositifolia, Reinwardtia indica, Torenia asiatica, Sida acuta, Sida rhombifolia, Ludwigia hyssopifolia, Oxalis latifolia, Limnophila chinesis, Persicaria perfoliata, Polygonum plebejum, Solanum virginianum etc.

Kahun Hill


Figure 9: Kahun hill

Kahun hill is located about 7 km from the city centre Mahendrapul via Buddha Gumba with the altitude of 1414 m. The hill top is situated north-east of Pokhara valley. The Kahun Darahara (view tower), which was built in the year 2026 B.S., is the main attraction of Kahun hill. Furthermore, the entrance charge to enter Kahun Darahara is Rs. 20 per person. From the view tower, we can see Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Machhapuchre, and the wider Pokhara valley. There is a beautiful Gurung village in the southern part of Kahun hill and the rest is covered with dense forest.

It’s also a popular hiking destination. The majority of visitors prefer to walk, which takes approximately two and half hours. The hiking trails passes through a typical Gurung settlement and a lovely rhododendron forest. The Gurung caste’s way of life and traditional culture can be experienced during the journey. Indeed, the village’s residents have provided numerous homestay services. In addition, Kahun Hill also provides a number of lodges and restaurants. The place is popular for sunrise and sunset. We can have a panoramic view of Pokhara valley from Lekhnath to Hemja village, including both airports, domestic and international.

There are a few Rhododendron trees in the top of the area. Picking Rhododendron flowers is also prohibited, and otherwise we have to pay fine. Moreover, there is a temple called Kahun Kot Deurali at the top, which is just a few meters away from the view tower. Most of the pilgrims visit this temple during Navaratri and also sacrifice animals (goats, hen etc.) believing that their hot blood pleases Devi and then the inner willing of such pilgrims will be completed. The visitors in the Kahun hill can enjoy the scenic view with swing and horse riding as well.

Mahaprabhu Dham (Arba Vijaya)


Figure 10: Mahaprabhu Dham surrounded by Laliguras

Mahaprabhu Dham is a famous religious sites on the top of Arba vijaya hill. This location is about 4.6 km from the Buddha Gumba towards the east and stands at 1085 m. The place is geographically located north east of Pokhara valley. In the south, it is surrounded by the Vijaypur river, while khaunkhola is in west. North of Arba is Mauja village. Arba consists of famous religious places such as Mahaprabhudham, Manideep, Ganesh temple etc. Majority of the religious pilgrims visit Mahaprabhudham during Bala Chaturdashi for scattering Shatbij. This day is considered as a very important day for the salvation journey of the deceased members of family and society.

We can see Agnikunda, Shalikgram and pokhari around the area of Mahaprabhudham. The area is enhanced by the blossoming rhododendrons that surround it. Mahaprabhu cave is also the attraction point in the northeast side of the area.   In addition, Manideep temple is dedicated to the Bhagwati Kali. This temple is crowded during Navaratri. The Himalayan range (Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchre), green mountains, divine landscape, and perfectly gorgeous sunrise can all be seen from this vantage point. Visitors may ride uphill on the off road by crossing the Vijaypur Khola and about 5 km from Kahun Khola towards the east and to reach on the top of small hill Chittepani and Kalika Bazar. Good view of Annapurna Mountain range and Madi river corridor can be observed towards north as bird eyes view.

Tiger hill


Figure 11: Tiger hill

From the Bhadrakali temple heading to south east and crossing the Vijaypur Khola bridge one can reach in the side of the Army Camp. By riding 2.5 Km towards North and the top of small beautiful hill known as Tiger hill is located at 791 m altitude. The area is previously known as “Kandani Dada”. The tiger tree (Prosopis cineraria) is the main attraction of tiger hill. It is the best place for meditation and yoga. From the hill, we can enjoy the panoramic view of Himalayan range i.e. Machhapuchre, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu, and the wide Pokhara valley including international airport. The villagers’ way of life and traditional culture can be experienced during the trip. We can see the Kahun dada and Arba village from this place. The floral species around the area are Mahua (Madhuca longifolia), Pinus species, Chilaune (Schima wallichii), Shami (Prosopis cineraria), Bamboo etc. Furthermore, the place offers numerous lodges, restaurants and hotels.



Figure 12: View from Thoulakot hill

Thoulakot hill is located in ward number 28 of Pokhara metropolitan city. The latitude and longitude of the area are 28°12’45.40″N, 84° 5’0.49″E respectively. The hill is about 10.5 km from the Tiger hill and stands at 1383 m above the sea level. This hill is well-known for its views of the Himalayas, which include more than 15 different snow-capped summits such as Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Machhapuchre and Mt. Annapurna I. From here, we can enjoy spectacular views of the peaks as well as the entire Pokhara valley. The seven lakes of Lekhnath area are visible from the top of the hill. We can hike down to the Lake from Thoulakot via a small patches village and forest. It is also the suitable area for meditation, yoga and picnic. We can observe the people’ consistent mountain lifestyle, as well as their traditions and culture during hiking.