Phewa Lake is a very famous lake located in Kaski District, Gandaki Province of Nepal. Located in the Pokhara Valley, this lake is popular among internal and external tourists. The name of this lake is Phewa Lake as it is near the village of Phewa. It is also called Baidam Lake as it falls near the village. In the meanwhile, the location of ‘Barahi Mandir’ has made it possible to identify it in Barah Mandir as well. The lake has a panoramic view of Machhapuchhre and Annapurna Himal. These scenes bring joy to everyone’s mind. The view of the sunrise and sunset is also very stunning and makes the mind happy.
It is the second largest lake in Nepal and largest lake in Pokhara. Phewa Lake is located at an altitude of 742 meters (2,434 feet) above sea level. The lake covers an area of about 5.23 sq km (2 sq mi). The lake has an average depth of 8.6 m (28 ft) and a maximum depth of 24 m (79 ft).  The maximum water capacity of the lake is about 430,000,000 cubic meters (35,000-acre feet). To the north of this lake is the Annapurna range, which is at a distance of 28 km. The lake is also famous for its reflection of Machhapuchhre, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri and other mountain peaks, which can be seen clearly in the water of this lake.
Many poets have written about Pokhara and Phewa Lake in their works. Many songs have become popular. There have been many descriptions of Pokhara and its beauty in essays, stories, and novels. Those who have reached Pokhara once are repeatedly called by Phewa Lake. Probably because of this, some foreign nationals have given up their homeland citizenship and made Pokhara a place to spend the latter part of their lives.
Boating in Phewa Lake
The experience of boating in the Phewa Lake from one side to the other is priceless. There is a line of boats around the lake, a lake temple i.e., Tal Barahi Temple in the middle, and the blue water will make your face shine. The cool breeze from around the lake makes your heart flutter.
Food, Drinks, & Music in Phewa Lake
Phewa Lake is very popular for its nearby restaurants and its hospitality. For the tourists visiting this lake, along with the beautiful natural beauty, the hospitality here also attracts everyone. Along with this, Pokhara is still far ahead of other cities for enjoying food, drinks, and music. The restaurants and bars that are open near the Phewa Lake make the tourists happy and comfortable. Food, drinks, and music are the hallmarks of Phewa Lake. Whether it is western or genuine Nepali folk music or easy music or ghazal, the sound of music that starts in the restaurants opened on the shores of the lake are enough to captivate the mind of visitors.
Tourist Destinations around Phewa Lake
- Tal Barahi Temple
There is a Nepali-style Barahi temple on a mound in the middle of the Phewa Lake of Pokhara in Kaski district, which is called Taal Barahi temple. This temple is also called Taal Barahi as it is in the middle of Phewa Lake. According to local proverbs, the rulers of Kaski built a temple in the middle of the lake around 1739 B.S. The present magnificent temple of Taal Barahi was built only around the year 2017 B.S. It is also customary to offer animal sacrifices in this temple. This place, which is crowded with tourists, seems to have a fair all year round.
Baidam is the nearest village to Phewa Lake. It is another major attraction where you can meet the locals and interact with them. The flickering lights at night, the sound of Nepali, Hindi and English music being played in the nearby hotels and tourists indulging in wine and meat dishes etc. make the evening vigil of Baidam, Pokhara enticing and thrilling to everyone.
Sarangkot is another touristy place near to Phewa Lake. From Sarangkot, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of Pokhara. From here, you can fly like a bird through paragliding. To make the access easy from Phewa lake to Sarangkot, the plan of joining cable car between them is being carried on.
- Ratna Temple
Who wouldn’t be fascinated by the magnificent royal bungalow built on the banks of the Phewa Lake in Pokhara? The bungalow called Ratna Mandir is not visible from the road along the lake. Instead, visitors going to Barahi Temple by boat from the east side can see the small part of the building facing south. Ratna Mandir is a palace built by the then King Mahendra in the name of his queen Ratna. At that time, he used to come and stay at Ratna Mandir from time to time.
Pokhara is 203.8 km away from Kathmandu. One can reach there via flight and public/private vehicles. You can also travel to Pokhara in a Tourist Bus. It takes around 25 minutes to reach Pokhara by plane. Likewise, it takes about 8-9 hours in public buses and 4-5 hours in private jeep/car/bike. Numerous local buses depart from Kathmandu in morning, afternoon, and evening to Pokhara. We recommend you set your journey through private vehicles as it will save your energy and provide comfortable riding.
From Pokhara, Phewa Lake is just 20 minutes away. You can walk there by exploring the beautiful city Pokhara. Being the developed city in Nepal, you can access some of the best standard hotels and facilities when visiting Phewa Lake.
Best Time to Visit Phewa Lake
Phewa Lake can be visited throughout the year; however, travellers prefer to flock to this lake mainly during spring (March, April, and May) and autumn (September, October, and November). As per the locals, the lake is mainly crowded during the time of Dashain. During these times, you get to observe the clear visibility of the peaks and its ranges, blooming flowers, green environment, pleasant weather etc.
I suggest everyone to visit Phewa Lake as it gives us the opportunity to visit as well as get information about new places. We all Nepalese need to know more about this lake and spread it further. By doing so, our country will be famous all over the world and the pride of Nepal will also increase.
-By: Kusum Kharel for Land Nepal