Begnas Lake is a beautiful lake under Lekhnath in Kaski district. This lake is considered to be the second largest lake in Pokhara and third largest lake in Nepal. Being the largest lake of Lekhnath Municipality, it has an area of 3.73 sq. km. (373 hectares). The lake occupies 4.7% of the total area of Lekhnath Municipality and 81% of the total lake area. The lake is 7.5 to 10.6 meters deep. After the construction of the dam in 2044 BS, the total area has increased by 153 hectares i.e., from 220 hectares to 373 hectares. The canal constructed from this dam has been providing irrigation facilities to the excavated fields and property fields of the municipality.
You can enjoy boating in this lake, which will provide the overall scenes from one corner to another. Begnas Lake also has the beautiful shadow of the Annapurna and Manaslu mountains. So, while strolling around the shores of this lake, you can get the glimpse of both hills and peaks. Besides these, fishes found in this lake have different kinds of significance. Most of the unique and tasty fishes are found in this lake of Pokhara.
Tourist Destinations around Begnas Lake
- Rupa Lake
Rupa Lake is one of the major tourist attractions of Pokhara. This lake is an exciting opportunity for national and international tourists to visit Bihar. Commercial fish farming has been started in this lake under Rupa Lake Fisheries Cooperative Society. In the corners of the areas, fish is also farmed by making cages (nets) on a private level within the perimeter of the locals. This lake has the largest number of Tilapia fish, which is not a native species of Nepal. The fishes found here are Rahu, Naini, Bhakur, Sahar, Big Head, Hilemacha etc. The fish here is considered sweeter as the water of Rupa Lake is colder than other lakes of Pokhara.
- Begnas Yoga and Retreat
Located in Ward No. 31 of Pokhara Municipal Corporation, the Begnas Yoga institute is located on Panchbhaiya Danda between Begnas Lake and Rupa Lake. This yoga centre offers Hatha Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Meditation, Hypnosis and Pancha Karmas. Raju is the founder of this centre. This place is crowded mainly during the morning as people come here for morning walk and practice some yoga.
- Panchbhaiya Deurali Temple
This Pachbhaiya Deurali temple in Pokhara Municipal Corporation Ward 31 is named Pachbhaiya Deurali as it is located on the beautiful hill Panchbhaiya between Rupa Lake and Begnas Lake. Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu mountain ranges are clearly visible from this place. This is a temple built in Deurali, which is located at an altitude of 780 meters above sea level.
- Sundari Danda
Sundari Dada, known as the View Tower, from where one can observe Rupa with one eye and Begnas Lake with the other eye. Travellers visiting Begnas Lake enjoy the short hiking towards this Danda and observe the topmost view of the Pokhara along with the lakes.
Majhikuna on the east bank of Begnas Lake has become a new tourist destination, from where the view of Begnas Lake and the different species of fish produced in Begnas Lake can be tasted. Majhikuna is reached after descending from Sundari Dada. The place has now become a new destination for fish connoisseurs. The quiet environment in the middle of the forest, Majhikuna is now becoming famous for its fish dishes. Although fish fry and fish curry are found elsewhere, the taste of roasted fish found here has now become the brand.
- Begnas Thulokot
To the north of Began Thulokot you can see the silver glittering mountains, the Pokhara and the Lekhnath lakes glistening in its lap. The beautiful view of sunrise and sunset seen in the morning and evening can also be observed from this place. Continuing the history of the past and the prevailing culture, special worship is still performed in Begnas Thulokot on every Chaitedshain and Vijayadashami. However, Thulakot, which has historical, cultural, and religious significance, is lagging due to lack of promotion and infrastructure development.
The resort area adjacent to Begnas Lake is a popular destination for tourists visiting Pokhara. The water of this lake is used for irrigation and some part of the lake is used for fish farming. Due to the swampy area of Begnas Lake, paddy is currently cultivated in that area. Begnas Lake is one of the major tourist attractions of Pokhara city. This lake is an exciting opportunity for national and international tourists to visit Bihar. This is the lake that attracts the most tourists after Phewa Lake.
Commercial fish is farmed in this lake under the control of the Fisheries Cooperative Society. Fish is also reared by making cages at the private level within the perimeter of a place set by the locals. This lake has the largest number of tilapia fish. It is an African species of fish that thrives in hot water, not a native species of Nepal. The local fishes found here include Rahu, Naini, Bhakur, Sahar, Hilemachha etc.
Pokhara, considered as the ‘City of Lake’, is the most visited place in Nepal as it is the home to the famous Begnas Lake. Be it to play with the cold water or to observe the unique species of fishes or to get along with the entertainment of the lakeside of the Begnas, I recommend everyone to put this destination in your bucket list.
-By: Kusum Kharel for Land Nepal