pokhara: mahendra cave, seti gorge, a buddhist monastery & the regional museum

Saturday, January 19:  After leaving the Hindu temple, we continue on our “City Tour” of Pokhara, which, other than the Buddhist monastery, turns out to be one disappointment after another.  The things the Nepalis call tourist attractions in Pokhara are a far cry from what the rest of the world calls tourist attractions.  I wish I hadn’t wasted my time and money seeing them on a “guided” tour.  I have to qualify that I only have a driver who barely speaks English, so there is no “guiding” being done.

Mahendra Cave!!

Mahendra Cave!!

First we go to Manhendra Cave.  According to the Mahendra Cave website (Mahendra Cave), this cave’s main attraction is that it is completely different from other gufa ( gufa being “cave” in Nepali).  The other draw is that 95% of tourists visit it!!  Wow!  What a circular argument.  It’s popular because so many people visit it, and people visit it because it’s popular.  No reason is given for its popularity, nor do I find any reason for its popularity once I go there.   We climb down into it and it’s barely lit.  It has no walkways, so I find myself stumbling down a long twisted passage, tripping and stubbing my toes.  And all this for what?  There is absolutely NOTHING to see, mainly because there are no lights!!

the not-so-fabulous Mahendra Cave

the not-so-fabulous Mahendra Cave

The next stop is even better.  Ha!  The Seti River gorge is quite a sight to behold.  Rough Guide to Nepal calls it “dramatic,” but I don’t see much dramatic about it.  Why is it so dramatic?  There is no answer to this question, as it doesn’t look particularly deep or even beautiful.  What is the appeal??  The Lonely Planet Nepal says “if you peer down through the darkness, you can just see the water churning through the gorge.” (Lonely Planet Nepal: Seti River in Pokhara)

the water flowing above the Seti River Gorge

the water flowing above the Seti River Gorge

and, drumroll, the amazing Seti River Gorge!!

and, drumroll, the amazing Seti River Gorge!!

Hmmm.  Again, I would advise it’s better to spend your time strolling aimlessly around the town of Pokhara and around the lake.  Those activities are much more pleasant than visiting these “tourist sites.”

Actually, the bridge over the Seti River Gorge has more interesting sights than the gorge itself.

the bridge over the Seti River Gorge

the bridge over the Seti River Gorge

The best thing on this second half of the city tour is the Karma Dubgyud Chhoekhorling Manag Monastery.  It’s a Buddhist Monastery with both Nepali and Tibetan monks.  I can’t find much information about this monastery, but what makes it lovely is its colorful temple and the views of Pokhara from atop its hilltop location.

the arch leading to the stairway to the Buddhist Monastery

the arch leading to the stairway to the Buddhist Monastery

my driver and the now dilapidated Peace Cafe

my driver and the now dilapidated Peace Cafe

the steps that leave me breathless walking up to the monastery

the steps that leave me breathless walking up to the monastery

Karma Dubgyud Chhoekhorling Manag Monastery

Karma Dubgyud Chhoekhorling Manag Monastery

the view of Pokhara from the monastery

the view of Pokhara from the monastery

the monastery

the monastery

Karma Dubgyud Chhoekhorling Manag Monastery

Karma Dubgyud Chhoekhorling Manag Monastery

walking back to the monks' quarters

walking back to the monks’ quarters

the monks' quarters

the monks’ quarters

the Monastery

the Monastery

a Buddha in the garden

a Buddha in the garden

Buddha & friends

Buddha & friends

me with Buddha & company

me with Buddha & company

in the monastery garden

in the monastery garden

Buddha in the garden

Buddha in the garden

The Pokhara Regional Museum is okay; it’s just a small museum with displays on Nepali ethnic groups.  The woman who takes my money at the door acts like she’s doing me a big favor allowing me on the premises.

The Pokhara Regional Museum

The Pokhara Regional Museum

display inside the museum

display inside the museum

close up of the display

close up of the display

another display in the museum

another display in the museum

the garden on the museum grounds

the garden on the museum grounds

After our tour, I ask my driver to drop me at a restaurant near lakeside so I can eat some lunch and enjoy the views of the lake.

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2 comments on “pokhara: mahendra cave, seti gorge, a buddhist monastery & the regional museum

  1. As i sit in katmandu airport waiting to go to pokhara i am VERY happy to have stumbled across this honest opinion of what i am about to go see

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