The characteristic features like winding streams, anomalous landscapes, pleasant climate, floral biodiversity and various natural processes are the basic components of Natural Heritages in Pokhara valley. The valley is directly under the shadow and in the south facing lap of majestic Mt. Annapurna ranges and Mt. Machhapuchhre. It is famous for spectacular grandeur of river terraces. through which Seti. Mardi and Madi have formed. Additional water collects from the slope of different watersheds. The following are the natural heritages in Pokhara Sub-metroplolitan city.
Seti River and Gorges :
The Seti River is the major or trunk drainage system. It has originated from the Mt. Annapurna and Mt. Machhapuchhre glaciers. Seti rehydrates the heart land of Pokhara city. In the process of running, she has created stupendous gorges ranging the depth between 50 meters and 80 meters. It has 11 km distance somewhere she becomes out of sight and appears herself. K.I. Singh bridge, Mahendrapul, and Prithvi chowk are the main sites to observe the underground river and its roaring sounds. The river Seti has made 100-200 mater wide seven ampi theaters also known as Ghats, these landscapes are the holy places to perform the solemn occasions and rituals. The Seti Rivers’ runway is quite spectacular for tourists. This is an endowment of the nature in Pokhara city.
Mount Fishtail and Annapurna
One can view Fish-Tail and Annapurna Mountains to the north-west from different spots of Pokhara. Annapurna Mountain (Himalaya) range stretches west-east and is divided into Annapurna (I) 8091m, (II) 7937m (III) 7575m (IV) 7535m. Machhapuchhre (Fish tail Mountain) is in the middle of the range with the elevation 6998m from sea level (NTNC 2012). Machhapuchhre is a glorious natural heritage of Pokhara. Its local name is Machhapuchhre because of its forked summit looks like the tail of a fish. One can view this fish-tail shape from Sarangkot, peace stupa and other points too. It is still a virgin Mountain.
If you are flying to Pokhara, Machhapuhhre welcomes you with broad chest and georgeous look to you the moment you step down at Pokhara Air Port. If you are travelling on a bus or by car along the Prithvi Highway from Kathmandu, you can see it after passing Damauli. It’s an eye opening picturesque view to look at Machhapuhhre from a distance. The feeling is as if Machhapuchhre is watching you raising its head high in the sky. When you look at Machhapuhher’s image within the Fewa Lake, it becomes a unique experience of romance for you. At the moment of sunrise and sunset it looks like gold and other time silver, especially in moonlight.
Davis Fall (Water Fall):
Pokhara’s Davies Fall is one example of how a beautiful creation of Nature can become a place of sad memory for some. A Swiss couple was washed away by flood while bathing besides the Fall in 1961 AD. Mrs. Davies lost her life and the fall was named as the Davies Fall in her sad memory. The Fall is 100 m deep and enters the subterranean world to emerge out at the Fusre Khola some 1 km south. The Fewa Lake located some 2 km north is the source of the fall. Though it is beautiful to look at, it also sends a shiver through the spine when one arrives near. Water cascading down the fall strikes the rock at the bottom and send rainbow that can be visible from far ahead during the monsoon season. The fall is surrounded by deep crevasses. Thus, one should exercise caution while moving around. The fall is about 4 km south of Prithivichowk.
This landscape is the result of solution and associated precipitation features of carbonate rocks (limestone and dolomites). The Pokhara valley consists of accumulation of predominantly calcareous materials. The two formations, Ghachok and Tallakot formations have left the effects in the form of voide spaces and caverns in Pokhara. There are two areas of caves, Batulechaur; the northern area of the city has four caves- Mahendra cave, Chamere (Bats) cave, Crystal cave and Crazy cave. The Mahendra cave was found out sixty years before. Later, it was named after the visit of late King Mahendra in Batulechaur. This is about 200 meters long, 8 feet tall roof, consists of crystalline dolomites and limestones, beautiful stalagtites, stalagmites and variety of features can be visualized with the help of torch because inside of the cave is utter dark. Another cave, Chamere cave is situated near to the Mahendra cave (about at 300 meters distance). This is not so long, (just about 100 meters), high roof with crystalline dolomites, cool and humid environment, and utter dark. This cave is a shelter of flock of bats, so also called as Chamere (Bats) Cave. There are two other caves, Crystal cave and Crazy cave within the area. These two caves are found out five years before. Both of these are about 150 meters long, consists of enchanting crystalline roocks of different features. These caves are to be managed for the cave visitors. The Batulechaur locality can be called as Cave Villa in Pokhara. This is about 9 km from the Pokhara Airport. Taxi and city buses are available for conveyance. The visitors should have a torch or a guide to enter into the cave.
Gupteshwor Cave is located just opposite of the Davis fall. The whole area of the cave is very much expanded, more than 350 meters long. The roof of the cave is very tall, and widened floors. This cave has three branches there within. There is an image of Lord Shiva (Shiva Linga), many devotees and visitors do visit to worship and to pay homage the Shiva Linga. It is an exciting part of the cave; advanture tourists can enjoy the underground visit. Inside of the cave is utter darkness, visitors should have torch.
Pokhara valley has been known for its number of lakes. It has eight having an area of 9.057 square kilometer. The important lakes are Phewa (4.43 sq. km), Begnas (2.5 sq. km), Rupa (1.4 sq. km), Maidi (0.415 sq. km), Khaste (.21 sq. km), Gunde (0.05 sq. km), Dipang (0.026 sq. km) and Kamal Pokhari (0.026 sq. km). The three lakes Phewa, Begnes and Rupa are fairly larger; the other five lakes are undergoing rapid sedimentation and remained just as swampy ponds. The maximum depth of Phewa Lakes is measured 24 meters, Begnas and Rupa has 10 mater and 6 meters. The Phewa Lake has 110 squarre kilometers watershed area, whereas Begnas and Rupa have 19 and 30 square kilomaters watershed area respectively.
Bhim Dhunga (Boulder):
It is a huge boulder lies at the bank of Seti river within the premise of Prithvi Narayan Campus, Pokhara. The size of boulder is about 25 meter circumference, 6 meter high and ball like round in shape. It was brought down by glaciofluvial flood during glacial age from the Mt. Annapurna Himalaya. This boulder is composed of mica-schist sandstone and millions of years old.
About the Bhim Dhunga (boulder), there are some interesting mythical concepts and legends. After the ceasefire of Mahabharat War, the five brothers of Pandav were traveling towards the Himalaya for relaxation; on the way the saw huge lake as barriers when they arrived to Rishing Valley. For the continuation of their traveling, the second (mahilo) brother, Bhim (strong as Hercules) breached out the bank of lake and let the water run. After that incidence, a flat land, Pokhara Valley Was emerged and came into sight a large boulder at north of the lake. In honour of Bhin, the large boulder is named as Bhim Dhunga.
Another similar legend is also told, during the traveling of five Pandav brothers to the Himalaya they arrived to Rishing-Bhimad, at that time their beautiful and loving wife Draupadi demanded a Rukh kamal (tree lotus) Flower. There was a big lake as obstruction. To fulfill her demand, the obstruction was breached out by Bhim and made emergence of open land mass. In search of flower, when they came to the north and saw a huge boulder, Bhim played the same as shot-put over there. Since that incidence, the boulder has been called as Bhim Dhunga.
In honour of Bhim, the Bhim Dhunga has been worshipped as “deity God” by the Newar community, specially, Palikhe, Bataju, Joshi, Shrestha and Khadgi in Pokhara. Every year, genealogic familial worship is performed in special solemn (shaving of head hair), Annaparashan(Winning), Ehi(bel bibaha), Bara pikayegu (Surya darshan), Janku ( Survival over 1000 full moon period) etc., The deity God Bhimsen is honoured and worshipped.