No visitors in Pokhara to admire view


After raining every day for the past two weeks since the monsoon rains arrived, Pokhara got a rare respite from clouds on Sunday, bringing the mountains out in all their glory.

Because of its low elevation and proximity to the mountains, Pokhara has some of the highest precipitation rates in Nepal, with 3,500mm per year. Nearly 80% of that rain falls in the three months June-August.

This year, the monsoon has been heavier than normal. Swollen rivers have washed away homes in Manang and Mustang, destroyed roads and bridges, and damaged several hydro-electric projects, including the 44MW Super Madi plant that was nearing completion.

On Sunday morning the view was best from Pokhara's new airport and the nearby stadium, which is being refurbished with a new roof and seats.

Pokhara is also completing a statue of Lord Shiva atop of dome in Pumdikot. The 20m high statue has been put up next to the temple on the peak, and locals hope it will attract tourists to the spot from where there is a view of mountains from Dhaulagiri to Himalchuli, including the entire Annapurna and Machapuchre massif, as well as the Phewa Lake below.

The panorama from the Shiva statue on Sunday was all the more spectacular because it was on a monsoon morning.

By afternoon, the heat in Pokhara got oppressive, and people thronged to swim below the Phewa Dam that has just been repaired. The dam is  upstream from the popular Davis Falls, which had a few people on Sunday because of the lockdown (above left).