Nagarkot is perched on a ridge 2200 m above the Kathmandu valley and is famous for the views of the Himalayas – particularly at sunrise and sunset. The name means Fort of the City with its location allowing it to control movement in and out of the valley along an ancient trade route between Kathmandu and Tibet. There have been army posts there in the past, as well as summer quarters for the Maharajas of Nepal. When tourism in Nepal opened up in the 1960’s the region became a popular trekking destination due to the amazing views sweeping from Annapurna in the NW to Mt Everest in the NE.
The ethnic Tamang and Bahun communities working in the area have benefited greatly from the advent of tourism and the many guest houses which have opened in the area. Both employment in the tourism industry as well as increased demand for agricultural products by the hospitality industry have created a flow of income into the area.
Our stay in the area was at the beautiful Club Himalaya Nagarkot Resort reached via winding road with many blind corners and switch backs. Kudos to our driver for successfully negotiating it!. Although we were not blessed with a sunrise due to fog, I have included a photo of what was behind the mist.
After breakfast we left the Resort for the 90 minute drive to Kathmandu airport and our 30 minute flight to Pokhara. Our transport wove its way back down the mountain side to the fields outside of Bhaktapur and on to Kathmandu Airport. The airport parking area was total chaos – I have immense admiration for the drivers that can negotiate a big bus through a million scooters, cabs and private vehicles going a million different directions. Our flight was delayed but not cancelled which is often the case here. Great news as the alternative was an 8 hour bus ride along a road filled with switchbacks, potholes and heavens knows what else……
The alternative to our flight
The flight went smoothly once the old shakey bucket of bolts got airborne and we touched down in Pokhara in mid afternoon.
The airport is brand new: we got our luggage and got on another transport quickly for town.
Pokhara is charming, a city of about 700,000 built in a beautiful lake district. It is built on Phewa Lake and is known as the gateway to the Annapurna Circuit. The environment is lush and temperatures are tropical (28 C when we landed). Our lunch was in a restaurant with lake views. The incoming rain clouds obscured most of the lake view and brought with them a downpour later in the day. Apparently that is a good omen for weather tomorrow for our itinerary which includes a lake cruise and a hike up to the famous Peace Pagoda. Following lunch we visited the International Mountain Museum which had exhibits on the culture and history of the Himalayas as well as a history of the mountaineering in the area and of course an exhibit devoted to the Yeti legend.
We are now at our hotel and settled down for the evening. Looking forward to spending a couple of nights here.