Sunday, July 31, 2011

history of pokhara

History
Pokhara lies on an important old trading route between Tibet and India. In the 17th century it was part of the influential Kingdom of Kaski which again was one of the Chaubise Rajaya (24 Kingdoms of Nepal) ruled by a branch of the Shah Dynasty. Many of the mountains around Pokhara still have medieval ruins from this time. In 1752 the King of Kaski invited Newars from Bhaktapur to Pokhara to promote trade. Their heritage can still be seen in the architecture along the streets in Bhimshen Tol (Old Pokhara). Hindus, again, brought their culture and customs from Kathmandu and settled in the whole Pokhara valley. In 1786 Prithvi Narayan Shah added Pokhara into his kingdom. It had by then become an important trading place on the routes from Kathmandu to Jumla and from India to Tibet.

Originally Pokhara was largely inhabitated by Brahmins, Chhetris and Thakuris (the major villages were located in Parsyang, Malepatan, Pardi and Harichowk areas of modern Pokhara) and the Majhi community near the Fewa Lake. When the newars of Bhaktapur migrated to Pokhara they settled near main business locations such as Bindhyabasini temple, Nalakomukh and Bhairab Tole. Newars also brought many cultural dances like, "BHAIRAB DANCE, TAYA MACHA, LAKHE DANCE" which adds to cultural diversity of the Pokhara. After the British recruitment camp was shifted here Magar and Gurung community settled here in large numbers coming down from the hills. At present the Gurung (Tamu), Khas (Brahmin, Chhetri, Thakuri and Dalits) form the dominant community of Pokhara and the nearby hill areas in terms of population. Sizeable population of Newari community is also present within the Pokhara metropolitan area, however, in adjoining areas of Pokhara there are no newar settlements. A small muslim community is located on eastern fringes of Pokhara generally called as Miya Patan.

From 1959 to 1962 some 300,000 refugees came to Nepal from neighbouring Tibet, which had been annexed by China. Four refugee camps were established in the Pokhara valley: Tashipalkhel, Tashiling, Paljorling and Jambling. These camps have evolved into settlements. Because of their different architecture, prayer flags, gompas and chorten, these can easily be distinguished from the other settlements.

Until the end of the 1960s the town could only be reached by foot and it was considered even more a mystical place than Kathmandu. The first road was finished in 1968 (Siddhartha Highway) after which tourism set in and the city grew rapidly. The area along the Phewa lake developed into one of the major tourism hubs of Nepal.

Structure

The Annapurna range from the World Peace Pagoda above Phewa lakePokhara spans 8 km from north to south and 6 km from east to west but, unlike Kathmandu, it is quite loosely built up and still has much green space. The Seti Gandaki flowing through the city from north to south divides the city roughly in two halves with the down-town area of Chipledunga in the middle, the old town centre of Bagar in the north and the tourist district of Lakeside (Baidam) in the south all lying on the western side of the river. The gorge through which the river flows is crossed at five points, the major ones are (from north to south): K.I. Singh Pul, Mahendra Pul and Prithvi Highway Pul. The eastern side of town is mainly residential.

About half of all tourists visiting Pokhara are there for the start or end of a trek to the Annapurna Base Camp and Mustang.

Lake Phewa was slightly enlarged by damming. It is in danger of silting up because of the inflow during the monsoon. The outflowing water is partially used for hydro power. The dam collapsed in the late 1970s and has been rebuilt again. The power plant is located about 100 m below at the bottom of the Phusre Khola gorge. Water is also diverted for irrigation into the southern Pokhara valley.

The eastern Pokhara Valley receives irrigation water through a canal running from a reservoir by the Seti in the north of the city. Phewa lake is also used for commercial fishing. The tourist area is along the north shore of the lake (Lake Side and Dam Side). It is mainly made up of little shops, little hotels, restaurants and bars. The larger hotels can be found on the southern and south-eastern fringes of the city, from where the view of the mountains, mainly Machapuchare (Fishtail), is seen best. To the east of the valley are few smaller and few bigger lakes, the largest being Begnas Tal and Rupakot Tal. Begnas Tal is also known for its fishery projects. There are no beaches in the valley, but one can rent boats in Phewa and Begnas Tal (lakes).

Tourism and economy

Bindhyabasini Temple in the eveningAfter the annexation of Tibet by China that led to the Indo-China war the trading route to India became defunct. Today only few caravans from Mustang still arrive in Bagar (Pokhara).

Pokhara has become a major tourist hub of Nepal, more than making up for the loss of its trading importance. The city offers a combination of nature and culture with a distinct tourist district in the southern subdivisions of Baidam, Lakeside and Damside. It is mostly known as starting and ending point for Annapurna treks.

Pokhara is quite a modern city with only few touristic attractions in the town itself. Most interesting is the old centre in the north of the city (purano bazar) where still many old shops and warehouses in the Newari style can be found. Mule caravans still arrive there from Mustang.

Temples worth visiting in the older part of town are Bindhyabasini temple and Bhimsen temple. Another temple, Barahi temple, is located on an island in the Phewa lake. It is accessible only through boats available at the shores of the lake.

The modern commercial city centre at Chiple Dhunga and Mahendrapul (now called Bhimsen Chowk, named after a Shahid (Martyr) in Jana-aandolan II, April, 2006) is halfway between the lake and Purano Bazar, the old centre. Apart from this there are several subcentres in other parts of town: in the north in Bagar, in the south between Prithvi Chok and Srijana Chok (mainly hardware stores), and in the east, on the other side of the Seti, in Ram Bazar.

On a hill overlooking Phewa Tal from the south is the World Peace Stupa (at 1,113 m) QTVR built in 1996 with a view of the lake, across the city and of the snow peaked mountain range consisting of namely, Fishtail, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himals (mountains).

The best viewpoint of Pokhara is Sarangkot (1,600 m) and Thulakot (in Lekhnath a part of famous Royal Trek from where four lakes Phewa, Begnas, Khaste and Dipang and whole Annapurna range is seen) to the west of the city. Paths and a road lead to the top from where one can enjoy spectacular views of the Annapurna range, Manaslu, Dhaulagiri and the city itself. In the top of the hill of Sarankot, there is a beautiful Buddhist stupa/monastery, which also attracts many tourists.

The shortage of touristic sites in Pokhara is made up by its scenic views in and around town. Most of them are not mentioned in any guide or map. The Seti Gandaki (White Gandaki) and its tributaries have created spectacular gorges in and around the whole city. The Seti gorge runs through the whole city from north to south. At places it is only a few metres wide, but 100 m deep with a water depth of 20 m.

In the middle of the city, the gorge widens to a canyon looking like a crater. In the north and south, just outside town, there are awesome canyons, in some places 100 m deep. These canyons extend through the whole Pokhara Valley. Impressive views are possible from the Prithvi Narayan Campus and from the other side at the foot of Kahu Danda (conjunction of several rivers and canyons). Behind the INF-Compound one can see the Seti River disappear into a slit in an almost 100 m wall, especially impressive in monsoon.

Another place worth visiting is the Patale Chhango (Hell's Falls), more commonly called "Davis Falls", named after a tourist who fell into the gorge. The water of these falls comes from the Fewa Lake flowing to the Seti. The falls plunge into a hole and disappear. In monsoon this sight is most spectacular. Nearby, across the street is a little cave (Gupteshwor Cave). A more exciting cave is at the opposite end of the city in Batulechaur (Mahendra Cave). Betulechaur is known for the musicians caste of the Gaines.

Pokhara is the gateway to the trekking route "Round Annapurana", which is usually a trek of 25 days.

Pokhara is the location of the British Gurkha Camp in the north of the city. It is a recruitment camp for Nepalis as Gurkha soldiers. About 370 are selected annually in December out of a pool of over 20,000 applicants. About 140 eventually join the Gurkha Contingent in Singapore while the rest join the British Army.

[edit] Education
The city of Pokhara has many educational institutions and regarded as best place for learning in western development region. Prithivi Narayan Campus ,the largest in terms of student enrollment in whole Nepal , IOE Western Region Campus providing engineering education, Foresty Campus, Nursing Campus under Tribhuvan University and Manipal College of Medical Science under Kathmandu university. There are many higher secondary schools for better education. The city has many boards firsts in SLC examination.

Airports

Pokhara AirportPokhara Airport is situated in the middle of town and offers flights to Kathmandu, Jomsom, Manang, Bhairahawa and Bharatpur. Helicopters to Manang and Jomsom are also available for charter.


Pokhara stupas.
Phewa lake and lakeside view from Sarangkot[edit] Lakes and rivers

Phewa lake in 1982Phewa Lake or Fewa Tal is a lake of Nepal located in the Pokhara Valley near Pokhara and Sarangkot.

The Seti River is a river running down from the Himalaya in north-west Nepal. It is one of the largest river in Nepal.


Lekhnath Municipality is known as "Garden city of seven lakes" as there are seven lakes.

List of lakes & rivers in Pokhara :

Phewa Lake
Begnas Lake
Rupa Lake
Seti River
Gandaki River
Gude Lake
Neurani Lake
Deepang Lake
Maidy Lake
Khastey Lake
Bijayapur River
Important education facilities in Pokhara
Prithivi Narayan Campus
Western Regional Campus for Engineering
Nursing Campus
Pokhara University
Pokhara Engineering College
Manipal College of Medical Sciences
Gandaki College of Engineering and Sciences
Urban Development Training Centre (UDTC)
Institute of Forestry - Tribhuvan University [1]

References
This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (October 2009)

Capital: Pokhara
VDCs
Arba Vijaya, Armala, Begnas, Bhachok, Bhadaure Tamagi, Bharat Pokhari, Chapakot, Dangsing, Deurali, Dhampus, DHIKUR POKHARI, Dhital, Ghachok,Ghandruk, Hansapur, Hemaja, Kahun, Kalika, Kasikot, Kritinachnechaur, Lahachok, Lamachaur, Lekhnath, Lumle, Lwangghale, Machhapuchchhre, Majhthana, Mala, Mauja, Mijuredada, Namarjung, Nirmalpokhari, Parche, Pumdibhumdi, Puranchaur, Rakhi, Reevan, Rupakot, Saimarang, Salyan, Sarangkot, Sardikhola, Shisuwa, Siddha, Sildujure, Thumakodada, Thumki, Valam
pokhara lies on an important old trading route between Tibet and India. In the 17. century it was part of the influential Kingdom of Kaski which again was one of the Chaubise Rajaya (24 Kingdoms of Nepal) ruled by a branch of the Shah Dynasty. Many of the mountains around Pokhara still have medieval ruins from this time. In 1752 the King of Kaski invited Newars from Bhaktapur to Pokhara to promote trade. Their heritage can still be seen in the architecture along the streets in Bagar (Old Pokhara). Hindus, again, brought their culture and customs from Kathmandu and settled in the whole Pokhara valley. In 1786 Prithvi Narayan Shah added Pokhara into his kingdom. It had by then become an important trading place on the routes from Kathmandu to Jumla and from India to Tibet.
From 1959 to 1962 some 300,000 refugees came to Nepal from neighbouring Tibet, which had been annexed by China. Four refugee camps were established in the Pokhara valley: Tashipalkhel, Tashiling, Paljorling and Jambling. These camps have evolved into settlements. Because of their different architecture, prayer flags, gompas and chorten, these can easily be distinguished from the other settlements.
Until the end of the 1960s the town could only be reached by foot and it was considered even more a mystical place than Kathmandu. The first road was finished in 1968 after which tourism set in and the city grew rapidly. The area long the Phewa Lake developed into one of the major tourism hubs of Nepal.
The history of Pokhara city shows that proper settlement in Pokhara was initiated from Bindabasini (Presently Ward No. 2) and Batulechour (Presently Ward No. 16). During the settlement period of that time mainly people were Thakuri (the ruling class people), Brahman, Chettri & Occupational caste group such as Kami, Kami, Sarki, Gaine, Newars. The trader caste followed in later on. It was only after eradication of malarial fever from the valley in mid 1960s and subsequent urbanization process such as development of transport and communication, health, education, trade, commerce, industries etc., gave rise to immigration of people from abroad which ultimately converted the homogeneous town into heterogeneous in nature.
The people of Nepal are the outcome of successive wave of migration of Mongoloids and Cancasoid from the two major Asiatic civilizations. Therefore, the people of Pokhara represent both of them and Austrolaid & Protogurtofoid stocks in minority as wee. Approximately 95% of the city’s population has its origin in hills, people of Terai mountain are 3% and 2% respectively. The 1991 census has recognized 60 ethnic and caste-groups. Of these, 29 are from Hill, 29 from Terai and 2 from Mountain region whereas the census of 2001 has recorded 70 diverse groups out of which 27 are from Hill, 35 from Terai, 4 from Mountain & 4 from mixed & unidentified categories. However, this classification includes four religious groups i.e. Chaurete, Marwari, Muslim and Sikh as well as Bengali linguistic group. Thus, the population of Pokhara is made up of numerous ethnic and caste groups, a number of classes and creeds as well as linguistic heterogeneity. It means pokhara city is highly diversified. Hence it is a cultural cradle of different ethnic, religious and linguistic groups. People are of different religious beliefs, but they are mostly Hindus and Buddhists. A marginal number of people follow Christianity, Jainism, Islam, Sikhs etc. The religious secularism, tolerance and co-existence are the unique characteristics of cultural components. Hence, no untoward incident has ever occurred. Nepali is the primary language of majority as well as its linguafranca. Newari, Gurung, Magar, Chaurete, Maithili, Thakali, Tamang, Bhojpuri etc. are other local dialects of Pokhara. Brahmans form the majority group and it is followed by Gurung, Newar and Chhetri groups. The Kami, Sarki, Damai, Thakali, Chaurete etc. are minority groups. The temples, gombas, churches, mosques are located in different localities of the city.
As being a cultural cradle of Western Region, Pokhara is the land of festivals with rich cultural heritage of the people of Indo-Aryan as well as Mongoloid stocks. From the very beginning pokhara city was able to attract the people with in the country as well as the tourists. More than 90 percent cultural ceremonies and activities have religious origin. Out of these, Buddhajayanti, Shrawan Shakranti, Nagpanchami, Janaipurnima, Teej, Bada Dashain etc. are totally religious. During the celebration of Lakhe Nach, Gaijatra, Bhairabjatra, Loshar cultural activities such as dancing and singing, repeating lores and legends are preformed as ceremonial rites and rituals. These are the most fascinating cultural phenomena of this cosmopolitan society. Apart from Hindu and Buddhist festivals, Id, Ramzan, Christmas Day, Easter Sunday, Good Friday etc are also observed by minority Muslim and Christian cultural groups.
In respects of cultural heritage, Pokhara is one of the richest cultural bowls in Nepal. It was a meeting point of several tribes, races, ethnos, castes and creeds from the very beginning. Now it has been converted into the homeland of several castes, creeds, tribes, races and cultural groups. Therefore, the different lifestyles of these people in aggregate reflect the cultural significance of the town.

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