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Phewa Lake

Home > Kathmandu > Adventure | Escape the City | Lakes | Nature | Travel
by Reductio ad absurdum (subscribe)
I walk around Adelaide with a camera and a tripod. www.edmundkhoophotography.com Getty Images: https://tinyurl.com/ycg9zne3
Published December 17th 2016
The Lake in the Sky among the Clouds
The morning of my last day in Pokhara I woke early and spent a few hours roaming the banks of Phewa Lake. Situated two hundred kilometres North West from Kathmandu along the Prithvi Highway, it was far from the raucous symphony of the capital.

Sunrise Phewa Lake Fewa Lake Tal Nepal Pokhara Kathmandu Lake Beautiful Tranquility Peaceful Temple Tourist Destination Sarangkot Oranges Street Food Carts Fruit
Oranges for sale on the roadside at one of the many small towns along the Prithvi Highway connecting Kathmandu to Pokhara in Nepal.


The second largest Lake in Nepal, Phewa Lake (Phewa Tal) is crowded with restaurants and hotels on its Eastern Bank (also known as Lakeside, or Baidam) while the opposite bank reflects the deep, rich greens of the Queen's Forest against the Annapurna ranges.

The pre-dawn air was frosty and still; the lake silent, vast.

Sunrise Phewa Lake Fewa Lake Tal Nepal Pokhara Kathmandu Lake Beautiful Tranquility Peaceful Temple Tourist Destination Sarangkot
Sunrise at Phewa Lake in Pokhara from Lakeside


Now and again the rattle of carts could be heard, and as I rustled through scraggly grass glistening with dew I glimpsed street vendors setting up their stands in hushed silence.

Here was the flutter of silk scarves, there the murmuring rattle of a woman pouring unshelled roasted peanuts into small cups. Wisps of steam curled upwards.

As the sun crested the Annapurna ranges fresh snow flared crimson. A thick, coruscating, low lying mist swirled over the surface of the lake. The mirrorlike glassy surface was broken.

A small group of brightly dressed children had made their way to the water's edge near the dock and were washing clothes, their rhythmic efforts spreading concentric ripples like the epicentre of an earthquake.

Within moments I watched the first tourist boat peel away from its motionless brethren and, helmed by a shrouded boatman, angle silently away into the still heavy gloom with practisced reverence.

Sunrise Phewa Lake Fewa Lake Tal Nepal Pokhara Kathmandu Lake Beautiful Tranquility Peaceful Temple Tourist Destination Sarangkot Boats
One of the many tour boats on the banks of Phewa Lake


By the time it was engulfed by mist and shadow I realised that it had no occupants other than its solitary Charon and was likely heading for the exclusive hotel on the bank in the distance I had spied on the bus ride in, to ferry tourists back to the main dock for their tours.

Sunrise Phewa Lake Fewa Lake Tal Nepal Pokhara Kathmandu Lake Beautiful Tranquility Peaceful Temple Tourist Destination Sarangkot
Low lying mist clings to the mirror like surface of Phewa Lake


Fingers stiff from the morning chill and longing wistfully for some warming Apple brandy from the night before, I set up a tripod and loosed off a few frames in silence. As I metered, bracketed and composed I was struck by a fleeting sense of futility. How could a few frames, no matter how well-timed, reflect the rustic splendour of painted wooden boats at a dock? The aching beauty of densely packed treetops at dawn kissed with pastel-pink rays of light? The textured green below against featureless white above? The fragile confluence of a single moment?

Sarangkot Lookout Nepal Pokhara Kathmand Annapurna Ranges Mountains Tourist Destination nature
Sarangkot Lookout, Pokhara


The murmur of voices started as a trickle that erupted into a flood. Hotel breakfasts seemed to end at the same time with tour groups disgorged into the dusty streets, high visibility outdoor adventure gear rustling; buses rumbling away for activities

Time to leave for Sarangkot.
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Why? To visit a magnificent natural wonder, where forests and mountains meet a wondrous lake.
When: Any time
Where: Pokhara, 200km to the North East of Kathmandu along the Prithvi Highway
Cost: The cost is variable (search accomodation at Lakeside)
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