Holi in Nepal || Pokhara and Kathmandu

Rishabh Saini

New Member
Namaste Everyone!!


I have been reading interesting travelogues here since last year and now I have my short travel story as a little contribution to this amazing forum. In fact, I read several travelogues of Nepal here before traveling which made me confident enough to get my motorcycle and ride across the border to the 'Land of Peace'. Hope you guys like it :)


Why Holi ? Because I and my other friends who traveled were more interested in exploring some new places than playing Holi at home and that we had plenty of days (holiday plus leaves) away from office. Though for Diwali, it's only our sweet home :). So I had five days at hand and wanted to travel at a place which can be reached in just one day so that next day can be spent in exploring and local sightseeing. From Lucknow, Pokhara fulfilled this criteria. Amitosh however wanted to travel to Manali because last year when he visited Pokhara during monsoons, had a bad experience overall. I assured him that this time it won't be the same as mid-March is a good time to visit and that we can reach in one day itself. So I prepared the following itinerary-


Day 1 : Lucknow to Pokhara

Day 2: Stay in Pokhara, local sightseeing

Day 3: Pokhara to Kathmandu

Day 4: Kathmandu to Basti

Day 5: Basti to Lucknow


Myself, Amitosh and another rider Ashish joined for this trip. Amitosh left no stone unturned to convince me to ride to Manali :grin: but I was determined for Nepal. Ashish was ready for all the places as he was longing for a long ride since a long time. Yeah ! Long :D

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Ready to answer call of the road! Myself in the middle. On my right is Amitosh and on the left is Ashish.

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With the man behind this ride banner, Rakshit. He flew from Bangalore to Lucknow late the previous night and was there next morning before we even reached the starting point. Never ending love for the brotherhood :heart:



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Ready to roll..Other friends with some onlookers.

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Somewhere on Faizabad road, before Ayodhya.

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A detour to meet a fellow rider and lunch at Shalimar Darbaar, Khalilabad. Unfortunately he was out of town so couldn't meet him so we continued for Sunauli border.

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Rapti river

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The Khalilabad detour left us one hour behind the schedule as roads were pretty bad and we were stuck in a traffic jam at a congested market. We were not able to cross mere 20 kmph. We stopped here to drink water as we were fully exhausted.

After here, we rode non-stop till Sunauli border, Nepal. A fuel stop in between to refuel.
We got bhansar for five days and a NCell SIM to connect with our loved ones back home.
Next post from Nepal :)
 

Rishabh Saini

New Member
I never imagined of crossing international border on a motorcycle , but there I was.. across the international border, in Nepal. Filled with the desire to explore more and ride motorcycle in the mountains.

We crossed border at around 2:30 pm and after half an hour or so we were in Butwal, a small city after which ghat section begins with Palpa. Road condition from border till here was good with few bad patches here and there.

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Smile Please :). Interesting to see Hindi in number plates. Most hoardings displayed adv in Hindi.

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Amitosh busy in managing his camera gear. He posts vlogs on his YouTube channel named- Bikerboyami.

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Stopped here as we were excited to see the mountains and so chai break to banta hai.

Ashish's eagle eye spotted a glass of tea in someone's hand and from there he figured out that there's a tea shop. I could have never seen that with a magnifying glass let alone my bare eyes :lol: and that too while riding a motorcycle. We asked for Maggi and the shop owner reminded that we were in Nepal :D. He told to ask for 'chau chau' and we did. He accepted our request and went inside to prepare after serving hot cup of tea. We finished tea and 'chau chau' quickly and it was time to pay the bill. Each one of us carried enough number of 100 INR denomination as we knew other higher denomination notes are banned there. Total bill amount was 260 NPR and because we had INR, divided by 1.6 and paid.

Started again after refueling our tummy. I was leading with Ashish in the middle and Amitosh at the tail. We were now extra cautious at every traffic circle and at every possible instance, just to comprehend Nepal's traffic. 'No honking' sign boards everywhere. Soon we found ourselves in the mountains.

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From up above

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Guess who was the poser among us :D

From the start of the ghat section, Palpa, road condition was bad. And it continued for around 10-15 kms. While riding on that road, in my mind, I was thinking that by the time we will reach Pokhara it will be quite late. Hotel was not a problem as I had pre booked a good OYO hotel by the lakeside, a day before. But after a while we were on much better roads which gave hope of reaching Pokhara at the estimated time of around 9 o'clock evening.

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Another halt.

Most of the shops by the road were closed and on our way we found many people drenched in colours and at few places singing and dancing together to some local music. I thought maybe they play Holi on the day when back at our place Holika Dahan is performed. But then I thought of Butwal where I didn't find anyone playing Holi nor any presence of colours anywhere. I was confused :confused:.

Good thing was that nobody threw water balloons on us or stopped mid way to apply colors. Whenever we saw a group of people we slowed down a bit and after exchanging glances for a moment we used to sped away. Bad thing was that some of them were drunk and were rash driving/riding. So we were alert and prayed to God to reach Pokhara safely.

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We were running out of drinking water so took a break here as it was getting dark. Also it was the last chai stop for that day before we reached Pokhara. While we were having tea, I asked shop owner about people playing Holi there and not in Butwal. He told that Holi is celebrated one day before in hilly areas and in plain areas like Butwal it will be celebrated tomorrow :-o. His answer changed our entire plan for the next day as we thought of joining the Holi street festival in Pokhara. We even carried clothes to play Holi but all in vain :sad:. So we were left with the only option and that was to explore Pokhara. Thanked shop owner for the tea and paid 90 NPR for three tea and a bottle of water and we left.

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8 pm and 32 kms to go. We were riding sanely as we encountered wet roads as a result of scattered thunderstorms. Also, had plenty of time to reach our destination.

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Beasts resting in hotel parking.

We checked-in to the hotel at around 9:15 pm. Ashish was greeted 'namaste' by a couple of foreigners while he was waiting outside for me to finish formalities. He couldn't figure out the reason Amitosh was not greeted and only him. Later we drew out conclusion that it was because of the Indian flag mounted on his mojo ;). Streets were almost empty with few shops still open. Saw some local people and foreigners still in festive mood :partyman:. Drenched in colors walking leisurely to their place.

Hotel staff was helpful enough in untying our luggage and shifted it to our room. Room allocated was on the third floor that was top-most floor of the hotel. There was a restaurant bar located on first floor. We were requested by hotel owner to freshen up quickly and come down to the restaurant to have dinner. Ashish was in no mood of getting out of the room let alone climb down stairs. Hotel owner too hesitated in sending food to the room. After several requests we were served Indian thali in our room with certain arrangements so as to avoid food stains on bedclothes.

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The great mouth-watering Indian thali! :heart:

Food tasted great. After finishing our dinner we called and spoke to our loved ones back home. Had already informed about arrival at Pokhara upon reaching hotel. Back at Sunauli border when I got NCell SIM, I didn't switch off my other number and this number had 'call divert' activated in case it's 'unreachable'. Few of my friends told that someone else is picking my call and then I recalled about my old number which I used around two years back on which everyone's call was diverting. The poor guy on the other end even got intimidated by my friends as they thought someone stole my phone. I was feeling guilty for this silly mistake :sad: as how could I have missed this :mad:.

Anyway, we reached Pokhara safely without much hassle. Covered around 550 kms from Lucknow to Pokhara. I thanked God and prayed for the rest of the journey.
 

Rishabh Saini

New Member
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Phewa lake from our balcony.

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In front of the hotel there is this open area with huge trees. Saw a few people doing Yoga on those platforms.

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So as always myself and Amitosh were out of our hotel, strolling around the streets in search of a cup of tea. And soon we found one. It was a clear day with few people on the streets. Probably recovering after the Holi street festival. We had a nice cup of tea here and relaxed ourselves for a while.

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Tuborg was following from quite some time now. I was wondering what it has to do with a Kirana store :-D

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Food options.

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Asiawing crossfire in action :-s. Quite loud motorcycle whose sound was echoing across the streets on a peaceful morning of Pokhara.

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Another eminent sound was of the motorized para gliders. There were plenty of non motorized para gliders too.

We went back to our room, only to find Ashish still sleeping :-x. It was around 8 am when Mr. Mahesh, hotel owner, informed us that breakfast would be served by 9 AM and requested us to be in the restaurant on time. We freshened up and were in the restaurant on time. We had two options- Aloo paratha or toast with jam and butter. And we went with the former.

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It tasted delicious and just one was enough for us.

After breakfast we were out towards the Lake. It was just 10 minutes walk from our hotel.

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We were walking leisurely on the roads and after sometime found that we were the only people walking on road while others were on footpath. We took corrective action without any delay :D. Same went for Zebra crossing too.

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Main entrance of Phewa lake.

We decided to go for boating but as luck would have it, there were no drivers available as all of them were already booked and that few of them were on leave due to Holi on previous day. We stayed there for quite a while.

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Self boat option was open for us but we were not confident enough. Also, we found another boat with three guys struggling to row their boat in desired direction. So hopelessly we started walking by the side of the lake towards the left of the main area. After covering some distance we found there was another boat club that had cheaper rates than the previous one. From there we saw there were few more clubs ahead and decided to check them out too if just in case they are more cheaper. And we were right, we got a boat with driver for 500 NPR. 150 NPR cheaper than the first club and we were happy.
What added more to our happiness was that we got a boatwoman \\:D/
 

Rishabh Saini

New Member
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There she is :-D. A few moments back we lost hope of boating itself and there we were in the middle of the lake, realizing that God always has some better plans for us and that we should never lose hope. It was such a surreal experience that I can't put into words exactly. It was the third or fourth time I was on a boat if I remember correctly but in a non-motorized boat, it was the first experience. We clicked a few pictures and were lost in the sound of rowboat oars hitting the water and didn't speak much with each other.

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Sunlight hitting mammoth white peaks is something I’ll never get sick of. This one was one of the tallest mountains in the Annapurna range as confirmed by our boatwoman. To witness the sunrise on these peaks, one has to travel to a place named Sarangkot which is really close to Pokhara, the gateway to the Annapurna mountain range and is home to some of the most popular treks in Nepal.

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Another one!

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Travelers leaving from Tal Barahi Temple located in the middle island of Lake Phewa. It is a Hindu temple of the Goddess Durga (Barahi), the protector of gods.

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Inside the temple premises. There were plenty of birds and people enjoyed feeding them. The main area near the temple was crowded and noisy. At the back, there are some benches away from the crowds where you can sit and relax in the middle of what is a quite breathtaking lake.

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A happy toddler!

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Fishes too were being fed by the people there.

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We spent around 20 min after darshan to have nice views of lakes, mountains and forests area. I and Amitosh were busy in clicking photographs while Ashish was pushing us to leave as we hired the boat for just one hour.

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Parenting Goals!

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On our way back to the shore!

It took exactly one hour for this whole trip. Our boatwoman told us that we were just in time otherwise we would have been charged with another hour fee. It was a good experience overall.

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There are multiple bars lined-up along the shore of the lake where one can go and spend a relaxing time. We didn't go in one as we planned to explore other places.

On our way back to the hotel we found a souvenir shop. I bought some magnetic stickers, Ashish wanted to get a Kukri right from the beginning of this trip and bought one. Amitosh was not interested in anything there and wanted to get out of the shop as quickly as possible :mrgreen: Later Ashish bought clothes too for his family members from another shop and again Amitosh kept pestering him to get back to the hotel which obviously Ashish didn't pay any heed.
 

citymonk

Super User
View attachment 764075

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View attachment 764078

There she is :-D. A few moments back we lost hope of boating itself and there we were in the middle of the lake, realizing that God always has some better plans for us and that we should never lose hope. It was such a surreal experience that I can't put into words exactly. It was the third or fourth time I was on a boat if I remember correctly but in a non-motorized boat, it was the first experience. We clicked a few pictures and were lost in the sound of rowboat oars hitting the water and didn't speak much with each other.

View attachment 764079

Sunlight hitting mammoth white peaks is something I’ll never get sick of. This one was one of the tallest mountains in the Annapurna range as confirmed by our boatwoman. To witness the sunrise on these peaks, one has to travel to a place named Sarangkot which is really close to Pokhara, the gateway to the Annapurna mountain range and is home to some of the most popular treks in Nepal.

View attachment 764080

Another one!

View attachment 764081

Travelers leaving from Tal Barahi Temple located in the middle island of Lake Phewa. It is a Hindu temple of the Goddess Durga (Barahi), the protector of gods.

View attachment 764082

Inside the temple premises. There were plenty of birds and people enjoyed feeding them. The main area near the temple was crowded and noisy. At the back, there are some benches away from the crowds where you can sit and relax in the middle of what is a quite breathtaking lake.

View attachment 764083

A happy toddler!

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Fishes too were being fed by the people there.

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We spent around 20 min after darshan to have nice views of lakes, mountains and forests area. I and Amitosh were busy in clicking photographs while Ashish was pushing us to leave as we hired the boat for just one hour.

View attachment 764086

Parenting Goals!

View attachment 764087

On our way back to the shore!

It took exactly one hour for this whole trip. Our boatwoman told us that we were just in time otherwise we would have been charged with another hour fee. It was a good experience overall.

View attachment 764088

There are multiple bars lined-up along the shore of the lake where one can go and spend a relaxing time. We didn't go in one as we planned to explore other places.

On our way back to the hotel we found a souvenir shop. I bought some magnetic stickers, Ashish wanted to get a Kukri right from the beginning of this trip and bought one. Amitosh was not interested in anything there and wanted to get out of the shop as quickly as possible :mrgreen: Later Ashish bought clothes too for his family members from another shop and again Amitosh kept pestering him to get back to the hotel which obviously Ashish didn't pay any heed.
Great pictures.
Oh! there is Indian Thali and also Nepali Thali.
What is difference between two.
 

foadbear

Pirates Skulls and Bones
I have been wanting to go to POKHRA and your travelogue has given me some realistic goals that I can plan my trip on.

Hooked to your travelogue. Nothing beats getting your bike to new destinations.

One more thing I would like to add. I went to Dhanghadi, Nepal yesterday when I went to Dudhwa national park. I also carried 100rs notes with me. However, I saw people in Nepal accepting 500 RS note too(new one) at the Bhansar office.

Do post some more pics of POKHRA.

Have a great time there.
 
boat
View attachment 764075

View attachment 764076

View attachment 764078

There she is :-D. A few moments back we lost hope of boating itself and there we were in the middle of the lake, realizing that God always has some better plans for us and that we should never lose hope. It was such a surreal experience that I can't put into words exactly. It was the third or fourth time I was on a boat if I remember correctly but in a non-motorized boat, it was the first experience. We clicked a few pictures and were lost in the sound of rowboat oars hitting the water and didn't speak much with each other.

View attachment 764079

Sunlight hitting mammoth white peaks is something I’ll never get sick of. This one was one of the tallest mountains in the Annapurna range as confirmed by our boatwoman. To witness the sunrise on these peaks, one has to travel to a place named Sarangkot which is really close to Pokhara, the gateway to the Annapurna mountain range and is home to some of the most popular treks in Nepal.

View attachment 764080

Another one!

View attachment 764081

Travelers leaving from Tal Barahi Temple located in the middle island of Lake Phewa. It is a Hindu temple of the Goddess Durga (Barahi), the protector of gods.

View attachment 764082

Inside the temple premises. There were plenty of birds and people enjoyed feeding them. The main area near the temple was crowded and noisy. At the back, there are some benches away from the crowds where you can sit and relax in the middle of what is a quite breathtaking lake.

View attachment 764083

A happy toddler!

View attachment 764085

Fishes too were being fed by the people there.

View attachment 764084

We spent around 20 min after darshan to have nice views of lakes, mountains and forests area. I and Amitosh were busy in clicking photographs while Ashish was pushing us to leave as we hired the boat for just one hour.

View attachment 764086

Parenting Goals!

View attachment 764087

On our way back to the shore!

It took exactly one hour for this whole trip. Our boatwoman told us that we were just in time otherwise we would have been charged with another hour fee. It was a good experience overall.

View attachment 764088

There are multiple bars lined-up along the shore of the lake where one can go and spend a relaxing time. We didn't go in one as we planned to explore other places.

On our way back to the hotel we found a souvenir shop. I bought some magnetic stickers, Ashish wanted to get a Kukri right from the beginning of this trip and bought one. Amitosh was not interested in anything there and wanted to get out of the shop as quickly as possible :mrgreen: Later Ashish bought clothes too for his family members from another shop and again Amitosh kept pestering him to get back to the hotel which obviously Ashish didn't pay any heed.
boatwoman, huh !!!? men are men, whatever the age:-D
 
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