6th.Oct.18 Pokhara 1
The flight was scheduled quite early from Kathmandu to Pokara which would be our last stop in civilisation before departing for the trek. There was therefore no time for the planned visit to the Hindu sacred site of Pashupatinath. In the end the plane was nearly 2 hours late but we arrived by lunchtime. I had a good window seat on the right hand side and it would have been perfect to see the mountains. As it was we could only see the odd very summit of a mountain, the rest being hidden by cloud. The hotel in Pokara was much larger smarter than the one in Bhaktpur but we were not in it long. In the afternoon we crossed the Phewa lake in a paddle raft and walked up the hill on the other side to the Shanti Stupa. It had become more cloudy and started raining so that we did not see anything of the Himalaya and came down by taxi. However we were much luckier at dawn the next day as can be seen from the photos.
Pokara is a major centre for Trekking in Nepal. Besides the treks reached via Jomsom such as Mustang there are popular treks to the Annapurna Sanctuary, around Annapurna and to Poon Hill.
Shanti is a Sanskrit word meaning peace, also widely used in the Nepali and Hindi languages, and Shanti Stupa means Peace Pagoda. Shanti Stupa shrine was built as a symbol of peace. Situated at the height of 1100 meters on the Anadu Hill, Nichidatsu Fujii laid the foundation stone along with relics of the Buddha on 12 September 1973. Nepal has two of the eighty peace pagodas in the world: Shanti Stupa in Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha and Shanti Stupa in Pokhara. Shanti Stupa in Pokhara has also become a tourist attraction since it provides a panoramic view of the Annapurna range, Pokhara city and Phewa Lake.