Caves are reminiscent of ancient times, and they tell a story that mankind has forgotten throughout the course of time. The very history of mankind was also found in one of such caves’, where archaeologists discovered paintings made in the wall surface. There are numerous caves in Nepal, which although don’t have proof of human history, but rather weave an intricate story about the very formation of the land that we stand on.
Pokhara valley is renowned in the tourist community for being a wonderful place to observe the intimate dance of nature. People flock to sites like the Davis Falls, Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, and Fewa Lake. There is another cave called the Mahendra Cave, which people seem to undermine. It tells a story of a land lost in time which is in the process of metamorphosis. If you wish to comprehend the allure of nature, then the Mahendra Cave should definitely be your next visiting stop.
Brief history of Mahendra Cave
The Mahendra Cave in Nepal gives the travelers a brief and sometimes, in-depth analysis of the rock formations of stalactites and stalagmites. The cave is named after the Late King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev. The cave was discovered by young shepherds in the 1950s, who were grazing their cattle. A thorough survey was conducted during the 1970s by a team of speleologists from the UK. The cave sits 1100 meters above the sea level and comprises of young (Pleistocene) limestone.
since its discovery, people have come from far and wide to observe this delightful natural phenomenon. It sits 5.8 miles from Lakeside, Pokhara. In the past, people did not visit this site much as they were just lazy, and the non-availability of transport facilities meant that people did not seem that it was worth a shot. With the recent boom in the tourism industry, numerous tourist sites in Pokhara have received decorations and renovations. The Mahendra Cave has also been fairly decorated since then. The roadways have also seen massive reconstructions too.
Mahendra Cave resides in Pokhara-16, Batulechaur, Kaski district. It lies in close proximity to the Kali Khola, which is a huge limestone cave. The cave is accessible by many methods. You can catch a bus from Prithvi Chowk, which will take you to this cave. The drive takes you at least 45 minutes and costs somewhere between Rs.50. Another method through which the cave can be accessed is by vehicle.
Another popular method that travelers us to reach the Mahendra cave is traveling with a bicycle. You can hire one for Rs. 800 a day. Pedal your way through the lively streets, which later gives way to silent roads. The place where the Mahendra cave rests is filled with greenery and horses and mules can be seen grazing.
Permit and fees to enter in Mahendra Cave
To enter in the Mahendra Cave, you need to pay an entrance fee. The price of the ticket mostly depends on your nationality. For Nepali nationals, the price of the ticket is 0.5 USD. People who are from SAARC countries need to pay 0.8 USD in order to enter the cave. For people who do not belong to the above-mentioned categories, they need to pay 1.5 USD in order to enter the cave.
Some interesting facts about Mahendra Cave
- The cave was named after the king of that time, King Mahendra.
- The cave is a habitat for bats, and there are a large number of bats that live in its dark ceilings.
- Previously, there was an attempt to fully light the cave, but due to pressure from local people and environmental conservationists, the lights had to be relocated and some had to be taken out too.
- The cave is rich in a variety of rocks and minerals.
- The most abundant mineral available in the cave is limestone.
- As you enter the cave, you’ll have to descend some steep stairs which are slippery.
- The dimly lit cave is smelly, and the trail is rocky and slippery.
- You can see bats residing and at times they zoom past you.
- As you move ahead, water continuously drips from the ceiling.
- When you shine your light on the limestone, it sparkles. The glistening stones add a bit of appeal in the journey.
- You can take an extra emergency light if you so desire.
- When you start to enter the cave, you’ll see that it resembles a tortoise shell.
- Many stalagmites and stalactites can be seen inside the cave.
- At the far end of the cave, you can see a huge stalagmite, which represents Lord Ganesh.
- A barred gate and a sadhu live there who will give you ‘prasad’.
Things to do around Mahendra Cave
Before entering the Mahendra cave, you’ll be greeted by green surroundings. Here, you can see mules and horses grazing. As the cave lies on the base of a hill, it is a great hub to lose oneself amidst the lap of nature. You can head out to observe the kali Khola too, which is just near the cave.
To make matters interesting, you can add this cave on your cycling journey of Pokhara, which encompasses sites like Begnas, Rupa, and Fewa Lakes. If you are touring by a private Vehicles, then you can choose to visit these sites along with the other sites that you have planned.
Mahendra cave is definitely a must visit for anyone on the road to Pokhara as it is a promise for both natural and cultural awakening.