The Pokhara valley is a travelers’ paradise due to its availability of everything. Yes, it is a modern-day business hub with a plethora of natural landmarks that excite the tired soul. From the silent hill stations of Dhampus and Sarangkot to the liveliness of Lakeside, from the culture and religion at Tal Barahi to soaking the sun rays in the middle of Phewa Lake, Pokhara has it all. One of such underrated gems of Pokhara valley is the Rupa Lake/Rupa Taal, which sits in the Pokhara-Lekhnath metropolitan municipality. It is about 10 km southeast of Pokhara.
The Rupa Lake is hailed as the third largest freshwater lake in Pokhara, and it sits at an altitude of 600m. It is the third major attraction and is a must-visit site during your trip to Pokhara. The calm waters of the lake is a welcome sign for anyone who wishes to understand the beauty of nature and its complexities. This blue gem is spread out on an area of 1.35 square kilometers with an average depth of 3m. The maximum depth of the lake is 6m. There are some accounts which state the depth of the lake goes beyond that. The lake sits in the middle of green hills and is fed by perennial rivers like the Talbesi stream & the Dhovan Khola. The water of the lake is drained through Tal Khola. There is a mountain ridge, which divides the Rupa Lake from the Begnas Lake. During holidays and peak tourist seasons, you can find numerous boats on the lake and people walking on its banks, it is a great sight to behold.
Brief History of Rupa Lake
Rupa Lake is a blessing of Mother Nature and has been there since the dawn of mankind. We can find examples of the existence of Rupa Lake in the books of poets as they have elaborated on the beauty of this lake. As this lake resides further away from mainland Pokhara, it does not get the attention that it deserves. Its cousin Phewa garners most of the attention due to its close proximity with Lakeside, and the tourist-attracting infrastructures are also focused around that area. In recent years, due to the boom in the Tourism Industry, Rupa Lake is gaining quite a bit of notoriety and praise. It is less crowded than the Phewa Lake, and you can enjoy the silence and chirping of birds.
The Rupa Lake resides 10 km away from Pokhara on the southeast part. There are numerous ways through which you can reach there. If you choose to go there by bus, then you can easily catch a bus on Prithvi Chowk, Pokhara. The bus ride takes you there in about 30 minutes. The bus fare in Pokhara is also relatively cheap. Another way that you can visit the Rupa Lake is by private Vehicle. You can arrange private vehicle through tour agency. Book a private Vehicle the day before heading out in order to prevent any sort of hassle.
Another convenient way to travel to Rupa Lake is by hiring a bicycle. It takes you about Rs.800 to hire a bicycle for a day. Be sure to submit the necessary documentation in order to hire a bicycle. You can enjoy the beautiful nature while doing so. If you fancy a short and discreet ride that doesn’t cost as much as a taxi, then opt for a motorbike. You can easily hire motorbikes here.
Permits and fees to visit Rupa Lake
There are no requirements for permits in order to enter Rupa Lake, but it is necessary that you pay some fees in order to do boating. The price of boating in Rupa Lake is comparatively lower than boating in Phewa Lake. The price of boating here depends on the type of boat you are hiring, and how long you are renting it for. If you are choosing to hire a canoe, then the price of canoe per hour with a paddler is about Rs. 400.
Some interesting facts about Rupa Lake
- You can find a total of 36 species of water birds, which account for 19% of the total 193 wetland-dependent birds found in Nepal.
- There are different species of fish living in the lake.
- Rupa Lake attracts thousands of tourists throughout the year, which has contributed to its immense popularity.
- You can observe cage culture as well as pen culture in the Rupa Lake for fish farming.
- Every year, there is Pokhara Mahotsav and you can find many fairs and exhibitions that are held in these parts of the city.
Things to do around Rupa Lake
While you are on the road to Rupa, you can indulge in numerous activities. You can wake up early, and head out to the Lake premises to indulge in yoga. You can choose to visit the fish farming areas as well. You can aim to explore Begnas Lake during your visit to Rupa Lake. You can explore the Begnas Bazar as well. Otherwise, you can choose to add it in your journey to Peace Pagoda and Davis Falls.
Rupa Lake is one of those underdogs in the tourism industry of Pokhara which has the capacity to become something big in the near future. The past trend states that its popularity is increasing, and in a few years, it could be much bigger. If you are in search of a peaceful getaway, then the tranquil waters of Rupa will fulfill your craving.