Pokhara, one of Nepal’s most scenic cities is known as the land of seven lakes. These beautiful lakes are tucked amidst the mighty Himalayas. While the Phewa Lake in Pokhara city is the most popular with tourists, personally I prefer Begnas Tal for a relaxed scenic retreat. Begnas Tal offers the perfect blend of solitude and a Nepal countryside experience.
Located at about 20 kilometers from Pokhara on the Pokhara-Kathmandu highway, Begnas Tal is surrounded by the Begnas village which survives on tourism and agriculture. Hence, the entire surroundings are in a pleasing green color either in the form of lush green paddy fields or dense tropical forests.
Unlike the Phewa Lake where tourists can be seen in droves, tourists can be seen few and far between at Begnas. Whether you want to swim, go boating or kayaking or even indulge in some fishing, you will always find solitude. The only exception being the weekends or festivals when some local families visit Begnas for a picnic.
While you enjoy the scenic lake surroundings, you can also indulge in some local volunteering (like teaching at local schools, agriculture, building houses, etc.) for a complete rural connection. The villages around Begnas are all small and basic and offer a multitude of options for the travelers to offer their volunteering services.
If you are the water type, you should stay close to the lake and if you are the view type, you should stay on a hill overlooking the lake. The hill has a view point called the ‘Twin view point’ from where one can get a bird’s eye view of this beautiful lake. A lot of home stays and an expensive luxury resort are located on this hill. And if you feel adventurous, you can trek or mountain bike the trail from this hill to the lake and back. It is quite a nice workout!