Hiking World Peace pagoda in Nepal: an enchanting experience

Shanti Stupa in Pokhara, Nepal

It was a beautiful early morning, cloudy and cold. Cool breeze caressing my face brought a smile as we walked towards Phewa Lake. With a small bag on my back and only light essentials in it, I was excited about my hike to the World Peace Pagoda. 

There are two Peace pagodas in Nepal among eighty others in the world. One is in Lumbini which is the birthplace of Gautam Buddha (born as Prince Siddhartha) and other is this one in Pokhara. The latter is also the first peace pagoda to be constructed in Nepal while seventy first in the world being built by Nipponzan-Myōhōji. World Peace Pagoda in Pokhara is a major tourist attraction and boasts to be a favourite among many hikers. It is my favourite too.



We reached Phewa lake, bought tickets, wore our life jackets and walked towards the spot where boats were anchored. It was a breath-taking view, colourful boats were ball-dancing in this vast freshwater lake and clouds kissing the peaks of Annapurna mountain range (Annapurna mountain range is only about 28 km (linear distance) away from the lake). 

Colourful boats dancing in Phewa lake

While boating here one cannot miss Tal Barahi Temple which is in the central part of the lake on an island. It is a two-story pagoda which is dedicated to Goddess Durga who is a Hindu Goddess and is believed to be the protector of gods.


Hike Trail to Stupa

Crossing the crowded Tal Barahi temple and riding through the lake we reached the base of Anandu Hills from where the hiking trail to Peace Pagoda starts. It was such a peaceful setting. Engulfed in green with stone steps which makes the hiking trail cutting through the jungle was the way to reach atop Anandu Hill where white Pagoda stood tall embraced in the greenery at around 1100 m from the sea level. 

Pro Tip: Watch out for the snakes and leeches. Avoid hiking during monsoon.


Exciting at first, the hike soon became difficult when those stone steps started doing their work. Sweat had started dripping, knees started cracking (in my mind) and calf muscles started screaming. It was loud and clear, this hike is not going to be a joke. Don't let the mesmerizing view fool you 😋 I have done hikes, long walks, treks but one thing is for sure, a rough trail is much better than the one with steps. 

Hiking to World Peace Pagoda
PC: Gopinath
The view of Phewa lake and Annapurna mountain range with birds flying carefree measuring the sky with their wings and butterflies venturing through the colourful wild flowers and shrubs was - impeccable. Taking short breaks in between, sipping water to keep the hydration level up, I kept myself motivated with the thought of Peace Pagoda which was shining bright in my mind. 


The hike was therapeutic. I needed this, it was a good break from my monotonous work-life schedule. When we were very near to the Pagoda, we met a few other travellers who were returning from their hike. On asking about their visit, the reaction was so happy and moving, that it gave me goose bumps. 

I started to pace up as I couldn’t stop myself from reaching the top as soon as possible. On nearing, I could see the pagoda behind the complex wall and through the bushes. With long leaps I reached the complex. It was a full one hour hike. 

Flowers at World Peace Pagoda

Four statues at Peace PagodaColourful and well-manicured flowers on the left of the final steps of my journey to Shanti Stupa followed by the praying flags which adorned the patio cum resting area felt very rejuvenating clubbed with the complete view of the grand White Peace Pagoda. 

I was dumbstruck with the spiritual and holy feeling which I attained on reaching there. I walked towards Pagoda with a clear mind and could hear only the sound of bell and a monk chanting mantras. It was nothing short of a healing experience. As I circled around the pagoda, I saw the beautiful golden statues of Gautam Buddha in different positions decorating the wall circumscribing the pagoda at four places which was a beautiful amalgamation of purity and richness. I am sure the interpretation of gold and white colours is that one should have pure and rich thoughts in their mind to live a peaceful life.


The view from pagoda was nurturing. I also spotted a few travellers indulging in paragliding, while afar a helicopter or two which were off to Annapurna Base Camp. 

World Peace Pagoda, Pokhara
PC: Gabrielle Mihai Luca

I spent some time here before descending through the other side of the hill which is in contrast of the hiking trail. This other side was like a happening and buzzing steep street with many cafes and colourful souvenir shops. I saw an interesting coffee shop on the way down where it was being made fresh using coffee beans. There was a variety of it and the setup was interesting. I was tempted to buy one but my hands were full with ice cream which I had bought earlier 😃 


We soon reached the spot where our car was parked, yes, this was open to vehicles up to a height and then it is a short hike. But due to the same it is also very crowded as not many take the hike for the challenge it offers.

I was content with the choice I had made.

Hiking World Peace pagoda in Nepal was an enchanting experience indeed.

Other things you can do while in Pokhara:
  • See
  1. Witness sunrise from Sarangkot hill top, you also get a beautiful view of Annapurna mountain range
  2. Boating in Phewa lake
  3. Devi's Waterfall followed by shopping in the same area 
  4. There are many caves, museums and temples as well
  5. Aarti at Phewa Lake
  • Shop
  1. You can shop from near Devi's falls, it is an interesting market. Look out for Singing Bowls, Fridge magnets, Playing cards and key chains. There are Cashmere Scarf shops too but I suggest you buy them from Lakeside Road. 
  2. Opposite Gaurighat from Lakeside Road. There are a lot of shops and quirky cafes. (I bought Cashmere Scarf from Love Love Pashmina Store near Gaurighat on Lakeside Road. They have an amazing collection and the owner is gem of a person).
  • Eat
  1. Moondance Restaurant & Bar
  2. AM / PM Cafe
  3. Aura Pub and Lounge
  • Other Activities
  1. Hiking and Trekking
  2. Paragliding
  3. Cycling
  4. Helicopter ride
  • Hike to Pagoda: What to pack
  1. Light clothes, full bottoms
  2. Shoes with good grip
  3. Small towel
  4. Water - 1 litre
  5. Light snacks
  6. Camera
  7. Antiseptic Cream
  • Pokhara is a laid back city and travellers prefer it for leisure and relaxing holiday. It also is a place to rest for travellers after their Annapurna Base Camp trek.
Happy Travels.

Yours Truly,
Me and my Suitcase

Note: 
All pictures are taken by me unless otherwise mentioned.
I was hosted by Nepal Tourism Board but review and views are mine and in no way influenced by any third party.

Comments

  1. Well described, felt smell of coffee.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So beautifully written and effective that I want to go there right now.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I had loved the hike to this place. The views are worth it. I feel like going back

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment