The Pokhara region of Nepal is known (among other things) for the beautiful Fewa Lake. But lesser known is the fact that Fewa Lake is not the only lake in the area. About forty-five minutes before you reach Pokhara is the turnoff to the lovely Lakes Begnas and Rupa. There is a sign at the highway that reads ‘Begnas Tal: 3.5 kms’, but it doesn’t seem that many tourists go there. There are just some small villages scattered around the lakes.
I stayed at the Rupakot Resort, which is a very bumpy, dusty drive up the hill overlooking the lakes. The location is absolutely perfect, especially when the weather is clear, as it was in the first week of December when I visited. December isn’t a busy season for tourists in Nepal, but I think it should be. The weather is fine, if a little cold overnight, and the mountains are out in all their glory. This was my third visit to the Pokhara area, but the first time that the full range of the Annapurna Himalayas were out for the whole time (I had previously been in October and April). Sunsets were especially gorgeous from Rupakot Resort, as the white snow of the Himalayas was drenched pink.
I spent two nights at the resort, and while I wouldn’t actually recommend staying there, I recommend making a day trip. You can make a detour on your way to or from Pokhara and spend the day at the resort, having lunch, enjoying the spectacular lake and mountain views and even going for a little walk to nearby Miya Gaon.
Miya Gaon is about a ninety minute round-trip from the resort. Despite looking like a typical Nepali hill village, with small stone houses, cows tied up in gardens and goats clambering around, Miya Gaon isn’t entirely typical. The population are Muslims. Some houses had Arabic inscriptions above the doorways, and there was a little white mosque at one end of the village, with four minarets. Like a typical Nepali village though, pop music was blasting from the main meeting area, which in this case was the mosque! Unlike neighbouring India, there isn’t a significant Muslim population in Nepal. They comprise around 5% of the population, but most live on the plains bordering India, as well as few in Kathmandu. So, it’s was interesting to see this little village with the mountains looming behind.
The main advantage of Rupakot and Rupa and Begnas Lakes is that the area is extremely scenic, easily accessible from the highway and from Pokhara, but is not as developed as the Lakeside area of Pokhara. You can really feel like it’s just you and the mountains, in a way that is normally only possible when you’re on a trek.
I was a guest of Rupakot Resort for two nights, but as mentioned above, I don’t really recommend staying there. The location is as good as it gets, but at $350-400 per night, it is very overpriced. We had no hot water in the room, the wifi wasn’t working for one of the two days we were there, and there were other service issues too that I felt didn’t warrant the price tag. However, a day trip to the lakes and even up to the resort are worthwhile.
I was a guest of Rupakot Resort, but all opinions are entirely my own, and all links are provided for informational purposes only.