Nepal // The Western Hills //

The World Peace Stupa

The World Peace Stupa, a local landmark that crowns the ridge across the lake at an elevation of 1113m, provides one of the most satisfying short hikes in the Pokhara Valley. The views from the top are phenomenal, and since there are several routes up and back, you can work this into a loop that includes boating on the lake and/or visiting Chhorepatan. A basic up-and-back trip can be done in two to three hours, so you can leave after breakfast and be back in time for lunch.

Standing more than 40m tall, the stupa (sometimes entirely erroneously called the pagoda) looks as if it has been cross-bred with a lighthouse. It seems rather grandiose for a religious shrine, but the view from here is just about the best wide-angle panorama you can get of this part of the Himalayas, and certainly the only one with Phewa Tal and Pokhara in the foreground. Over on the far left you’ll see the towering hump of Dhaulagiri and its more westerly sisters, in the middle rises the Annapurna Himal and the graceful pyramid of Machhapuchhare, and off to the right are Manaslu, Himalchuli and Baudha. Small cafés provide refreshment, and the Japanese Buddhist organization that funded the monument’s construction maintains an adjacent monastery.

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