Tal Barahi Temple in Pokhara
Located in the middle of Phewa Lake, the Tal Barahi Temple is a popular destination for those exploring the area. Also known as the "Lake Temple" or "Barahi Temple," this religious monument is a must-visit site in Pokhara. Visitors can take a boat ride to the island where the temple is located and explore the beautiful surroundings of the colossal Fewa Lake.
Located on a small island in the middle of Phewa Lake in Pokhara, Nepal, the Tal Barahi Temple is a stunning two-story pagoda structure with a gilded Gajur on top. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga, who is known as the protector of gods. Visitors can only reach the temple by boat, making it a unique and peaceful destination. While there, visitors can observe the holy rituals being carried out and take in the beautiful surroundings. The temple's exterior is made of stone and features a thatched roof, adding to its traditional charm.
A brief history of Tal Barahi Temple
The Tal Barahi Temple has a rich history with various stories surrounding its origin. However, the most widely accepted tale goes like this: In ancient times, there was a stunning city called Phewa. Unlike the Kathmandu valley, where the goddess was revered, the people of Phewa ignored a beggar who was actually the goddess Bhagwati in disguise. As a result, the goddess cursed the city with a severe drought. To appease her, the locals built the Tal Barahi Temple on an island in the middle of Lake Phewa, where the goddess is now worshipped.
According to legend, the Tal Barahi Temple in Nepal has its origins in a couple who received advice from a beggar to seek refuge on a nearby hillock. From there, they witnessed a devastating flood that wiped out the entire city, leaving only the courtyard of their home intact. It was there that they saw the goddess Bhagwati and built a small temple in her honor. Over time, the temple was renovated and expanded by the king of Kaski in 1416 BS, transforming it into the beautiful structure that stands today.
Tal Bahari Temple in Pokhara
How to Get Tal Barahi Temple
The temple can be accessed by boat only. From Phewa Ghat at the southeast corner of the lakeside, you can board a boat. The price of the boat depends upon the type of boat you are hiring. You can choose from a canoe or a paddling boat. It is within walking distance from Lakeside.
Permits and fees to enter Tal Barahi Temple
Barge boats to the Tal Barahi temple cost around 100 rupees, and if you are in doubt, then you can look at the price of tickets on the counter. There may be cases where the boatman may not comply with the price mentioned on the counter. The price of a private paddled boat has seen numerous fluctuations throughout the years.
It is now 1200 rupees for one hour including boatman. The price to reach the Tal Barahi temple takes 550 rupees. When you travel by boat, you must have a life jacket on. You can hire a life jacket, which takes about 20 to 30 rupees. Once on the island, you can stay there for a maximum of 30 minutes. If you want to stay longer, you can either talk with the same boat or hire another boat that will take you back. If you want to spend some more time on the island, you can choose to hire a boat for yourself which takes around 1000 rupees.
Some interesting facts about Tal Barahi Temple
- This Hindu temple represents the boar manifestation of Ajima, and symbolizes ‘Shakti’.
- In Hindu terms, Shakti is the Goddess who is responsible for the creation of the universe, and the one who grants power. Shakti as a feminine power assumes several roles, which include Durga the protector, and Durga, in turn, takes the manifestation of Ajima in the form of a boar to destroy all evil and reinstate good power.
- Barahi is portrayed with the head of a boar and the body of a human that holds a cup in one hand and fish in the other.
- The temple is of immense importance to the people following Hinduism, and you can even see animal sacrifices during Dashain.
Things to do around Tal Barahi Temple
- If you are visiting the Tal Barahi temple, then you can choose to take a prolonged tour of the entire Phewa Lake. However, it may cost you some extra bucks. But it is money well spent.
- Phewa Lake is 4km long and 1.5 km wide. You can choose to explore the lake by kayaking. Kayaking in the Phewa Lake may be a bit expensive but worth the effort.
- There is a fish farm nearby Phewa where you can see small fish. You can even choose to include the trip to Tal Barahi while hiking to the World Peace Pagoda. The journey is definitely worth your time and money.
- If Hindu folklore and pristine waters are your cups of tea, then the Tal Barahi temple is a must-visit. Even if they do not belong to your liking, then you can spend your time feeding the aquatic life that inhabits its waters.
A visit to Tal Bahari Temple is included in most of the tours such as the Pokhara Day Tour, Pokhara Tour, Spirit of Nepal & Taste of Nepal tour. Many Annapurna Treks such as Annapurna Base Camp, Ghorepani Poon hill, and Mardi Himal Trek starts and end in Pokhara. So, you can take a short tour of Tal Barahi temple when you go on those treks.