A brief history of Tal Barahi Temple
There are many histories behind the Tal Bahari Temple, which have tried to state the origin of this temple. The most believed and relevant one goes like this: In ancient times, there was a beautiful city named Phewa. The story is the exact opposite of what was incurred in the Kathmandu valley. In the past, Goddess Bhagwati visited this area in the form of a beggar to see how people would treat a beggar. The residents paid no heed to the beggar.
The beggar knocked on many doors hoping that the people there would help her, but no one gave any sort of attention to her. Finally, in a poor house, a couple who had migrated from Kathmandu invited the beggar to their home and served her a meal consisting of boiled rice and vegetables. The beggar thanked the couple, and before leaving the city, she planned to take revenge on the people who didn’t help her. She advised the couple to take their belongings and take shelter on the nearby hill. She warned them of a terrible calamity, which would later fall on the city and completely ravage it.
Tal Bahari Temple in Pokhara
The couple took the beggar's advice and head towards the hillock. As they reached the hillock, they witnessed water pouring from the mountains which enveloped the entire city and submerged it. The water killed all the people, and the only thing that remained was the courtyard of the couple’s house. They saw the Goddess Bhagwati there and built a small temple there to honour her. In 1416 BS, the king of Kaski renovated the temple and transformed it into what it is today.
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 Taal 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.