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 history of pokhara.......................

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PostSubject: history of pokhara.......................   Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:42 pm




Pokhara lies on an important old trading route between Tibet and India. In the 17th century it was part of the influential Kingdom of Kaski which again was one of the Chaubise Rajaya (24 Kingdoms of Nepal) ruled by a branch of the Shah Dynasty. Many of the mountains around Pokhara still have medieval ruins from this time. In 1752 the King of Kaski invited Newars from Bhaktapur to Pokhara to promote trade. Their heritage can still be seen in the architecture along the streets in Bhimshen Tol (Old Pokhara). Hindus, again, brought their culture and customs from Kathmandu and settled in the whole Pokhara valley. In 1786 Prithvi Narayan Shah added Pokhara into his kingdom. It had by then become an important trading place on the routes from Kathmandu to Jumla and from India to Tibet.

Originally Pokhara was largely inhabitated by Brahmins, Chhetris and Thakuris (the major villages were located in Parsyang, Malepatan, Pardi and Harichowk areas of modern Pokhara) and the Majhi community near the Fewa Lake. When the newars of Bhaktapur migrated to Pokhara they settled near main business locations such as Bindhyabasini temple, Nalakomukh and Bhairab Tole. Newars also brought many cultural dances like, "BHAIRAB DANCE, TAYA MACHA, LAKHE DANCE" which adds to cultural diversity of the Pokhara. After the British recruitment camp was shifted here Magar and Gurung community settled here in large numbers coming down from the hills. At present the Gurung (Tamu), Khas (Brahmin, Chhetri, Thakuri and Dalits) form the dominant community of Pokhara and the nearby hill areas in terms of population. Sizeable population of Newari community is also present within the Pokhara metropolitan area, however, in adjoining areas of Pokhara there are no newar settlements. A small muslim community is located on eastern fringes of Pokhara generally called as Miya Patan.

From 1959 to 1962 some 300,000 refugees came to Nepal from neighbouring Tibet, which had been annexed by China. Four refugee camps were established in the Pokhara valley: Tashipalkhel, Tashiling, Paljorling and Jambling. These camps have evolved into settlements. Because of their different architecture, prayer flags, gompas and chorten, these can easily be distinguished from the other settlements.

Until the end of the 1960s the town could only be reached by foot and it was considered even more a mystical place than Kathmandu. The first road was finished in 1968 (Siddhartha Highway) after which tourism set in and the city grew rapidly. The area along the Phewa lake developed into one of the major tourism hubs of Nepal.


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