Pokhara’s growing fashion industry
by PRERANA MARASINI
Bijita Bijukshay, 19, who walked the ramp at Blooming Fashion Food and Fun Fare in Pokhara, started modeling the e-way by posing for Pokhara's famous website, pokharacity.com. Then she participated in the Lux Super Model contest and was offered a role in singer Binod Pandey's music video, Timi Haasi Rahe.
With e-modeling booming in the nation, Pokhareli models get a chance to showcase themselves in websites like pokharacity.com, lovelypokhara.com, and cybersansar.com. This issue's WAVE cover girl Babina Sharma who has been modeling for the past four years is a good example. "Modeling in Pokhara is booming as we are getting more platforms these days," she says.
Fashion designing is another concept that is growing rapidly in the modeling industry. Bijita and her model friend Shreya Gurung (also a model for pokharacity.com) are students of fashion designing at IEC Pokhara. Bijita says that she decided to pursue fashion designing to learn more about fabrics. "You should know the fabric you are wearing," she says. Shreya adds, "Also you need to have an idea on colours; for example, if you're wearing red and white mixed dress, wear red shoes." Babita Adhikari of IEC says even the number of male students for fashion designing has increased. "It shows that fashion concept in them is also rising," she says.
For the Foodies
Rishi Amatya and Shashank Shrestha
First thing first, Pokhara is an expensive place and every place doesn't deliver their prices worth. But if you are open to possibilities and want to try something different, then Pokhara offers varieties of menus to choose from. A good place to begin is with the popular Thakali lunch, served with the pure warmth of home. The eatery is simply known as Maili didi ko restaurant, and going by the looks of it, almost everybody in Pokhara knows about the place. For a cool hundred bucks (for non-veg) you can eat as much as you like of the good home made food. A Thakali set is so much like a Nepali thali, the only difference being the taste that is rooted in the local atmosphere. For a more 'authentic' (and albeit expensive) thakali experience, pay a visit to Mona Lisa, where authentic is taken to its very roots.
For local delicacies of fish fresh caught from the iconic Phewa Taal, hire a bicycle and peddle your way for around half and hour to reach Duna Tapari. In Duna Tapari, local delicacies of fish are served with great results and a full stomach. WAVE recommends Fish Barbeque. For once the taste is almost heaven and the bills are easy on the pocket. At Rs 99 per plate, it's lip-smacking and finger-licking good. Go around sunset and watch the sun slowly creep behind mountains from the balcony.
For a full breakfast, we recommend trying out a set breakfast at Pumpernickle German Bakery. At Rs 140-200, one will come out with a huge 'hunger no longer' smile on their faces. Other great places for lunch and dinner include the Pyramid Café, Moondance Restaurant, Everest Steak house, Club Boomerang, and Monsoon Bar and Grill. Monsoon, in particular, serves astoundingly delicious grilled food and pizzas. "We strive to serve our patrons with the best food possible," said Manager Purna Gurung of Moonson, "We can confidently say that our grill food menu and pizzas are the best in Pokhara." Other good venues for specialized food are the Koto Restaurant and the Sagansha Restaurant for Japanese and Korean food respectively.
Would a dining experience be complete without a trip to the famous watering holes? A one must-visit place of night activity is Club Amsterdam, where the entertainment ranges from live music to DJ dance sessions. Busy Bee Pub is another joint where great food and drinks are complemented by hard rocking Pokhareli bands. A similar atmosphere is found in Club Paradiso while Boomerang Restaurant features traditional Nepali music and cultural dance programs. The downside to all of this, however, is the current ruling by the local police that all activities must cease at 11 pm. So for those expecting to sleep all day and groove the night away, this might be quite a let down.
The floors in the air-conditioned hall are carpeted, with the seats brought all the way from Singapore. There are four studios with two balconies and a café for hungry moviegoers. Rs 100 gets you a balcony seat, while Rs 60 is all you need to pay to watch movies on the 19'x38' screen with Dolby Stereo sound. There's ample parking, and eight security guards watch out for your safety. The hall can accommodate 998 people, but is currently being used at 550 capacity. Saturday and Sunday morning shows are 50 percent off.
Kalpana has been around for more than four decades, but two years ago, it was sold to new owners. Deependra Gurung, whose father bought the theater two years ago, made all the changes as the managing director. "We didn't have a hall where the kind of people who treat their seats properly and don't spit chewing gum all around could enjoy movies," says Gurung of the motivation behind the renovation. Today, says Gurung, "Middle aged people who say they hadn't been to a cinema hall for 15 years, come to us. That makes us happy."
From next issue onwards, Kalpana Hall will offer four free tickets to as prizes for our Pokhara readers.
Sights and Sounds
A travel guide to Pokhara
Although bustling as a tourist city now, Pokhara was rarely visited by tourists prior to 1950s. The chief factor that propelled Pokhara towards the tourism sector was the route to Annapurna. But it was only a matter of time the natural panorama and the shimmering lakes propelled the sleepy village of Pokhara towards international acclaim. With the current event 'Visit Pokhara 2007', Pokhara seems geared to cement its tourist town image.
"The image of Macchapuchre reflected on Phewa Lake is perhaps the most iconic image of both Pokhara and Nepal," says Mr. Basudev Tripathi, Coordinator of Visit Pokhara 2007, "I think the peaceful atmosphere of Pokhara and its reputation as a hot spot for adventure tourism is well reflected in this picture." Perhaps this duality is what makes Pokhara such an amazing place to visit. Reaching Pokhara is an easy affair, being connected to the outsides of two highways and the presence of a regional airport.
Another sky sports only available in the Valley is an ultra-lite flight provided solely by Avia Club Nepal. The single engine glider provides an incredible bird's eye view of Pokhara Valley and the snow-capped peaks of Annapurna range. The flights varied in time and in cost respectively. A 15 minute flight cost $65, half hour flight is worth $112 and a full hour costs $198. For Nepalis there is a 20% discount on all cost.
A visit to Pokhara will not be complete without a relaxing boat ride around Phewa Taal. Try rowing the boat yourself for a change; for Rs 400, you can hire a boat for a whole day and visit the Taal Barahi temple. While you're at it, take a hike to the World Peace Stupa. The way to the stupa is situated right across the bank, and will take around 45 minutes to hike to the top. Similar destination would be Sarangkot, adored by the photographers for the panoramic view of the whole Annapurna range as well as for the superb sunrise and sunsets. For the full glory of the panoramic views seen from Pokhara, it is best if you visit during October through March. "Devi's Fall, Mahendra Cave and the cave of Gupteshwor Mahadev are also must visit places," says Sundar Kumar Shrestha, President of Pokhara Tourism Council.
One of the worthy places to visit would be Lekhnath municipality, a place famous for its seven magnificent lakes. Among those seven, Begnas and Rupa stand out as must visits. Heed our advice, hire a boat on the lake of Begnas (Rs 150 for an hour) and then get it rowed it across the edge and then begin a hike to Rupa Lake.
Like Kandara, D-Morcha also won Best Tourism Promotion award at the same event. Remixing others' songs as well as their own has been a trend for D-Morcha. After the popularity of their Jhyamma Jhyamma some years ago, they've now remixed the same song. "We want to cater to the current demand of remix songs," explains singer Bhaskar Dhoj Shrestha of the band. They've also remixed Chha bhanay maaya (OST: Santaan). About their upcoming tours, he says, "We're planning a tour in Butwal, Pokhara, Baglung, and Kathmandu after about a month."
Majorly dominated by folk-pop, the Pokhareli music scene has some rock-based bands who know what they are doing. Bimal Dhakal of Image FM who has been running Bimal's Show for Pokhareli Music says, "We see that the popularity of folk-pop is slowly being taken by soft rock music of bands like The Edge."