The Taal Barahi Temple is a Hindu temple is dedicated to the goddess Durga (Barahi) - the protector of gods. It sites on a small island just off the shoreline on the south east section of Pokhara's lake Phewa.
To get the temple you must take a small boat or larger barge for the 5 minute journey.
Did you know?
Durga is one of the main forms of the Goddess Shakti. She is also the manifested form of Parvati who acquired the name Durga after killing the demon Durgamaasura
There’s a legend that states the goddess Barahi Bhagwati visited the area as a beggar but was rebuked by all but one of the local residents.
The goddess warned this woman of an impending flood so the woman took her family away.
Sure enough a flood came down from the mountains and destroyed the village. The woman and her family returned to build the island Barahi temple
From Phewa Ghat at the south east corner of lakesides Phewa lake you will need to board a barge or boat to cross over to the island temple.
Barge boats to Taal Barahi should cost 100 rupees return and the prices are shown near the ticket office. Sadly the boatmen in this area don't play fair and will often have excuses why you can't board a barge.
If you are used to Nepal then hang tough and simply ask local people already onboard a barge if there is room for you. They will usually help out as they don't like to be cheated either. At this point you can either hand you money directly to the boatman or go with him to the ticket office.
The price of a private paddle boat has increased dramatically over the years and is now 1,200 rupees for one hour (with boatman). 500 just to cross over to the temple (you can share the price with others)
You will also need to hire out a life jacket (mandatory) from beside the ticket office for 20-30 rupees.
Once you are across at the island most people only stay for 30 minutes. If you'd like to stay longer you should be able to use your ticket to get back across on another barge with a vacant spot. Or, if the boatman is being difficult you'll have to pay another 50 rps.
All in all is the hassle is not worth it. Or if you want to spend extra time on the island (for the sunset views) then hiring out your own boat is the way to go until the authorities receive enough complaints about what's going on there. Hiring your own boat costs 1000 rupees.
The kicker in all this is that they may also charge you another 13% VAT ... but it's random.
Basically, if you want a trip to the temple. Take the barge for 100 rupees.
If Hindu folklore and mountain photographs don't appeal then it might not be worth your while. There are some exceptions though.
If you can wrangle a 100 rupee return ticket then yes it's worth it. Likewise if you want to pay for a private boat and get some nice photographs of the Annapurna mountains then yes again.
Queues for boats on a Saturday can get long as it's a public holiday so many Nepali will be visiting the island temple.
A good tip is that if you are hiring a boat out to the World Peace Stupa you can ask them to stop off at the Taal Barahi temple (just give them a little tip).
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