Mahendra Cave review
Mahendra Cave is a unique cave 5.8 miles north east of Lakeside, Pokhara. It is surrounded by a quite lovely botanical garden, which was, in my opinion, as interesting as a saltine cracker (it’s nice but it’s not the Kew). The cave is classified as a limestone karst cave and was formed in the Pleistocene era. Stick with me as I explore this cave in this detailed review. I hope you enjoy it.
History of the cave
Mahendra Cave was discovered in 1953 by two brothers while they were herding their goats. Legend has it that one of their goats lead them to a crack in the earth. After finding the crack, the brothers raced home to tell their family about the discovery. This was fascinating to the villagers and word quickly spread to other villagers. The brothers decided to name it after the king of Nepal, King Mahendra Bir Bikram Sha Dev. The king heard about this honor and visited the cave.
The cave has since become a major attraction for Indian and Nepali tourists as well as a and minor attraction for non-SAARC foreigners.
How to get to the cave
You can reach the cave by bus or taxi. I do not recommend walking as it would take a long time. The bus drivers are pretty good as to pointing you into the direction or bus you need to be on (just ask). To get from Lakeside, Pokhara to Mahendra Cave will take about 30 minutes by bus and cost $0.45. A taxi will take about 15 minutes and cost $15.
Nepali nationals: $0.5
SAARC nationals: $0.8
All others: $1.5
The entrance of the cave reminded me of a giant tortoise shell. This immediately comforted me for some reason. I like tortoises. After entering the cave, I realized how similar this cave was to Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave. The Mahendra Cave has more geometric symmetry in its architecture and it feels more natural than the Gupteshowr Mahadev Cave.
There are very few speleothems in the cave, but there is a large stalagmite that is believed to represent Ganesh. This stalagmite is at the end of the cave, which is almost 656 feet long. When I got to the end, I was greeted by a sadhu, who was very friendly and eager to talk about Ganesh. I left after a short lesson in Hinduism.
I found a sign marked “exit” while leaving the depths of the cave. Then, I followed the arrow indicated on the sign and found myself at a dead-end. I found the real exit, which is also the entrance, and left Mahendra Cave.