In the beautiful city of Pokhara, there are four official Tibetan Settlement Camps. These camps were built for the thousands of Tibetan refugees who came to Nepal after the Chinese takeover of Tibet. These refugees make beautiful handmade Jewellery, trinkets, carvings, and carpets, which they sell to the visitors. They do so to show the beauty of Tibet to the visitors and earn some money. They utilize the money for the honor of the camps and their living. Tibetan Refugee Camp in Pokhara is a popular place where several visitors come to buy souvenirs.
In Nepal, there are altogether 12 Tibetan Settlement Camps; among 12, 8 of the camps are in Kathmandu and 4 in Pokhara. Tashi Ling, Tashi Palkhel, Jampaling, and Paljorling are the four Tibetan Settlement Camps in Pokhara. Apart from these camps, several other centers are on the surrounding hillside from Pokhara. This is the ideal place to learn about and help Tibetan refugees. It would help if you did not miss this place during your Pokhara Valley Tour.
Four Tibetan Settlements in Pokhara
- Tashi Palkhel
- Tashi Ling
Tashi Palkhel was established in 1962. Tashi Palkhiel is the largest settlement in the northern suburbs of Pokhara. Due to its closeness to the city, it is immensely more popular than others. It is the most frequently visited Tibetan Camp in Pokhara. The prayer flags fluttering in the cool breeze in the valley intuitively give you the feeling like you’re in Tibet. In the middle of the village, the home of more than 200 monks, Jangchub Choeling Gompa, is another attraction. During Tibetan New Year (January/February), you can enjoy the masked dances and other colorful celebrations. From Lakeside of Pokhara, within a 30min drive, you can reach Tashi Palkhel. Also, around 1 hour of walk from Lakeside, you can get to the camp.
Jampling is also the most frequently visited Tibetan camp in Pokhara. As it is close to the city of Pokhara, many people visit this camp. It is located an hour east of Pokhara on the road of Kathmandu. Traditionally spinning wool by hand is the primary income-generating source for the people living in this community.
Tashi Ling is a smaller settlement about 3km south of Lakeside. You can see the handicraft sellers' stalls near the camp entrance. There is also a tiny carpet factory and showroom.
Paljoring, in the city center near Prithvi Chowk, is the smallest of four settlements in terms of area. It was opened in 1972.
Each Tibetan Settlement camp consists of a monastery that welcomes visitors to attend Pujas.
Things you would like to buy at Tibetan Settlements
Due to the Nepalese trade agreement with China, the government of Nepal had not legally allowed Tibetan refugees to own a business. They are not allowed to work legally. Due to this, these people design handmade jewelry, trinkets, carvings, and carpet by themself and sell them to earn their living.
Things to do here
- Visit Monasteries, attend Puja, and experience their ritual chanting.
- Enjoy the Tibetan Foods with local families, during which you get the opportunity to learn more about life and struggle.
- Appreciate the souvenirs designed by the locals, and you can also help them by buying something from them.