The Hidden Lake of Pokhara
Khaste Lake is one of the many lakes of Pokhara or Kaski district. It is a freshwater lake located at the Kharane Phant, Pokhara Lekhnath metropolitan town. It covers an area of 25 hectares but the lake covers about 14 hectares. The lake is situated at an altitude of 1192m from the sea level.
The trekking routes are being developed which provide magnificent views of Himalayan Range. The deep forest and vegetation are perfect to roam and get lost in. The Khaste lake is particularly not known for the animals, but is known as ‘Bird Wetland’. It is best suited as a bird watching lake, as the Siberian, Indian and Afghani birds come here to protect themselves from the harsh cold of the region. Yellow Bittern, a summer migratory bird species have been observed near the lake. This area is also a potential research center for migratory birds of different species.
The lake has many threats to overcome. In recent years, threats like eutrophication, commercial fishing, aquatic invasion, the encroachment of the lake and forest have been increasing rapidly. The local authorities and lake conservation committee have taken some steps like Wetland restoration, livelihood diversification and tourism promotion in the area.
This lake has been able to uplift the lifestyle of the Majhi communities living around the place. As the pisciculture has been practicing in the lake for some years now. This lake has also been a valuable gift for the farmers as they have plenty of water to irrigate their land and grow crops. Also, the lake has been able to attract tourists and researchers which has helped the hospitality and tourism industry to flourish in the Kharane Phant area.
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