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 the beautiful handmade Jewellery, trinkets, carvings, and carpets which they sell to the visitors. They do so inorder the show the beauty of Tibet among the visitors and also to earn some money. They utilize the money for the honor of the camps and their livings. 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, there are other several camps in the surrounding hillside from Pokhara. This is the ideal place to learn about and help Tibetan refugees. You should not miss this place during your Pokhara Valley Tour.
Four Tibetan Settlements in Pokhara
Tashi Palkhel was established in 1962. Tashi Palkhiel is the largest settlement which is in the northern suburbs of Pokhara. Due to its closeness to the city is quite 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, it intuitively gives you the feeling like you’re in Tibet. The home of more than 200 monks, Jangchub Choeling Gompa in the middle of the village is another attraction of this place. During Tibetan New Year (January/February) you can enjoy the masked dances and other colorful celebrations. From Lakeside of Pokhara within 30min of drive, you can reach to Tashi Palkhel. Also around 1 hour of walk from Lakeside, you can reach 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. Spinning wool in the traditional way by hand is the main income-generating source for the people living in this community.
Tashi Ling is the smaller settlement which is about 3km south of Lakeside. You can see the handicraft sellers stalls near the entrance of the camp. There is also a small 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 legally work. Due to this reason 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 more about life and struggle.
Appreciate the souvenirs designed by the locals and you can also help them by buying something from them.