Visitors to Pokhara this October can savor the breathtaking aerial views of the Fewa Lake, the city, and mountains such as Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Machhapuchhre onboard a gondola of the soon-to-be-launched cable car service.
The service connects Sarangkot, one of the most popular destinations in the Lake City to observe the rising sun, to Sedibagar on the banks of the Fewa.
“Construction had been delayed due to the corona crisis. As soon as the first lockdown was over, a team of Japanese technicians arrived and installed the gondolas,” says Tirtha Raj Tripathi, director of Annapurna Cablecar Pvt Ltd, the company setting up the service.
Tripathi informs that the launch of the service was postponed due to the second wave of Covid-19 infections. As soon as covid restrictions are lifted, a Japanese technical team will come to Pokhara. He says the company hopes to launch the cable car service in the period between Dashain and Tihar.
Fares for the trip to Sarangkot and back have also been fixed. A ticket will cost Rs 600 per person for Nepalis and Rs 700 for Asian tourists. The ticket will be priced at Rs 800 for tourists from elsewhere. Tripathi also adds that students and the elderly will be eligible for a 20 to 25 percent discount. The system has 18 gondolas—17 for ferrying passengers and one for cargo. The company has also set up a view tower in Sarangkot and a restaurant is also being prepared.
The estimated cost of the project has gone up several times due to the Covid-19 situation. Tripathi says that the project also had to procure more land than planned and increments in prices of construction materials hiked costs. According to Tripathi, the project’s price tag now stands at Rs 2 billion.
A team of entrepreneurs, including Kalu Gurung, chairman of Annapurna Cable Car Pvt Ltd had begun work on the project four years ago. The cable car can serve 1,500 people per hour.