Chamero Gufa (Bat Cave)

Chamero Gufa (Bat Cave)
Photo by Tine Ivanič / Unsplash

Location

Chamero Gufa (/cha-meh-roh: gu:pha:/) Bat Cave is one of the popular destinations located in Batulechaur, Pokhara which can be reached in twenty minutes by car or bus from Lakeside and is four kilometers away from Mahendra Pool, a big bazaar area. 

History and Architecture

There are conflicting theories about when this cave was first discovered. One perspective suggests it was found in 2040 B.S (1983 A.D.) by a farmer on his private property, while another contends that local residents discovered it in 2043 B.S. (1986 A.D.) Despite the conflicting narratives about its discovery, upon its identification, Bindhyabasini Secondary School assumed complete ownership and management of the land surrounding the Bat Cave.

It is a limestone cave and measures around 150 meters in length. The cave does not have electricity so one must proceed cautiously as the trails can be slippery due to moist environment inside the cade and they are also paved with sharp stones. Water pours through the ceiling on a regular basis which makes everything moist and slick. This cave has one entrance and one exit. The entrance has cement stairs with a very large opening but the exit is very narrow and the way towards it is dangerous. It is a very tiny hole and getting through it can be very exciting and adventurous.  There is a belief that anyone who is successful to get out of the “exit” gets cleansed of all their sins and is reincarnated as a human. But if you are Claustrophobic, Acrophobic or do not possess any climbing abilities, do not attempt to get out from the “exit”. You can get out through the main door.

Chamero Gufa harbors a multitude of bats and is located adjacent to a forest, creating a unique habitat for bats. Upon purchasing a ticket at the counter, visitors are provided with either a flashlight or a headlight. As one walks further into the cave, the ambiance is filled with the echoes of fluttering wings and the sight of numerous bats hanging from the cave's surfaces. This cave serves as an ideal haven for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers, offering a rare opportunity to observe bats in their natural environment. The encounter with these winged creatures up close, coupled with insights into their habits and ecological significance, enhances the overall allure of the visit. The most commonly observed bats inside Chamero Gufa are Round Leaf and Horseshoe bats, known for their feeding habits on fruits and insects. Nepal has 51 different bat species, with 11 of them found in Pokhara. The optimal time to explore this cave is from Mid-September to Mid-May.

How to get there?

The Bat Cave is accessible by local bus or taxi, with a travel time of approximately 30 minutes. Alternatively, if you enjoy walking, it takes around two hours from Lakeside. Renting a bicycle or scooter is also an option. The entrance fee for tourists is Rs. 150, equivalent to $1.12, providing an economical visit. For additional insights and assistance, hiring a guide for an extra Rs. 200 or $1.50 is possible. Guides offer valuable information about the cave and assist you in navigating the exit.

Things to do

Upon exploring Chamero Gufa, take the opportunity to visit Mahendra Gufa, located just a brief ten-minute journey away. For those in need of sustenance, a variety of cafes and restaurants await. Additionally, consider a visit to the Seti River Gorge and the Gurkha Museum along the way. To witness the breathtaking sunrise and sunset vistas, head towards Sarangkot, situated not far from the cave. Alternatively, explore the nearby Jangchub Choeling Monastery. For a taste of the local market scene, the lively bazaar in Mahendra Pool is a must-visit, offering shopping opportunities and delightful dining experiences.

Conclusion

For those seeking a break from the urban hustle and bustle, visiting the Bat Cave is an adventurous endeavor. Chamero Gufa stands as a fascinating testament to the geological wonders of the region. Visitors can marvel at the intricate formations within the cave, created over centuries, while also enjoying the mystical atmosphere that surrounds it. Nature lovers and thrill- seekers alike can revel in the enchanting beauty of this cave and its inhabitants making it a must- see destination in Pokhara. To unveil the hidden beauty within the cave's depths, make sure to include this spot in your to- do list.