Pokhara is home to thousands of Tibetan refugees, the majority of whom live within the four refugee settlement camps namely Tashi Palkel, Tashi Ling, Paljorling and Jampaling. These camps, some in existence since the mid-1960s, were originally meant to provide temporary shelter to Tibetan refugees, but have turned into permanent settlements.
If you are visiting Pokhara and are interested in learning more about the history of Tibetan refugees in Nepal, then a visit to these settlement camps is one of the best things to do.
Established in 1962, Tashi Palkel is the oldest Tibetan settlement camp in Pokhara. It’s located in Pokhara’s outskirts, approximately 5km northwest to the town of Hemja. As soon as you enter the camp, you will feel transported to a different world. If you encounter a Tibetan woman selling souvenirs in Pokhara’s Lakeside, there’s a high chance she is from Tashi Palkel as selling souvenirs is the main source of income for residents of this camp. Additionally, if you’re feeling adventurous and craving for a rush of adrenaline, there’s a Zipline nearby which is touted to be one of the world’s steepest that you can try.
Tashi Ling is charming and gives a full portrait of the lives of Tibetan refugees. Since it is located near Pokhara’s popular tourist spot: Davis Fall, it is also more accessible. Around 100 Tibetan families live inside this settlement which has a Buddhist monastery, a school, a carpet factory. Most families are engaged in small businesses.
Located at the heart of Pokhara, Paljor Ling is the smallest of the four settlements. Only a few dozen families live here.
Jampaling, the fourth settlement, is located about 25km outside of Pokhara. Because of its remote location, the camp is less developed than the other settlements, and residents have limited access to resources.
We, at the Tibetan Encounter, have years of experience operating customized tours to the Tibetan settlements.