Pokhara is the second largest city in Nepal. It is the starting point for most of the treks in the Annapurna area.
The city also serves as the headquarters of Kaski District. Pokhara is located 200 kilometres (120 miles) west of the capital Kathmandu. The altitude varies from 827 metres (2,713 feet) in the southern part to 1,740 metres (5,710 feet) in the north. The Annapurna Range, with three out of the ten highest mountains in the world — Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I and Manaslu — is within 15–35 mi (24–56 km) of the valley. Pokhara is considered the tourism capital of Nepal, being a base for trekkers undertaking the Annapurna Circuit through the Annapurna Conservation Area region of the Annapurna ranges in the Himalayas. The city is also home to a large number of the elite Gurkha soldiers. Pokhara is in the northwestern corner of the Pokhara Valley, which is a widening of the Seti Gandaki valley that lies in the region (Pahad) of the Himalayas. In this region the mountains rise very quickly, and within 30 kilometres (19 miles), the elevation rises from 1,000 to 7,500 metres (3,300 to 24,600 feet).