Lakes of Nepal

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Nepal, known for its towering mountains and diverse landscapes, is also home to an array of stunning lakes that offer breathtaking views and cinematic appeal. From tranquil alpine lakes nestled amid snow-capped peaks to turquoise jewels hidden within lush valleys, Nepal’s lakes provide filmmakers with captivating settings for a wide range of visual storytelling. Here’s a guide to some of the most picturesque lakes in Nepal that are perfect for filming.

    1. Phewa Lake (Pokhara)
      Located in the picturesque city of Pokhara, Phewa Lake is one of Nepal’s most iconic and photogenic lakes. Surrounded by lush green hills and overlooked by the majestic Annapurna range, Phewa Lake offers filmmakers a stunning backdrop for capturing dramatic sunrises, colorful sunsets, and reflections of the towering mountains in its tranquil waters. Boating scenes, lakeside cafes, and traditional Nepali boats known as “phewa boats” add to the lake’s cinematic charm.


    1. Rara Lake (Mugu District)
      Situated in the remote Mugu District of western Nepal, Rara Lake is the largest lake in the country and a hidden gem for filmmakers seeking pristine natural beauty. Encircled by dense forests and snow-capped peaks, Rara Lake mesmerizes with its crystal-clear waters and ever-changing hues. Filmmakers can capture aerial shots of the lake’s expansive shores, wildlife documentaries featuring migratory birds, and intimate moments of solitude against the backdrop of untouched wilderness.


    1. Tilicho Lake (Annapurna Circuit)
      Perched at an altitude of over 4,900 meters (16,000 feet), Tilicho Lake is one of the highest lakes in the world and a paradise for adventurous filmmakers. Accessible via the Annapurna Circuit trekking route, Tilicho Lake offers filmmakers the opportunity to capture the raw beauty of the Himalayas, including towering peaks, glacial valleys, and rugged terrain. Aerial footage of Tilicho Lake against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains provides a cinematic spectacle like no other.


    1. Gosaikunda Lake (Langtang National Park)
      Nestled amidst the pristine landscapes of Langtang National Park, Gosaikunda Lake is a sacred pilgrimage site and a visual marvel for filmmakers. Surrounded by rugged peaks and alpine meadows, Gosaikunda Lake offers filmmakers a variety of cinematic opportunities, from capturing religious rituals and cultural festivals to showcasing the region’s rich biodiversity. Sunrise and sunset scenes at Gosaikunda Lake bathed in golden light create an ethereal atmosphere that is perfect for storytelling.


    1. Phoksundo Lake (Dolpa District)
      Tucked away in the remote Dolpa District of western Nepal, Phoksundo Lake is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by filmmakers seeking off-the-beaten-path destinations. With its deep blue waters contrasting against barren cliffs and arid landscapes, Phoksundo Lake exudes a sense of mystery and enchantment that is perfect for cinematic exploration. Filmmakers can capture scenes of nomadic herders, traditional Tibetan villages, and ancient monasteries nestled along the shores of the lake.


Nepal’s lakes offer filmmakers a diverse array of cinematic settings, from serene alpine lakes framed by snow-capped peaks to remote jewels hidden within pristine wilderness. Whether you’re capturing epic landscapes, intimate moments, or cultural traditions, Nepal’s lakes provide endless opportunities for visual storytelling and creative expression. Embark on a cinematic journey and discover the beauty of Nepal’s lakes through the lens of your camera.

Spectacular Filming Locations in Nepal That Will Have You Mesmerized

Nepal might be a small, landlocked country but that description does not do justice to the aerial visuals it has to offer. A result of being culturally rich, religiously secular and home to three very distinct geographical landscape the country offers diversity for filmmakers like no other.

The lush green forests, silver mountains, ancient monuments, historically and culturally rich heritage, and diverse yet picturesque landscapes make for an exciting location that is bound to leave your viewers in awe.Therefore, it makes sense that every year, a big number of film crew flock in to Nepal in search of these locations . Still not convinced? Well, here is a guide to give you a better insight of the what the country really offers you filmmakers out there.


Wonders Of Kathmandu Valley:

Kathmandu valley comprises of three major cities: Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Lalitpur. All these three cities hold to themselves the richness of cultural diversity and heritage that is beautiful to look at.


Swayambhunath Temple

Situated atop a hill, this ancient architecture is a sight to behold. The buddhist stupa is sacred, beautiful with heavy influence of Tibetan culture. A complex surrounds this temple consists of shrines and devotees looming about to give their prayers. But, what makes this temple more special is perhaps the monkeys that are housed here, Swayambhunath Temple is fondly named the Monkey Temple.These mischievous little creatures keep you fascinated with their mannerism and interactions with human, a sight that really needs to be experienced to be believed. The character, history and religious importance this temple has definitely makes it a spot discovering and capturing.


Kathmandu Valley

Oh my the diversity! Unlike varied places where you need to travel far and wide for historic monuments Kathmandu Valley has everything within reach. The views are stunning, the historic architecture mesmerizing and the culture enchanting. A package that is a mix of the urban and the simple life, wrapped to make this beautiful valley.


Durbar Squares

There are three Durbar Squares within the valley: Basantapur Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, and Patan Durbar Square. Each as beautiful as the other, but with their own origin and history. These squares underwent some terrible damages during the 2015 earthquake but mostof them have since been rebuilt, illuminated with craftsmanship that even today holds relevant.


Pashupatinath Temple

With Bagmati river on the side, Pashupati temple is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindu people. Thousands of people come to visit this temple every year, most to worship while some to film. The main entrance to temple is not open to non-Hindu people, however, thevicinity of this temple is open to all. The area around is as religiously embedded temple inside is though so you won’t miss your chance to capture some of the most ethnically rich shots.


Streets of Thamel

Here comes the local and tourist favorite Thamel, one of the most-hyped and touristy spots in Kathmandu. Back in the 70’s this area became the true home of the hippies and the influence of the area can still be felt all around. The psychedelic wall hanging, airy hipster wear hangs loose in area amidst busting bars, restaurants, hotels and guest houses. On fridays the area lights with live music. The cultural appeal to this place is great as well, with its busy streets covered with colorful prayer flags, beautiful “Om Mani Padme Hum chants coming from the nearby CD shops, there is just a whole different vibe to Thamel that is unmatched.


Filming Outside Kathmandu valley

The valley is just the beginning, the versatility of Nepal actually shines through when you leave the urban comfort and venture into the cities and locations outside of the valley.

While the roads and remoteness can at times pose some threat, it always worth it to venture furthers as the charm extends and so does unrealistically beautiful landscapes that take your breath away. Once you step outside the valley, you have an even better chances of catching those sunlit golden snowy peaks early morning. You have so much to explore and find an ideal location for you to cover your film.



There is plenty to enjoy in Pokhara: the serene lake reflecting the beautiful Himalayas, adrenaline packed adventure sports or visiting the cultural villages. The ambience of peace and magic this place gives off is truly felt by the people who visit it — the experience is unreal. Name one of the best budget cities in the world by tripadvisor the place definitely worth a visit!



Mustang was once an old, independent Tibetan kingdom but still retaining its mystical reputation to this day. While not really on the greener side with lush forests, it is perhaps more favored because of the stone walled hedges, high altitude deserts rich red and ocher, with deep gorges set against an infinite blue sky.



This place needs little to no explanation, the highest mountain in the world and seven natural wonder of the world will obviously provide you will all the spectacular shots. Its tall stature stands at 8847m making it the highest peak in the world. Many filmmakers aspire to have shots captured from here but that does entail withstanding of the dangers of travelling there along with the temperature which drops to -60° winter with around i-19° in summers. In such cases travelling with a expert filming company that knows the area is advised such as Kathmandu Films makes sure that all your needs are met and permits are managed for a wonderful filming experience in your desired locations.



Recce to Mustang

Mustang was once an isolated and independent Tibetan kingdom. Today, it is an exotic place in Nepal that still retains a mystical reputation. In an unabated search for villages that still performed the sky burial funerals, we discovered a lot throughout the journey.

Sky burial is an ancient Tibetan funeral which has an unusual yet unique process. The corpse is first dismembered. Then it is exposed on an elevated location, as an offering for the sacred vultures.

Well, a sky burial is far from any other conventional kind of ‘burial’. Only a few cultures observe it — for different reasons and in different ways.

Sky burial can come off as shocking to a lot of people; after all, it’s dead bodies being chopped and offered to vultures. But the philosophy and values behind this ritual are simply beautiful and virtuous. “If your spirit has left your body and it could nourish another creature, then it should.”


The onset of our journey

It started with a short flight to Pokhara, from where we drove for more than 10 hours to Jomsom.
Jomsom is one of the biggest cities in Mustang district, well known for its relentless winds. Connecting Lower Mustang with the Upper, it’s also one of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal. It’s mostly visited by the majority of people going to the temple of Muktinath as well.

The village close to Jomsom is Kagbeni, which sits at the bottom of Muktinath valley. Kagbeni is famous for people, from all around the country, visiting to perform post-funeral rituals. Yet, this village still has not seen any sky burial for more than a decade.

We then walked for about 45 minutes, crossing the Kali Gandaki river to come upon a small village named Tiri. There we met Chhamba Dukta in Gonpa Gong. He is a Lama who performs sky burials, originally in his village in Dolpa, and in Mustang. He told us that it has been around 10 years since any sky burial. The villagers have settled for easier burning funerals, rather than difficult sky burials.

On his reference, our team headed towards a village, Dhamkar, in Upper Mustang. ‘Dham’ stands for hills and ‘Kar’ stands for red, meaning ‘Red Hills’ in the local language. The lower parts of Mustang have almost shunned the rituals of sky burial. This is mainly because of development of roadways and hiking trails.



The basis for sky burial

The very first thing to do after a person dies is to determine the method for their funeral. Usually, a high priest looks into the time of birth and death to find out what sign the person is. He determines one of the five signs: earth, water, air, sky, and fire through basic astrology. After ascertaining the sign, s/he is either buried, chopped and fed to the fishes, chopped and fed to the vultures or burned respectively.


What exactly happens in a sky burial?

After a Lama determines the process, the body is first tied up and he begins to recite the necessary prayers. Family members join along, beating double-sided drums and chanting prayers. They offer their condolences to the deceased by offering Khada, a religious cloth for farewell. Then, the priest goes around the body thrice, and it’s carried to a place that is specially allocated for the funeral.

Once there, the body breakers chop the body into precise pieces. The tip of the fingers containing the nails are considered to be poisonous to the vultures, so they are burnt along with the head. Once the offerings are ready, the Lama plays Damaru, an instrument crafted from the human knee. This is an invitation for the vultures to glide down and devour the offerings.
It is believed to be a bad omen if the vultures do not feed on the body. It implies that the body is too dirty to eat (ie, the person has sinned), or the rituals weren’t performed correctly. In such a case, the body has to be burnt, which is considered inauspicious, as it had to follow two traditions.


Concepts behind sky burial

As described in the traditional Tibetan mythologies, sky burials signify a true act of compassion and charity. The body, which never again serves any purpose, is offered to the vultures to feed on as an alms for the sacred birds.

So, the idea at work here is that if a body that ideally serves no use can sustain some other creature, then why not? After all, it’s important to not waste any opportunity to help other living beings.

One of the other interesting concepts of sky burial revolves around the choice of the animal: the vultures.
A traditional Tibetan mythology indicates that once the vultures are old, they do not fall back to the earth when their time has come. Rather, they keep flying higher until they just disappear into the sky.

And that’s where the name comes from: Sky Burials!

This unique tradition of sky burials is slowly getting extinct, with lesser to none sky burials performed in a year throughout the country. Well, in Kathmandu Films, we believe that it is our duty to explore and document such an intimidating ritual. And to spread beautiful accounts as such to keep the originality and uniqueness of Nepal alive.