Pokhara is the second largest city of Nepal as well as the headquarters of Kaski District, Gandaki Zone and the Western Development Region. It is located 200 km west of the capital Kathmandu. Despite being a comparatively smaller valley than Kathmandu, its geography varies dramatically within just few kilometers from north to south. The altitude varies from 827 m in the southern part to 1740 m in the north. Additionally, the Annapurna Range with three out of the ten highest mountains in the world — Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I and Manaslu are within approximately 15 – 35 miles as-the-crow-flies distance from the valley. Due to its proximity to the Annapurna mountain range, the city is also a base for trekkers undertaking the Annapurna Circuit through the ACAP region of the Annapurna ranges in the Himalayas.
Pokhara is home to many Gurkha soldiers. It is the most expensive city in the country, with a Cost of Living Index of 95.