The Pokhara Valley lies at an altitude of 2625 ft, some 1641 ft lower than Kathmandu. It enjoys an amusing climate with temperatures ranging between 15-26°C. Thus privileged by climate the vegetation in the dale is lush; orchids, bougainvilleas, banana plants and cacti all thrive. Rice grown in the Pokhara Valley is well-known for its delicious essence. In the 124 sq. km of the valley there are half a dozen lakes, the largest of which is the 3 km long Lake Phewa with Pokhara on its shore. One of the Sapti (Seven) Gandakis, it takes the name Seti from its sandstone river-bed. The Pokhara Valley forms a slender oasis of forested hillsides and farmland against a milieu of 23,000-26,000 ft peaks in the Himalayan string.