Rara Lake is the largest and deepest freshwater lake, located in the Jumla and Mugu districts in the west of Nepal.
It is at an altitude of 2990 m (9,810 ft) and extended up to 10.8 (4.2 sq mi) square kilometer with an oval shape.
The Rara Lake, which is enriched with different aquatic species is 167 meters (548 ft) in deep, is 5.1 km (3.2 miles) long and 2.7 km (1.7 miles) wide.
Rara Lake is also known as ‘The Queens of Lake.’ It is the main feature of the Rara National Park. Rara Lake was declared a Ramsar site in September 2007 covering 1,583 ha (6.11 sq miles) including surrounding area.
A Ramsar site is a wetland which is chosen as international importance under Ramsar Convention.
Rara National Park is the smallest national park of Nepal, yet it is the biggest lake. Rara National Park is protected with the assistance of the Nepal army and managed by the Department of Nationals Park and Wildlife Conservation.
The Park was established in 1976 with the motive of preserving the beauty of the lake and protecting it from sedimentation and human activities.
It is not only the destination of the foreigners but also the favorite place for internal tourists. There is no settlement inside the Rara National Park except the army camp.
The Rara National Park surrounds Rara Lake with the huge forest which is the habitat for various Flora and Fauna. The major flora includes blue pines, browns oaks, rhododendron, black juniper and Himalayan Cypress.
There are 1074 species of flora, of which 16 are endemic to Nepal including 51 species of mammals and 214 species of birds. The endangered species of wildlife found in the park is a red panda, leopard cat, musk deer, grey wolf, black bear, etc.
According to the study, Rara National Park is a prime habitat of the endangered red panda. In 1979, three endemic snow trout are collected in the Rara Lake and described as new; the Nepalese snow trout, the Rara snow trout, and endemic frog.
Hills and mountains surrounded the Rara Lake. The Chuchemara hill is the best place to have a view of stunning Rara Lake, the lush forest surrounding it and the peak of the snowcapped mountain soaring up to the skyline.
Jumla and Mugu district are in a remote area and have less population compared to other districts. Thakur group is a dominant group in the community. Thakur’s Baba Temple is situated in the southeast corner of the lake.
The local people believe that Thakur God shot an arrow to open the passage of the lake to reduce the damage caused by the flood.
The main occupation in this place is agriculture.and they also sell goats and medicinal herbs for a living.
How to reach Rara Lake
Rara Lake is one of the most famous tourist destinations with the hidden treasure route of Nepal. The plane is the only mode of transportation to visit the Rara lake. The road distance from the Kathmandu to Jumla is 819 km.
You need to take the flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj to Jumla. Jumla is served by the Talcha Airport, which is 4 km east of the lake. Only Nepal Airlines and Tara Airlines operate the flight it to Jumla.
The flight duration from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj takes 1 hour and from Nepalgunj to Jumla is the short flight about 20 minutes. There is no another flight from Kathmandu to Jumla. Jumla is a gateway to Karnali Region.
Another way to reach there is travel by the jeep or bus through the Karnali Highway which is the most dangerous road of Nepal. Drive from Kathmandu to Surket to Kalilot to Ghamghadi takes approximately 20-22 hours from Kathmandu to Jumla. Also, you can travel through the bike.
The trip to Rara Lake is too risky due to the improper way. After arriving Jumla, the walk is the only option to travel around the Jumla.
Rara Trekking Route
The most awesome way to enjoy the pristine Karnali is to walk through the amazing landscape blended with the unique and authentic culture of the west. Start the trek from Jumla airport to Rara lake takes 2-3 hours to arrive there.
There are 2 to 3 routes to Rara Lake. After you arrive at Jumla, your trek starts from Jumla to Chere Chaur to Chalachaur. Then you will move towards to Sinja Valley to Ghorosingha. While you hike through these places, you can see natural beauty, mountains, and hills and the traditional life of the local people.
Again the trail from Ghorosingha continues to explore Rara Lake surrounded by the scenic view finally. For heading back to Jumla has a different route. You will move from Rara Lake to Pina to Burma and Burma to Jumla. Then you will have to take a flight to Kathmandu.
Next way that you can travel is by bike from Kathmandu to Kolhapur(500 km) which is located in Banke district, then Kohalpur to Manma (250 km). The way continues through ups and downs in hill and narrow terrains.
While heading forward from Manma to Mugu (Talcha Airport, 150 km) after crossing an army check post in Bulbuley, you will encounter a new terrain, the icy one. Then you will move to Rara lake and return from Rara lake to Nagma (120 km) to Jumla to Surkhet (270 km) and from Surkhet to Kohalpur (220 km) to Butwal (230 km) and Butwal to Kathmandu.
Climate of Rara Lake
The weather of Rara Lake is quite pleasant during the summer season, but in the winter season, it’s too cold. The best time to visit the lake in September or October and April to May. During the Monsoon season, June to August, the rainfall makes the trekking difficult. In the winter season, the temperature decreases ps to the freezing level, which causes heavy snowfall and blocks the way.
Facts of Rara Lake
- One can Explore the different species of flora and fauna, birds, mammals and various fishes in the lake.
- Rara Lake is the best trekking destination in Nepal. The view of the deep blue clear lake, hillside forest, snowcapped peak mountains around the lake is magnificent.
- Travelers can enjoy the scenario with boating in the clear water of the lake.
- The park is in the remote area of midwest Nepal and for people who love to see the various plants and birds can have fun with Jungle Safari and Campfire.