Located in the remote western region of Nepal, Rara lies in Mugu district, touched by Jhobu lake (Dolpa) in the east, Humla(Karnali river) and Bajura in the west, Dhucchi lake (Jumla) in the south and Humla Karnali, Humla district and Tibet in the north. With long ridges surrounded by temperate forests and alpine pastures enclosing high valleys, this region lies in a remote and a wild corner of Nepal. The region is famous for its lake ‘Rara ’, the largest lake in Nepal. Rara region definitely gives you a taste of natural wilderness and serenity.
Climate, Flora and Fauna
Rara is noted for its scenic grandeur and pleasant climate. Usually the climate remains fine between May to October. During these months Rara looks most stunning and beautiful with clear mountain views at the backdrop and with many beautiful flowers and lush vegetation. Many hills, villages and some parts of the districts can be apparently seen.Summer is pleasant. It is sometimes wet and warm – a suitable time for botanists for observation as different varieties of plants thrive during this time. However, winter is quite chilly, as the temperatures drops to below freezing point, and heavy snowfalls occur up to one meter.
About 245 species of rare plants having medicinal value are found in the catchments areas. Up to 3200m the area is dominated by blue pine , black juniper, west Himalayan spruce , rhododendron , oak and Himalayan cypress . Other deciduous tree species found in the area are walnut , Himalayan poplar and Indian horse-chestnut . Rara also provides a rich habitat for ghorals, musk deer, red pandas, Himalayan black bears, snow leopards and both rhesus and langurs. About 250 species of birds are said to be found in this area, of which 49 belong to the wetlands and most of them are believe to be migratory. The Rara Lake and its surrounding presents a wonderful habitat for otters, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck etc.
Located on the southern side of the Rara lake which is 4039m high, this peak is the highest point of Rara. Standing along with neighboring peaks like Murma, Malika, Ruma, it gives an excellent backdrop to lake. From the point one can catch a panoramic view of neighboring peaks, Kanjiroba peak of Dolpo, Tibetan mountains and many other parts of a district.
Malika Kand and Ruma Kand
The snowcapped summit of Malika Kand (3444m) and Ruma Kand(3731m) lies on the northern side of the Rara lake. They both provide an excellent view of the lake to the south and the beautiful Mugu-Karnali River to the north.
Kanjiroba Massif Situated in the remote Dolpo region, west of Nepal, Kanjiroba massif is the major attraction of the region. The Kanjiroba Himal provides you a panoramic backdrop to complete your experience. It truly provides a lifetime experience to those who are longing for a challenging and adventurous trek in the remote Himalaya. One can view this massif clearly through chuchemara peak of Rara.
People and Places
Thakuris were residing in the area for many years. It had been a thriving community with a couple of villages around the shore. But the residents were relocated a decade before to create the national park and were resettled in Banke and Chisapani. But there are still many villages around the park namely, Jyari, Pina, Topla, Tuma, Ruma and Murma. The local economy is based on agriculture, primarily potatoes, buckwheat, beans, barley and wheat. Hindus dominate the community composition.
Rara Lake :Rara is the largest lake of Nepal and one of the most fascinating spot of Rara National Park.
Situated at an elevation of 2990m, the lake covers an area of 10.80 sq.km which is 5 km long and 2 km wide. Surrounded by the verdant alpine meadows and steep densely forested ridges, the lake is neighbored by tall trees and high mountain peaks. It provides a wonderful habitat for otters, winter water birds like Gadwall, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Tufted Duck, solitary snipe and an important resting place for migrating water fowl. The lake is very beautiful and tranquil, the charm and beauty of the lake will easily make you fall in love with it.
Rara National Park: Adjoining the Rara Lake is the Rara National Park, which was established in 1976 to conserve the unique beauty of lake, and to protect the representative flora and fauna of the Humla-Jumla region. The park contains more than 500 different kinds of flowers and herbs. It is an ideal habitat for Himalayan black bear, musk deer, leopard, ghoral, Himalayan tahr and wild boar etc. It is believed that 250 species of birds are found in the area which includes coots, snow cock, different species of pheasants, grebes, mallard, Nepal kalij etc. The Major treks JUMLA – RARA LAKE TREK This trek through the remote wilderness of western Nepal offers an experience of nature and a visit to Rara lake, Nepal’s Largest lake at 3062 meter. The trek begins from mountain airstrip of Jumla after flying from
Kathmandu via Nepalgunj the trail passes through countryside which provides glimpses of culture and scenery quite different from that found elsewhere in Nepal, eventually leads to Rara Lake National Park. This beautiful high altitude lake is surrounded by alpine meadows and forests of pine, juniper and spruce, whilst in the background are the magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. The entire route is ‘off the beaten track’ which involves crossing of Gurchi Mara pass at 3710 meter on the way to Rara Lake and few ridges at around 3000 meter on the way back.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit is from October to December or March to May.
Asia World Enterprises (Bangkok) Emerges Victorious at the 4th International Elephant Race,Chitwan(26th-28th Dec 2007)
Asia World Enterprises, Bangkok, emerged victorious at the recently concluded 4th International Elephant Race in Sauraha, Chitwan. The company, which is EH’s Thailand partner, was represented by the strong and swift pachyderm, Junga Bahadur.
The International Elephant Race & Festival in Sauraha, which was started at the initiative of Regional Hotel Association Nepal, has proved to be quite a crowd puller. The prime objective of this event is to promote Elephant Based Safari and cultural tourism in Chitwan, as well as to draw the attention of the people towards the decreasing number of elephants in the Chitwan area. The inhabitants of Sauraha, who are mostly dependent on tourism, has benefited largely from this event. During the festival one witnessed the elephant march past, the bathing and decoration of the elephants and of course, the chief highlight of the festival, the elephant race. The other programs included the bullock cart race, canoe race, horse cart race, elephant soccer and Tharu cultural program. A photo exhibition and documentary shows covering the life cycle of elephants was also shown.
This year too, the festival saw a high turnout of local as well as foreign crowd. The highlight of the festival was the elephant race. Altogether 24 elephants participated in the elephant race. 8 elephants represented foreign visitors, while 16 elephants represented Nepalese companies or individuals.
Junga Bahadur, who represented Asia World enterprises (EH’s Thailand partner), emerged as the winner in the preliminary round, as well as in the final competition. He completed the final race in 1.37.33 minutes, covering a distance of 600 meters (two way distance of 300 meters each). He had to face tough competition from Pawan Kali, who came a close second. According to Naseer Ali, Junga Bahadur’s mahout, this was the first time that Jung Bahadur was competing at the International Elephant Race.
A saying goes that, when you feed a hungry child you appease his hunger only for that moment, but when you help a child to learn, you empower him for life. Children are our tomorrow, our future leaders. By educating them, we insure our own future. Explore Himalaya, whose motto is Development Through Tourism, believes that literacy is one tool that is imperative to a nation’s growth.
Explore Himalaya’s community project Each One, Teach One that commenced on 23rd February 2007, has been successful in sponsoring the education of 16 needy children. These children, whose future seemed bleak and uncertain just a year ago, can now look forward to a bright new beginning. Among the16 kids, is Kishan Adhikari, the son of Nab Raj Adhikari, a Maoist activist who was killed during the insurgency. His family thought of discontinuing his studies, as they could hardly make ends meet .Thanks to Each One, Teach One project, and to his kind sponsors, Kishan can still nurture his ambition of becoming a doctor. Kishan is a bright and intelligent lad. He wants to become a doctor and save lives. A topper in his class (Grade 9), he loves sports, especially football. Rajkumar Lama is the son of an Olympian, Man Bahadur Lama, who was brutally shot to death by a Maoist cadre. Man Bahadur Lama was a famous 4th Dan tae-kwon-do player and instructor and had participated in the 1988 Olympic Games. Rajkumar Lama is presently studying in Grade 9. A talented sportsman like his father, he won a gold medal at a regional level competition. He has a Black Belt in tae-kwon-do. He practices for two hours everyday and takes his studies seriously. He feels that without education he will reach nowhere in life and is thus thankful to his sponsors for giving him a chance to continue with his studies.The tiny brother and sister duo of Laxmi Lamichhane and Choka Raj Lamichhanne would not have seen the precincts of their school had it not been for the EOTO project. They lost their father, Khet Prasad Lamichhane, the sole bread earner of their family, when he got caught in a crossfire between the Army and Maoists, an innocent victim of a senseless war. Laxmi is now in UKG and Chok Raj is in Nursery.
To read more about the other children, please go to our Community Service Project site.