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.
The meeting and handling was excellent. Everything worked! Good tents and facilities (dining & toilet tents). For young mountaineers I suggest an extra day/camp between Kyangjin Gompa and High Camp, some where around 4,400m.