Rara National Park is one of the most spectacular national parks found in Nepal in the far western Nepal. The park is surrounded by alpine coniferous vegetation and offers a representative sample of the region’s flora and fauna.
Over 500 different species of flowers, 20 species of mammals and 214 species of birds are found in this park which can be observed with utter anxiety and excitement by the visitors.
Both domestic and external tourists in high numbers visit this park and Rara lake with much enthusiasm and zeal for discovering a heavenly lake on earth.
As for life in the lake, the snow trout is one of the fish varieties recorded here so far. The rich vegetation of the park supports diverse species of wildlife including the endangered red panda, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, leopard, jackal, Himalayan tahr, Yellow-throated martin, wild dog, wild boar, common langur, rhesus macaque and the common otter.
During winter the park abounds in bird species such as coots, great-crested grebe, black-necked grebe, red crested pochard, mallard, common teal, merganser and gulls. Migrant water fowl and gallinaceous birds can also be observed here during certain seasons.
The Rara Lake which is Nepal’s biggest lake is located within this national park that invites thousands of tourists every year despite the destination being too far from Kathmandu.
Rara Lake situated and elevated at 2,990m, is the deepest lake in Nepal as well and also one of the most pristine lakes ever found in Nepal.
Late King Mahendra had named it “Mahendra tal” after his own name. However, later on it was changed to Rara Lake after the name of the national park.
The lake is surrounded by green hills on all sides, covered in juniper trees, one can camp by the sparkling waters of the lake. Go boating in the clear waters, hike to nearby hills for a closer view of the mountains and lake, get acquainted with the charming local people, or just walk around the large lake watching out for wild flowers or a rare bird along the way.
The lake is 167m deep at some places, and drains into the rivers Mugu Karnali via Nijar Khola. Chuchemara Hill at 4,087m is the best vantage point to enjoy magnificent views of the deep blue lake, the forested hillsides and the snow capped peaks.
The journey to Rara lake and Rara National Park begins with a flight from Nepalgunj to Jumla, from where it is a 2-3 days hike to reach Rara Lake. Jumla is known for its fine apples and walking through these orchards can be an interesting experience for the visitors.
The trek leads through remote countryside toward the Tibetan border. A journey into the Jumla region and the beautiful Rara Lake is probably one of the most fascinating treks in the Himalaya undisturbed by hordes of trekkers.
The best time to visit the park is in the spring, summer and autumn. As more people are now visiting the park, tourist services and infrastructure have developed in the last few years.
Rara lake and national park can also offer you one of the best pilgrimage and spiritual tours that can liberate your mundane worldly mind and heart to a different level of ecstasy and happiness that would be worth the money you would spend on this indispensable tour.
It can happen only in Nepal and not anywhere else. No sensible visitor who is very sensitive to natural beauty cannot remain, but visit this spectacular lake and national park once in his life.
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