The QUEEN of Lakes
Rara Lake is the biggest and deepest freshwater lake in Nepal. In September 2007, it was declared a Ramsar site, covering 1,583 heaters including the surrounding wetland. Rara lake is located at an altitude of 2990m in Jumal and Mugu district. The lake has a maximum depth of 167m and is 5.1km long and 2.7km wide. The lake drains into the Mugu Karnali River via the Nijar River. Rara lake is located in the smallest national park in Nepal i.e. Rara National Park.
Rara lake is becoming a popular destination with a very rough route in Western Nepal for trekkers. Rara is a lake with magnificent beauty that no other lake can compete with. The lake exhibits 3 different colours in a day. The colours change from the sunrise till sunset and the reason behind it is not known. The sparkling waters of the lake are crystal clear which produces the perfect reflection of the hills around the lake.
There are other activities where explorers can indulge themselves while visiting the lake. Like, there are trekking trails to the green hills, boating in the lake, horse riding, visiting the nearby village and experiencing their local food and the warm hospitality they present to you. You can also take a detour to the forest exploring the wildlife and plants of the area and camp beside the lake and sleep, listening to the silent and gentle waves of the lake.
Rara lake has unique and rich floral and faunal species which are rare and valuable. The lake is surrounded by green hills on all sides, covered in juniper, pine and spruce forest. More than 1000 different kinds of flowers among them, 16 are endemic, 51 species of mammals and 214 species of birds can be observed in the Rara National Park. Wildlife of the park and lake include the endangered Red Panda, Musk Deer, Himalayan Black Bear, Leopard, Jackal, Himalayan Tahr, Yellow-throated Martin, Rhesus Macaque, Common Otter and many more. During winter the park is filled with bird varieties like Coots, Great-crested Grebe, Red Crested Pochard, Mallard, Common Teal, Merganser and Gulls. Migrant Water Fowl and Gallinaceous birds can also be seen during certain seasons. As for life in the lake, it holds three endemic fishes; Nepalese Snow Trout, Rara Snowtrout and Schizothorax nepalensis are the fish varieties recorded here so far.
Rara can be reached in three ways. The hard way, trekking through the jungles navigating through the steep slopes and boulders, which is a lifetime opportunity and adventure you don't want to miss. However, if trekking isn't your thing then, one can drive to Rara lake. The road takes you to a final stop, which is about half an hour walking distance to the lake. The easy way would be taking a flight to Jumla airport from the airport which is best for you. However, there are regular flights from Kathmandu, Nepalgunj and Surkhet to Jumla.
Summer is quite pleasant but winter is cold. The best visiting time to the lake is September/October and April to May. From December to March, the temperatures go low below the freezing point, and heavy snowfall occurs up to one meter, blocking the way to the lake.