Rara Lake is Nepal’s largest freshwater lake which is 10.8 sq kms at an altitude 2,990 meter high. It is also known also as “Mahendra Taal”. It is 5.1 km (3.2 mi) long and 2.7 km (1.7 mi) wide. It is the main feature of Rara National Park, located in the far west corner in the Mugu district. It drains into the Mugu Karnali River via the Nijar River. Its water quality is characterized by high pH, conductivity and total hardness. It has been classified as oligotrophic as it is slightly polluted.
The Rara National Park
The Rara National Park was named after the Rara Lake. The park is covered with dense coniferous forest which is habitat to various flora and fauna. The Rara National Park is home to some 214 species of birds and over 20 species of mammal. The Rara Lake is surrounded by hills and mountains. The “Chuchemara” hill (4.087m) is the best point to see the stunning view of oval shape turquoise blue lake with green forest and snow peak just above it. Visitors can enjoy tea houses and boatman while surfing around the lake side.
Place and Climate
The climate during summer is quite pleasant and winter is cold. The best time to visit the lake is September/October and April to May. Rara Lake is only hours walk from the Talcha airport of Mugu district. Travelers who are interested in adventure of trekking into the deep forest rich of natural ecstasy, Jumla to Rara trek is best. The trek is total of ten days which starts and end at Jumla. The trek trail passes from the Rara national park which starts from 1400m altitude, from between the pass of Karnali gorge, into dense forest to reach the Rara Lake. The trek offers stunning views of western Nepal landscape. On the way the multicultural ethnic communities and harmonized blend of Buddhism and Hinduism can be experienced. The attraction of Mugu has been the Rara lake which attracts number of visitors every year to this remote land.
Activities to do in Rara
Five things to do at the lake:
1. Ride a boat in lake
2. Hike to Murma viewpoint
3. Take a portrait
4. Ride a horse
5. Set the hammock and sleep in tent