Sunday, May 19, 2024

Rara Lake

Rara Lake, also known as Rara Tal, is a stunning alpine lake situated in the remote Mugu District of western Nepal. It is the largest lake in Nepal and lies at 2,990 meters (9,810 feet) above sea level. The lake is nestled within Rara National Park, which covers an area of approximately 106 square kilometers (41 square miles). The park is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including rare species such as the red panda, musk deer, and Himalayan black bear. It also serves as a crucial habitat for numerous migratory birds.

Quick Facts

LocationRara 21100
Altitude 2,990 meters (9,810 feet)
Area 10.8 sq. km (4.2 square miles).
Major InhabitatsThakuri and Malla
Best time to visitMarch-May, September-November

The azure blue waters of Rara Lake reflect the surrounding snow-capped peaks. The lake is encircled by lush forests, mainly composed of pine, spruce, and juniper trees, adding to its natural charm. During spring and autumn, the area is covered with colorful wildflowers, enhancing the overall beauty of the landscape.

The trek to Rara Lake is a popular adventure for nature enthusiasts and trekkers seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience. The journey usually begins from the town of Jumla and involves several days of walking through remote villages, dense forests, and scenic valleys. Along the way, trekkers can enjoy breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountain range, including peaks like Kanjirowa and Saipal.

It’s worth noting that due to the remote location of Rara Lake, the area receives relatively fewer tourists compared to other popular destinations in Nepal. As a result, the natural beauty and tranquility of Rara Lake remain largely undisturbed, offering a unique and untouched experience for those who venture there.

Things to do

Boating: Rent a boat and explore the tranquil waters of Rara Lake. Enjoy the serenity and breathtaking views while paddling across the azure blue lake.

Fishing: Rara Lake is known for its trout population, and fishing enthusiasts can try their hand at angling. Obtain the necessary permits and enjoy a peaceful fishing experience surrounded by stunning scenery.

Trekking and Hiking: Embark on a trekking adventure through the picturesque landscapes surrounding Rara Lake. The trek offers opportunities to explore remote villages, encounter diverse wildlife, and enjoy panoramic views of the Himalayas.

Camping: Experience the wilderness by camping near Rara Lake. Spend the night under the starry sky and wake up to the peaceful sounds of nature. Camping allows you to fully immerse yourself in the pristine beauty of the area.

Visit Sinja Valley: Sinja Valley, located nearby, is a historically significant place with ancient ruins and archaeological sites. It was once the capital of the Khasa kingdom and offers a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Bird Watching: Rara Lake and the surrounding forests are home to numerous bird species, including migratory birds. Bird watching enthusiasts can enjoy observing and identifying a variety of avian species in their natural habitat.

Rara Lake


Things to know before visiting Rara Lake

Plan Sufficient Time: Allocate enough time in your itinerary to fully explore the region and appreciate its beauty. Rushing through may cause you to miss out on the tranquility and serenity that Rara Lake offers.

Trek with a Guide: If you plan to trek to Rara Lake, it’s highly recommended to hire an experienced guide or join a guided trekking group. They can provide valuable insights, ensure your safety, and help navigate the challenging terrains.

Physical Fitness and Acclimatization: Prioritize your physical fitness before the trek and acclimatize properly to the higher altitudes. Engage in regular exercise and cardio activities to prepare your body for the trekking challenges and avoid altitude sickness.

Pack Light and Essential: Pack light, carrying only the necessary items for the trek. Include proper trekking gear, layers of clothing, sturdy footwear, and essential supplies like water, snacks, and a first aid kit. Keep your backpack as lightweight as possible for a more comfortable trek.

Stay Hydrated and Mind Altitude: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated during the trek. Be mindful of the altitude and its effects on your body. Take regular breaks, maintain a steady pace, and listen to your body’s signals.

Check Weather Conditions: Keep track of weather conditions before your trip. Sudden weather changes can affect trekking routes and visibility. Be prepared with appropriate gear for rain, cold, or sunshine.

Be Flexible: Nature can be unpredictable, so be flexible with your plans. Adverse weather or trail conditions may require adjustments to your itinerary. Stay open-minded and adaptable to make the most of your experience.

Limited Connectivity: Be aware that the region has limited or no mobile network coverage and internet access. Inform your loved ones about the potential communication challenges and provide them with necessary contact information in advance.

Cash and Supplies: Carry enough cash as there are limited ATM facilities in the region. Additionally, stock up on essential supplies such as snacks, drinking water, and toiletries before starting your journey, as availability may be limited

Rara Lake

How to get there

Fly to Nepalgunj: Start by flying to Nepalgunj, a major city in the western Terai region of Nepal. Nepalgunj has an airport with regular domestic flights from Kathmandu.

Fly or Drive to Talcha Airport: From Nepalgunj, you have two options to reach Rara Lake. The most common and convenient way is to take a short domestic flight from Nepalgunj to Talcha Airport, which is the nearest airport to Rara Lake. Flights are available on a limited schedule, and it’s advisable to book in advance.

Alternatively, you can take a long drive from Nepalgunj to Mugu district headquarters, Gamgadhi, which is approximately 280 kilometers (174 miles) away. From Gamgadhi, it’s a further drive to reach the trailhead of Rara Lake.

  1. Trek to Rara Lake: Once you reach the trailhead, you can begin the trek to Rara Lake. The trek usually takes around 3-5 days, depending on the chosen route and trekking pace. The trekking trails pass through beautiful landscapes, remote villages, and lush forests before reaching the stunning Rara Lake.


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