Rara National Park
Rara National Park is a protected area in the Himalayas of Nepal and was established in 1976. Covering an area of 106 km2 in the Mugu and Dolpa districts, it is the country’s smallest national park. Its main feature is Rara Lake at an altitude of 2,990 m. The elevation of the park ranges from 2800 m to 4039 m. Chuchemara peak (4039 m) is the highest point in the park. Located on the southern side of the lake, it provides an excellent backdrop to Lake Rara. The park was established to protect the unique flora and fauna of the Humla–Jumla Region of Nepal.
There were two villages Rara and Chhapru within the park. The residents of the two villages were resettled in Banke district, outside the park.
Being high up in the mountains, Rara National Park generally has very low temperatures. Hence according to the preferences travelers can visit here from April to June to get warm weather and from September to October to get cool weather. It is advised not to visit Rara from December to March as it gets heavy snowfall during that season and the roads get blocked.
Flora and Fauna
As it can be seen by the Rara National Park location that the flora of the regions is generally alpine. It has a huge variety of plants that grow here. Many of these plants are unique to the regions. Some of the flora of Rara National Park consists of blue pine, rhododendron, west Himalayan spruce, black juniper, and Himalayan cypress.
The Rara National park animals are as diverse as the plants. There are many animals that are only found in these regions. It also has a very well integrated aquatic ecosystem due to the presence of the humongous Rara Lake. Some of the animals in this region are musk deer, red panda, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, Indian leopard, jackal, Himalayan tahr, yellow-throated marten, otter, dhole, gray langur, and rhesus macaque.
One of the biggest attractions of the Rara National Park is Rara Lake. It is the deepest lake in all of Nepal. Rara Lake is a must-visit for travelers who go to the national park. The lake reflects the sun rays in the day and resembles a jewel at the top.
Chuchemara Peak (4048 m) on the southern side of the lake presents a magnificent scene with the gleaming blue water within a basin of well-forested hills. Other summits are Ruma Kand (3731 m) and Malika Kand (3444 m) to the north of the lake. From these peaks, one can enjoy the view of the lake, peaks to the south, and beautiful Mugu Karnali River valley to the north.
The several temples and shrines in the park and its buffer zone are also of interest to the visitor. It is in this region that the Nepali language is said to have originated.
Rara is remotely located and not frequently visited by tourists, hence the facilities are limited. Apart from some basic facilities with limited capacity, there are no facilities, so it is best to bring your own Tent, Food, Cooking Materials. It is advisable to bring a comprehensive first-aid kit since there is no health post in the area. Arrangements should be made through a trekking agency. There are no accommodations within the park. Trekkers must be self-sufficient in all means.
How to get there
Rara National Park is 2.5 days trek via Jumala or 10 days trek from Surkhet.
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