Rara National Park

Rara National Park, Nepal
Rara National Park, Nepal

Rara National Park, Nepal’s smallest and most scenic national park that spreads over an area of 106 sq km is situated about 370 km north – west of Kathmandu and lies in Mugu a mountainous district of the western region of Nepal. The National Park ascends from 1800m to 4480m forested by conifers. The pivotal of Rara National Park is the pristine Rara Lake, which stands high at the self of 2990m and spreads over 10.8 sq km. The clear, high altitude lake of Rara, which mirrors the snow capped Himalayas is ringed with pine, spruce and juniper forest. The undisturbed largest lake also renowned as Mahendra Tal is of oval shape. This tortoise blue lake is surrounded by richly forested hills. Chuchemara Dauda at the elevation of 4087m is the best vantage point to get the magnificient views of the deep blue clear lake and highly forested hillside as well as the snow-capped peaks around it.

Want to visit Rara lake of Nepal? Late King Mahendra of Nepal described this as queen of the Lakes. Rara lake is also known as the Queen of the Lakes. The centerpiece is the pristine Lake Rara, also Known as Mahendra Tal, the biggest lake in Nepal. The lake is surrounded by richly forested hills, Chuchemara Danda at 4,087 meters is the best vantagepoint to get stunning views of the lake and the thickly forested hillsides and the snow-capped peaks around it.

Rara Lake (Mahendra Tal), situated at an elevation of 2990 m. is the main feature of the park. The lake is oval shaped with an east-west axis, and has a maximum length of 5 km and a width of 3 km. Surrounded by magnificent conifer forests, it is Nepal’s biggest lake (10.8 sq . km) with a depth of 167 m. Its radiant blue waters is home to the snow trout (Schizothorax oreinus sinuatus), the only fish recorded in the lake. During winter, bird lovers can enjoy many migratory birds. In summer, Himalayan flowers surround the lake creating a colorful landscape. 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 snowcapped summits of Ruma Kand (3731m) and Malika Kand (3444m) located on the northern side of the lake, provide beautiful views of the lake to the south, and the beautiful Mugu-Kamali River valley to the north. MurmaPeak also provides and excellent view of the park area. The lake drains to Mugu-Kamali River via Nijar Khola. The majority of the vegetation in the park is dominated by blue pine. Interspersed amongst the pines, are found several species of rhododendrons.Blue pine, herbs, marshlands, and tussock grasslands inhabit the area surrounding the lake. In the Nisa khola Valley pine and spruce give way to mixed woodland containing walnuts and Himalayan popular. Rhododendron, fir, oak, and birch species can be found in the sub alpine region.

Protected Area Information:
Name: Rara National Park ( IUCN Category: II)
Type: National Park
Established.: 1976
Area (km2): 106.00
Buffer Zone (km2): 198.00 ( IUCN Category: VI)

Entry Fee Per Person Per Entry:
For Nepalese Nationals, Free
For SAARC Nationals, Rs. 100/-
For Other Foreign Nationals, Rs. 3,000/-

The easiest way to get to Rara is by flying to Jumla from Kathmandu via Nepalgunj, followed by a three-day hike to the park office at Hutu. The alternative route is to take a bus from Nepalgunj to Surkhet, from where it is a weeks’ hike to the park. Visitors should travel with camping gear and guides which will offer them the flexibility to explore Rara where basic accommodation is available only at the park office. The best time to visit the region is from February to April and in October and November.

Entrance fee not required for children under 10 years Park.
Entrance fees is regulated by Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (Phone: 4220850). Entrance fees for mountain National Parks can be paid at ACAP counter at Nepal Tourism Board, Bhrikuti Mandap, Kathmandu, or at the Park gate. For other National Parks entrance fees are to be paid at the Park gate