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 Jumla districts. Rara National Park is located in northwest Nepal about 371 km air distance from Kathmandu. In September 2007, it was declared a Ramsar site, covering 1,583 ha (6.11 sq mi) including the surrounding wetland. The park headquarters is about 32 km north to Jumla.
The Park is situated in the Humla-Jumla region. It is the smallest national park in Nepal. This national park is situated at a height of 2800m to 4000m. This a very offbeat location for tourists to come and thus have a very peaceful atmosphere. Rara is a must-visit to enjoy the rare flora and fauna of the Humla- Jumla region.
The Rara National Park Map shows that it only covers about 106 km2. The Park also gives a unique experience to the travelers. The lake is in a deep basin, the northern and eastern rims which form part of the park boundary. The lake drains to the Mugu Karnali River via Nija Khola.
The lakeside pasture in the south gives way to the steep slopes of Gurchi Lekh, its crest culminating at Chuchemara in a horse-shoe shaped opening to the south drained by the Jiun River. On the west, river valleys cut through a ridge which forms the natural boundary to the park.
Flora and Fauna of Rara National Park
The park animals are as diverse as the plants. There are many animals that are only found in these regions. Rara National Park is very unique because of its location and the flora and fauna of the region. Musk Deer, Himalayan Black Bear, Leopard, Jackal, Himalayan Tahr, Yellow Throated Marten, Otter, Wild Dog, Common Langur, Rhesus Macaque, and the Red Panda. Bird species include the Snow Cock, Coots, Grebes, Mallard, Common Teal, Red-Crested Pochard, and gulls.
Tourist Attraction of Rara National Park
Rara Lake is the most beautiful and interesting site in the park. Bird lovers enjoy winter with the migratory birds. Hundreds of varieties of ground flowers form a colorful carpet in summer. Conventional currents do not allow the lake to freeze in winter.
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.
Best time to visit Rara National Park
The 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.
Travel Activities of Rara National Park
There are main travel activities that can be enjoyed here.
A. Bird Watching: One of the key features of Rara National Park is the abundance of birds in the region.
B. Trekking: There are many Rara National Park Treks that take the travelers to the top of some of the important summits like, Murma Top. Enjoy these treks and get a panoramic view of the highest peaks in the Himalayas.
C. Boating: Go boating in the deepest lake of Nepal, the Rara Lake, and enjoy a peaceful afternoon in the arms of nature.
D: 4WD Adventure: Rara lake Jeep tour from Kathmandu is 3 to 4 days Jeep tour. It is the best package to reach Rara lake shortly from Kathmandu.
E: Motorbike Trip: is an adventure of a lifetime to the beautiful and barely traveled West Nepal where Nepal’s most beautiful lake is located.
Facilities of Rara National Park
Karnali region is a potential touristic hub. Ecotourism has been a great boon for this region as nature has provided it natural beauties and many means of adventures. Tourism entrepreneurs and investors should be encouraged to establish hotels and lodges in the Majhaghatta (Western part of the National Park). Similarly the practice of home stay could be started like in other national parks.
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.
Entrance fee of Rara National Park
An entry fee of Rs. 3,000 (foreigners), Rs. 1,500 (SAARC nationals) and an additional 13% VAT must be paid at the designated ticket counter per person.
How to reach Rara National Park
A. Kathmandu: Travellers can reach Kathmandu by bus or by air and then take a bus to Nepalgunj from there they can take a jeep which drops of visitors very close to the national park from there it is a 20-25 min walk.
B. Pokhara: The Pokhara to Rara lake distance by road is just about 236 Km. 4WD Jeep Adventure is more suitable for you. It will take 3-4 days
C. Talcha: Reach at the Talcha Airport which near to the park and then treks for 3 hours to the Rara National Park headquarters.