In one of the remotest part of Western Nepal, lies the biggest and the deepest prestine freshwater lake of the country.
The Rara Lake. Covering the water surface area of 10.8 sq km and reaching 167 meters deep, the lake is situated at an altitude of 2990 meters (9,810 feet) above the sea level in the Mugu district.
Protected by the Rara National Park–which covers the area of 1583 hector in Jumla and Mugu districts and covered by the vast alpine coniferous vegetation including blue pine, black juniper, Himalayan spruce, oak, Himalayan cypress and other representatives of such flora and fauna, the rich vegetation here is a sanctuary for diverse species of wildlife such as the endangered red panda, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, leopard, jackal, Himalayan Thar, yellow-throated martin, wild dog, wild boar, common langur, rhesus macaque and the common otter.
Resident Gallinaceous birds and migrant waterfowl are commonly sighted around the lake area while birds like coots, great-crested grebe, black-necked grebe, red-crested pochard, mallard, common teal, merganser and gull can be seen in the park during the winter.
Rara, the shimmering blue jewel as named by Bill Greer, is one of the major trekking destinations of the country.
Trek to Rara can offer anyone with the cultural and scenic beauty of the snow-capped mountains and spectacular landscape through the logistically tough routes but a memorable and fascinating and experience.
It takes a two or three days hike to reach the Rara Lake. The trek starts from Jumla. The trek leads through the remote country toward the Tibetan border through Charya Chaur, Botan and Ghorasain. Chuchemara Hill at 4,087m is the best vantage point to enjoy magnificent views of the deep blue lake, the forested hillsides and the snow-capped peaks.
The best time to journey to the Rara is spring, summer and autumn.
Photos: Prashneel Nepal