Rara Lake: The Magical and Largest Lake of Nepal

Rara lake is  Nepal’s most extensive and deepest freshwater lake located in Jumla and Mugu Districts in the western part of Nepal. It is also known as “Mahendra Taal.”


It lies at an altitude of 2,990 m above sea level, covering an area of 9.8km square (3.8 sq mi)  and has a maximum depth of 167 m (548 ft). Rara lake is 5.1 km (3.2mi) long and 2.7 km (1.7mi) wide. The surface temperature of the lake is estimated to be 7.5 degrees celsius to 7.6 degrees celsius.


Winter is frigid, and Summer is quite pleasant here. September/October and April to May is the best visiting time in this lake. In December to March, the temperature in this place goes low below the freezing point, and heavy snowfall also occurs up to one meter, which results in blockage of the way to the lake. Here, April to June is warm.


Socio-cultural and religious value


Most people engage in the agricultural sector for a living. Here, People also rear goat and extract medicinal herbs and sell them for making money. In the community, Thakur society is dominant. You will find a temple named Thakur Baba’s Temple in the southern part of the lake. It is believed that the god Thakur shot an arrow to open the passage of the lake, decreasing the damage caused by flooding.


Rara National Park
Rara National Park

The conservation officers of the national park are facing a challenge to preserve the lake, because of over-grazing and defecation. Local people are also found cutting fuelwood and timber wood, which is the problem for the conservation of Rara lake. The visitors and the local people also produce a lot of wastage during festivals which cause water pollution.


Plant and animal life


Lake Rara also lies in Rara National Park, where you can observe diverse wildlife. It has unique flora and fauna with vulnerable and unique species. In 1976, the park was established to preserve the beauty of the lake and protect it from unusual human activities. The national park is covered with several blue pines, black juniper, cypress, rhododendron, and oak forests.


These forests have been sheltered to Himalayan Black Bear, Leopards, Ghoral, Thar, Red Pandas, and Musk Deer. More than 200 species of colorful birds and butterflies have also made a home in this forest. Altogether this national park consists of almost 1074 species of flora and fauna that consist of nearly 51 species of mammals and 214 species of birds.


Besides this flora and fauna, it also consists of different species of fish like Nepalese snowtrout (Schizothorax macrophthalmus),(S. nepalensis), and the Rara snowtrout (S. raraensis).


Things to do in Rara Lake


1. Boating in Lake



Boating in Rara
Boating in Rara


Rara lake is the largest lake of Nepal that surrounds of 5 km of land requires more than an hour-long of boating to reach from one point to another. Let me clear out that this lake is totally under the control of the army as it lies in the national park area. 


This is why you cannot reserve your own boat and go by yourself. There will always be the army people on the boat to protect and run the boat. The depth of Rara Lake is 167 meters, where once you fall, there will be a very rare chance that you will survive by drowning if you are not well equipped and cannot swim for longer.


Aside from these, boating on the largest lake of Nepal is worth experiencing at the height of 2990 meters above sea level. You will also be able to notice many big fishes during the boating and capture the epic photos of the lake and also the murma viewpoint.


2. Trek to Murma Top ViewPoint


Murma Top ViewPoint
Murma Top ViewPoint


If you plan to visit Rara Lake, then never miss out on the outstanding lake viewpoint Murma top that located right on the hill of the lake. From the top of murma, you can see every corner of the lake and the surrounding forest of National park. It is the one day hike above the lake where you can chill out and enjoy the breathtaking view of the lake.


While hiking for the murma top viewpoint, you can also encounter the village life of murma people. They are really kind and generous from the heart and would defiantly welcome you to observe their small village. 


3. Horse Riding


Horse Riding is also an enjoyable adventure in the mountainous area. You can also travel the surrounding of the lake by riding a horse and visit the nearby village and the murma top. Horse riding will add excitement and makes your travel more comfortable than walking for hours to cover a small distance.


There is a trail all over the lake where you can ride horses and observe nature in depth. Mostly, it could be useful to preserve your time for any other activities on the lake rather only walking. So, if you wish to have horse riding, you can talk to the villagers or the hotel managers or your tour guide.


4. Camping in a Tent


Camping in Lake Rara
Camping in Lake Rara


What will be more adventure than getting in the middle of the forest, just in front of the largest lake and sleeping in a tent? Will this will be the one time opportunity to experience in the life which you wouldn’t want to miss out. 


All the management of tents and foods will be provided by the hotel located on the side of the lake. You can have all night campfire, chill out with your friends and stare to the stars and sleep inside the tent. For security, as I have already said, the area is preserved by the army forces. 


Is Rara Lake Worth Visiting?


For your ensure, I have visited lake Rara, which has become the most exciting and adventurous trek till now. The best option to reach any place is by the roadways, which I also prefer you the same. 


Whenever you reach the bank of Rara Lake, all of your tiredness and difficulties will vanish immediately. It is an excellent place to travel and experience the lake once in your lifetime.