Rara National Park



Situated about 370 km. north-west of Kathmandu, Rara is Nepal's smallest and most scenic national park covers 106 square km. Much of the park is at an altitude of about 3,000 meters forested by conifers. The park was established in 1976 and protects some of the most beautiful alpine and sub-alpine ecosystems of the Himalaya. The centrepiece 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. Other summits in the park area are Ruma kand (3,731 m.) and Malika Kand (3,444 m.), situated to the north of the lake.



Rara comes within the catchment area of the Karnali River, one of the three main river systems of Nepal. The habitat supports animals like the red panda, black bear, yellow-throated martin, ghoral, serow and musk deer. There have also been reported sightings of leopard and wolf. The lake attracts migrant wildfowl like teals, pochards and mallards. Resident birds include the Impeyan, kalij and blood pheasant as well as others like the chukkor partridge.



Access:

The easiest way to get to Rara is by flying to Jumla or Kolti 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.
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