Rara Lake is the biggest and deepest lake in the Nepal, which lies in Jumla and Mugu districts with 1583 ha (6.11 sq mi). This lake lies at an elevation of 2990m with a maximum depth of 167m, 5.1km long and 2.7km wide, which is surrounded by green hills on all sides, covered in juniper trees.
The water of this lake direct drains into the Mugu Karnali River through Nijar River. The quality of this water is characterized by high pH, conductivity and total hardness. This lake lies in Rara National Park which was established in 1976 which covers 106 km/sq (41 sq/mi) area, which is the smallest National Park in the country.
This Park was established to protect the unique flora and fauna of the Humla-Jumla Region of Nepal and to preserve the beauty of the Lake and protect it from sedimentation and adverse human activities.
The park is surrounded by alpine coniferous vegetation and offers representative sample of the region’s flora and fauna. There are more than 500 different types of flowers, 214 species of birds and 20 species of mammals in this park.
The lake holds three endemic fish species; they are; Nepalese snow trout, the Rara snow trout, and one endemic frog. Winter visitor water birds such as gadwall (Anas Strepera), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), northern shoveler (Anas clypeata), common teal (Anas crecca), tufted duck (Aythya fuligula), common goldeneye (Bucephala Clangula), common merganser (Mergus merganser), common coot (Fulica atra), and solitary snipe (Gallinago solitaria) reside and rest at this lake.
Rara Lake is a very popular destination with a very rough route in Western Nepal for trekker. The culture, views and the scenery on the way is quite different then other route. You can see the Rara Lake surrounded by the Rara National Park with pine, spruce and juniper forest. The trekkers are attracted by the view of snow-capped Himalayan peaks. According to the GORP founder Bill Greer, Rara is described as, “a shimmering blue jewel set in a ring of snow peaks”.
There is no any facility of health services on the way, so the trekkers need to carry their own first-aid kits for the emergency. And they need to be self- sufficient as the facilities are not adequate. The road to Rara Lake is still without comfortable services, so it would get litter more difficult and hard to get over there.
Tourist from different places of the Earth visits this Lake. September to October and April to June is the best time to visit the lake because the climate remains warm on these months. But December to March, it would be difficult to go there. The temperatures get below the freezing point, and the heavy snowfall occurs up to one meter which blocks the way to the lake.
There is also located a Thakuri Baba’s Temple in the southeast corner of the Lake. It is believed that the god Thakur shot an arrow to open the passage of the lake to reduce the damage caused by the flooding. The people living around this area do agriculture as their main occupation. People of this area rear goats and extract medicinal herbs and sell them for their living. The society is dominant by the Thakur community.