Rara lake, the largest and deepest freshwater lake in Nepal, often famous for its mesmerizing beauty and splendor, is amongst one of the most sought after trekking in Nepal. This travel journal covers the account on the journey to Rara and the sight it offers on the way.
The Queen of Lakes – Rara.
I have visited numerous lakes up until this point, however, none resembled Rara. It is most likely a cliché but not far from reality either.
After a few failed shots, to visit the secluded region of Mugu and Rara, I was welcomed to join a group of companions who had been arranging the trek for quite a while. With the regularly changing flight timetables to one of the little and unsafe runways leading to the lake, we selected the roadway. The Karnali Highway is a standout amongst the riskiest roads in the planet. Fear, together with the excitement of visiting one of my dream destinations was giving me a restless night. The next thing I knew, I was on a bus from Kathmandu to Jumla.
After 30 hours spent exclusively on a bus ride, we reached Manma – the area central station of Kalikot. We spent overnight in a neighborhood inn. The next morning, we were planning to reach Talcha, to our surprise we were informed it is was impossible. So, we chose to go to the Sinja Valley instead. We took a bus to Nagma (Jumla).
Sinja Valley outdid the majority of my desires and taking a glimpse at it now, it is one of the positive features of the tour for me. The Sinja Valley is an extended length of paddy fields around the Sinja River. It isn't difficult to keep yourself interested in the valley. Aside from a couple of sanctuaries in the territory, anything you experience on your way is fascinating and extraordinary. This is because of the way this segment of Nepal is totally different from any place I have visited inside the nation, from the culture and religious convictions to the surrounding scene and architecture. After a meal of tasty red rice ( Marse dhaan) and Jumli daal, we had a decent rest for what was to come the following day.
The next morning, we hit the road again. Our goal for the day was to reach Rara. The jeep drove us for 4 uneven hours and left us at the passageway of the national park with the guarantee we will get our first look at the lake within 20 minutes of hiking. 25 minutes into our short climb, Rara was still far out, yet we got to see a marvelous scenery alongside unwanted rainfall. Sadly for us, the downpour made the way to Rara very dangerous so we had to walk very slowly in order to minimize the risk of falling due to the slippery muds. All the nuisance was justified when we abruptly left the forest and ended up to an open field with an enormous bowl-like Rara lake extending in the skyline.
The thin layer of mist swirling over the reflection of the sky on tranquil water, resembling a mirror, there lay the queen of lakes Rara lake. When I went nearer to the shore, I could see the water's countless shades of blue and green. Often times I have heard people say Rara lake changes color and I always called it a bluff. But at that moment standing in front of the mighty lake, I realized Rara does change color. It's true! The colors on the lake slowly changed from different hues of blue to green, yellow and many more.
It is anything but difficult to spend an endless amount of time being admiring the beauty of Rara. It was getting dark thus, the little structure we could see on the opposite side of the lake; which happened to be our hotel, made us move. The 1.5-hour climb to the lodging was a lovely one, including strolling in a grand pine woods with infrequent enchanted looks at the lake. In the wake of having our eagerly awaited supper at the lodging, the enchantment proceeded as the full moon that shone brightly on the sky was reflected in the calm lake.
There are numerous choices to choose from if you have a free day on Rara Lake. You can circle the entire lake (which more often takes 6-7 hours), hike over Murma top for a panoramic view on the lake from the best or simply remain on its shore and enjoy the tranquil scenery. I selected the second option to hike over Murma top for a 360-degree view of the mighty lake, all the photographs I took cannot be compared to the actual view of Rara from the Murma top. Rara Lake is simply a piece of heaven on earth and I have never been as nearer to the paradise as I did with my time spent in this delightful and isolated area.
Although more developed than in the past, the road to Rara Lake is not as comfortable and the services available along more popular trails are limited to the minimum. Generally, it is not an easy trek; it is difficult to get to and from. At some point, one requires informed guides and porters to carry materials which will keep you warm, dry and fed. It is also a strenuous journey as it involves several 11,000-foot passes. However, once you conquer the obstacles, the rewards are incomparable: majestic views, few trekkers, untouched natural splendor and a memory etched to last a lifetime.