Rara National Park is the smallest national park of Nepal, covering an area of 106 km2 (41 sq mi). It is located in the north-western region of Nepal, within the Jumla and Mugu districts. The park was established in 1976 and has protected its unique flora & fauna ever since. The park maybe smallest protected area but there is the biggest lake of Nepal, known as Rara Lake (2990m). Rara lake is the heart of the park, through where the name was created as Rara National Park. The lake is 10.8 km2 big and 167 m deep and is oval shaped. The lake drains into Mugu Karnali river via Nijar Khola. Regarding the landscape, there are snow-cap peaks around the lake which are Chuchemara peak (4039m), Ruma Kand (3731m) and Malika Kand (3444m) giving the park most attractive destination to the visitors.
Rara National Park has community lifestyle in the buffer zone. There is still the existence of transhumance system and seasonal migration in the surrounding area. You can access few hours flight from the park headquarters to reach inside the park, after a scenic flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. The highlight of the park is Rara lake which is declared as Ramsar site in 2007. The encompassing trail along the lakeside has boating services for the usage of a lake. The pilgrimage sites present several temples and shrines where locals gather. However, there were once Rara and Chhapru villages before the establishment of parks. The local economy is based on agriculture within the boundaries of the park.
Flora & Fauna
Rara National Park is portrayed by sub-alpine and high vegetation that estimates 1070 species of flora and 11 types of a forest ecosystem. The major species like Nepalese alder, walnut, chir pine, blue pine, rhododendron, maple, oak, cypress, etc are found. While 16 out of 88 vascular plants are endemic. The park has 51 species of mammals, 241 species of birds, 2 species of reptile and 3 species of fish. Some of them are Musk deer, Himalayan tahr, common langur, leopard, Himalayan black bear, red panda, grey langur and Rhesus macaque, black-necked grebes, mallard, Himalayan Monal, blood pheasant, kalij pheasant, Himalayan snowcock, common teal, etc are found.
Rara National Park is pleasant during summer, and very cold during winter. The temperature drops below freezing level and snowfalls take place in high passes during December to March. The monsoon season arises during June through August which makes difficult to trek. So, the best time for you to trek inside Rara National Park in September, October, April, and May.
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