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Rara Jumla Trek

Abhishek Subedi August 6, 2020

Situated about 370 kilometers, north-west of Kathmandu, Rara is Nepal’s smallest and most scenic national park that covers 106 square kilometers. 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 subalpine ecosystems of the Himalayas. The centerpiece is the pristine Lake Rara, also known as Mahendra Tal and is the largest lake in Nepal. The lake is surrounded by richly forested hills and Chuchemara Danda at 4,087 meters is the best vantage point to witness 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 at 3,731 meters and Malika Kand at 3,444 meters which are situated to the north of the lake. 

The trek to Rara Lake begins at Jumla, a village in the Trans – Himalayan area and the rides covered with forests and alpine pastures.The town has airstrip and Tele-communication facilities.The flight to Jumla passes south along the Dhaulagiri range and provides lovely view of Nepal’s western landscape. It is a three and a half-day’s trek from Jumla to Rara National Park. The peaceful surroundings are enhanced by the reflection of the hills in the Lake’s bright blue waters. Due north is the Chankheli Peak at 3201meters and looms large access into the deep Mugu Karnali gorge.The usual itinerary is a loop that starts and ends at Jumla and the entire trek takes about ten days. Food has to be brought from Jumla from beyond the bazaar as it is often unavailable.

Rara Jumla Trek

About the Trek

There are lodges in Jumla and bunkhouses at the Lake. In between, there are ten houses where you could stay but camping is more pleasant and certainly more reliable.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 marten, ghoral, serow and musk deer. There have also been reported sightings of leopards and wolves. The lake attracts migrant wildfowl like teals, pochards and mallards. Resident birds include the Impeyan, kalij and blood pheasant and chukar partridge.Rara area is covered with coniferous forests with sightings of Rhododendrons, black juniper, West Himalayan spruce, Oaks and the Himalayan cypress.

During, Rara jungle safari you will encounter a few endangered animals and you will also enjoy witnessing migrant birds including water fowl, Gallinaceous birds, Coots, great-crested grebe, black-necked grebe, red-crested pochards, mallards, common teal, merganser and gulls.Other animals inhabiting this region are red pandas, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, leopard, jackal, Himalayan Tahr, wild yellow-throated marten, wild dog, wild boar, common langur, rhesus macaque and many others. One of the best ways to observe the flora and fauna is by walking deep into the jungle through fine grassland and typical villages where you can find unique religions and cultures, as well as abundant wildlife. The Rara trek is also famous for bird watching in Nepal and the Rara Jungle Safari offers you with the opportunity to have an adventure which you will never forget.

Day 1 Flight to Nepalgunj

You will take a flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj for about 1 hour, located in Western Nepal. Nepalgunj, is also known as the gateway to Simikot, Humla which is situated near the border of Nepal and India. Nepalgung is a very interesting town place that showcases the diverse culture of Nepal. In Nepalgunj, we visit the local market, mini-zoo and nearby villages. On the way, you can see the people living there from different customs and culture. 

Day 2 Flight to Jumla

Now, it’s time to go up the geographical regions, after breakfast you will leave the Terai plains of Nepalgunj and fly to the hilly region where you get to observe the landscape of Jumla. Jumla is one of the least accessible districts in Nepal which is also the administrative headquarters of Karnali Zone. Situated in the foothills of the Sisne Himalaya, Jumla is also the gateway for trekkers who want to explore the remote Karnali region of Nepal.

Rara Jumla Trek

Day 3 Trek to Bumra

On the first day of our trek, we have to ascend uphill and cross two suspension bridges above the Himal River. We have to pass through a few villages before reaching Bumra. The Bumra village is also known as Nauri Ghat. 

Day 4 Trek to Pina

From Bumra, we ascend and cross the Ghurchi Lagna pass at 3480 m. We continue our ascent and pass through a few villages before reaching Bumra. The track beyond Bumra keeps high above the river and skirts two small spurs to reach Bhargaon (2890m) in one and half hours. After one kilometer at the end of the fields, the track turns north into the tributary stream of Ghautha Khola. We cross the stream by a log bridge to the west side and climb to Chautha (3100m) in a forest clearing. After an hour the valley opens out into a pleasant meadow. We keep to the left stream until a western tributary joins it. Before reaching Ghurchi Langna (3457m) we climb up the narrow gully on the north east slope and skirt north across a series of spurs to reach Pina (2430m). 

Day 5 Trek to Gamagadhi

On the following day, we ascended a steep trail to Gamagadhi. Gamagadhi is the headquarters of the remote Mugu District of Nepal.  

Day 6 Trek to Rara Lake

From Gamagadhi, our trail is easy and we walk on a relatively straight path until Rara Lake. We then follow the river upstream to Rara Lake, where we savor the most fascinating trekking experience amid the beauty of nature. Overnight at Rara Lake. Rara Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Nepal. Chuchemara Peak lies on the southern side of the Rara Lake whereas Ruma Kand and Malika Kand peaks frame its northern area.  

Day 7 Explore Rara Lake

Rara Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Nepal located at an altitude of 2290 m. After breakfast we explored the area, on the southeast corner of the Lake, there is Thakur Baba’s temple. So, you get a chance to observe the temple. While boating we get to admire the picturesque setting of the lake and discover quite a few varieties of fish. Here, we can find the amazing views of mountains as Chuchemara Peak lies on the southern side of the Rara Lake whereas Ruma Kand and Malika Kand peaks frame its northern area.  

Rara Jumla Trek

Day 8 Trek to Khatyar Khola Camp

Leaving the vast and tranquil Rara Lake behind, we move forward towards Khatyar Khola Camp. The trail today is not as strenuous as it looks. We get to admire the Himalayan Panorama. After passing through a few villages including Murma. From Murma, the ascent gets a little easier. The trail further passes through bamboo and birch forests before crossing the Khatyar Khola.

Day 9 Trek to Ghoro Singha

Today, after breakfast we walked the lake outlet (2980m) and followed the downstream of Khatyar Gad for about an hour. There is a log bridge over the stream below Murma (3139m). We have to cross the bridge to the south side and climb steadily over the 400 meters to reach an open clearing at 3277 meters. The trail continues climbing south through dense forest until the tree line is reached at 3658m. The ridge continues to the south for another 200 meters but it is a pleasant trail with a distant view of the mountains. There is no pass on this high ridge and the trail turns south-east at an altitude of 3749 meters and descends by the east side of Chuchemara Danda. It is a fairly steep descent to Ghoro Singha.  

Day 10 Trek to Sinja 

The trail today is a descending trail until Laha alongside Ghatte Khola(stream). We descend through the steep pass for a while followed by a relatively easy trail until Botan (2895 m). A more interesting trail with better scenic prospects is to climb Diyabala Danda which is located south of Ghoro Singha. The climb begins immediately west of Ghoro Singha and takes about an hour through forest to top the crest at 5351 meters. The trail then skirts south-east above the high fields of Lumsa. There are good views to the south along the Sinja Valley. The trail then descends to Okharpati village (3100 m) on a high shelf above Mindrabali Gad. After descending for about two hours, we reached Sinja, our today’s destination. Sinja Valley holds an important place in the history of Nepal.

The valley houses the ancient capital city of the Khasa Kingdom that ruled this area from the 12th to the 14th century. Sinja valleys, the highest human settlement of the world, are a major attraction of this trip. Trekkers enjoy the views of snow-capped Himalayan peaks. Palaces, temples, and the ancient remains of a settlement were uncovered during excavations spearheaded by the Department of Archaeology at Cambridge University.

Day 11 Trek to Chalachaur

Today, we have a twist and turn trail. We continue our trek along a rock-strewn path but it is a pleasant trail amidst forest wilderness. We cross the log bridge over Sinja Khola to the east and follow the south bank. Following the stream, we ascend the ridge. The trail clings to the south side of the stream all the way finally reaching Chala Chaur where we will stay overnight. 

Day 12 Trek to Chauriya Chaur

Our trek continues along a rock-strewn path. We have a relatively straight trail until reaching Jaljala chaur, and then we ascend slowly until the Jaljala passes. 

Rara Jumla Trek

Day 13 Trek to Jumla

On the last day of our trek, we follow our footprints back to Jumla. The trail provides good views of the Jumla town. The return to the town is pleasant descent in slow stages.  

Day 14 Flight to Nepalgunj and to Kathmandu

After breakfast, you will take a scenic flight to Nepalgunj. It will take about 45 minutes to reach Nepalgunj. Upon arrival at Nepalgunj, you will take another domestic flight back to Kathmandu. It will take about 55 minutes to reach Kathmandu. 

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