Lake Rara

lake in Mugu District, Nepal

Rara Lake (Nepali: राराताल raratal) is the biggest natural lake of Nepal. It is in Rara Village Development Committee, Mugu District, Karnali Zone in the Mid-Western region.

Lake Rara
Lake Rara, May 2005
LocationMugu District
Coordinates29°31′33″N 82°05′25″E / 29.525721°N 82.090211°E / 29.525721; 82.090211
TypeNatural, oligotrophic
Primary inflowsMany small streams
Primary outflowsNijar khola → Karnali River
Basin countriesNepal
Max. length5.1 km (3.2 mi)
Max. width2.7 km (1.7 mi)
Surface area9.8 km2 (3.8 sq mi)[1]
Average depth100 m (330 ft)
Max. depth167 m (548 ft)
Water volume0.98 km3 (0.24 cu mi)[1]
Surface elevation2,990 m (9,810 ft)

The lake has a slightly oval shape and is entirely in the Rara National Park, about 300 km (190 mi) north-west of the capital, Kathmandu.



Lake Rara is at an altitude of 2,990 metres (9,810 ft) above sea level covering an area of 9.8 km2 (3.8 sq mi).[2] The lake has a length of 5.1 kilometres (3.2 mi) and a width of 2.7 kilometres (1.7 mi) with a maximum depth of 167 metres (548 ft). It flows into the Karnali river via the Nijar river (Nijar Khola).[3]

The lake was classified as oligotrophic (an environment that offers little to sustain life) in limnological terms, meaning that is very slightly polluted.[2]



The climate of the Rara National Park, where the Lake Rara is, is a temperate climate with temperatures between 27 °C (81 °F) in summer and −4 °C (25 °F) in winter.[4]

Animal life


In the Lake Rara there are three endemic fish species (Schizothorax macrophthalmus, S. nepalensis and S. raraensis),[5] and one endemic frog (Paa rarica).[6]

Many waterfowl spend the winter months in Lake Rara; some of them are gadwall, mallard, northern shoveler, Eurasian teal, tufted duck, common goldeneye, goosander, Eurasian coot and solitary snipe.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Lake Rara". World Lake Database. International Lake Environment Committee Foundacion - ILEC. Retrieved 6 July 2016.[permanent dead link]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Khadka, Madhukar. "Study of Himalayan Lakes in Nepal" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2013. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. "High Altitude Ramsar Sites of Nepal". The Initiation: 135–148. 2009. Retrieved 20 October 2013. {{cite journal}}: Cite uses deprecated parameter |authors= (help)
  4. "Rara National Park". HKH Conservation Portal. ICIMOD. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  5. Terashima, Akira (1984). "Three new species of the Cyprinid genus Schizothorax from Lake Rara, Northwestern Nepal" (PDF). Japanese Journal of Ichthyology. 31 (2): 122–135. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  6. Ohler, A., Dutta, S., Shrestha, T. K. (2004). "Nanorana rarica". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. International Union for Conservation of Nature.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

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