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Rara Jumla Treks

Jumla lies in remote Karnali region, about 600 km. north-west of Kathmandu. The region is made-up of high ridges covered with temperate forests and alpine pastures. This is the only part of Nepal where horses are bred. In the past, the area used to be famous for export of falcons. Long distance transport of goods is on the back of sheep and goats. Most people are Matwali Chhetri who use alcohol, do not wear the sacred thread. Jumla town (2,340 m) can be reached by regular air connection from Nepalgunj, whereas journey on foot entails about nine days.

Rara lake (2,980 m) lies north of Jumla and can be reached in four days. The lake, covering an area of eight square kilometres, is the largest in Nepal. Because of the richness of flora and fauna, the area was gazetted as Rara National Park in 1975. There is also a small airstrip on the south side of the lake. Numerous migratory birds visit the lake during April and November. The trek to Rara from Jumla passes through dense forests and alpine glades. The main villages on route are Urthu (2,520 m), Padmara (3,017 m), Bumra (2,830 m), Chautha (3,100 m) and Pina (2,430 m). There are two passes on the way. The first is Khali Langna (3,545 m) above Pina from where one can view Kagmara ranges to the east and Chyakhure Lekh to the south. The second is Ghurchi Langna (3,457 m) from where Mugu Valley and the mountains of Humla are visible to the north. Rara lake is about eight kilometres from Pine.

A more interesting return trip can be made by a different route. This western track passes accross Ghurchi Lekh at 3,749 metres and then to Ghorasain, Okharpati and Sinja. Sinja (2,438 m), a Thakuri and Chhetri village, used to be the capital of Malla Kings until the 14th century. Between Sinja and Jumla, there is a pass at 3,597 metres. Chere Chaur is a defightful alpine pasture overlooking Jumla valley below and snow of Chyakhure Lakh beyond.

 

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