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Jumla, on the banks of the Tila River, is one of the highest rice growing areas in the world. The Tila Valley as well as the Sinja Khola Valley are covered with paddy fields growing the 'Kala Marci' rice variety, a unique red rice that is sought after for its special taste. Jumla is a zonal headquarters of the Karnali zone. It has a STOL airport, Jumla Airport, and the road network first reached it from Surkhet in May 2007 It is the usual starting point for treks to Rara Lake.
In the western part of the country, Jumla & Rara lie in the remote Karnali region, northwest of Kathmandu. The Rara region is made-up of long ridges covered with temperate forests and alpine pastures enclosing high valleys. Summer rainfall is low, but winter snow can be heavy and persistent. Since the region is fairly high and free from monsoon thunderstorms, the summer season is ideal for trekking. Winters are cold, but the autumn seasons trekking is rewarded with a profusion of alpine flowers.The trail is very much "off the beaten path" and affords glimpses of culture and scenery very different from those in the rest of the country.
The centerpiece of the park is the biggest lake of Nepal. Along mountain paths and a series of picturesque villages, one reaches the magnificent banks of Rara Lake. The park includes Trans- Himalayan valley with high ridges covered with forest and alpine pastures. Being among the local people with their distinctive culture and traditions gives the visitor a unique experience and makes for a wonderful holiday. The primitive people give the trekker a look backward and a chance to reflect on his own modern society and development. The great high mountains scenery enchants and fascinate as always. Like most of Nepal, Rara National Park is a naturalist's dream. Animals like the gaur, serow, musk deer, yellow-throated martin and a wide variety of birds such as the impeyan pheasant, Kalij and dove are ever present.
Rara National Park is located in northwest Nepal, about 500 Kilometers from Kathmandu. Most of the park including Lake Rara lies in Mugu district, with a small area in Jumla district too. Rara National Park is the smallest park in Nepal (106 sq. km) but ironically includes the biggest lake in Nepal called Rara Lake (10.8 sq. km) at an elevation of 2990 m. The lake is oval shaped and has a maximum length of 5 km and a width of 3 km. The idea of the park was conceived way back in the year in 1967 but was much delayed. The elevation of the park ranges from 1800 meters at its lowest point to 4048 meters. The river valley that cuts through a ridge forms the natural boundary to the park.
Typical of mountains, the flora of the park comprises mainly coniferous trees. Somewhat similar to the Sagarmatha National Park, the area around the lake is dominated by Blue Pine up to 3200 meters. Some of the other plants that are common in Rara National Park include Rhododendrons, Black Juniper, Himalayan Spruce, Oak and Himalayan Cypress. Above this elevation a mixed Coniferous forest of Pine, Spruce and Fir replaces the vegetation. At about 3350 meters they give way to Fir, Oak and Birch forest.
As far as the fauna of Rara National Park is concerned, it serves as an ideal habitat for Musk deer. They can be found in abundance in every part of the National Park. Some of the other animals that are commonly found in Rara National Park include Himalayan Black Bear, Leopard, Musk Deer, Goral, Jackal, Himalayan Tar, Yellow Throated Marten, Wild Dog, Wild Boar, Languor, Rhesus Macaque and Otter. Among the birds, the most common species that are found in the Rara National Park are Gallinaceous Birds and Migrant Waterfowls. Coots can be found plentiful in the lake, year round. Some of the other species that have a sizeable population in the Rara National Park include Great-crested and Black-necked Grebes, Red-crested pilchards, Mallard, Common Teal, Merganser, Gulls, Snow Cock and Partridges.
Village Development Committees VDC's of Jumla District:
|Garjyangkot||Ghode Mahadev||Gothichaur||Haku||Kalikakhetu||Kanakasundari||Kartik Swami||Labhra|
|Lihi||Mahabe Pattharkhola||Mahadev||Mahat Gaun||Malika Bota||Malikathota||Narakot||Pandawagufa|