Bewitched by a Sublime Beauty

Text by Ravi Joshi

Bewitched by a Sublime Beauty

The remarkable journey to Rara began from Naya Bus Park, Kathmandu, at approximately 2:00 p.m. Finally, I was about to initiate a dream that had chased me for a real long time. Two of my dearest friends were also an important part of this enlightening experience. It was the month of October, 2016, and spring and autumn are regarded as the best seasons for trekking in Nepal. We reached Surkhet the next day, and had an early morning breakfast. The highway that links the towns of Jumla, the Karnali capital, and Surkhet is Karnali Highway. Karnali is the largest zone of Nepal.

Next day, we had an edgy ride to Kalikot that was not so enticing. It takes around ten hours to reach Kalikot from Surkhet. Finally, we arrived to a mesmerizing sunset in Kalikot at 5:00 p.m. Kalikot is one of the most attractive districts of Karnali Zone, but being a rural area, it lacks many urban facilities. Yet, you can find reasonable food and accommodation. The third morning, we woke up at 5:00 a.m. and had a nutritious, organic breakfast and clicked some pictures of the mesmerizing sunrise. The next six-hour ride led us to Jumla, an exceptional place that lies at an elevation of 2514 meters and offers a phenomenal view.

Good hotels/motels are available at Jumla, so you can find one that fits your budget. We were very exhausted and bus-lagged from the prolonged bus trip, so we decided to take a day of rest at Shrestha Hotel, which is just nearby Jumla airport. We took a walk around the place and snapped a few pictures that day. We were eager to start our trek, so we packed our stuff and had a good meal, and then took a sound sleep. The next morning we had a healthy breakfast, and all geared up for the trek, we checked out of the hotel around seven and bought some general medicines from the local pharmacy.

A beauty so mesmerizing!

Our trek had officially started! The first ascent was to Danphe Lagna, which is situated at 3,500 meters. Never agree to the trek time frame suggested by the local people, as they suggest the probable time according to their own walking capability. Five hours of ruthless ascending got us to Danphe Lagna. The breathtaking view of the gigantic grasslands of Danphe Lagna will relieve any weariness you might have from the lengthy five-hour walk. It's about three hours’ downhill walk to Nyaurighat from the Danphe hilltop. The fourth day, we walked a lot, but the immense calling of Queen Rara kept us going. The merciless walk finally came to an end, and it was pitch dark while climbing the cliff of Kaabra. It was hard for us to see any sign of a settlement. Fortunately, we found ourselves a roof at a homestay in a village somewhere between Kaabra and Chautha. We had walked for twelve hours that day, and finally, it was a great pleasure to get something to eat and some place to rest. The ayurvedic tea offered by the landlord was such a relief.

It was the fifth day, and our objective was to reach Rara by dawn. We packed our stuff, had breakfast, and left the place early morning around six-thirty. The walk was blessed with the heart-touching sound of birds, insects, rivulets, and the forest. The army checkpoint is in the middle of Chautha and Rara National Park. Queen Rara is preceded by gorgeous grasslands; and their beauty is beyond explaining. We had our lunch around 2:30 p.m. in a motel on the side of the main roadway that leads to a place from where you will have to walk for two hours to get to Rara.

The moment finally arrived when I glanced at her beauty. She was right there in front of me, and she was so mesmerizing. It is the biggest and the deepest fresh water lake in the Nepal Himalaya. My eyes went wide when I first saw her. Her profound beauty was so satisfying that I almost forgot my own identity. But, I suddenly remembered that it was getting darker, and still it was a half-an-hour walk to the hotel. There are just two hotels on the bank of Rara Lake, and both of them were packed due to the excessive flow of domestic tourists, but fortunately, we had a room already booked by Nature Visit Travel and Tours, Kathmandu. We had a great dinner that day.

We were very happy by that divine accomplishment, but too tired due to the long rough walk we did that day, thus we had a sound sleep. We woke up late the next morning, and as I took a step out of my hotel room, I was hypnotized for a while. A tremendous dark blue lake caught my eyes and stole my heart. She was more beautiful than the blue diamond in an engagement ring. My heart was so relieved, and that day I came to know the real definition of the word "trance." We explored around that day, did some boating, and took some amazing pictures. We spent hours gazing at her beauty, and I never wanted to come back from that place. I was madly in love with her beauty. We stayed at Rara for two days and three nights, and now it was time to wave her a heartfelt goodbye, which was a very emotional moment of my life. With a promise to return, we left Rara on the eighth day of our journey and moved towards Talcha airport, which is a two-hour easy walk. We took a flight to Nepalgunj the next morning, and a night bus to Kathmandu from Nepalgunj the same day.