Protecting Rara from the future
"After a steep
climb through a scented pine forest, suddenly through the curtain of
lichen you see the sun flashing on the lake's ripples. On the
pebbled shore of Rara, we soak in the sight of the inky blue water
reflecting the snow mountains and sky beyond. Words fail you, and
you are reduced to clichés: picturesque, magnificent, breath-taking.
But you understand just how fragile this beauty is because Nepal's
largest lake is located in its poorest and most remote district. But
a new road is snaking up the ridges and has nearly reached Rara's
eastern shore. At the airfield at Talcha, excavators snarl as they
claw into the mountainside to lengthen the runway".
"Rara's serenity and splendour is so lovely it makes your heart ache to think how vulnerable it has become. As the sound of diesel engines gets closer, you wonder how long this wilderness will remain a wonder.
The lake has three endemic species of trout found nowhere else in the world. Nearly 270 out of the 867 species of birds found in Nepal nest here. The pine, juniper and spruce forests are a treasure trove for medicinal herbs, and abound in musk deer, red panda and mountain goats".