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Tourists complain of mismanagement in Rara

A scenic view of Rara Lake from Marma Tower of Mugu, on Sunday, November 13, 2016. The trekking route to Rara has been criticised lately for not facilitating tourists adequately. Photo: THT

Rara (Mugu), November 14, 2016: Tourists trekking to the country’s largest lake Rara have complained of management problems on the trek to the lake.

“There are no publicity materials or guideline maps. There are no proper roads either,” complained both domestic and foreign tourists visiting the lake.

Tourists have to walk the trails in Bajura, Kalikot, Jumla, Humla, and Dolpa to reach Rara. Although the option of flying to Talcha Airport in Mugu from Nepalgunj and Surkhet is available, tourists face difficulties due to a lack of maps, clear routes, and accommodation facility.

It takes three hours to reach the lake on foot from the airport.

Social activist Gopal Bam complained that although Nepal Tourism Board spends millions of rupees in publicity and development of different tourism destinations every year, it has done nothing remarkable in Rara.

Santosh Bam, a tourist from Nepalgunj, said that they had lost their way for three hours in a forest area on the way. “The accommodation on the trail is also bad,” complained Bam.

Another domestic tourist Bishal Adhikari, who came from Pokhara to see the beauty of Rara, said that there was not direction map, signs indicating distance and estimated time from one place to another on the way to Rara. “The support staff also demand unnecessarily exorbitant wages and there are equal chances of being looted,” complained Adhikari.

Although Nepali Army personnel have been deployed for the protection of the largest lake, there are no police posts.

As per the record at Rara National Park, more than 60 tourists, both domestic and foreign, visit the lake every day.

“The only hotel in the vicinity of the lake, is packed most of the time. Many tourists have no option but to take shelter under makeshift tents,” said Deepak Mahatara, a local.