Exploring Karnali: 11 destinations showcasing the province’s remarkable diversity

Rara lake - Karnali

The Karnali Province of Nepal is a raw and stunning gem. Its untouched landscapes are a feast for the eyes, offering something to captivate every observer. Yet, beyond its natural beauty, Karnali is steeped in a rich tapestry of civilization, literature, art, and culture that has the power to transport you back in time.

To gain a deeper understanding of these aspects, one must explore the various regions of Karnali. This province is often hailed as an undiscovered gem. Many believe that a journey through Karnali is synonymous with experiencing Nepal in its truest sense. To truly comprehend Nepal, a visit to Karnali is essential, as it vividly portrays the country’s rich diversity.

While it boasts two of Nepal’s finest lakes, Karnali also hosts a plethora of other monuments and destinations that have the power to captivate your soul.

Here are a few of them:


Kakrebhir is one of the prime tourist attractions of Karnali which is just a 15 minutes’ drive from Surkhet Bazar. Located in the middle of the dense forest, this stone temple is a common pilgrimage site for both Buddhists and Hindus. Also, visitors can get to see the artistic stone sculptures here.

There is a custom of taking vows by raising the flag at this temple. 

Bulbule Lake 

Another notable attraction in Karnali is Bulbule Lake, which has gained popularity primarily among domestic visitors.

In recognising the significance of this lake as a major tourist hub, the Surkhet Upatyaka Nagar Vikas Samiti has undertaken the construction of artistic structures, including a playground for children, a designated picnic area, and the installation of taps for convenience.

Rara Lake

File Photo

Rara Lake is believed to be the largest lake in Nepal. The lake is famous for its Snow Trout fish, which cannot be found elsewhere. When the weather is clear, the vibrant hues of Rara Lake captivate its visitors.

Rara is accessible by bus from Surkhet in one day. Alternatively, if you choose to fly, you can take a flight from Nepalgunj to Talcha Airport. From Talcha Airport, it is a two-hour walk to reach Rara. The prominent tourist destination, Rara, spans a length of 5 km and a width of 3 km. A complete circuit around the lake typically takes around five hours.

Sinja valley 

Sinja Valley
Sinja Valley

Sinja Valley in Jumla holds significant historical and tourist importance, as it is considered the birthplace of the Nepali language. It can be reached after a two-hour journey from the headquarters in Khalanga. Additionally, Rara Lake is accessible through Sinja Valley.


Panchakoshi is the primary attraction for tourists visiting Dailekh. Both Nepali and Indian visitors come here to witness the perpetually burning flame at the apex and navel of Panchakoshi. According to religious beliefs, offering worship at Panchakoshi brings blessings to fathers and fulfils one’s own desires, leading to personal peace and happiness.

Shey Phoksundo 

Shey Phoksundo Lake. Photo: Courtesy Mangal Lama
Shey Phoksundo Lake. Photo: Courtesy Mangal Lama

Shey Phoksundo is the deepest lake in Nepal. Situated in Dolpa, Shey Phoksundo is considered the second most important tourist destination of Karnali province. Shey Phoksundo, which is 11,800 feet above sea level, has a depth of 650 metres.

Phoksundo Lake is renowned for its stunning turquoise colour and breathtaking scenery, firmly establishing it among the most picturesque mountain parks worldwide. Phoksundo can travel throughout the year. But the best time to travel to the place is during spring and autumn.  

Limi Valley

Limi Valley is accessible from the district headquarters in Simikot, and the journey involves approximately a week of walking. The 11th-century Halji monastery, along with the smaller and larger monasteries in the village, are the primary highlights of the Limi Valley. Additionally, the rich presence of Tibetan culture adds to the allure of this location.

Limi Valley also boasts a distinct speciality in its collection of expensive sculptures and mythological architecture. Furthermore, it serves as an ideal destination for those seeking stunning natural and geographical scenery.

Pachal Waterfall 

Pachal Waterfall
Pachal Waterfall

The Pachal waterfall of Kalikot is the tallest waterfall in Nepal.  It has also been claimed that it is the tallest waterfall in Asia. Pachal waterfall with a height of 381 metres is among the 30 highest waterfalls in the world. 

This waterfall is located 18 km northeast of Manma, the district headquarters.

Jajarkot Durbar 

Jajarkot Durbar

Jajarkot district is abundantly blessed with natural resources, and it also boasts a diverse range of flora and fauna. Additionally, it thrives as a vibrant hub for art and culture. The historical Jajarkot Durbar stands as a major emblem of the district’s heritage. This 250-year-old architectural marvel holds immense artistic and historical significance. Situated midway from the district headquarters in Khalanga, Jajarkot Durbar remains a focal point of local heritage and pride.

Syarpu Lake 

Syarpu Lake
Syarpu Lake

Syarpu Lake, situated in Banfikot rural municipality, is accessible with a 2-hour drive from Khalanga, the headquarters of Rukum West. Covering an expanse of 2.6 square kilometres, the size of Syarpu Lake nearly doubles during the rainy season compared to winter.

This destination is cherished as a serene retreat from the hustle and pollution of urban life. Upon arrival, you’ll experience an instant sense of refreshment. Moreover, there are accommodation options available in the form of hotels and homestays near the lake for visitors.

Kupinde Daha 

Kupinde Daha can be reached after a three-hour drive from Surkhet. Kupinde Daha has become the first choice of many tourists due to its short distance, beautiful nature and low cost.

This place, which is about 24 km west of the district headquarters Khalanga, is very picturesque and attractive. Surrounded by mountains and hills, Kupinde Daha fascinates everyone. Kupinde Daha is spread over an area of ​​23.53 hectares. Its length is 834 metres, width 503 metres and depth 34 metres. Kupinde Daha is located at a height of 1,120 metres above sea level.

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Khatri is an Onlinekhabar correspondent in Surkhet.

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