The main Lake’s southern tip is close to the East-West Highway between Nepalgunj and Dhangadhi. It takes 1,5h to drive from Dhangadhi and 2h from Nepalgunj to reach the Lake.
The Ghodaghodi Lake is a wetland jewel in the flatland of the Far Western Terai. It is the main lake of a wetland complex that consists 13 large and shallow lakes and ponds like Nakhrodi Lake, associated marshes and meadows. Together, they form a wetland corridor connecting the Royal Bardia National Park with the Royal Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve. The Ghodaghodi Lake Area has been protected under the Ramsar Convention since 2003.
Ghodaghodi Lake Area is an important habitat for birds in Nepal. It acts as staging posts for migrating wetland birds and is a home for both, resident and wintering species. A total amount of 140 bird species has been recorded in the lake area, including the globally threatened “Lesser Adjudant” and near-threatened “Darter”. The area is also a habitat for endangered and vulnerable mammals and reptile species including Bengal tiger, smooth-coated otter and marsh crocodile.
The lake’s name is derived from the Nepali word for “horse”. According to legend, God Shiva and Goddess Parvati used to turn into horses and circle around the lake. Ghodaghodi Lake is still an important place of worship for the local Tharu people. A small temple is located on the bank of the lake and many Tharus gather during the Agahan Panchami and Maghi Festivals. They offer horses, elephants, and tigers made from clay to Goddess Gauri Mata at the lake, so the Goddess will make their wishes come true. It is a living tradition so there are a lot of clay horses in the temple.