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 of 13 large and shallow lakes and ponds, including Nakhrodi Lake and other marshes and meadows. Together, they form a wetland corridor connecting Bardia National Park with the 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 a staging post for migrating wetland birds and is home to both native and overwintering species. A total amount of 140 bird species have been recorded in the lake area, including the globally threatend (vulnerable) “Lesser adjutant” and the near-threatend “Darter”. The area is also a habitat for other endangered and vulnerable mammals and reptiles, including the Bengal tiger, the smooth-coated otter and the mugger crocodile.
The lake’s name is derived from the Nepali word for “horse”. According to the legend, God Shiva and Goddess Parvati used to turn into horses and circle around the lake. Today, Ghodaghodi Lake is still an important place of worship for the local Tharu people. A small temple is located on the banks of the lake. Many Tharus gather during the Agahan Panchami and Maghi Festivals. Here, they offer horses, elephants, and tigers made out of clay to the Goddess Gauri Mata in order for their wishes to come true. Since this is still a tradition today, a lot of clay horses can be found in the temple.