Khaptad National Park, located in Nepal’s far western area, is a hidden gem which is incredibly beautiful.Because of its remote location, this park remains underrated and untouched which has truly made this park capital of flora and fauna.Khaptad National Park also has 567 flower species, as well as several bird, animal, and sub-alpine forest tree species.Khaptad National Park is truly a sweet treat for the nature lovers.
Khaptad National Park is located in the mid-mountain area of Nepal’s far-western region, spanning four districts: Bajhang, Bajura, Achham, and Doti. The park was created in 1984 and covers an area of 225 square kilometers. The buffer zone covers an area of 216 square kilometers. It has an elevation range of 1,400 m to 3,300 m.
Khaptad National Park was named after a hermit named Khaptad Baba or Swami Sachchidananda.In the 1940s, Khaptad Baba came to the region to meditate and pray who became a famous saint spending almost 50 years in isolation in this region. The Khaptad Baba Ashram, located near the park’s headquarters, is a popular Hindu holy destination.
Biological Diversity in Khaptad National Park
Known for its natural beauty and biological diversity, Khaptad National Park represents a unique and important ecosystem.The region’s richness is a key basis for its recognition as a flora and fauna capital.
The National Park is well renowned for its herb garden, which has over 224 types of medicinal plants. The greenery descends from the steep hills to the moorland like a green blanket. The protected region has a lovely range of sceneries, including green hills. Khaptad National Park has 567 kinds of flora, as well as various species of birds, animals, and sub-alpine forest trees.
Lower altitude forests (1000-2000 m) are dominated by Montane Sal, Pines, and Alder species. Lower temperate mixed broad-leaved species (Lindera nacusua, Cmnamomum tamca, etc.), temperate mixed evergreen species (Spruce, fir, hemlock, oak, etc.), and upper temperate broad-leaved species (Aesculus indica, maple, etc.) dominate the forest between 1800 and 3000 m. The main species found there include fir oak, birch, and rhododendron. Primroses, buttercups, and wild berries are among the grasslands flowers.
Similarly, with 270 bird species, the park provides great bird watching opportunities. The park is home to a variety of birds, including the Impheyan pheasant (Himalayan Monal), partridges, flycatchers, bulbuls, cuckoos, eagles, Peregrine falcon, white-rumped vultures, and others. Similarly, Khaptad is excellent for observing wildlife like as leopards, Himalayan black bears, wild dogs, musk deer, barking deer, langur monkeys, and so on. The park is home to 23 different kinds of animals. Similarly, the park is home to around 20 distinct mammal species. Common ones include barking deer, wild boar, goral, Himalayan black bear, yellow-throated Marten, and Rhesus and langur monkey.Leopards, wild dogs, jackals, and musk deer are among the other species.
The wide range of natural beauty and the isolated wilderness will take tourist to a different place. It is an ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers seeking a true wilderness experience.
Things to do in Khaptad National Park
The natural diversity makes Khaptad National Park an ideal place to visit and enjoy your holidays by being one with nature. Here are the several things that you can plan to do in this region:
- Trekking: The Khaptad National Park is very popular for trekking.Trekking in the remote region enjoying the fresh air while surrounded by wilderness is a dream come true for a trekker. The Khaptad National Park Trek is a short and medium to easy trek. It starts from Dhangadhi and ends at Silgadhi. Trekking in this region sure is a heavenly experience.
- Bird watching:As previously stated, the Khaptad National Park is home to a 270 species of birds. It makes this park an excellent spot for bird watching. Large variety of birds keeps visitors entertained for every single moment during their visit here. When visitors reach the top, they may begin to observe nature and the magnificent species it has produced.
- Religious visit:Khaptad region has its importance as a religious site along with its natural offerings. Visiting religious sites such as Khaptad Baba Ashram and Triveni Temple is popular choices among religious visitors. Sahashra Linga is another religious site situated at 3,200 m above sea level which is the highest point in the park. Other religious places include Ganesh temple, Nagdhunga and Kedardhunga. These areas are considered as places for meditation and tranquility and should not be disturbed. Tobacco products, alcohol, and sacrificing of animals are prohibited in these areas. Similarly, during the full moon to Shiva in August and September, local people pray in the national park’s buffer zone. During this period, interesting rituals take place.
How to reach Khaptad National Park
- By air – The easiest way to reach the national park is to take a flight from Nepalgunj to Dipayal. From there we catch a local bus that leaves for Silgarhi, Doti. After reaching Silgarhi Bazaar one has to hike for about 6 hours to reach the entrance gate of Khaptad National Park. After walking for another 7-8 hours, we reach the Park’s headquarters. Besides that, we can also catch a flight to Dipayal and embark on a three-day walk, or fly to Accham or Bajhang after which we trek for straight two days. One can also reach Khaptad by taking a flight to Bajura and then walk for four days. However, note that the airports at Accham and Dipayal are rarely open.
- By road- Buses go from Kathmandu’s new bus station to Attariya Chowk in Kailali. Silgarhi Bazaar is around a nine-hour trip from Attariya Chowk. The park headquarters are 50 kilometers from Silgarhi Bazaar. The park is also accessible from Nepal’s western entrance point at Gadda Chowk, Mahendranagar. Silgarhi Bazaar is around a ten-hour trip from Mahendranagar.
When is the Best time to Visit?
The seasons of spring (March-May) and autumn (October-November) are the best times to visit the park. Monsoon in Khaptad starts from June and ends around September during which the trails become muddy and slippery. Winter in the region starts from December and lasts till February during which one experience snowfall and chilling winds.The temperature in Khaptad ranges between 10°c to 20°c, which is considered ideal form tourists who look forward to trekking.
Make sure to visit Khaptad National Park – Capital of flora and fauna, during your holidays.