Khaptad National Park was established in 2040 B.S. (1984 AD.) situated in the Far-Western Development Region of Nepal. It preserves the unique and important ecosystem of the mid hilly region of western Nepal.
The area of this park is 225 sq. kilometers. Out of 225 sq. kilometers the area of the buffer zone is 216 square kilometers.
Khaptad National Park, Nepal
Khaptad National Park lies in the altitude ranging between 1450 and 3300 meters. It is spread in the district of Bajhang, Bajura, Doti, and Achham of Seti Zone. The Park Headquarter is about 50 km and 32 km walking distance respectively from Silgadhi town of Doti and Chainpur town of Bajhang. There are various kinds of vegetation and wild organisms.
Habitat diversity is found here. The park has coniferous forest, hardwood, mixed hardwood, scrub, and grassland. Chirpine, Spruce, Birch, Maple, and Rhododendron are important vegetation species of this park.
The barking deer, ghoral, common leopard, black bear, Himalayan thar, Himalayan langur, ratua, wild dog, wild cat, red monkeys are the wildlife found here.
Various kinds of butterflies are also found in this park. This is the habitat for beautiful and attractive birds like Danfe, Monal, etc. Besides these, a wide variety of herbal plants are also found here.
Khaptad national park is important for religious and social points of view. Tribeni, Khaptad Dah (lake), Sahasra linga, etc. of this area are the holy sites of Hindus.
Thousands of pilgrims gather in these places to celebrate religious occasions, the love of nature and popularly known as ‘Khaptad Baba’ had chosen this national park for his dwelling.
We all knew that the late Khaptad Baba (Swami) moved to the area in 1940′s to meditate and worship. He spent about 50 years as a hermit and became a renowned spiritual saint in the Hindu religion.
The Khaptad Baba Ashram is situated near the park headquarters. Shiva temple is on the way to Headquarters. This has certainly helped in this conservation of this park.
The climate of this park in summer is cool and wet, whereas in the winter season is cold and dry.
It is restricted to everyone that is No one should walk within the park after sunset or before sunrise.
Khaptad National Park (KNP) is the protected area which was established in 1984 on the advice of Khaptad Baba, who spent 50 years as a hermit and was a renowned spiritual saint. It is located in the far western province of Nepal 29 ° 17’41 “N latitude and 81 ° 13’43” E longitude at an average altitude of 3000 m above mean sea level. It expands in an area of 225 km2 (87 square miles) that extends over four districts: Bajhang (3%), Bajura (37%), Achham (20%) and Doti (40%).
Khaptad Baba Ashram is located within the Khaptad National Park and is now a religious site for Hindu pilgrims, especially on the full moon day in July and August. Khaptad Baba lived in Triveni, located within the national park, and was known as a philosopher, doctor, scientist, and astrologer.
It was established in 1984 of the Holy Man Khatpad Baba region. The famous Khatpad Baba Ashram is a religious site where Hindu pilgrims come to worship Shiva.
Additionally, Khaptad Baba moved to the area in the 1940s to meditate and worship. Khaptad baba spent about 50 years as a hermit. Then, he became a renowned spiritual saint. Furthermore, the rich spiritual history and surprising flora and fauna beauty of this region attract many people every year.
The vegetation in KNP includes the pine-rhododendron forest, the oak forest and the Himalayan fir- hemlock and oak forest and the alder forest in the riverine zones. KNP includes vertically distributed ecological zones ranging from approximately 1250 m to 3276 m. KNP comprises 346 species of flowering plants.
The flora of the park can be divided into three basic vegetation zones which are subtropical, temperate and subalpine. The forest comprises temperate mixed broadleaf species, temperate mixed evergreen species and higher temperate broad species such as oak, Rhododendron spp. which are the upper dominant species and firs, birches, etc.
The vegetation of Khaptad is made up of different types of trees and plants and one of them is oak, they cover most of the land and help the ecosystem of flora and fauna to flourish.
Throughout the riverine zones, there are alder forests. Alders are deciduous trees. The leaves of alder are alternate, simple, and serrated. Flowers are catkins with elongated male catkins on the same plant as shorter female catkins, often before the leaves appear; They are mainly pollinated by the wind, but are also visited by bees to a small extent.
The park offers a rewarding experience unlike any other protected area in Nepal. The Tribeni confluence consisting of three rivers and a Shiva temple are on their way to the park headquarters.
During Jestha Purnima, Ganga Dashahara is celebrated here and many pilgrims visit the park during the festival. Sahashra Linga is another religious site located 3,200 m above sea level, which is the highest point in the park. Other religious sites include the Ganesh Temple, Nagdhunga and Kedardhunga.
These areas are considered places of meditation and tranquility and should not be disturbed. Tobacco products, alcohol, and animal sacrifice are prohibited in these areas. To the north you can see the Saipal Himalaya mountain ranges.
In the other direction, you can clearly see the vast green hills of Nepal. There are 22 open patches of grasslands mixed with the forests within the park. The local population grazes their cattle in the grasslands during the summer season.
In the northeast part of the park, there is a lake called Khaptad Daha. During the full moon from August to September a festival called Purnima is celebrated.
The seasons of spring (March0-May) and autumn (October-November) are the best times to visit the park. During these seasons, the temperatures are pleasant for hikers. The temperature ranges between 10 ° C and 20 ° C, offering a pleasant climate for trekking.
The monsoon begins in June and lasts until September, during which time the roads become muddy and slippery. From December to February, winter brings snow and icy winds. During the summer (June – September) the temperature ranges between 0-20 degrees Celsius.
While in winters (December – February) the temperature is usually below 20 degrees Celsius. The monsoon begins in June and lasts until September, making the roads muddy and slippery. From December to February, the icy wind brings snow.
There are very few accommodation options available around the national park. If travelers can find some accommodations on their way, Dipayal and Silgadhi National Park. Accommodations are not very expensive. Since Khaptad National Park is a trek, many travelers choose to camp.
There are some hotels near the Lokhada and Jhigrana entrance gate. Within the park there are two hotels and cabins with basic facilities. A 20-bed hotel in Khaptad and a 10-bed hotel in Bichpani. Hikers are advised to bring some food, sleeping bags, and warm clothing during the visit.
The guesthouses and the army headquarters in the park take care of the park and the visitors. They provide place and food, but if travelers are in the mood for camping, they should bring their own equipment and food.
Khaptad is known to have 372 species of plants and flowers and 125 species of herbs such as Kalkut, Paachaule, Niramasi, etc. The park has 355 species of vascular plants. The vegetation within this park includes chir-pine, rhododendron forest, oak forest and Himalayan fir-hemlock-oak forest, and alder forests in riverine areas.
The park provides habitat for 23 different species of mammals including herbivores, deer, wild boar, goral, serow, musk, rhesus monkey, common leopard, leopard cat, golden jackal, etc. The avi-faunal diversity in the park is unparalleled in Nepal and is one of the most important bird areas in the Khaptad National Park.
About 287 bird species are reported in KNP, such as the Impeyan Pheasant Hill partridge, the Serpent Eagle, the Kalij pheasant, the Indian Cuckoo, the Red-billed Magpie, etc. In the Khaptad National Park, about 23 amphibians and reptiles are found.
Areas of Interest
Ashram of Khaptad baba
The Ashram of Khaptad Baba, as its name proclaims, is the area where the famous Khaptad Baba (last Swami Sachchidananda) resided. The Ashram located in Tribeni is an important destination for pilgrims and tourists visiting Khaptad.
The meditation area includes temples from the Lower Tribeni. There are no restrictions for visitors. However, in the central zone, grazing of animals, cutting wood and activities such as drinking alcohol, smoking and slaughtering animals are prohibited.
The Khaptad Baba Ashram is located near the park headquarters, which is named after the late Khaptad Swami who came to the area in the 1940s. The Ashram was used for meditation.
He spent about 50 years as a hermit and became a renowned spiritual saint among followers of Hinduism. He was a spiritual saint who traveled throughout the high mountain region of Nepal and temporarily settled in Ilam and then travelled in Kalinchowk, Swargadwari, Mushikot, Chandannath and finally in the Khaptad Valley in the 1940s for meditation and worship.
He lived for over fifty years in the valley and overlooked the establishment of the Khatpad National Park in 1984. He is revered as a Hindu saint. Inside the national park, there are a hermitage, temples and stone statues, and it also contains Khatpad Lake.
There are several activities that can be done in this natural paradise. At least explored, with immense potential in the far west hills, this region offers the best experiences yet. The pristine cultural values of this region are equally popular.
The most famous religious stops on the way to Khaptad from Attariya Chowk, Kailali is Saileswori. The Goddess Saileswori temple in Sigarhi, Doti, is made up of temples dedicated to Ganesh and Masto. Silgarhi Bazaar, which is a historic city, is the main business center of the far west of Nepal.
Surma Sarovar is the beautiful lake in the Bajura district and is considered sacred by Hindus. A temple dedicated to Surna Devi is located near the lake. The lake can be reached after a 3-day walk from Khaptad National Park.
Surma Sarovar is an eloquent lake and has a religious temple of the goddess Kali. The views of Mount Kailash are also spectacular from Surma Sarovar.
Ramaroshan in Achham district is also called Pancha Pura (five cities) in Hindu scriptures and is attached to stories from the Paranian Era. The site is famous for the five historical cities connected with stories of the Goddess Parvati.
There are 12 lakes in Khaptad National Park that are good places for bird watching. There are also ruins of old historical buildings that make this region archeologically important.
Sahshra Linga which is situated at 3,276 m above sea level is the highest point in the park. Other religious areas include the Ganesh Temple, Nagdhunga and Kedardhunga.
Since these areas are considered places for meditation and tranquility, they should not be disturbed. Tobacco products, alcohol, and animal sacrifice are prohibited at these sites.
A small museum at headquarters introduces visitors to the park. Near the headquarters, a viewing tower offers a beautiful landscape of the Api-Saipal Himalayan range. In the other direction, the vast central green hills of Nepal can be seen more closely.
There are enchanting views of the Himalayas and the ideal time to visit is from April to October in Badimallika. The area can be reached from Khaptad National Park by hiking for 8-10 days through remarkable landscapes of green forests and pastures. Badmallika houses the Mallika Devi temple (4,153m) in the Bajura district. The Goddess Sati, the consort of Shiva, is believed to have been reborn as Parvati in this holy place.
On the way to the park headquarters, at the confluence of three rivers, known as Triveni, is a temple of Lord Shiva. The panorama of Triveni is surprising with other historical temples. Ganga Dashahara, a sacred performance, is marked here during Janai Purnima (full moon day). Many pilgrims make a sacred visit to Triveni to worship God Shiva on this occasion.
How to get there
Khaptad National Park is located in the Seti area and is surrounded by Doti, Bajura, Bajhang and Achham districts. The gateway to Khaptad is the Silgarhi Bazaar in the Doti district, from where the park headquarters is 50 km and almost a 2-day walk.
Khaptad National Park can also be easily reached from the western entry point to Nepal from India at Gadda Chowki, Mahendranagar. From Mahendranagar, Silgarhi Bazaar is approximately a 10-hour drive, while Mahendranagar is just a 30-minute drive from the Indian border city of Banbasa.
From the indian broder, buses depart to Delhi every hour of the day. Buses from India also go directly to Dhangadhi, from where travelers will have to take 9 hours to reach Bajhang. From Bajhang, the trek begins to reach the national park.
The best way to get to Silgarhi is through Attariya Chowk in the Kailali district. From Attariya chowk, Silgarhi Bazaar is a 9-hour drive. Buses to Attariya Chowki, Kailali, are available from the central bus station, Gongabu, in Kathmandu, and from Attariya chowk, transportation to Silgarhi is available.
Another option is to take a flight to Dhangadi from where you can drive to the Silgarhi Bazaar. Travelers can go directly to Dhangadhi Airport in Nepal and from there they must take a local taxi to Bajhang. From Bajhang, the trek begins to reach the national park.
- Khaptad National Park trek
Khaptad National Park is very popular for hiking. The Khaptad National Park hike is a short distance along with medium to easy hike. It starts from Dhangadhi and ends at Silgadhi. Khaptad offers a difficult trekking experience because it could be a remote part of Nepal.
Well, it is one of the easiest places for hikers within the western development region for those who want to explore different places and get out of the housing estate for a few days.
It’s understandable that if you have a tendency to explore the park or maintenance space, you can be on foot or in a positive way. Also, this place is rattling for hikers.
Well, if you want to trek to the current place where you want to start early as you tend to understand that inopportune weather is comfortable to walk in and you could walk fast and also get fresh air.
As already mentioned before, Khaptad National Park has a large number of birds. It makes this park an ideal place for bird watching. Once travelers reach the top, in the national park, they can begin to observe nature and the beautiful creatures it has created.
The things you can do at Khaptad Park are see the variability of the birds. People simply travel to Khaptad to watch the birds. Here we can notice a spread of birds during this park.
The varied number of birds that can be obtained within the park is another attraction for the traveler and, therefore, the noise of the birds is very melodic and pleasant too.
Khaptad National Park which is located within the way that western development is aligned within the five districts. The park is located within the Seti area of Nepal. Khaptad National Park also has a spiritual value. Because Khaptad has exposed several healthy floras during this space, we can also see various environments during this area.
The park also contains many spiritual places and a depository as well. Due to the ashram and the park deposit, there is also a cultural diversity in this space.
The Dasara festival was held in mid-April in Khaptad. People from all over the region come to celebrate, wearing their traditional clothing, showing their diverse culture. Deuda (special culture of the far west), chutkila and mangal also reflect the unique culture of the region.
Marsi rice also comes from this region. The villages of Meltadi and Daru in the rural municipality of Channa are famous for their organic Marsi rice that can be served together with nettle, dhakaya, jarko (lentils), organic potato, choto (a special type of radish vegetable found in the Himalayas), buckwheat, bethe’s chutney (local spinach) and bhaang (herb seed).
Khaptad yogurt is known for its different flavor. Local farmers claim that it has stimulating qualities. They connect this with cattle that graze on herbs with hallucinogenic properties. Buttermilk and Khaptad
ghee are also popular. Different menus in the Sudurpaschim region add manna (rice), Batuk bread, chukani and gharya bread which is accepted at local hotels in and around Khaptad.
Yoga and Meditation
Khatpad has great religious value. In 1940, a saint, popular as Khaptad Baba, came and started living and discovered many medicinal herbs as well. This place is so quiet that we can only hear our own breathing while mediating. Therefore this park and especially the ashram is popular for yoga and meditation.
The other cause for people to go to this Khaptad National Park is API excellence and Saipal vary of chain. People while walking or trekking during this place can also see the mountain range which has added the extra scent to the park.
While exploring this place in so much western development region provides people with the feeling of not only Annapurna and Machhapuchhre but more than that.
- Sacred Hermitage of the late his Holiness Khaptad Baba Sri Paramhansa Swami Sachudananda Sarawati.
- Panoramic view of the Saipal and Api Himalaya mountain ranges and Khaptad patan.
- Famous religious sites of great religious beliefs are Maikothan, Natteshwori, Tilikh Mandir Sahashralinga, Triveni Mandir, Malika Mandir, Ganesh Mandir, Valaune Bhagbati, and Sita Paila.
- Meditation sites of great importance: Kedar Dhunga, Nag Dhunga, Bhim Ghatta, Chhinte Dhunga, Jethi Baurani Dhunga and Roti Chelthre.
High altitude sickness (HAS) can affect whether elevation is obtained too quickly without adequate acclimatization. Symptoms are headache, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, nausea, and general fatigue. If someone develops these signs and symptoms, stop immediately! If symptoms persist, descend to a lower elevation.
The main achievements of the Khaptad National Park (KNP) are:
- A separate KNP regulation formulated in 1987
- Declaration of a KNP buffer zone in 2006, and activation of a buffer zone management committee, user committee and user group.
- Consolidation of the Park People Program (PPP) through the immediate start of the Participatory Conservation Program after the elimination of the PPP Project (DNPWC / PCP, 2002).
- Commitment to the park’s ethics: five people involved in illegal activities were arrested in 2000-2001 (DNPWC, 2003a).
- Preparation of a strategic framework and management plan of park management.
- Inclusion in the national list of tourist destinations of the Nepal Tourism Board.