Khaptad National Park is one of the protected area in Nepal, which lies in the far western region of Nepal. This park was established in 1984, and its elevation ranges from 1,400 m to 3,600 m. Khaptad National Park covers the area of 225 square kilometers and includes four districts Bajhang, Bajura, Acham, and Doti.
Khaptad National Park is known for its fantastic scenic beauty as well as the cultural history, which dates back from 1984. Khaptad National Park is believed to be established after the advice of the holy man, Khaptad Baba. There is a renowned Khaptad Baba ashram, which is a famous religious site where religious devotees come to worship Lord Shiva on the full moon of July to August each year.
Khaptad baba is one of the most renowned and most worshipped saints in Nepal. Before being a hermit, he was a doctor and researcher. He moved to Khaptad during the 1940s for solitary and spent the next fifty years of his life here. It is believed that not everyone gets an opportunity to visit this place. Only the ones who are called by Khaptad baba himself gets an opportunity to visit and enjoy the beauty of this place, and actually see the areas where he meditated and worshipped.
Climate in Khaptad National park
The climate of Khaptad National park is really cool and wet in the summers, where the temperature ranges from 0 to 20 degrees. During winters, the temperature falls below 20 degrees, which is basically very cool and dry. The monsoon begins from June to September, and because of the rain, the roads become really muddy and slippery. The best time to visit this place is during autumn (October to November) and spring (March to May).
Vegetation in Khaptad national park
Khaptad National Park has a really magnificent landscape, which consists of moorland, steep slopes, and streams. This park is known as a paradise for a botanist, as there are approximately 537 spices of the recorded flora within this region. Khaptad National Park has the subtropical vegetation’s which dominate the landscape.
Fauna diversity in the Khaptad national park
There are almost 287 birds including the migrating birds joining the residential birds. Some of the birds are Daphne (Impeyan pheasant) and many types of bulbul, cuckoos, eagles, etc. Khaptad National Park also has nearly 23 mammals, 23 amphibians, and reptiles. This park is famous for Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Wild deer, and Musk deer.
How to reach Khaptad National park
The best and easy way to reach Khaptad National Park is via Nepalgunj or Dhangadi. If one opts for Dhangadhi, direct buses are available from Silgadhi, Doti, and from there one has to take a hike for 6 hours towards the park entrance. From there, it takes 7 to 8 hours to reach the park headquarters. Another route is to take a flight from Nepalgunj to Dipayal, and move towards Silgadi or take a flight towards Accham or Bajhang followed by two days walk or take a flight to Bajura followed by a four-day walk.
Major tourist’s attractions in Khaptad National Park
Ashram of Khaptad baba
This ashram is the place where the famous baba Khaptad or the late Swami Sachchidanand resided. It is the place where he claimed his hermitage and spent the rest of his life devoting himself to God.
This is the famous religious stops, which come on the way reaching towards Khaptad. The temple of goddess Saileswari is located in Sigarhi, Doti along with the temples of Lord Ganesha and Masto.
This is a site, which is famous among Hindu because it is linked with the five cities related to Goddess Parvati.
Badimalika is famous among the Hindus believing it to be the site where the goddess Sati, Lord Shiva’s wife was reincarnated. This place has the temples dedicated to the goddess.
Surma Sarovar is a beautiful lake site, which is considered to be one of the major religious sites in this region. There is a temple dedicated to Surma Devi who is believed to be the reincarnation of Goddess Kali. This lake is 3 days trek from Khaptad.
Permits and fees
Khaptad National Park comes under the protected areas of Nepal. You have to get a permit from the government of Nepal to get into this park. For Nepalese citizen, the fee is 100 NPR per person and for the visitors from SAARC countries the fee is 500 NPR per person and for foreigners, the fee is 1500 NPR per person.