Khaptad (Baba) National Park
Khaptad National Park is located in the mid-mountain region of Far-Western Nepal at an air distance of 446 km from Kathmandu. The core area is situated at the cross point of Bajhang, Bajura, Doti and Achham Districts of Seti Zone. The Park HQ. at Khaptad is about 50 km and 32 km walking distance respectively from Silgadhi town (Doti) and Chainpur town (Bajhang).
The park covers a unique ecosystem of the mid-mountain region of Western Nepal and is situated at around 3000 m elevation. The upland is a rolling plateau with grasslands intermixed with oak and coniferous forests.
The summer is cool and wet, whereas, the winter is cold and dry. The monsoon begins in June and ends in September with rainfall averaging less than 1000 mm. Occasional snowfall in winter with chilling wind is another characteristic.
Vegetation and Wildlife:
- There is a great variety of vegetation type ranging from sub-tropical forest in the lower altitudes (Jhingrana and Chaikot of Dopti) to temperate forests on the Khaptad plateau. The most common tree species are chirpine (Pinus roxburghii), spruce (Picea smithiana), fir (Abies spectabilis), maple (Acer pictum), birch (Betula utilis), alder (Alnus nepalensis) and rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.). Dense bamboo stands (nigalo) and wide varieties of medicinal herbs occur in the park.
- The most common fauna in the park are leopard (Panthera pards), Himalayan yellow-throated marten (Martes flavigula), Himalayan black bear (Sus scrofa), jackal (Canis aureus), musk deer (Mochus moschiferus), goral (nemorhaedus goral), Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), wolf (Canis lupus) and common langur (Presbytis entellus).
- The common bird species include the Impeyan pheasant (danphe), Nepal’s national bird (Lophophorus impejanus), chukor partridge (Alectoris graeca), Kalij pheasant (Lophuralleucomelana), Monal (Tragopan satyara), red and yellow-billed blue magpie (Cissa erythrorhyncapa & c. flavirostris), nutcracker (Nucifraga caryooatactes), flycatchers (Muscicapa & Muscicapella spp.), thrushes (Garrulax spp. & Zoothera spp.), Himalayan griffin ( Gyps himalayansis), cuckoos (Cuculus spp.), forktails (Enicurus spp.), tits (Parus spp.), wagtails (motacilla spp.) and eagles (Aquila spp.). A wide variety of colorful butterflies, moths and insects are also important features of the Khaptad ecosystem.
- Climatically the best times to visit the park are during spring (March-May) and autumn (October-November). The temperature during these times range from 10 – 20 C.
- A meditation zone has been set aside at the core of the park, containing religious sites and the ashram of Khapatad Swami, a renowned spiritual saint. The important religious sites are Tribeni, Sahashra Linga and the ashram. The religious center is considered as a place for meditation and tranquillity. Therefore, smoking, chewing tobacco and consumption of alcohol is prohibited. Similarly slaughtering of animal or killing any animals or birds are also prohibited.
How to Get There:
- Plane flight to Bajhang (Chainpur) from either Kathmandu, Nepalgunj, or Dhangadhi followed by a two-day walk.
- Plane flight to Doti (Dipaya) from places mentioned above, and a three-day walk.
- Plane flight to Bajura (Kolti) from above mentioned places and a four-day walk.
- Plane flight to Accham (Sanphebagar) from above places and a two-day walk.
- There is a fair weather motorable road from Dhangadhi to Dipayal via Bhasu Lekh. From Dipayal is a three-day walk to reach the park HQ. at Khaptad.
- No one should walk within the park after sunset or before sunrise.
- No one should stay overnight or use alcoholic beverages, eat meat, smoke or violate the peace of the meditation area in any way.
- Flora fauna of the park are fully protected and must not be disturbed.
- Visitors should be self-sufficient in every way, especially in fuel, before entering the park.
- Rubbish should be buried or disposed of in designate places.
- Trekking in Khaptad National Park is very interesting. Porters are usually available at the trek starting points with some exceptions. Trekkers should be self-sufficient with tents, fuel and food as there are no commercial lodges available inside the park.
Entry fees into Khaptad National Park:
An entry fee as per park rules should be paid at the entrance gates.
- National Park fees per person per entry:
- For Nepali Nationals Free
- For SAARC Nationals Rs 100
- For Foreign Nationals Rs 1000
- Children under 10 years Free