Khaptad National Park

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Khaptad National Park

Khaptad National Park(KNP) is the protected area that was established in the year 1984 on the advice of Khaptad Baba who spent 50 years as a hermit and was a renowned spiritual saint. It lies 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 225km2 (87 square miles) stretching over four districts Bajhang(3%), Bajura(37%), Achham(20%) and Doti(40%). Khaptad Baba Ashram lies inside Khaptad National park and is now a religious site for Hindu pilgrims especially July and August full moon day. Khaptad Baba lived in Triveni located inside the national park and was known as a philosopher, physician, scientist, and astrologer.

The other important place of religious attractions are Sahasralingam Mandir, Nag Dhunga, Triveni, and the Khaptad Lake. Overall, Khaptad National Park is one of the holiest national parks in Nepal. Khaptad National Park connects the heart of the nature lovers.

khaptad national parkThe park has 355 species of vascular plants. Vegetation inside this park includes chir-pine, Rhododendron forest, oak forest and Himalayan fir-hemlock-oak forest and alder forest in reverie areas. Among 23 mammalian species of the park are leopards, Himalayan black bear, wild dog and musk deer. And also the park is home to 287 bird species with both migratory and residents. Some of the bird symbolic of the park are implying pheasant, Peregrine falcon, and vulture.

Vegetation

Vegetation in KNP includes chir pine-rhododendron forest, oak forest and Himalayan fir-hemlock-oak forest and alder forest in riverine areas. KNP includes vertically distributed eco-zones ranging from about 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. subtropical, temperate and sub alpine. the forest comprises temperate mixed forest broad leaved species, temperate mixed evergreen species and upper temperate broad species such as oak, Rhododendron spp. are the upper dominant species and fir, birch etc.

OAK FOREST

The greenery of Khaptad comprises of different types of trees and plants and one of them is oak tree, they cover the majority of the land and helps the eco-system of the flora and fauna to flourish.

ALDER FOREST

Along the riverine areas, there are alder forest. Alders are deciduous, and the leaves are alternate, simple, and serrated. The flowers are catkins with elongate male catkins on the same plant as shorter female catkins, often before leaves appear; they are mainly wind-pollinated, but also visited by bees to a small extent.

Faunal Diversity

MAMMALS

The park provides habitat for 23 different species of mammals among herbivores barking deer, wild boar, goral, mainland, serow, musk deer, rhesus monkey, common leopard, leopard cat, golden jackel etc.

BIRDS

The avi- faunal diversity at the park is unparalleled in Nepal and is one of the important birds area of Khaptad National Park. About 287 species of birds are reported in KNP such as Impeyan pheasant Hill partidge, Creasted serpent eagle, Kalij pheasent, Indian cuckoo, Red billed magpie etc.

FISH, AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES

About 23 amphibians and reptiles are found in the Khaptad National Park area.

khaptad KNPFloristic Diversity

VASCULAR PLANTS

Khaptad is known to have 372 species of plants and flowers and 125 species of herbs like Kalkut, Paachaule, Niramasi, etc. From the headquarters of Khaptad National Park, you can visit other destinations like Trivenidham, Khaptad Baba Ashram, Khapar Daha, Sahastra Linga and Ghode Dahunne.

ENDEMIC PLANTS

The flora of the park can be divided into three basic vegetation zones. subtropical, temperate and sub alpine. the forest comprises temperate mixed forest broad leaved species, temperate mixed evergreen species and upper temperate broad species such as oak, Rhododendron spp. are the upper dominant species and fir, birch etc.

Topography

The park is located 29°17’41” N latitude and 81°13’43” E longitude at an average altitude of 3000 m above sea level. The park offers a challenging yet rewarding experience unlike any other protected area in Nepal. In the other direction the vast green mid-hills of Nepal can be seen clearly. There are 22 open patches of Patans (pasture land) mix together with the forests inside park. The local people graze their livestock in the Patans during the summer season. In the north-eastern part of the park, there is a lake called Khapad Daha.

beutiful Khaptad National park areaClimate

The seasons of spring (March-May) and autumn (October-November) are the best times to visit the Park. The temperature ranges from 10°c to 20°c offering pleasant trekking weather. The monsoon begins in June and last until September during this time paths become muddy and slippery. From December to February winter brings snow and chilling winds.

Accessibility of Khaptad NP

The best way to reach the park is to fly to Dhangadi from Kathmandu(1 hour flight) and there are public buses as well from Kathmandu to Dhangadi (15 hours). There are two main entrance gates to the park.
From Dhangadi, local buses and local van can be taken to Silghadi Doti via. Syaule, Dadeldhura (6 hours) from Silgadi to Jhigrana entrance gate local jeep takes 1 hr. 30 min. from Jhigrana to Khaptad headquarter one has to hike 6-7 hours.
From Dhangadi local buses can be taken to Chainpur Bajhang via. Syaule Dadeldhura (12 hours) . Local jeep takes 30 min to get Tamel bazar from chainpur . Tamel bazar to Darughaun 1hrs. 30 min. drive by local jeep from Darughaun to Lokhada entrance gate is 2 hrs. walk. Lokhada to Khaptad headquarter 3 hours by walk.

खप्तड रास्ट्रिय निकुन्ज Significance

The Park offers a challenging yet rewarding experience unlike any other protected area in Nepal. The Khaptad Baba Ashram is located near the Park headquarters. The Tribeni confluence made by three rivers, and a Shiva temple are on the way to Park Headquarters. Ganga Dashahara is celebrated here during Jestha Purnima and many pilgrims visit the park during the festival. 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 tranquillity and should not be disturbed. Tobacco products, alcohol, and sacrificing of animals are prohibited in these areas. There is a small museum and a view tower at the park headquarters. To the north one can see the Api and Saipal Himalayan Ranges- In the other direction the vast green mid-hills of Nepal can be seen clearly. The Park contains 22 open patches of grasslands or patans interspersed with the forests. These patans consists of gentle rolling hills. The local people graze their livestock in the Patans during the summer season. In the north-eastern part of the Park, there is a lake called Khaptad Daha. During the full moon of August – September a festival is held here.

Krishnasar Conservation Area

 

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