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.
The 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.