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Khaptad National Park

Khaptad National Park

KHAPTAD NATIONAL PARK -1984 ( Area 225 sq. kms.)
Khaptad National Park is located in the Far-western region of Nepal. The park was gazetted in 1984 covering an area of 225 sq. km. The area of buffer zone is 216 sq.km.  The park is the only mid-mountain national park in western Nepal, representing a unique and important ecosystem. The late Khaptad 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.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01 Arrive in Kathmandu
Arrive in Kathmandu. Welcome and Assistance on arrival at Airport. Transfer to Hotel. Hotel Check in. Dinner and overnight stay at Kathmandu.
Day 02 Kathmandu - Mahendranagar.
Early morning drive from Kathmandu to Mahendranagar about 12 hrs. Overnight stay at Mahendranagar.
Day 03 Royal Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve
Drive to Royal Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve. Full day safari. Overnight stay at tented Camp.
Day 04 Silgadhi
Drive to Silgadhi, camping and overnight stay at Silgadhi.
Day 05 trek to Jhigrana.
After breakfas, trek to Baglek for about 3 ½ hrs. Lunch at Baglek (2160m).After lunch 3 ½ hrs trek to Jhigrana (2300m), camping at Jhigrana.
Day 06 Jhigrana - Bukipani
4 hrs trek from Jhigrana to Bichpani Dharmashala(2950m), Lunch at Bichpani (3020m). After lunch two and half hours trek to Bukipani. Camping at Bukipani.
Day 07 Bukipani – Khaptad National Park (3010m)
2 hrs trek to Khaptad (3010m). Afternoon visit khaptad National Park
including Baba Ashram, Triveni . overnight camping at Khaptad National Park.
Day 08 Khaptad National Park
Full day at Khaptad including visit Tower, Mueseum, Khaptad Dan da and patan etc. camping and overnight stay at Khaptad.
Day 09 Trek back to Jhigrana (2300m)
4 hrs trek to Bichpani (3050 m).After Lunch 2 ½ hrs trek to Jhigrana. Camping at Jhigrana (2300m).
Day 10 Jhigrana -Shilgadi
4 hrs trek Uditola, Lunch in Uditola (1790m). After lunch, 1 hrs trek to Shilgadi, Camping at Shilgadi (1330m).
Day 11 Kathmandu
Drive to Dhangadhi and fly to Kathmandu. We return to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. Here you will be greeted and transferred back to your hotel in Kathmandu. Arrival times back into Kathmandu vary, however it is usual to arrive back at your hotel by mid-afternoon.
Day 12 Kathmandu
AM: Breakfast at Hotel. Visit 2000 years old shrine Swyambhunath Temple, which is also known as temple of monkeys. It is said that Asoka paid a visit to the site 2000 years ago. By 1200s it was an important Buddhist center. Visit colorful Durbar square known as Hanuman Dhoka Palace, Temple of living goddess Kumari, Jagannath temple known for its colorfully painted wood carvings and Kasthamandap temple a three story pagoda style. It is believed that this temple is built from single tree in the 12th century.
PM: After Lunch, Visit Old Royal Palace of Patan City including Krishna Mandir which is the best example of stone architecture in Nepal, 12th century Mahaboudha known in english as Golden temple of 10,000 Buddha Shikar style temple originally built in 1585. Dinner and overnight stay at Kathmandu
Day 13 Departure to Airport
AM: Breakfast at Hotel. Free time till departure to Airport.
 
Features
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 Saipal Himalayan Ranges- In the other direction the vast green mid-hills of Nepal can be seen clearly. There are 22 open patches of Patans  (pastureland) 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 Khaptad Daha. During the full moon of August - September a festival is called Purnima celebrated  here.
 
Climate
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.
 
Flora & Fauna
The flora of the park can be divided into three basic vegetation zone's-subtropical, and temperate. In the lower altitudes (1000 - 2000 m), subtropical vegetation dominates the landscape; Forest mainly consists of Montane Sal, Pines and Alder species. From 1800 - 3000 m temperate type dominates the landscape.

The forest there are comprised of lower temperate mixed broad-leaved species (Lindera nacusua, Cmnamomum tamca. etc), temperate mixed evergreen species (Spruce, fir, hemlock, oak. etc), and upper temperate broad-leaved species (Aesculus indica, maple, etc.) Fir oak, birch, and rhododendron arc the major species found there. Intertwined into the landscape of the Khaptad plateau are the Patans (pastureland) with beautiful flowers (about 135 species) that bloom in the summer and late spring. The grassland flowers consist of primulas, buttercups, and wild berries. A wide variety of medicinal herbs (about 224 species) are occurr inside the park

The park is reported to have 266 birds species with migratory birds joining the residential ones. It supports about 175 breeding birds’ species. Some of the common ones are the Impeyan, pheasant (Dhanphe), Nepal's national bird, and many types of partridges, flycatchers, bulbuls, cuckoos, and eagles. A wide variety of butterflies, moths, and insects are also forming a part of the Khaptad ecosystem. The park provides habitat for some 20 different, species of mamals. Common ones include barking deer, wild boar, goral, Himalayan black bear, Yellow-throated Marten, and Rhesus and Langur monkey. Other includes leopard, wild dogs, jackal and musk deer.
 
Facilities
Currently there are no lodges or hotels in the park. Trekkers must be self- sufficient in tents, food, fuel and all other supplies. Make sure to bring a first-aid kit because there are no medical facilities available within the park.
 
How to get there
The best way to reach the park area is to fly from Nepalgunj to Dipayal and the  local buses are available for Silgadhi, Doti. From Silgadhi Bazzar one has to hike 6 hours to the park entrance and another 7-8 hours to the Park Headquarters. Other options are-flight to Dipayal followed by a three-day walk, or flight to Achham or Bajhang followed by a two-day walk, or flight to Bajura followed by a four-day walk. However, Dipayal and Accham airport are rarely open.

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