Explore the Stunning View of Khaptad National Park in Far Western Nepal
The park covers the unique mid-mountain ecosystem of western Nepal with the plateau of grassland and forest cover at an elevation of about 3000 meters. The vegetation ranges from the subtropical forest at lower altitudes to grasslands and oak and coniferous forests on the uplands. The most common type of tree species is chirping, sprume, fir, maple, birch, older, rhododendron, etc. Dense bamboo (nigalo) stands and wide varieties of medicinal herbs occur in the park. The fauna includes leopard, black bear, musk deer, Himalayan yellow throated marten, Ghoral, Himalayan Thar, and others. Some of the birds in the area like Impeyan pheasant, Partridge, red and yellow billed magpie, Kalij pheasant, Kokals and Himalayan Griffon. A wide variety of colorful butterflies, moths, and insects is also an important feature of the Khaptad ecosystem.
The core area of the Khaptad is much religious importance. It includes the Ashram of Khaptad Swami, a renowned spiritual saint, which is situated inside the park.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. A small serene lake and the swampy area called Khaptad Daha is a religious site where Hindu pilgrims come to worship Shiva on the full moon of July-August each year. Therefore, all the vices of modern society such as alcohol, cigarettes, and tobacco, violence and killing are prohibited. Except these on clear days it is possible to see the awesome Himalayas (SAIPAL HIMALAYA, 7000m) in the back ground and on the foot trek to national park, see village life that is not mentioned in the guide books, stay with local families that work and provide Nepal’s real face to you as you continue to the park’s headquarter.
There are 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 the 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.