Khaptad National Park

Khaptad National Park is situated in the mid mountain region of Far-Western Nepal. The park was gazette in 1984 covering an area of 225 sq. km. The proposed area of buffer zone is 216 sq. km. The vegetation of the park varies from sub-tropical in the lower altitudes to temperate forest with grasslands on the Khaptad plateau. The common tree species are rhododendron, chir pine, spruce, fir, maple, birch and alder. Dense stands of bamboo (nigalo), prairie flowers, and a variety of medicinal herbs occur inside the park.

The common mammals of the park are Leopard, Musk Deer, Goral, Yellow-Throated Marten, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan Tahr and Langur monkey. The common bird species include Impeyan pheasant (Danphe), Chukor, Partridge, Kalij Pheasant, Monal, red and Yellow-billed Blue Magpie and Himalayan Griffin. A variety of colorful butterflies, moths and insects are also found here.

The core area of the park is an important religious site. The park is home to the Ashram of Khaptad Swami, a renowned spiritual saint, along with other religious areas and temples. The best way to reach the park area is to fly from Nepalgunj to Dipayal and the local buses are available from 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.