Khaptad National Park

Established in 1984 and with an area of 255 sq. km., Khaptad National Park is located in the far-western Nepal at an air distance of 446 km. from Kathmandu.

Geographic Features

The park covers a unique ecosystem of the mid-mountain region of western Nepal, and is situated at around 3000m. elevation The upland is a rolling plateau of grasslands intermixed with oak and coniferous forests.

Flora

There is a great variety of vegetation types ranging from sub-tropical forest in the lower altitudes to temperate forests on the Khaptad plateau. The most common tree species are chir pine, spruce, fir, maple, birch, alder and rhododendron. Dense bamboo stands (nigalo) and wide varieties of medicinal herbs occur in the park.

Fauna

The most common fauna in the park are leopard, Himalayan yellow-throated marten, Himalayan black bear, wild boar and dog, jackal, musk deer, goral, Himalayan tahr, wolf and common langur.

The common bird species include the Impeyan pheasant (danphe, Nepal's national bird), chukor partridge, kalij pheasant, Monal, red and yellow-billed blue magpie, nutcracker, flycatchers, thrushes, Himalayan griffin, cuckoos, finches, bulbuls, forktails, tits, wagtails and eagles. A wide variety of colorful butterflies, moths and insects are also important features of the Khaptad ecosystem.

Local Culture

A sacred zone has been set aside at the core area of the park which contains important religious sites, including the ashram of late Khaptad Swami, a renowned spiritual saint. This sacred zone is considered a place for meditation and tranquillity; therefore, consumption of tobacco and alcohol is prohibited. Similarly, killing of any life forms is also prohibited.


National Parks

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Home page designed by Charles Lin 1996
All photographs by Charles Lin 1996