National Parks in Nepal
National Parks Nepal covers mainly forested land and are located at various altitudes in the Terai, in the foothills of the Himalayas and in the mountains, thus encompassing a multitude of landscapes and preserving a vast biodiversity in the Palearctic and Indomalayan ecozones.
Khaptad National Park
First of all, Khaptad National Park lies in Far-Western Region of Nepal with an area of 225 sq km. It is a mid-mountain region ecosystem with an unparalld topography within Nepal. It became national park in 2042 B.S. (1984 AD) which extends to the area of Bajhang, Bajura, Doti and Achham districts in the far western region.
Similarly, the speciality of this national park is its great religious importance besides the natural charm and richness. The park got its name from sage Khaptad Swami. Khaptad swami, an uncommon saint arrived at this national park in 1940s (AD) to stay, perform meditation and penance ever after his life then. Swami spent around fifty years of his life in this region. The major religious locations within Khaptad national park are: The Khaptad Ashram, Tribeni, Shrine of Shiva, Khaptad Sahashra Linga etc. Large numbers of pilgrims throng around these religious sites during various religious occasions like Jestha Purnima (in Ganga Dasahara festival). There is strict restrictions for Alcohol, tobacco products and animal sacrifice in these areas.
Furthermore, Khaptad National Park offers spectacular panoramic view of Api and Saipal Himalayan Range and lush green and rolling hills. It holds unique pastureland in several places called Patan. These places invite temporary stay of cowherds during favourable weather of summer season with their animals.
Moreover, as per the topography and climatic condition of the park, Khaptad consists of large varieties of flora and fauna. Basically this region has got sub-alpine vegetation. Some of the major species of vegetation found here are montane sal, pine, oak, fir, birch rhododendron, maple, spruce, hemlock, Lindera nacusua, Cinnamomum tmca etc. There are about 135 species of flowers with the grassland flowers like primulas, buttercups and wild berries. It also has 567 species of medicinal herbs.
Similarly, there are 266 species of birds. Some of them are impeyan pheasent(Danphe), many varieties of patridges, flycatchers, bulbuls, cukoos and eagles.There are twenty different species of mammals. Some of them are deer, wild boar, Ghoral, Himalayan black bear, Yellow throated marten, Rhesus, Langur, Leopard, Wild dogs, Jackal, Musk deer etc.
Routes to Khaptad
Air route to Nepalgunj- Local buses from Nepalgunj to Silgadhi Doti followed by about six hours walk from Silgadhi to park border and about 8 hrs walk to park headquarter. Or Air route to Dipyal followed by three days. Air route to Achham or Bajhang and two days walk or flight to Bajura followed by four days walk. Air route to Dipyal and Accham are not regular and reliable
There are no good hotels and lodges for accommodation so one should manage his/her stay oneself. Altitude sickness is the dangerous health hazard in case of rapid ascending upward.
Rara National Park
First of all, Rara National Park lies to the north-western region of Nepal extending from the upper-hilly region to to mountain region. It was gazette as national park in 2032 B.S. (1976 AD). It has total area of 106 sq km covering some parts of Jumla from Mugu district. Large portion of Rara National park lies in Mugu on the lap of majestic Himalayas with lush green forest around the awesome natural grandeur of the beautiful Rara Lake (a mountain lake).
Similarly, the center of focus in this park is the lake Rara which offers the name of the national park itself. It is also the home for unique Himalayan ecosystem, rich in flora, fauna and scenic grandeur. Rara Lake lies at the altitude of 2990 m with maximum length of 5 km, width 3 km and 167 m depth. To the north of the lake lies Mt. Ru Kandha (6731 m) and Malika Kandha and to the south lies Chuchemara Peak. It is the largest lake of Nepal. One can have a breathtaking view of azure water, green landscape of pine forest and snowcapped peaks. The Mugu-Karnali river valley appears like a paradise. Mugu-Karnali River is a natural outlet of Rara Lake.
Furthermore, Rara has alpine climate which is extreme cold during winter. Temperature goes down below freezing with heavy snowfall about one meter, often blocking the routes and passes. Summer season is relatively warmet September, October, March to May are the favorable months to visit there.
Flora and Fauna
Moreover,t he dominant vegetation of the Rara is the blue pine. There are several species of Rhododendrons. Others are fir, oak, birch, spruce, etc.
Furthermore It is the home of 20 different species of mammals which include musk deer, Himalayan black bear, Jackal, Himalayan Thar, Leopard, Yellow Throated Marten, otter, wild dog, langur, Rhesus macaque, red panda etc.
Similarly, Rara is the home for 272 species of birds like coots, snow cock and various species of pheasants, grebes, red-crested pochard, gulls, mallard, common teal and some migratory birds.
Rara National Park lacks the sufficient and appropriate lodges and hotels for tourists.
Route to Rara
Furthermore, it is about two and half days walk from Jumla or 10 days walk from Surkhet. The fastest route is the air route via Nepalgunj, Surkhet to Talcha followed by 4.5 hrs walk to the park headquarter.
Shey-Phoskundo National Park
First of all, Shey-Phoskundo National Park lies to the north-western part of Nepal extending from upper hilly region to mountains. This is the largest national park of the country. It lies in Dolpa and Mugu district of Karnali Zone. Shey Phoskundo has got Tibetean type of climate. It is a sample of trans-himalayan ecosystem. Mountains like Kanjirowa (6866 m) Sikalpo Khang (6556 m) and Wage Peak are the prominent peaks of this region. It was gazette as National Park in 2040 B.S. (1984 AD). It has a total area of 3555 sq km.
Moreover, Shey-Phoskundo Lake, Shey Monastery and a unique site of Tibetean culture are the specialty of this park. Thashung monasteries and number of other monastaries are the centers of Buddhist learning.
Furthermore, the human settlements in this area have a direct influence of Tibetean culture and religion. The people of this region are followers of animism and Buddhism (Bon-po religion). Considerable number of monasteries, chortens, thanka paintings and Tibetean trade by caravans are the special features of this region.
Similarly, Climatically, Shey-Phoskundo observes severe cold climate in the winter where temperature decreases down from freezing-point with heavy snowfall. Relatively, monsoon wind affects the lower parts of the park more.
Furthermore, One can enjoy the trekking adventure around Ringo or Foksundo Lake but only group trekking is allowed for trans-himalayan trekking in inner Dolpa.
Flora and Fauna
Similarly, Due to the sub-alpine and alpine climate there is diverse ranges of vegetation in this climate like silver fir, juniper, salix, rhododendron, caragana shurbs, and white himalayan birch.
Other animals are blue sheep, ghora/, leopard, jackal, Himalayan black bear etc. There are 6 species of reptile and thirty-two species of butterfly including the highest flying butterfly in the world named Pasalasa nepalaica. There are more than two hundred species of birds. Some of them are like yellow-throated Marten, Tibetan Partridges, wood snipe, white throated tit, wood accentor, Crimsonearned rosefinch etc.
The Route to Shey-Phoskundo
Air route to Nepalgunj and to Juphal in Dolpa followed by 3 hours walk to park at Suligad.
Moreover, few lodges are available there with limited supply. High altitude sickness can affect the health in case of random ascending to the higher altitude without acclimatization.
Bardiya National Park
First of all, Bardiya National Park lies in Mid-Western Terai. Initially it was established in the name of Karnali Wildlife Reserve in 2032 B.S. (1976 AD) later it was developed into Bardiya Wildlife Reserve. It was gazette as national park in 2045 B.S. (1988). It has a total area of 968 sq km which is the largest National park of terai region representing a terai eco-system. It lies in Bardiya district occupying certain portion of the Karnali River.
Its location in terai region, dense forest with patches of grassland inside the forest, tranlocation of one-horned rhinocerous from Chitwan National Park, a prefect home for endangered species hke Royal Bangal Tiger, wild elephant, greater one-horned rhinoceros, Swamp deer and black buck are the notable specialties of Bardiya National Park. Similarly, The park has tropical climate exceeding 40c temperature in the summer.
Flora and Fauna
Similarly, Sal forest. coversm ore than two third of the park vegetation. Rest of the part is grassland and riverine forests.The Park is the paradise of animals where endangered species hke Royal Bengal tiger, elephant, one-horned rhinoceros, swamp deer, gharial, crocodile, Marsh mugger and Gangetic dolphin. The endangered birds found in the park are Bengal florican, lesser florican and Sarur Crane. There are other birds like herons, egrets, blacknecked stork and little pratincole in the riverine forest shore of the Karnali River. Migrating birds are also seen in the park. About 56 species of mammals, 438 species of birds and several species of reptiles are found in the park.
Similarly, there are facilities of varieties of hotels and lodges. One can have facilities of communication, general health check in a community health post nearby and transportation.
Route to Bardiya National Park
Everyday air and bus services are available from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj and regular bus services from Nepalgunj to Thakurdwara.
Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park lies in the southern central and inner terai of Nepal. This National Park is not only of Nepal but world’s natural treasure since UNESCO declared CNP in its world heritage list in 1984 recognizing its precious eco-system. Moreover it is the first national park of Nepal gazetted in 1973 (2030 B.S.) with an area of 932 sq km extending to Chitwan, Xlakawanpur, Nawalparasi and Parsa districts. It has its expansion over Chure Hill, Rapti Valley and some major parts of Narayani and Reu rivers.
Similarly, the park has diversified land forms within its limited area from subtropical lowland to 800 m altitude like marshland, river banks, hills, rivers, valleys, savanna, grassland and dense deciduous forests. National park is largest home of one-horn rhinoceros. Especially the area south of the Rapti River is the habitat or the sanctuary of rhinoceros.
Furthermore, the winter season from October to February has mild temperature maximum to 250 whereas, summer days are scorching hot exceeding 400 C. Months from June to September are characterized by the flow of monsoon wind with heavy rainfall with hot and humid atmosphere.
Flora and Fauna
Furthermore, the park has diverse and most valuable eco-systems like hill eco-system, marsh, to river eco-system. It consists of tropical and sub-tropical forest. Sal trees covers two third of the forest. About 20% of the park is grassland. There are more than 68 different types of grasses including elephant grass about 8 m in height.
Similarly, the park hosts 6 species of mammals, 544 species of birds and 55 species of amphibians and reptiles. The endangered species are one-horned rhinoceros, Gaur, Royal Bengal tiger, wild elephant, four horned antelope, Pangolin, golden monitor lizard, python etc. Furthermore, the birds include Bengal florican, lesser florican, giant hornbill, black stork, white stork etc.
Almost,the native inhabitants of Chitwan are the Tharus. Similarly, Tharus are traditional farmers and famous for their unique culture. Their traditional stick dance is vibrant and lively.
Furthermore, the park offers Jungle Safari adventure riding on the back of the elephant. It enables to have a close view of one-horn rhino and elusive Royal Bengal tiger. Similarly, the elephant breeding center at Khorsor, Sauraha offers a chance to get information on domesticated elephant and their breeding phenomenon. The shrine of Bikram Baba and Balmiki Asharam are important religious sites in National Parks. The Gharial breeding center is the other unique location where one can see the human effort to conserve aquatic eco-system.
Most of all, Chitwan offers varieties of hotels, lodges and restaurants for tourists.
Route to Chitwan is the easiest one. Furthermore, there is availability of regular bus services as well as air services from Kathmandu.
Photo : goo.gl/Hnrk7O
Text: NEPAL Resources & Destinations | First Edition | 2012 & https://goo.gl/hZmaQ7