An exciting trip to picturesque far west Nepal- KHAPTAD


Last summer I spent a week of my summer vacation visiting the breath taking beauty of Khaptad with my closest friends and my cousin. What I had in mind was we are heading at far west and we will get familiar to the lifestyle and surrounding by spending few days to know the authentic Nepal. But just like a book can’t be judged by its cover similarly we didn’t know until and unless we had a trip to this region to know that heavens fall here, Khaptad was truly a nature’s stunning paradise after all seeing is believing.

When we reached Khaptad, by starting a long travel in our SUV and taking the routes of Attariya, Khanidanda to Jhigrana and making to Khaptad our long our of drive with breaks in between to stop by for tea and lunch which we had carried in bulk because we felt that it was required during a long trip. Upon arriving, the exhilarating beauty of this district took us by surprise. The steep slopes with verdant vegetation, the sub-tropical lower altitudes to the temperate forest around the plateau , bio-diversity of this remote region offering stunning views of Api and Saipal Himalayan range s, open patches of grasslands, local people of this area were all basking after few hours of sunrise. We visited the Khaptad national park momentarily after we checked in to a nearby hotel which was pre-booked for us by my father near the National park office. While Khaptad was peaceful and scenic exploring Khaptad National Park was virtually going to the Wild West, it took us nearly 8 hours to come to Bichpani. Crossing the bridge the snow patched lands, heavenly meadows heightened our spirits. The path from Beach patan to Khaptad patan with jungle trails until our arrival made our journey deeper. We were totally engrossed by our excursion and wilderness followed us every time.

Khaptad to us was jeweled evergreen region worthy for making a trip. Covered in four districts Bajura, Doti, Bhajang and Achham the place has 22 beautiful grasslands Patans which are splendid. Flowers and greenery filled our eyes. We also visited the Khaptad Lake at Kaptad National Park. It is believed every full moon in August a big festival called Dashara Mela takes place and marks a pilgrimage for Hindu devotees. We were earlier than that but the sparkling fresh water of the lake in the backdrop of Himalayas was timeless and we couldn’t help gushing how beautiful is our Country, naturally. We knew that jungles were covered with medicinal herbs though we didn’t identify one; it was holy Khaptad Baba a renounced hermit medicated here for many years and discovered many herbal plants. Khaptad daha is a holy site. It is believed your sins are washed away if you take a dip. One of my friends did it sportingly while we just soaked our feet in the water. We also saw the wild horses grazing on the lush green pastures. The grasslands were also known to be the home of different animals like foxes, bears and deers. Though we didn’t encounter one, we felt pretty safe while taking a stroll. The park officer were very helpful to familiarize us on the surroundings, name of trees, plants and herbs and their medicinal benefits, birds calling during the day, the silent but picturesque place illuminated our spirits and rejuvenated us as we made our way back from the far west to the east in Kathmandu Valley. We discussed this brief yet fulfilling encounter to the jeweled village of Khaptad. Naturally stunning, green grasslands Khaptad is one of the best places to visit between the months May to August. The elevation of Khaptad is around 2900meters to 3200meters. It takes 32 kilometers from Chainpur to reach this place. From Silgudi you will have to walk 50 kilometers to reach here.

If you are taking a holiday in Nepal, I recommend visiting Khaptad. The travel agencies give you packaged tour with itinerary and make accommodations for you to have a memorable trip to far west Nepal. I felt the change and I surely hope you will enjoy too.

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