Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park located at North East India is one of the most popular ecological sites in the Indian subcontinent. The national park is popular for hosting the two-third population of the One-horned Rhinos in the world. Established during the British Raj in 1908, it boasts the most varied flora and fauna in the entire nation.


Overview

Kaziranga National Park 430 km2 is located in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam, India. The park is located on the edge of Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot. Even though it was established in 1908, the park was added to the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO only on 1985.

Kaziranga
Kaziranga

The park is popular for hosting the largest amount of One-horned Rhinos along with Royal Bengal Tigers. Kaziranga is home to the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world, and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006.

The park experiences 3 different weathers; Summer, Monsoon and Winter. During Monsoon (Jul-August), most part of the park is submerged into water, due to rising level of water from rainfall and flooding.

History

The history of the national park dates back to 1904 when Mary Curzon, Baroness Curzon of Kedleston and the wife of the then Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon of Kedleston, visited the area. After failing to see a single rhinoceros, for which the area was renowned, she persuaded Lord Curzon to take immediate measure to protect the lessening Rhino species in the region.

On 1 June 1905, the Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest was created with an area of 232 km2.

One Horned Rhinos

[Full Article One-horned Rhino]

There are over 2,200 One-horned Rhinos in the Kaziranga area, approximately 2/3 of their entire population. One Horned Rhino is endemic to Indian subcontinent. Found mostly in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, they have been listed in the IUCN Red list for the most vulnerable animals, and only about 3,000 are left in the wild.

One-horned Rhino at Kaziranga
One-horned Rhino at Kaziranga

Rhinos are one of the most hunted and poached animals in the history. The passionate hunters from 20th Century reduced their numbers from thousands to mere few hundreds.

The activity of rampant poaching which started in the 1990s made them even more scarce. They were being mostly poached for their horns, which are believed to carry medicinal qualities. The local authorities and UNESCO helped prevent poaching in the Kaziranga park. Today, it boasts the most amount of Rhinos in the world.

These rhinos live in tall grasslands and riverine forests but due to habitat loss they have been forced into more cultivated land. They are mostly solitary creatures, with the exception of mothers and calves and breeding pairs, although they sometimes congregate at bathing areas.

Preservation

Kaziranga contains significant breeding populations of 35 mammalian species, of which 15 are threatened as per the IUCN Red List. It is also home to a variety of migratory birds, water birds, predators, scavengers, and game birds.

Four main types of vegetation exist in this park. These are alluvial inundated grasslands, alluvial savanna woodlands, tropical moist mixed deciduous forests, and tropical semi-evergreen forests. The park is mostly an expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests.

The area is controlled by the Government of Assam. They receive financial aid from the state government and the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change of India.

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Langtang National Park

Langtang National Park is located inside Langtang region of western Nepal. The fourth national park of Nepal is also the first Himalayan national park, and the expanse of the park reaches 3 different districts. It is also home to one of the rarest animals in the world; Red Panda.


Overview

Langtang National Park was established in 1976 as the first Himalayan national park in Nepal. It covers an area of 1,710 kmand covers 3 different districts, namely; Nuwakot, Rasuwa and Sindhupalchok.

Kyanjin Gompa
Kyanjin Gompa

The area extends from 32 km north of Kathmandu to the Nepal-China border. The inhabitants of the region are culturally Tibetan and are mainly the adherent of Buddhism.

While the main reason for the park is to preserve the natural environment, an equally important goal is to allow local people to follow traditional land use practices that are compatible with resource protection.

Tamang tribe of people are the major inhabitants of the region, followed by Sherpas. The former were the followers of Bon religion, which later got assimilated into Buddhist teachings.

Wildlife & Vegetation

Around 25% of the park area is forested. The northern part is mostly covered by mountains. The region is home to wild dog, red panda, pika, muntjac, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan tahr, ghoral, serow, rhesus monkey and common langur.

The most available vegetation at lower Langtang regions are Oaks, Chirpine, Maple, Fir, Blue pine, Hemlock spruce and various species of rhododendron.

Langtang Lirung

Langtang Lirung
Langtang Lirung

Langtang Lirung is the highest mountain located inside the park. Par of the Langtang Himalayan range, it is measured at 7,234 meters. It’s included in the short peaks of Nepal and is opened for climbing.

It was first climed in 1978 by Seishi Wada and Pemba Tsering, from a Japanese-Sherpa expedition, via the East Ridge route.

Trekking

Langtang makes up for one of the most sought for trekkings in Nepal. A comparatively shorter trek than Everest and Annapurna, the highest you may reach during the trek is 4,983 m at Tsergo Ri.

The trek may last anything from 11 to 15 days, and it may take you to Gosainkunda lake, Tsergo Ri and Kyanjin Gompa.

The region was heavily devastated during the major earthquake of 2015, however, the locals have rebuilt the region, and today it’s is fully operational. Langtang Trek is suitable for all kinds of hikers. You must be accompanied by a guide to enter the region; a strict policy maintained by the government of Nepal in light of unforeseen accidents in the region.

From mid-October to mid-December and from mid-February until mid-April the weather is usually clear but cold at higher elevations. From mid-April to mid-June, it is warm but often cloudy with thunder showers, spring flowers are at their best.


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Khaptad National Park

Khaptad National Park is a protected area located in the far-western Nepal. It was named after the renowned saint Khaptad Baba, who made it his home. It lies far from Kathmandu and many other cities, hence, the local culture and lifestyle inside the park remains well preserved.


Overview

Khaptad National Park is a protected region and a national park located in the far-western region of Nepal. It was established in 1984 and falls under the IUCN Category II. The national park spans 225 kmand covers four different districts; Bajhang, Bajura, Achham and Doti.

Khaptad's landscape
Khaptad’s landscape

The area also attracts the Hindu pilgrims during the Janai Poornima, which falls on July-August. The pilgrims arrive at Khaptad Baba Ashram and stay overnight to observe the full moon; they then worship Lord Shiva.

The park contains Chir pine at lower altitude, and sub alpine forests of fir, hemlock, oak and rhododendron in the higher areas. It also boasts 224 species of medicinal herbs.

It is estimated that about 567 species, 11 percent of flowering plants of Nepal, are found in Khaptad.

You can find around 270 species of birds in the area, some of which includes; Impheyan pheasant, partridges, flycatchers, cuckoos and eagles. It also boasts indigenous wildlife; barking deer, wild dog, wild boar, ghoral, Himalayan black bear, yellow-throated marten, Rhesus monkey and Macacques.

The entry fee for SAARC nationals is $1, and $10 for Non-SAARC nationals.

History

The park was named after Khaptad Baba. It was on his advice, that the state decided to establish a protected region. Khaptad Baba or the Late Swami Sachchidananda moved to the area in the 1940s to meditate. He lived 50 years as a hermit and became a renowned spiritual saint. Many devotees visited him during the heyday.

Today, an Ashram remains inside the park to commemorate the late saint. Khaptad Baba Ashram remains open for any visitor.

Another major religious destination inside the park is the Badimallika temple. The temple is dedicated to Mallika Devi. It is believed that Goddess Sati, Shiva’s consort, was reborn as Parvati in this holy area.


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National Park Entry Fees – Nepal

Park entry permit is a must to enter any National park, conservation area or wildlife reserve in Nepal. The entry fee may differ according to the security and state provided status of the region.

Please refer to the table below for details about payment. Please note that the information below is as per the information provided by the concerned department. Any difference or discrepancy could be reported at info@ntb.org.np. NPR 102 = USD $1


S.No Parks Nepali SAARC International Free Pay
National Parks that are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Natural)
1 Chitwan National Park NPR 100 NPR 750 NPR 1,500 Below 10yrs At entry point
2 Sagarmatha National Park Free NPR 1,500 NPR 3,390 (Inc. Vat) Below 10yrs DNPWC Counter, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu Or Entry Point Monjo
Other National Parks
3 Bardiya National Park NPR 50 NPR 500 NPR 1,000 Below 10yrs DNPWC Counter, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu
4 Khaptad National Park Free NPR 1,500 NPR 3,000 Below 10yrs DNPWC Counter, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu
5 Langtang National Park Free NPR 1,500 NPR 3,390 (Inc. Vat) Below 10yrs DNPWC Counter, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu Or Entry Point Dhunche
6 Makalu-Barun National Park Free NPR 1,500 NPR 3,390 (Inc. Vat) Below 10yrs DNPWC Counter, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu
7 Rara National Park Free NPR 1,500 NPR 3,390 (Inc. Vat) Below 10yrs DNPWC Counter, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu
8 Shey-Phoksundo National Park Free NPR 1,500 NPR 3,390 (Inc. Vat) Below 10yrs DNPWC Counter, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu
9 Shivapuri National Park NPR 56.5 NPR 339 NPR 565 (Inc. Vat) Below 10yrs
10 Banke National Park NPR 20 NPR 200 NPR 500 Below 10yrs DNPWC Counter, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu
Wildlife Reserves
11 Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve NPR 50 NPR 500 NPR 1,000 Below 10yrs At entry point
12 Parsa Wildlife Reserve NPR 50 NPR 500 NPR 1,000 Below 10yrs At entry point
13 Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve NPR 50 NPR 500 NPR 1,000 Below 10yrs At entry point