AN ADVANCE HIKE may contain steep trails when overcoming the passes. Duration is a full day, often in remote areas lasting up to 6hours. A good level of fitness and experience is required.
What to Experience ?
Rara National Park and Khaptad National Park are two important protected sites in the western Nepal. This new route aims to link two of the Nepal’s tourist destinations that are still in shadow despite having immense potential. The journey begins with a flight to Talcha airport in Mugu district from Nepalgunj which easily accessible from Kathmandu via land and air route.
Rara National park is the smallest Park in Nepal, containing the biggest lake of Nepal (10.8 sq. kms) and scenically the most beautiful lake at an elevation of 2999m.
Khaptad National park is a paradise for adventure. Trekking in the Park is authentic as it gets. Trails lead through a land untouched by the hand of time, past ancient orange and lemon groves and flagstoned mediaeval villages.
- Day 1:
(Kathmandu-Nepalgunj) Nepalgunj can be reached after a flight of 50 minutes from Kathmandu. Regular bus services are also available between the two cities. There are a few good hotels in Nepalgunj, tourist standards. While in Nepalgunj, you can visit Bageshwari Temple and Lord Shiva temple, the only temple that depicts Lord Shiva with a mustache. You can also visit bordering Indian town of Rupadiya by taking horsd drawn carriages that are called Tanga.
- Day 2:
(Nepalgunj - Rara) Take a flight to Talcha airstrip (2645m) of Mugu early in the morning. The flight, which offers you views of amazing landscapes of the mid-western region, takes around 45 minutes. There are around five hotels near Talcha airstrip and some more under construction. Electricity is not available in the area, but hotels have solar lighting system. Enjoy breakfast at one of the hotels and start trek towards Rara Lake. The trek takes around three and half hours. After walk of just one hour, we can see changes in the landscape and vegetation. After another hour of trek we see can the first glimpse of Rara Lake. The accommodation tonight is tented camps. As we approach the campsite, the murmuring sound of the waves energizes you. The Lake is deep blue in color and as we walk we see the color pattern changing. Our accommodation is at the campsite situated at the banks of the Rara Lake. Though there is one hotel at the Bank of Rara, it would be better to spend the night at tented camps.
- Day 3:
(Excursion around Lake) A short hike to Murmatop is possibly the best way to enjoy the view of RARA- Nepal Largest Lake. Along with Rara Lake, Murmatop also offers magnificient view of the Kanjirowa Mountains. Trekkers are suggested to take packed lunch with them as there are no good hotels and eateries in Murmatop. The hike, which takes around three hours, passes through small village. It would be better to start downhill walk early as the campsite at the banks of the lake offers beautiful views at sunset. In the evening, trekkers can enjoy moonrise and also see stars reflected in the pristine waters of the Rara Lake.
- Day 4:
(Rara Lake-Serkot) Walk on the fourth day is mostly downhill. We head toward Khaytad following the Khaytad River. The walk is pleasing as we see different wild animals and birds along the trail. After a walk of about an hour, we reach Majghat (2,374m). There are three teashops along with a health post in Majghat. After leaving Majghat, the walk is mostly downhill antil Murma. There are big pasturelands in Murma. You can simply lie down in the pastureland and watch the cloud move over your head. We meet locals dressed in their traditional attire speaking their native language which is somewhat similar to Nepali. We can also see people smoking tobacco in their hookah. After about couple of hours, we reach Jhaudi Khola for Lunch site. An hour walk from the Jhaudi Khola takes us to Bapeni (2528m). It is a small village inhabited by Brahmins and Chhetris. There are some tea shops and lodges in Bopani. After passing a village called Jam (2,173m) through Nigalbot (2,410) and Masane, we reach Serkot. Accommodation tonight is at the campsite near a primary school.
- Day 5:
(Serkot-jugala) It would be ideal to have heavy breakfast while trekking on areas like this as we don't know when lunch will be available. From Jugala, the trek progresses toward Ranakot. After a walk of about an hour, the trek progresses through Upper Khaka, Lower kharka and Khadgi Mela to Majchaur (1,825m). Majchaur is a bustling market area with five lodges and many shops. After about an hour trek from Majchaur, we reach Paukipani (1668m). there are few teashops that serve freshwater fish for snacks as well as lunch. After a walk of about an hour from Paukipani, we reach our lunch site at Bira Bagar (1527m). Bira Bagar, as the name suggests, lies on the riverbank. After lunch, the trek heads towards Jamisera. We cross many suspension bridges and come across many waterfalls cascading down the hills into the river. After walk about two hours through Ratapani, we reach Ama village. Another half hour sees us at Rega village. From here, we get the first view of the Karnali River. The Khaytad Khola, which we had followed for about three days, meets Karnali River in this village. After a walk of about an hour along the Karnali River, we reach our campsite at Jugala. The campsite offers great view of karnali River. This is our last camp in Mugu district.
- Day 6:
(Jugala-Kolti) After breakfast, we cross the Karnali River on a suspension bridge and enter Bajura district of the Far-west region of Nepal. After a walk of about an hour from Jugala we reach Chepi (1209m). Chepi is a small village on the banks of Karnali River. The trek then progresses toward Kurane Jugala (1119m) which is a 45 minutes trek from Chepi. After a trek of about two hours from Kurane Jugala, we reach Alange Chaur (1082m). There are few teahouses and lodges here. Another 45 minutes walk takes us to our lunch site at Chulighat Badhu. From Chulighat, you can cross the Karnali River and enter Kalikot district. After having lunch, we continue our walk along the banks of Karnali River through Chuligadh and Badhu bagar (1134m). After Badhu bagar, the trek progresses along the banks of Kundana River. A two hour trek from Badhu Bagar through Badhu Matela (1240m), Pipal Dali (1293m) and Raut Badhu, we reach Partola (1208m). Kolti is another half an hour walk from Partola. Nightstay in any of the ho-tels at Kolti.
- Day 7:
(Kolti-Parekh Lake) The trek on the seventh day is mostly uphill. We pass through Kumrakot (1466m), Ser Katiya, Samal, and Ananda Nagar. From Ananda Nagar, we reach Pandusen (2044m) through Pirekot (1936m) for Lunch. Pandusen is one of the commercial centers in Bajura with good hotels, drugstores and schools. Major inhabitants of this village are Brahmins, Chhetris and Sherpas. After lunch at Pandusen, the trek passes through Chadi Pani (2204m), Angau Pani (2304m) and Paurekhe Khad (2544m), where you can find small teashops. The trial is narrow and slippery. After an hour walk from Paurakhe Khad, we reach the Parekh Lekh hilltop (2700m)- our accommodation for the day. The place offers panoramic view of the surrounding hills.
- Day 8:
(Parekh Lake-Martadi) The trek for the day is mostly uphill until Pugi Dami. The trail passes through dense forest offering you the chances of sighting different wildlife and bird species. We cross many rivulets on log bridges. The trek from Pugi Dami is downhill until we reach Damkane (2339m). There are a few teashops in Damkane. After a trek of around three hours from Damkane, we reach our lunch site at Chuli near Kalika School. Chuti is a village inhabited mostly by the lower caste people though there are some upper caste people also. After lunch, we trek downhill along BudhiNandi River to Martadi (1897m). Martadi is the main market area for four districts- Bajura, Bajhang, Doti & Accham. The Market is big and had motorable road which is connected to the national road network. It has also regular power supply. Though there are few hotels in Martadi, it would be better to stay in tented camps, the choice is yours.
- Day 9:
(Martadi-Durlasan) After leaving Martadi, we reach Gotwall Bata from where we follw the Bauli River to reach Saleghat (1362m). a half hour walk from Saleghat takes us to Rapak (1308m). From here we can reach Bire Khola in an hour. The walk is pleasing as we will be able to see beautiful waterfalls along the way. We reach our lunch site, Jadanga (1165m) after an hour walk from Kurdali Ghat. Jaganga is a small valley with beautiful hills all around. From Jadanga, we reach the Budhi Ganga River on a suspension Bridge and reach Tiphad Bazar (1118m)- a small marketplace with few teashops and communications facility. After an uphill trek of about an hour from Tiphad Bazar we reach Amakhot (1261m). Amakhot, which is situated on top of a hill, offers beautiful view of Budhi Ganga River. The walk for the next one and half hour passes through beautiful villages. Our destination for the day is Dhurlasen (1625m).The place has few teashops that provide food and lodging facility.
- Day 10:
(Durlasan-Lake Chaur) The trek on the tenth day passes through dense forest. After a walk of about an hour from Dhurlasen, we reach Khudi vil-lage. Another hour long walk from there takes us to Surkha Bazaar which is known asAatichaur. From here, the trek passes along Dhane Bagar Khola and we reach Buda Bada (1974m) through Oli Gaun. An uphill climb for an hour takes us to Lama gaun (2023m). After crossing DhaneBagar Khola, we reach Chede Daha (2159m). It is situated on top of a small hill. An hour walk from Chede Daha takes us Dogadi Village- our luch site. After lunch, we reach Tham (2183m) through Rampur (2053m). Rampur lies on the border of Bajhang and Bajura districts. We leave Bajura and start trek toward Bajhag district. The trail passes through dense forests. Guliya Chaur (2601m) is the first destinationafter we leave Rampur. Guliya Chaur is a pastureland and we feel that khaptad is welcoming us. After a walk of about an hour from Guliya Chaur we reach Laske Chaur which lies inside the Khaptad National Park. Laske Chaur is an ideal site for camping for there are plenty of water sources in the area.
- Day 11:
(Lake Chaur-Khaptad) The trek passes through dense forests on this day. As we will be travelling inside the Natinal Park, we will be rewarded with the views of different wildlife and bird species. The trek is uphill for one and half hour until we reach the top (3033m). After a walk of about half an hour from top we reach Bahulaune Patan (3123m). It is a big grassland surrounded by pine forests. Pulpule (3173m), our lunch site for the day, can be reached after a walk of about an hour from Bahulaune Patan. After lunch, the trek passes through grasslands for three hours until we the headquarters of the Khaptad Natioanl Park. There are excellent campsites near the park headquarters.
- Day 12:
(Khaptad National Park) On this day we can rest and visit the sites nearby the campsites such as Ashram of Khaptad Baba and the temples of Shiva & Ganesh and Nagdhunga and Kedardhunga in Tribeni.
- Day 13:
(Khaptad-Simalpani) We leave forest area after a walk of around an hour from the park headquarters. After walk of around two hours from the park headquarters, we reach Lekhda (2493m). There are some guesthouses and teashops in Lekhda. After a walk of about an hour through Meltadi (1882m), we reach our lunch site, Lamtada. The village gets electricity from Bhangadidgad small hydropower project. After lunch, we cross Sunar village following an irrigation canal. We reach Fulbari after about an hour and half trek from Sunar village via Jamkot (1456m). After a walk of about an hour from Fulbari we reach Simalpani. We camp at the riverside which is good place to take bath.
- Day 14:
(Simalpani-Tamali) Today is the last day of the trek. After a walk of about two hours from Simapani through Jadri Gaht, Aaucheli Bagar, Tala Bagar, Khati and Khairadi, we reach Tamail (1130m). Tamail is our lunch site as well as our campsite for the day. From Tamail, regular bus services are available to different part of the country.
- Day 15:
(Tamali-Dhangadi) We board a Dhangadhi bound bus early in the morning. The bus takes around 10 hours to reach Dhangadhi- the commer-cial center of Far-west region. Dhangadhi has some really good hotels and accommodation facilities.
- Day 16: