Khaptad-Ramaroshan Tourism Area is one of the tourism zones among 18 tourism zones of Nepal, consisting of 7 Districts namely, Bajhang, Bajura, Doti, Achham, Darchula, Daldeldhura, and Baitadi. It is surrounded by Rara-Karnali Tourism Sector in the east, India in the south, Tibet in the north and Chisapani-Thakurdwara Tourism Area, and Bheri-Kankrebihar Tourism Sector in the south. This tourism area is rich in its natural beauty and cultural as well as religious sites. The well-known tourist destinations, Khaptad National Park, Ramaroshan Sites, Api Himal Base Camp, Saipal Base Camp, etc. lies in this region. The religious sites Badimalika, Budinanda Lake, Patal Bhubaneshwar Temple, Ugratara Temple, etc. lies in this tourism area. This area is also rich in ancient forts and has many historical glory. This area is connected by Seti Highway and Mahakali Highway with East-West Mahendra Highway and link with the rest part of Nepal. Bajhang Airport (BJH), Bajura Airport (BJU), Silgadhi Airport (SIH), Safebagar Airport, Baitadi Airport (BIT) are the airport of this area. Here is the information about the tourist destination of this tourism area.
Bajhang District lies in Province No. 7 (Sudurpashchim Pradesh), covering an area of 3,422 sq. km. Chainpur of Jaya Prithvi Municipality is the administrative headquarter. Adjoining districts are Bajura and Humla in the East, Baitadi and Darchula in the West, Humla in the North and Doti and Achham in the South. The elevation of the district ranges from 900 meters to 7,035 meters. This place was famous for fresh milk and yogurt.
Tourism in Bajhang
Bajhang district is rich in its natural beauty as well as in the culture and traditions. The Deuda Song, the Deuda Dance, Bhuwa Naach become the cultural and traditional attractions of in Bajhang District. Similarly, Jalapa Devi Temple, Masta Devi Temple, Surmadevi, etc. are the religious sites of Bajhang. It is one of the beautiful places with snowy mountains like Saipal Himal (7031m), Sankhamala Himal, and Lama Peak. This region is also the gateway of Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar Lake in Tibet passing through the Chanwa Urailekh via Seti River valley. Bajhang Airport (BJH) is the airport of Bajhang at the elevation of 1,250 m. However, there is no scheduled flight, but more convenient for the Charger Flight.
Places to visit in Bajhang
Ramkot provides spectacular views of Surmalekh, Urailekh, Saipal, Gorakh, Kanti, and Kanjirowa Himalayan ranges to the west, north, and east and beautiful meandering Seti River valley with settlements of the people, garlands of mountain- horizons to the south. The trail to Ramkot from Talkot Dhuli along the river valley is pleasant. Birds and insects, primitive lifestyle of the people, huts, and thatched-roof houses decorated by colorful clay are common sights. The formation of the mountains can be the subject of study for the geologists.
Southwest of the Mount Saipal range, there is the beautiful Surmasarowar Lake at an altitude of 4300 m. It doesn’t only have natural and historical significance, but also offers therapeutic value. It is believed that a dip in this lake helps cure skin diseases. There is also the myth that in doing so, the Goddess Surma will be pleased and she will help fulfill your wishes. Every year, at the end of July, a big festival called Birijaat takes place there. Thousands of pilgrims come here for a ritual bath during this annual event. Apart from the lake, the trekking route to Surmasarowar itself is a major attraction.
Saipal Base Camp
Trekking to the Saipal Base Camp is an extremely adventurous and beautiful off-the-beaten-track trek to the base camp of western Nepal’s second-highest mountain, stunning Mt. Saipal 7035m. The beautiful mountain landscape, cultural diversity, rapid rivers and pristine forests, traditional village, rural lifestyle of the people, local farmers working on indigenous crop field, and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, shrines are the main attractions of this trekking. It offers a magnificent Himalaya view of Saipal Himal (7031 m), Thado Dhunga Tuppa (5,368m.), Api Himal, Rajamba (6,537m.), Kapchuli, Mt. Nandadevi 7,817, which are situated in Uttar Pradesh of India. It is best to trek between mid-October and November after the harvest has cleared fields to camp on, as there are no designated campsites.
Bajura District lies in Province No. 7 (Sudurpashchim Pradesh), covering an area of 2,188 sq. km. Martadi, part of the Badimalika municipality is the administrative headquarter. Adjoining districts are Mugu and Kalikot in the east, Bajhang in the west, Humla in the north, and Achham in the south. The elevation of the district ranges from 300 meters to 6,400 meters. The Higher Himalayan region comprises Saipal Himalayan range; the High Mountain region comprises Doha Lekh and Ghori Lekh. Similarly, the Mid-Mountain range comprises different ranges of mountains e.g. Badimalika Temple.
Tourism in Bajura
Bajura is full of natural beauties and has high mountains, green hills, fertile plains, rivers and rivulets. Badimalika is one of the higher hills of this district and is very famous for its religious importance. Badimalika, Nateswori, Kaptad National Park, Chhede Daha, Buddi Ganga, Malagad, Ekdigaad, Jethi Bahurani lekh, and Karnali River are the religious pilgrimage sites of Bajura, also the attractions. All these places are famous for natural beauty. Birekhola waterfall also attracts the tourists which lies near to the Sanfe-Martadi road. Also, Bajura is a historically and culturally rich region of Nepal. Major festivals of Bajura are Dasain, Tihar, Fagu, Deval Jatra, and Sain Kande Jatra. Bajureli Deuda and Bhuwa dances are very popular in the region for their uniqueness. Bajura Airport (BJU) connects Bajura with the Nepalgunj and Kathmandu.
Places to visit in Bajura
The entire Budhinanda region is considered a holy zone for goddess Bhagwati. There are dozens of small to big ponds in the region of which some are considered holy and some unholy which are for gods and devils. Budhinandha Lake, one of the biggest lakes of this region, is situated at an elevation of 4,581 meters. It is a holy pond where the devotees take a holy dip and perform puja. Special puja is performed here on the day of Janai Purnima, in July/August every year. Every year, hundreds of devotees trek on barefoot for more than 3 days from Martadi. And the people can reach this region at this time only despite this region is covered with snow in the remaining month. It offers the view of Mugu, Humla, and Kalikot districts as well as the spectacular and the breathtaking.
Badimalika Temple, at the elevation of 4,267m, is a temple dedicated to Goddess Bhagwati located on the top of 22 grass plateaus. Malika Chaturdashi is the major annual festival that is held in this temple. The temple is served by two priests, one of them representing Kalikot district while the other priest from Bajura district. Every year there is a fair at this temple during July/August. Pilgrims come from all over Nepal and India in the belief that their wishes will be fulfilled if they pray at the temple. There are two official fairs during Ganga Dashara and Janai Purnima. To reach the Badimalika temple, one has to make a difficult trek lasting 2-3 days from Martadi Bazar. The temple is at a remote location and since the route to the temple is not well developed, there is a lack of lodges and restaurants for the travelers to rest and eat. Thus all the necessary amenities need to be carried by the travelers themselves. During the trek, one can witness various species of wildflowers, and various domestic animals like sheep, goats, horses and buffaloes, grazing on the hills.
Doti District lies in Province No. 7 (Sudurpashchim Pradesh), covering an area of 2,025 sq. km. Dipayal Silgadhi is the administrative headquarter. Adjoining Districts are Achham & Surkhet in the east, Dadeldhura and Baitadi in the west, Bajhang in the north, and Kailali in the south. This present Doti was the headquarters of the ancient Doti Kingdom, which was a medieval kingdom of Kumaon. It was founded by Niranjan Malla Dev, the last son of the Katyuri dynasty and younger brother of Abhay Pal of Askot. Dotiyali is the local language spoken in the Doti region.
Tourism in Doti
Doti is rich in its natural beauty and cultural and religious sites and temples, with the potential for religious tourism because it is a gateway to Khaptad National Park and Ramaroshan (located in Achham). Major tourist attractions include Shaileshwari temple, Silgadhi, Malikasthan, Jorayal, and many more. Villages like Gadsera, Bandugrisain, Bhadipatal, the scene of the farm, and the culture and innocence of people fascinate the visitors. An ample amount of hotel options are available in Silgadhi. Silgadhi Airport (SIH) connects Doti with Nepalgunjj and further to Kathmandu.
Places to visit in Doti
Shaileshwari temple is located at Silgadhi, Doti district of Nepal. It is one of few tourist destinations and a religious place at far west. Goddess Shaileshwari is another form among many others and people have great faith in her, like any other form of Bhagwati/Durga, it is supposed that the goddess would fulfill their destiny. The inhabitants of Silgadhi always pray goddess Shaileshwari before beginning any task. The deities in the temple complex include a Shiva lingam, Chaturbhuj Narayan, Ganesh, Bhairab and Masta. Shaileshwari was one of the sisters among seven sisters and a brother. Masta Maharaj is goddess Shaileshwari’s and temple devoted to him is also located nearby Shaileshwari tourist Area.
Dipayal Silgadhi is the administrative headquarter of Doti. The Seti Highway begins in Dipayal Silgadhi, linking it to Amargadhi, from where the Terai region of Nepal can be reached on Mahakali Highway. Silgadhi Doti Airport (SIH) is a seasonal airport, which lacks the regular flight because there is no refueling facility. The Seti River lies in proximity to Silgadhi, is the prime attraction point. Similarly, Shaileshwari Temple, Silgadhi, Lana Kedareshwar, Jorayal, Malikasthan are also the attraction point.
Achham lies in Province No. 7 (Sudurpashchim Pradesh), covering an area of 1,692 sq. km. Mangalsen is the administrative headquarters. Adjoining districts are Kalikot and Dailekh in the east, Doti in the west, Bajura in the north, and Surkhet in the south. The elevation of this district ranges from 540 m to 3,820 m above the sea level. It is accessible by automobiles from Kathmandu and Nepalgunj via a national Highway. Achham is a beautiful place with various forts and natural resources.
Tourism in Achham
Achham is rich in cultural and religious sites. The Deuda song and Deuda Dances, Ghori songs, Putla Songs, Hudkeli Dance, Thadi Bhaka songs, etc. are the preserved culture and traditions of this region. The boons of nature, Ramaroshan, Khaptad National Park attracts many visitors every year. Baidyanath Temple, Barda Devi, Bannigadhi, etc. are the religious sites. Mangalsen Durbar is also an attraction of Achham. Sanfebagar Airport (FEB) is the airport of Achham which connects to Nepalgunj. This is also the gateway to Bajura District.
Places to visit in Achham
Ramaroshan is famous for its beautiful landscapes and abundant greenery. Ramaroshan, which inherits its name from Ramaroshan Lake, is a place of great diversity as it is home to different species of birds, wildlife and vegetation. It offers a good view of Budhiganga basin, along with the peaks of Mount Api, and Mount Saipal. The place has different religious pillars which have been drawing researchers to the place from far and wide. Ramaroshan is home to 12 lakes and 18 pasturelands. Jigale Lake is the largest lake in this area which has the shape of English letter C whereas Taune Lake is the smallest one. Among the 18 patans, Kinemine Patan is the largest Patan, through which the Kailash river flows. Beautiful scenery, green pasturelands, lakes and swamps, and the Rocky Mountains among others are the attractions of Ramaroshan.
Khaptad is a land of grasslands and forests with diverse geographical features from high mountains to deep gorges and mis-elevation plateaus. The place inherits its name from Khaptad Swami, a Hindu sage who lived in the area for many years. The government has gazette 225 sq. km of the area as Khaptad National Park to conserve wildlife and biodiversity in the area. A 5 km area inside the park has been separated for meditation and tranquility where consumption of meat, alcohol, and tobacco is prohibited. Khaptad Lake is a place of religious significance and draws hundreds of people on the full moon day of July- August every year. The park is home to different wildlife species, including bear, leopard, common langur, musk deer, and different species of birds. The area is a fertile land for different medicinal herbs and other rare vegetation. Khaptad can be reached by taking a flight to Dipayal, Chainpur in Bajhang, Kolti in Bajura, and Sanfebagar in Achham.
Baidyanath Temple lies at the right bank of Bridda Ganga/Budi Ganga River. This temple has great religious significance among the Hindus as Baidyanath is one of the four main religious places, Char Dham: Kailash, Manasarovar, Khocharnath, and Achham-based Baidyanath in Nepal. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and also known as Baba Dham and Baijnath.
Darchula District lies in Province No. 7 (Sudurpashchim Pradesh), covering an area of 2,322 sq.km. Khalanga of Mahakali Municipality is the administrative headquarter. It is about 995 km from Kathmandu. Darchula lies in the west-north corner of the country. It is surrounded by Bajhang in the east, India in the west and north, Baitadi in the south. The elevation of this district ranges from 1,800 m to 7,132 m. Darchula district falls in the Gurans Himal zone. Darchula is made of two words "Dar" and "Chula". Dar means edge (peak) in Dotyali and Chula means fire stove, literally meaning a fire stove made of three stones (or peaks of three hills/mountains).
Tourism in Darchula
Darchula is rich in its natural beauty as the most of this district is covered by the Api Nampa Conservation Area. This area is a famous gateway to Kailash Mansarobar's holy region located in Tibet. Not only Nepalese but also foreigners visit Api Nampa Conservation Area to acquire satisfaction, spirituality, and the boons of nature. Sauka culture is also an attraction for tourists. You can reach to Api Himal Baze Camp via Darchula Bazar, Huti, Sunsera, Rapla to base camp. Panoramic views of Api, Nampa, Jethi Bahurani, and others are the attractions of Darchula.
Places to visit in Darchula
Api-Nampa Conservational Area
Api Nampa Conservation Area is Nepal's youngest conservation area lying in Darchula with an area of 1903 sq. km. It was established in 2010 and named after the two peaks Api (7,132 m) and Nampa (6,757 m) in the Darchula district. It ranges in elevation from 518 m to 7,132 m at the Himalayan peak Api, and is within the circumscribed area of the Kailash Sacred Landscape. A grasslands plateau is at the center of the area. It is intermixed with various forest types. Diverse climatic conditions and altitudinal variation of the area have provided habitats for many rare and threatened wildlife species. Mammalian species include snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, red panda, common langur, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan musk deer, goral and serow. Birds include Himalayan monal, snowcock, and blood pheasant. The best season to trek this region is during the month of March-May and October-November.
Api Base Camp Trek
Api Himal trek is a non- touristy trekking route which takes us to lap of the Mount Api (7132m) situated extreme northwest corner of Nepal. While trekking, one can observe the natural beauty and eco-system of the region, which is more than just the spectacular Himalayan scenery. En route, you will see the Holy Lake, Kali Dhunga. Steep gorges, subtropical to alpine forest, vegetation, pastures, grasslands, waterfalls, lakes, streams and wild animals, cultural diversity, etc are the attraction of this trek. Apart from the scenic beauty, off-beaten trails, and mysterious culture, the region offers a panoramic view of the 7,817-metre Mt. Nandadevi, which lies in Uttar Pradesh of India, Thado Dhunga Tuppa (5,368m.), Api Himal, Rajamba (6,537m.), Kapchuli and many other peaks. The 6,850-metre peak of Kapchuli is also known as Jethibahurani. Months of Spring Season (March to May) and Autumn Season (September to November) are the best time for the trekking in Api Base Camp.
Malikarjun Temple is situated about 46 km from Khalanga Bazar of Darchula. Malikarjun Temple contains the idols of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Malika represents Parbati while Arjun represents Lord Shiva. Devotees visit this temple every year during the months of Ashar and Karthik by the Nepali calendar. Gaura Festival is also celebrated here with a high population of Darchula in this temple. This temple is also famous for a journey which is done by walking along and ending it in this temple.
This is one of the sacred places for Hindus and thousands of devotees gather at this place every year to obtain the blessings of Lord Shiva and also called Adi Kailash or Little Kailash. To reach this site, devotees and tourists have to trek in Darchula district.
Dadeldhura district lies in Province no. 7 (Sudurpashchim Pradesh) covering an area of 1,538 sq. km. Dadeldhura is the administrative headquarter. It is bordered by are Doti and Kailali in the east, India in the west, Baitadi in the north, and Kanchanpur in the south. The altitude of this district ranges from 157 m to 2,439 m above the sea level. The spoken language is Dotyal and the majority of inhabitants are Hindu. Dadeldhura is the most developed district among the other hilly districts in the far western region.
Tourism in Dadeldhura
Dadeldhura is known as the Queen of hills. Today, Dadeldhura is a must on the way from the Terai to the mountainous regions. It has a rich history and spectacular nature. The region has a desert-mountainous landscape that contains many religious temples. There are various interesting places in this district some of the profound ones are Alital, Amargadhi Fort, Bogata Kot, Asigram temple, Ajaymerukot, Ugratara Temple, and others. The district is seldom visited by tourists but contains local routes to Mt Kailash in Tibet, Rara Lake in Mugu district, and the last remaining remnants of the Far Western Malla Kingdom. Nagi Malla was the last royal to live here before Nepalese unification. It is connected by Mahakali Highway which is connected with East-West Highway. Thus, you can get a bus or private vehicle to reach Dadeldhura by road. Dhangadhi Airport and Baitadi Airport are close to the district.
Places to visit in Dadeldhura
Amargadhi Fort is one of the most important historical places in Dadeldhura. It lies at the elevation of 1,848 m above the sea level. This fort is a historic monument, directly connected to the unification of Nepal by King Prithvi Narayan Shah. During the time of unification in the early 19th century, General Amar Singh Thapa fought the English from this fort. He built this fort to store arms and ammunitions. Besides, it served as a military base. You can see the statue of Amarsingh Thapa near to the fort.
The Ugratara Temple is another attraction here. Numerous worshippers come to this place of pilgrimage in the mountainous landscape. Ugratara is an incarnation of Goddess Durga, the Goddess of Power. According to legend, she is one of the seven divine sisters that were commanded by Lord Shiva to stay in this region. As a result, there are seven temples to worship the Goddesses.
It was the capital of the Doti Kingdom, founded by Nirajan Dev in the 11th Century. We can still find the remainings around the compound of Durbar. This is one of the places to visit in Dadeldhura.
It lies at the Bank of Mahakali River of Dadeldhura. Parshuram is believed as the form of Bishnu. There is a belief that Lord Shiva came here and meditated for a long time after the fallen of all organs from the dead body of Satidevi. So, its name remains as Parshuram Dham. Thousands of devotees worship on this Dham during Makar Mela in Magh (January).
Baitadi District lies in Province no. 7 (Sudurpashchim Pradesh) covering an area of 1,519 sq. km. Dasarath Chand is the administrative headquarter. Adjoining Districts are Bajhang and Doti in the east, India in the west, Darchula in the north, and Dadeldhura in the south. The elevation of this district ranges from 390 m to 2,935 m above the sea level. The historical name of Baitadi is “Bairath”.
Tourism in Baitadi
Baitadi has many natural and culturally important places such as Nandanath Temple, Ishori Gangadham, Tripura Sundari, Melauli Bhagawati, Gwallek Kedar, Patal Bhumeswor, Dilasaini, Deulek Kedar, Jagannath Temple. You can find the friendly and co-operative people of different culture and community who makes this place a common home. There are many beautiful places in Baitadi. Baitadi Airport (BIT) is the airport that lies in Baitadi which provides flight connectivity for many destinations.
Places to visit in Baitadi
Tripura Sundari Temple
Many temples and other holy sites are spread out in the area of Baitadi. Legend tells that seven divine sisters were commanded to stay in the region by Lord Shiva. As a result, seven temples were built to worship the sisters. Two of them are located close to Baitadi. Tripurasundari Temple can be found south-west of Baitadi about 15 minutes’ drive from headquarter. It is one of the most important Goddesses among the sisters. It is re-known for its astonishing architectural beauty, stands as a gesture of faith, religion, culture, and tradition. Hence numerous worshippers come to the temple, many of them even from India.
Patal Bhubaneshwar Temple (Cave)
Baitadi region hosts a natural wonder; hidden under a pond, lies the Patal Bhubaneshwar cave. As the local people say, it has no ending and can thus never be fully explored. According to the French researcher Maurice Duchene, who studied the cave systems of Nepal, Patal Bhubaneshwar extends into 160 meters of depths, which makes it the deepest cave of the country! The entrance to the cave lies at an altitude of 2,130 m. This spot boasts some of the most striking views in the area, including splendid glimpses of the Saipal and Api peaks. The culture in the Middle Hills is largely influenced by Hinduism. Patal Bhubaneshwar also has religious value: Lord Shiva supposedly took rest here during a long journey.
Raula Kedar as the name indicates itself, Kedar is another name given to Lord Shiva. As the lord of Hills and Himalayas resides in the rolling hills of Nepal, Raula Kedar lies at the elevation of 2600 meters from the sea-level. To pay the holy visit to the top of Raula Kedar, one should be pure with his heart, body and should have a cleansed body and he/she should not have consumed eggs, meats, and fishes for few days ahead of the trip. We have put off our shoes and slippers 15-20 minutes below the top. It is a tradition and a gesture as huge respect to Gods and Goddesses;
Ningalasaini temple, situated at an altitude of 1,996m above the sea level in Dasharath Municipality of Dehimandu, is also one of the most important holy premises in Baitadi district. Here at this temple, people worship goddesses Bhagwati. In the blessed complex of Ningalasaini, we can see carving and scripts on the stone which belongs to the 6th and 7th centuries. This temple stands out as the artistic masterpiece of centuries-old. Ningalasaini temple is also considered one of the oldest divine places in the entire Western Region of Nepal. Along with Tripura Sundari, it is also considered as one of the eldest sisters residing in Far West.
Melauli Bhagawati Temple
Melauli Bhagwati was related to the Deuki tradition, which has now extinct to fully. As a top of grassy land in Melauli Municipality, this temple is positioned at a small hillock offering a grand view of the hills and Himalayas. Religious rituals perform at the Dashain Ghars and armories and worships are offered to goddess Melauli Bhagwati during Dashain Festival. People have immense belief as well as a huge inclination towards Bhagwati. So, thousands of devotees visit the temple to worship.
Panchadewal Hat (Temple Made by Pandava Brothers)
As the name suggests, Pancha means ‘five' dewal= ‘structure'. Panchadewal Haat is unique with its structures and complex. And it has been identified as “the temples constructed by God 5 Pandavas overnight”. At this Hat, you can see strange types of vertical temples carved beautifully with stones and other paintings. You could see weapons and utensils which belonged to the medieval period inside the temples. Also, these 5 dewals i.e. (temples) which are guarded by Kaal Bhairab temple which is adjacent to both Panchadewal and the local human settlement. Local people are worshiping as well as care-taking Pancha Dewal Haat. Grand festive is organized here on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shiva Ratri, devoted to Lord Shiva, which is also more popular as ‘The Night of Shiva’.
Although this region has many possibilities of tourism attractions and developments, but due to lack of publicity, many tourist destinations are not so explored in the tourism market. The publicity and visits of those destinations will support the local community. This tourism area is less traveled region, this area can be promoted as the eco-tourism destinations. Thus, it is necessary to promote and explore the tourist destinations of this area in the national and international tourism markets.
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