Mustang is one of Nepal's most mysterious and least known kingdoms. The landscape of Mustang is a barren moonscape of eroded sandstone pillars and discontinuous moraine terraces, which together present a colorful mosaic made up principally of earthen reds, yellows and brown. It is relatively easy trekking along the permitted route to Lo Manthang, which lies in the very heart of Mustang. Strong winds generally howl across the area in the afternoon, generally subsiding at night. Being in the rain shadow of the Himalaya, Mustang has much less rain then the rest of Nepal.
Mustang lying in the rain shadow of the Himalayas is perhaps the last enclave of pristine Tibetan culture. Forbidden & isolated from the rest of the World it was able to evolve its own distinctive culture and traditional which is so rich & unique. Lo-Mustang, the
capital is walled city ruled by religious king. Untouched by modern civilization, life in Mustang goes on as it has for centuries in unhurried pace. As everywhere in the Himalayas, this area provides spectacular mountain scenery highlighted by Dhaulagiri at 8167 meters (26,795ft) and Annapurna I at 8091 meters (26,545ft). You will be surrounded by more than 35 mountains over 6000 meters (19,680ft) high. The elevation of the the trails rise from 2815 meters (9,233ft) to 3780 meters (12,398ft) above sea level.
It is the only place in the earth where one can explore real Tibetan culture, ancient monastries and primitive life. This area also contains a part of Annapurna Trekking route. Muktinath, Jomshom, Kaagbeni etc, are the best locations in this area.
Image source: www.onlinekhabar.com
Humla is one of the rural but very beautiful district of Nepal which lies in the altitude of about 2900 meters from the sea level. Although there are many resources, natural beauty, beautiful landscape and medicinal herbs this district has a problem of transportation. Air route is the only means of transportation which connects this district to the cities. If you take a bus then you have to walk for a week from Kalikot district to reach Humla.
Few tourists explore this area every year because it is the entrance way of Mansarobar (one of the biggest Hindu shrines). A small number of foreigners also trek to this area.
Covering an area of 968 sq. km, Bardia National Park is situated in the mid-Far Western Terai, east of the Karnali River. Originally set aside in 1968 as a Hunting Reserve, the area was gazetted in 1967 as Royal Karnali Wildlife Reserve with an area of 368 sq. km. It was renamed as Royal Bardia Wildlife Reserve in 1982 and extended to include the Babai River valley in 1984. National Park status was gazetted in 1988. The main objectives of the park are to conserve a representative ecosystem of the mid-Western Terai, particularly the tiger ad its prey species.
Details About the Park:
Bardia National Park is the largest and most undisturbed wilderness area in the Terai, providing excellent habitat for the following endangered species:
- ENDANGERED ANIMALS : Rhinoceros , Wild elephant , Tiger , Swamp deer , Black buck , Gharial crocodile , Marsh mugger crocodile , Gangetic dolphin.
- ENDANGERED BIRDS : Bengal florican , Sliver-eared mesia , Sarus crane , Lesser florican.
- More than 30 different mammals, over 250 species of birds and many snakes, lizards and fish have been recorded in the park's forests, grasslands and river habitats. The more commonly seen are:
- MAMMALS: Langur monkey, Rhesus monkey, Common leopard, Jungle cat, Fishing cat, Large and small Indian civets, Palm civet, Hyena, Wild dog, Jackal, Sloth bear, Otter, Porcupine, Bandicoots, Blue bull (Nilgi), Sambar deer, Hog deer, Barking deer and Wild boar.
- BIRDS : Flycatchers , Babblers , Sunbirds, Drongols (7 species), Eurasian thicknee ruddy , Shelduck, Warblers, Bulbuls (5 species), Woodpeckers ( 10 species), Barbets (4 species), Bee-eaters (4 species), Kingfishers (4 species), Parakeets (4 species), Doves (5 species), Pigeons (3 species), Red-wattled lapwing, Common peafowl, Red jungle fowl , Merganser duck, Black-necked stork, White-necked stork, Painted stork, Egrets (4 species), Herons (5 species) and Cormorants.
- The Geruwa, a branch of the Karnali River, forms the park's western boundary, while the crest of the Churia range (Siwalik Hills) demarcates the northern limits. Along the southern edge a forest road forms the boundary, in the east it is formed by the Nepalgunj-Surkhet road. Part of the very scenic Babair River valley is included within the park. The approximately 1500 people who lived in this valley have been resettled else where in Bardia District. Since agriculture increased in the Babai valley, the regeneration of natural vegetation is increasing rapidly, making it an area of prime habitat for wildlife.
- About 70% of the park is covered dominantly with sal (Shorea robusta) forest with the balance of mixture of grassland, savanna and riverine forest. The altitudes vary from 152 meters on the Terai to 1441 meters at Sukarmala on the crest of the Churia range.
- As with the rest of Nepal the park's climate is affected by the summer monsoon. The best times to visit are between October and early April when weather is warm and dry. From April onwards the temperatures rise, peaking at around 45 C in May and pre-monsoon thunderstorms continue until late September. During this time most roads and rivers become impassable.
- Within the park are several open grassland areas (phanta) where game viewing is excellent. Blackbuck, found in a wild state only in Bardia, are frequently seen in Khairi Panditpur about 30 km south-east of the park HQ. Many forest roads throughout the park also offer excellent game viewing.
- The great one-horned rhinoceros was reintroduced to Bardia from Royal Chitwan National Park in 1986. Indications of the success of this translocation became obvious when a rhino calf was born early in 1988. The rhino's are usually seen in the western part of the park. In 1991, 25 great one-horned rhinos were also translocated to Babai valley from Royal Chitwan National Park.
- The Karnali River, one of Nepal's largest, borders the western edge of the park, providing excellent fishing for mahseer, a large game fish. The endangered Gangetic dolphin is also frequently seen.
- Sukarmala, the highest point on the crest of the Churia range, can be reached on foot from Karnali, Chisapani or Khairbhatti. From here there are excellent views north toward the Surkhet valley and south over the Terai. Another high point, Telpani, can be reached from Danawatal.
- The park can only be entered by road. There are regular flights from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj, from where public buses serve the far Western Terai. To reach the park headquarters at Thakurdwara, it is necessary to alight at Motipur and walk 8 km north of Lihalpur on the Nepalgunj-Surkhet road and drive west along the fair weather road inside the park to reach Thakurdwara. This usually takes 3-4 hrs. by 4 WD vehicle. The Mahendra Rajmarg is the main highway which crosses the park.
- As there are no medical facilities so it is advisable to carry a comprehensive first aid kit including medicines for intestinal problems. There is a radio at the park headquarters for use in emergencies.
- If you are travelling by your own vehicle make sure that you have ample amount of fuel, as there are no filling stations in the park area.
- Tourist accommodation within the park is at a tented camp on the banks of the Karnali River, although it is not cheap, the price includes all activities and meals. There are also lodges just outside the park at Chitkaiya, near the park HQ.