Khaptad National Park has received encouraging number of domestic and foreign visitors after the COVID-19 infection rate in the district subsided significantly.

The park and surrounding areas have turned green and the lakes full with the monsoon rain are also other pull factors.

Approximately 3,000 tourists, both domestic and foreign, visited KNP amid the pandemic, said the park. "The infection in the district has dropped to zero. Many tourists have visited the KNP and other tourist destinations. Now the area is beautiful and this has attracted tourists."

There is a home stay facility and a resting place constructed at Jhigrana and Baglek, an entrance to the KNP, which has added to the number of tourists, said Hariwan Saud, a resident of Purbichauki Rural Municipality.

The park is a major attraction for tourists, said Rajendra Shahi, president of Hotel Entrepreneurs Association, Doti. "Now, Khaptad is the main choice of tourists. The area could have attracted more tourists had there been good transportation services and other infrastructure," he said. Khaptad receives around 90 tourists on a daily basis, said the park.

Most of the domestic tourists visiting KNP are from Bajura, Achham, Bajhang and Doti districts, said Karka Bahadur Singh, chairperson of Khaptad Tourism Development Committee.

Tribeni Dham, Nagdhunga, Ashram of Khaptad Swami and the 22 meadows are among the tourist destinations in the area.

Besides, Ganga Dashahara Fair and a jatra on the occasion of Janai Purnima that are organised in the area in the Nepali month of Jestha attract tourists, said Dinesh Thakulla, a resident of Baglek. "In the previous years, hundreds of people came here to see jatras.

Many people visit the place to observe cultural festivals," he said.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 16 2021, of The Himalayan Times.