Introduction: Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve lies in Rukum, Myagdi and Baglung Districts in the Dhaulagiri Himal range in West Nepal. Putha, Churen and Gurja Himal extend over the northern boundary of the reserve. Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve was established in 1983 and was gazetted in 1987. Management objectives of the reserve allow sports hunting and preserve a representative high altitude ecosystem in West Nepal Details About the Reserve:
* The reserve extends over an area of 1325 sq. km and is a former hunting reserve. The higher elevations remain snow-capped throughout the year. Altitudes vary from 3000 m. to more than 7000 m. The flat meadows above tree line (4000 m), locally known as Patan, is divided into six blocks for hunting management purposes.
* The reserve is surrounded by villages on all sides except the north. Local people depend on the reserve to meet their requirements for wood, fuelwood, fodder, and pasture. The refugee camp near the reserve headquarters has put more human pressure in the forest. Every year livestock grazing activities begin from February and last until October. More than 80,000 livestock enter the reserve.
* The majority of people belong to the Mongoloid race, including Magar. Thakali, and Gurung, Amalgamation of different ethnic groups has resulted in a mixed pattern of cultures.
* Dhorbaraha, a Hindu religious place on the banks or Uttarganga River near Dhorpatan, is in Fagune bloc. Every year on the day of “Janai Purnima” in August, a religious fair is held here which is attended by many local devotees. The magnificent view of Dhaulagiri Himal from Barse. Dogari and Gustung blocs are exceptional. Snag and Sundaha bloc are rich in wild animals.
Vegetation and Wildlife:
* The reserve is characterized by alpine, sub-alpine and high temperate vegetation. Common plant species include fir, pine, birch, rhododendron, hemlock, oak, juniper and spruce. Pasturelands occupy more than 50% of the total area of the reserve at higher elevations.
* The reserve is one of the prime habitats for blue sheep, a highly coveted trophy. Other animals found are : leopard, goral, serow, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan black bears, barking deer, wild boar, rhesus macaque, langur and mouse hare.
* Pheasants and partridge are common and their viable population in the reserve permits controlled hunting.
* Endangered Animals in the reserve include Musk deer, Wolf, Red panda, Cheer pheasant and Danphe.
* A hunting license is issued by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife conservation.
* The monsoon lasts until the beginning of October. Day time temperatures are very low during winter due to strong winds. Higher elevations remain covered by cloud in the morning, later cleared by the wind. Snow may occur even at low elevation until early April, however, it soon melts. The best time to visit the reserve is March-April.
How to Get There:
* Public bus service is available from Kathmandu to Tansen and Tamgash Gulmi from where the reserve HQ. is a three day walk via Burtibang.
* Flight service reaches Baglung from Kathmandu and Pokhara. The reserve HQ. can be reached in 4 days walk from Balewa, Baglung.
* A public bus can be taken to Baglung from Pokhara followed by a 4 day walk via Baglung Beni-Darbang-Lumsum and Jaljala to reach Dhorpatan.
* A helicopter charter may be available on request from Kathmandu.
Some Important Points:
* Local people are allowed to collect limited quantities of fuelwood for their use. Visitors are requested to be self-sufficient with fuel before entering the reserve. Since no medical facilities are available in the reserves, it is suggested that visitors carry a comprehensive first-aid kit including medicines for intestinal disorders. Two hotels/lodges catering simple Nepali foods are located at Chhyantung near Dhorpatan.
Entry Fees into Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve:
* Reserve fee per person per entry:
* For Nepali Nationals Rs 20
* For SAARC Nationals Rs 200
* For Foreign Nationals Rs 500
* Children under 10 years free