Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park is located in the mid Terrai area of Nepal. It’s famous for a jungle that has a population of tigers, elephants, Rhinoceros, crocodiles and a host of bird life.
Chitwan National Park is the first national park in Nepal. Formerly called Royal Chitwan National Park it was established in 1973 and granted the status of a World Heritage Site in 1984. It covers an area of 932 km2 (360 sq mi) and is located in the subtropical Inner Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal in the Chitwan District. In altitude it ranges from about 100 m (330 ft) in the river valleys to 815 m (2,674 ft) in the Churia Hills.
In the north and west of the protected area the Narayani-Rapti river system forms a natural boundary to human settlements. Adjacent to the east of Chitwan National Park is Parsa Wildlife Reserve, contiguous in the south is the Indian Tiger Reserve Valmiki National Park. The coherent protected area of 2,075 km2 (801 sq mi) represents the Tiger Conservation Unit (TCU) Chitwan-Parsa-Valmiki, which covers a 3,549 km2 (1,370 sq mi) huge block of alluvial grasslands and subtropical moist deciduous forests.
Chitwan National Park has long been regarded as Nepal’s third biggest attraction after trekking and the Kathmandu Valley. This huge and beautiful nature reserve protects 932 sq km of sal forest, water marshes and rippling grassland. The park is one of the last refuges of the endangered one-horned Indian rhino and there are sizeable populations of tigers, leopards and rare Gangetic dolphins.
Chitwan was declared a national park in 1973, following approval by the late King Mahendra in December 1970. The bye-laws (Royal Chitwan National Park Regulations) were introduced on 4 March 1974. Substantial additions were made to the park in 1977 and the adjacent Pars a wildlife Reserve was established in 1984. The habitat had been well protected as a royal hunting reserve from 1846 to 1951 during the Rana regime. An area south of the Rapti River was first proposed as a rhinoceros sanctuary in 1958 (Gee, 1959), demarcated in 1963 (Gee, 1963; Willan, 1965) and later incorporated into the national park. Chitwan was designated as a World Heritage site in November 1984.
Royal Chitwan National Park it was established in 1973 and granted the status of a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. It covers an area of 932 sq km and is located in the subtropical Inner Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal in the Chitwan District. There are many species of birds, crocodiles, rhinos, sloth bears, tigers (though almost never seen), and monkeys. The elephants you will see walking through the village are domesticated and used for taking tourists on sightseeing excursions. Of course it would not be Nepal without the usual cows, goats, and stray dogs roaming the village as well. Rhino sightings less than a half-mile from the village are not uncommon.
Since the end of the 19th century Chitwan – Heart of the Jungle – used to be a favorite hunting ground for Nepal’s ruling class during the winter seasons. Until the 1950s, the journey from Kathmandu to Nepal’s south was arduous as the area could only be reached by foot and took several weeks. In an area known as Four Mile Forest comfortable camps were set up for the feudal big game hunters and their entourage, where they stayed for a couple of months shooting hundreds of tigers, rhinocerosses, leopards and sloth bears.
Climate of Chitwan National Park
The park has a range of climatic seasons each offering unique experience. October through February with average temperature of 25C offers an enjoyable climate. From March to June temperatures can reach as high as 43*C. The hot humid days give way to the monsoon season that typically lasts from late June until September when rivers become flooded and most of the roads are virtually impassable. Mean annual rainfall of the park has been recorded 2150mm.
In late January, local villagers are allowed to cut thatch grasses to meet their needs, which offer a better viewing of wildlife to visitors. Also, between September and November, and February and April, migratory birds join the residential birds and create spectacular bird watching opportunities. While the monsoon rains bring lush vegetation, most trees flower in late winter. The palash tree, known as the “flame of the forest”, and silk cotton tree have spectacular crimson flowers that can be seen from a distance.
Things to do in Chitwan National Park, Nepal
Tharu Village Tour
The Tharu ethnic group has long inhabited the Chitwan region. And so a trip to this part of the world would not be complete without getting a sense of what their world and lives are like. We offer to take our guests to their villages so they can interact with the locals.
Ox cart ride in Chitwan
Ox cart ride is a traditional transport of the Tharu people (local people) where a cart is pulled by pair of oxen. Ox cart ride is usually a slow trip through villages to the elephant stable and a small museum to learn about the Tharu culture, but you will have fun as you go through villages to experience the living style of the Tharu people
Elephant Breeding Center at Sauraha
Of all the animals, elephant probably the most graceful. Our naturalist will take you the hattisar to demonstrate how elephants meals are prepared and how they eat in the elephant breeding center. they will explain the nature and habits of elephants . The unique center was established in 1985 for the captive breeding of domesticated elephant trapping for domestication.
Located in Sauraha the Elephant breeding center was set up to protect the endangered elephants in the region. There are often many baby elephants there and a small museum. The center is walkable from Sauraha but it will take 1 hour depending on the heat and road conditions. Tours or rickshaw transport are available part of the way.
Entrance prices are 50/60 rupees for a foreigner (westerner), 25 SAARC, 10 Nepalese. Opening hours are 6am to 6pm though generally it starts to close around 5pm.
Tharu Cultural Show
Tharu Culture Show plays a significant role to entertain the tourist visiting Chitwan and to introduce the Tharu Culture and tradition to the guests.
During evening, guests at lodge can experience the vibrant traditional cultural performances of the Tharu community. These performances tell the takes of their culture, and their wardrobes reflect the relationship between their people and their environment. The performance takes place by the outdoor fireplace, and guests should come prepared to dance! These performances, for which lodge offers a generous honorarium, is also a way in which the community and our resort partner to literally make it feasible to keep the traditional performances alive for future generations.
Elephant bathing in Chitwan
Elephant bathing is also an exciting entertainment activity available to the tourist in Sauraha. The tourist can play with the elephants and dive in the river from the back of elephant while it is bathing. The sight of elephant bathing playing with humans is equally entertaining. It is even enjoyable to only view the elephant baths.
There is a virtual competition between the tourists to take photographs of the bathing elephant. The elephants at times throw off the riders into water as per the instruction is exciting to the limit. Elephant bath is one of the major attraction of Sauraha.
Just chill out beside the tranquility of the Rapti River and watch the appealing elephant taking a bath or if its too tempting, join them while taking a dip down the river. – See more at:
Elephant Safaris in Chitwan National Park-Nepal
Elephant safaris have remained a popular jungle activity in the Chitwan National park for generations. In the era gone by, such safaris were regularly reserved for hunting parties of Aristocrats and Royals. For some time now, elephant safaris has served as medium through which guests to the region can connect with Chitwan’s forests and its inhabitants.
Every elephant has a ‘Mahout,’ who serves as the animal’s caretakers, trainer and ‘driver.’ On the safaris, the Mahout leads the elephant on a journey to seek out the forest’s wild animals in their natural setting. The lucky ones often go home with photographic proof of the prized one horned rhino, or even the Bengal tiger! Although the connection with nature and the experience of being in the forest, on the back of an elephant is no second prize!
Jeep Safaris in Chitwan National Park
For those who do not fancy riding an elephant, want to see the forest from closer to the ground, we also have 4X4 jeep safaris. Our experienced guides and naturalist accompany these safaris to guide you through the jungle and many the wonders if offers.
To truly get a feel of the forest, get up and about on your feet! The Jungle Walks, organized in the morning, is one of the best ways to experience wilderness and refresh your spirit of adventure. And as adventurous as these walks maybe, our expert guides also take care to keep it safe for you.
Chitwan National park’s 932 sq. km is home to over 650 species of birds. Flocks of common and demoiselle cranes occur on passage between March and May, and again between October and November. You will also spot Cormorants, Dater, Cinnamon Bittern, Black-Crowned Night, Purple Herons, Kingfishers along the marshes and small lakes in the Park.