Chitwan National Park (932 sq. km.)
Chitwan National Park established in 1973 was declared UNESCO Natural Site in 1984. The park that includes in its area a part of the shivalik hills is covered with deciduous of forest overlooking the floodplains of Narayani, Rapti and Reu rivers and offering a wilderness of rich ecosystem that includes mammals, birds, reptiles and water animals of several kinds. There are around 600 plant species, 50 mammals, 526 birds and 49 amphibians reptiles found in this park. The highlights, of course, are the 500 Asian one-horned rhinoceros and some 100 nocturnal Royal Bengal tigers that live in the dense forest of the park. Sharing home in these is other animal like rhesus monkey, grey langur, deer, leopards, white stockinged gaur, wild boar, wild dogs and wild cats. Among reptiles are different kinds of snakes including the python, while the river areas breed amphibians like the endangered snouted gharial popularly known as Gangetic Crocodile and Marsh Crocodiles. The forest is alive during summer with the arrival of migrant birds paradise flycatcher, Indian pitta and Parakeets, while winter birds include waterfowl, Brahminy ducks, peachens, floricans and redheaded trogons. A rare attraction of the park is the world’s fresh water dolphin variety sometimes seen in River Narayani. Another factor adding a distinct touch to the Chitwan experience is the colorful Tharu culture. These are also sites of religious and historical importance at Devghat, Pandavnagar, Balmiki Ashram and Kabilaspur.
Activities: Jungle safari on elephant back, jungle walk, canoe ride, jeep drive, and observation of Tharu culture.
Accommodation: Resort hotels lodges
Access: The park headquarters’ at Kasara is 21-km drive from Bharatpur, which is 20 minutes by air or 146 km by road from Kathmandu.
Best Season: Oct- Feb( average temperature 25 degree Celsius): Mar-Jun (hot, upto 43 Degrees), July-Sep(rainy)