Royal Chitwan Park, Nepal


By Sanjeev Verma


The Royal Chitwan Park got its name from 'Chituwa Ban', which means 'Leopard Forest' and is a paradise of wild animals and birds living in the lap of nature. Designated as World Heritage Site in 1984, Royal Chitwan Park is situated in lower region of Southern Nepal. Nepal is a country which lies in the Himalayan mountain range with thick tropical jungles, blessed with a wealth of wildlife and snow fed rivers. There is a vast scope of tourism in Nepal because of its diversity of tourist attractions.


In the earlier days Chitwan used to serve as hunting ground for Kings of Nepal. As hunting in large scale became the cause of threat to the decreasing number of wild animals, specially one horned Rhinos, the park got a great relief when in 1963 its two third area was declared as Rhino Sanctuary. It became the first national park of Nepal in 1973, covering an area of 932 sq km. The stunning topography and its amazing wildlife attract nature lovers from across the globe and provides an opportunity to be in the company of some of the rarest species of animals and birds in the world, which are at the verge of extinction.


Geographical Area of Chitwan National Park


Chitwan is located between an altitude of 150 to 815 meters above sea level, on a river valley basin. It lies 140 km South-West of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. It covers an area of 93,200 hectares and is situated in Churia Hills. On the West of the park are the rugged Someshwar Hills whereas on the Eastern side, it shares the boundary with Parsa Wildlife Reserve. Its area include flood plains of Narayani, Reu and Rapti rivers.


Climate of Chitwan National Park


With tropical monsoon climate prevailing in the region, summers here are hot with mercury rising as high as 30 degrees, whereas winter climate is dry and cold. Monsoon showers wet this land in the months from May to September flooding its rivers. A stroll in the park on Elephant back is what brings you nearer to the nature and in direct eye contact with the wild beasts.


Flora and Fauna of Chitwan National Park


Royal Chitwan National Park is a habitat of around 500 species of birds, 50 mammals and 55 amphibians and reptiles. Main attractions of the park are Royal Bengal Tiger and one horned Rhinoceros. Area of the park is 70 percent covered by Sal forests and rest of the area is grassland or covered by fifty various kinds of grasses. Simal, Sisau and Khair trees are also found in its jungles. Elephant Grass is found in abundance in the forest area.


One horned Rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger, Gangetic Dolphin, Four Horned Antelope, Wild Elephant, Chital, Barking Deer, Hog Deer, Wild Dog, Langur, Monkey and Pangolin are the main wild animals found here in their natural habitat amidst thick forests of Sal.


If we talk about Avifauna, Giant Hornbill, White Stork, Lesser Florican, Bengal Florican, Woodpeckers, Kingfishers, Flycatchers and Black Stork are the species which can be spotted here in this park. Many species of migrated birds like Cranes migrate in winters to this park from as far as Siberia. It is also a suitable habitat for the reptiles like Golden Monitor, Cobra, Viper, Green Pit, Gharial, Python and Crocodile. Read also « Fauna of Nepal » and « Flora of Nepal »


How to reach Royal Chitwan Park


Air: Kathmandu is the nearest airport, which is connected by the flights of various airways. From the airport one can reach Chitwan through taxi or buses, which fly at regular intervals.


Road: Chitwan is connected by private and public tourist buses from different cities in Nepal. The nearest city is Bharatpur which is at a distance of 10 km from the park.


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