Chitwan National Park (Nepali: चितवन राष्ट्रिय निकुञ्ज) is the first national park in Nepal. It was established in 1973 and granted the status of a World Heritage Site in 1984. It covers an area of 952.63 km2 (367.81 sq mi) and is located in the subtropical Inner Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal in the districts of Nawalparasi, Parsa, Chitwan and Makwanpur. 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 National Park, 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.
The park is home to 56 species of mammals, 49 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 525 species of birds. Wildlife found here include endangered species like the one-horned rhinoceros and the Royal Bengal tiger, gaur, wild elephant, four-horned antelope, leopard, sloth bear, wild boar, rhesus monkey, grey langur monkey, wild dog, small wild cats, and many other smaller animals. Also found here are cobras, kraits and pythons.The swampy areas and numerous oxbow lakes of Chitwan provide a home for the marsh mugger crocodiles. In a stretch of the Narayani River are found one of the few remaining populations of the rare and endangered fish-only eating gharial, or Gangetic crocodile. Also found here is one of the world’s four species of freshwater dolphins.
The park is a great place to watch colorful birds like woodpecker, hornbill, Bengal florican and red-headed trogon. Winter birds such as waterfowls, Brahminy duck, pintails and bareheaded geese are drawn by the sanctuary of the park’s rivers. In summers, the forest is alive with nesting migrants such as the fabulous paradise flycatcher, the Indian pitta and parakeets. Winter birds include migratory birds from Siberia.
JUNGLE SAFARI :
A typical 2-nights/3-days jungle safari includes wildlife safari on elephants, canoe ride to watch the crocodiles and water birds, rural tour to view the lifestyle of the indigenous Tharu people, and nature walks to see the exotic flora and fauna.Apart from the jungle safari, the Elephant Breeding Center and Gharial Crocodile Farm, where these animals and reptiles have been successfully bred in captivity, are worth a visit.
P.O. Box 11026, Nayabazar Khushibun, Kathmandu, Nepal
Sauraha, Chitwan, Nepal