Chitwan National Park in Nepal
It is a rich natural area in the Terai, the subtropical southern part of Nepal. A total of 68 species of mammals, 544 species of birds, 56 species of herpetofauna and 126 species of fish have been recorded in the park. The park is especially renowned for its protection of One Horned Rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger and Gharial Crocodile.
Chitwan National Park is situated in south central Nepal in the sub tropical lowlands of the inner terai of Chitwan, Makawanpur, Parsa and Nawalparasi districts. It lies between 27°16.56’- 27°42.14’ Latitudes and 83°50.23’-84°46.25’ Longitudes. The altitude ranges from 110m to 850m above sea level. The park is bounded by the Rapti and Narayani River in the north, Parsa Wildlife Reserve in the east and Madi settlements and India border in the south. The physiography of the park consists of the Terai and Siwaliks. Three major rivers Narayani, Rapti and Reu, and their floodplains; and several lakes and pools are the major water sources of the park.
Being the first protected area of Nepal, it has a long history of over three decades in park management and rich experiences in nature conservation. Chitwan was a big game area for the royal families, Rana rulers and their guests. The area comprising the Tikauli forest from Rapti River to the foothills of the Mahabharat extending over an area of 175 km2 was declared as Mahendra Deer Park in 1959. The area south of the Rapti River was demarcated as a Rhino Sanctuary in 1963. It was proclaimed as Royal Chitwan National Park with an area of 932 km2 in 1973. After the peoples’ revolution in 2006, the park’s name was changed to Chitwan National Park.
In recognition of its unique biological resources of outstanding universal value, UNESCO designated CNP as a World Heritage Site in 1984. In 1996, an area of 750 km2 surrounding the park was declared a buffer zone, which consists of forests and private lands including cultivated lands. The buffer zone contains a Ramsar Site – Beeshazari Lakes.
The park and the local people jointly initiate community development activities and manage natural resources in the buffer zone. The government of Nepal has made a provision of plowing back 30-50 percent of the park revenue for community development in the buffer zone.
Famous places in Chitwan
The Narayani River flows north to south in the west of Bharatpur. It is the deepest and also one of the biggest rivers of Nepal. The Narayani Bridge over the river connects Chitwan District with Nawalparasi District of Nepal. Small islands, like Nagarban in Narayani river are popular picnic spots.
Sixty-nine species of fish belonging to 9 orders and 19 families were collected from the Narayani River system, Nepal. Of these, 13 species can be classified as cold water fish. The status of each fish species is described based on the observations from the Narayani and some of the tributaries. Forty-seven fishermen families are catching fish and all fishermen have reported decreasing fish catches. At Gaindakot (Nawalparasi) the catch per person per gear per day was 0.9 kg and at the Bharatpur municipality it was 1.3 kg. Because of low catches some river fishermen seek alternative work. The demand for fish remains high. It is recommended to set up a fish farm for producting Tor putitora (mahseer/sahar) and Neolissocheilus hexagonolepis (katle), protect the environment, minimise pollution, establish fish sanctuaries, ban destructive fishing methods and enforce fishery regulations.
It Begins from the Mahabharat ranges and ends at the Narayani river. It is Permanent River. It has irrigated about twelve thousand hectares of land. It grows smaller during summer season and swells during the monsoon season. Rarely, during the monsoon season it sweeps away many people and destroys all the property. Its tributaries are Hasta, Harta, Manahari, Karra and Lothar rivers. Furthermore, it separates the Royal Chitwan National Park from human habitation.
The Rapti River in the Central Nepal drains fold-thrust belts of the Lesser and the Sub-Himalayas as demarcated by four major thrusts, and is located in humid sub-tropical climatic zone. Within the Sub-Himalaya (Siwalik Group), a wide Dun Valley gives way the long low-gradient Rapti River in the northeast region, therefore, forming a characteristic piggy-back basin within the foldthrust belts. Sands from the Rapti River were obtained and analysed to characterise composition and texture, to verify its provenance, and to compare with modern and ancient sands/sandstones from different basins having similar tectonic setting. The Rapti River sand is quarto-lithic in composition. It plots on recycled orogeny provenance field in the QFL and QmFLt triangle diagrams showing no major difference in provenance with other sands/ sandstones from different climates. However, the Rapti River sand is remarkably poorer in feldspar but richer in lithic fragments and quartz compared to the other sands/sandstones.
Bish Hazari (20 thousand) lake:
Bish Hazari (20 Thousand) lake is in the southern corner of Bharatpur. The lake is very attractive for the bird lovers and serves as an important bird watching centre.The lake area houses lots of crocodiles and thus is equally attractive for the reptile lovers. The Lake Lies inside the jungle of Chitwan National Park. Bish hazari lake lies just 5 km south from the city centre (Chaubishkothi) of Bharatpur.
Devghat is one of the most holy places for Hindus and is located in ward no. 1, on the banks of Narayani and Kali river junction. Various caves and temples of Hindu God and Goddesses are located here. Devghat also holds a very beautiful natural attraction because of the two main and holy rivers. It is just 7 km from the city centre of Bharatpur.
Ganeshthan Temple (Baseni) is the most famous Hindu temple in Bharatpur and has a very long history. This temple is believed to be constructed by Muni Makunda Sen, King of Palpa in 15th century, but the modern temple was constructed in 1952 in the period of King Mahendra. This temple is located in Baseni, ward no. 11. Every Tuesday people from different parts of the city visit this temple to worship Lord Ganesh.
This temple located in ward no. 2, is also a very old one, believed to be built before Muni Makunda Sen and was renovated by yogi Narahari Nath . Is located in the Devghat area development district, but the area of Bageshwori temple is being used by Bharatpur medical college.
Harihar Temple (Narayangadh):
Harihar is another name of Hindu God Bishnu. This temple is on the banks of Narayani river.
Kalika is one of the very powerful Hindu goddess, this temple is in Bharatpur height. This temple is relatively new, built about 15 years ago.
Jakhadi Mai Temple (Baseni):
This temple is on the eastern corner of the Jungle in ward no. 11 and was constructed around 25 years ago by the locals.
Durga Temple (Baseni):
Durga Temple was built by the police force within the compound of Police Academy ,Bharatpur in 1992.
Pashupatinath Temple (Mahendra Buspark) Bharatpur:
This new temple is on the banks of the Narayani river with very beautiful scenery of Narayani and northern Jungle of Devghat Region. This temple has all the facilities for wedding ceremonies and other religious purposes.
Rameshowr Temple (Kchetrapur):
This Mahadev temple is also a new one ,built in 1994. This is the busiest temple in the city and also serves people through a health post and library.
Fort Palace and landmark buildingsUpardanghari fort:- It is in the old Headquarter of Chitwan district and is believed to be made by Satrubhanjan Sah, son of Prince Bahadur Sah to defend newly founded Kingdom in the 17th century. It is located on the top of a hill and overlooks a very nice natural scenery.
Kasrra Durbar (Palace):
Is an old palace made by Rana Regime inside the Chitwan National park. Now it is being used as an office of National park and also hosts a museum.
Activities in Chitwan national park
One can monitor wildlife activities in the deep jungle while sitting back on an Elephant. The duration of the elephant back safari is about 1 hour but you can hire an Elephant as long as you wish in additional price. Elephant ride is the most pleasant activities in the park. You may not want to miss the opportunity to explore Elephant breeding center where number of elephants are kept for reproducing purpose only.
The Chitwan National Park is the realm of more than 450 species of birds. Most people consider it as a heaven of the bird world. The best way to explore and study the different bird's activities and behave is to walk with a guide along the riverside of Royal Chitwan National park. Tiger Camp's expert bird watcher will guide you to view the colourful birds early in the morning; simultaneously you can enjoy sunrise tour.
Jeep safari in Jungle:
Jeep safari is a fastest way to discover the wide range of forest area in the Chitwan National Park. You will be in the dense forest after four hour's jeep drives which takes you about 50 kilometers inside the park, passing all sorts of vegetation and wildlife. As it is goes through the deep jungle and covers big area, the chances of discovering wildlife are high. Jeep safari is not only fastest way to discover wild activities but also it is safe. It is the very exciting programme. You will be drive towards the crocodile breeding farm while going through jungle drive.
Nature walk or jungle walks:
Jungle Walk tour allows you to explore several different habitat areas, from the flood-plain grassland to the dense Sal forests, where you get the opportunity to encounter different animals sight at your own pace. Since it disturbs the animals, less to walk through the forest, it is usually a better chance for discovering wildlife. You may learn about different kind of plants and herbs in the National park that might be useful sometime. The guide can explain about the wild animals, birds, trees, herbs and even reptiles.
Dugout canoe ride:
Floating down to Rapti River on a dugout canoe is the best way to discover the habitat of crocodiles in the river. It is also a relaxing and better way to watch the different kind of birds and wildlife species, while they are drinking water in the bank of river Rapti.
Tharu Cultural Dance:
Culture Dance: After a day, full of wild encounters, you will enjoy the culture evening with Tharu Folk songs and dance performance by the Tharu people, which gives an insight into their culture. You will have amazing dancing experience in Chitwan.
Elephant Breeding Center:
Chitwan National Park has a renowned elephant breeding camp. It is among the very few elephant-
breeding center around the world. You can enjoy seeing the newly born baby elephant and knowing about their fertility technique.
Night Stay at the Jungle Tower:
Several towers and lakes have been created by a local community committee to preserved wildlife in forest. There are provisions for a whole night stay in an extraordinary deep and peaceful jungle environment.
Cycling tour to 20000 lakes:
You can also take a bicycle ride to Bis Hajjar Tal (20,000 Lake) in about 1½ hours. You may see rhinos, Gharial and magar crocodile and birds at the lake. You should get to the lake early in morning. A bike should be reserved the night before.
On the middle of the day riding on the bare back of the elephant & go to the Rapti River. Swimming and washing them is great fun to play with large mammals.