The first National Park of Nepal, Chitwan National Park is one of the country’s natural wonder. This World Heritage Site is situated in south-central part of the Himalayan Kingdom. Established in the year 1973, it was previously known as the Royal Chitwan National Park as it served as the hunting grounds for the ruling class of Nepal where wild animals like rhinos, leopards, tigers and sloth bears were killed. It now sprawls in an area of 932 square kilometers housing an array of wildlife and some endangered species of animals. Chitwan National Park is one of the important tourist attractions in Nepal which experiences around ninety thousand footfalls every year.
Due to its location in the central climatic range of Nepal, it experiences only dry, rain and monsoon seasons. Nestled in the sub-tropical inner Terai lowlands in the Chitwan district of Nepal, the park falls at an altitude of hundred meters in the river valleys to around eight hundred meters in the Churia Hills. So, it consists of a diversity of eco-systems which includes the Churia Hills, Ox-bow lakes, and the flood plains of Narayani, Reu and Rapti rivers. This is the last surviving natural ecosystem in the Terai region covering sub-tropical lowlands. Around seventy percent of the forest area is covered by Sal trees, the leaves of which are used as plates during festivals, religious occasions etc. And grassland covers around twenty percent of the area.
An elephant safari inside the park allows the visitors to have a close view of the Great Indian One-horned rhinoceros and the elusive Royal Bengal tigers. The other species of animals which houses in Chitwan National Park are sloth bear, elephant, leopard, golden jackal, jungle cat, Bengal fox, striped hyena, wild dogs, mongoose, Indian porcupines, sambar deer, wild boar, four-horned antelope and the list does goes on and on. Varied species of monitor lizards, tortoise and snakes are found in this park along with Rock python and King cobra. The streams and lakes inside the park premises give shelter to various species of fish and mugger crocodiles. It’s a paradise for the bird’s watchers as well which records around five hundred species of birds. Bengal florican, swamp francolin, lesser adjutant, grey-crowned prinia, slender-billed babbler, erget, kingfisher, stork, spotted eagle peafowl, Brahminy duck and cuckoo are some of the colorful birds which offer delight to the eyes of the visitors. Paradise flycatcher with its long undulating tail is a spectacular sight while it takes flight.
Tourists exploring this part of Nepal can also visit museums, temples and animal breeding centers. The diversity of flora and fauna along with the wonderful setting in the lowlands of the mighty Himalayas, Chitwan National Park gives its best to the visitors. The vivacious and diverse panorama of wildlife gives adventurous wild treat. National Park vacations are the best way to escape to the lap of nature from the hustle and bustle of city life. A visit to this park will also give you lots of information and golden memories.