Chitwan National Park



Royal Chitwan National Park stands today as a successful testimony of nature conservation in South Asia. This is the first national park of Nepal established in 1973 to preserve a unique ecosystem significantly valuable to the whole world. The park covering a pristine area of 932 sq. km is situated in the subtropical inner Terai lowlands of southern central part of Nepal. The park has gained much wider recognition in the world when UNESCO included this area on the list of World Heritage Site in 1984.

Formerly, the Chitwan valley was well known for big game and was exclusively managed as a hunting reserve for the Rana Prime Ministers and their guests until 1950. In 1963, the area south of Rapti was demarcated as a rhinoceros sanctuary. In 1970, His late Majesty King Mahendra had approved in principle the creation of Royal Chitwan National Park.

The park consists of churia hills, ox-bow lakes, flood plains of Rapti, Reu and Narayani rivers. The Churia hill rises gradually towards the east from 150 m to over 800 m. The lower but most rugged Someshwor hills occupy most of the western portion of the park. The flood plains of Chitwan are rich alluvial. The park boundaries have been delineated by the Narayani and Rapti rivers in the north and west, and the Reu river and Someshwor hills in the south and south-west. It shares its eastern border with Parsa Wildlife Reserve.

Quick Facts on Chitwan National Park

  • Chitwan is known as Chitwan National Park, mainly because the city’s main attraction is the national park itself!
  • Chitwan National Park is included in the list of world heritage sites, this protected area has a forest with area of 360 square miles (about 932 square kilometers)
  • 7 world class resorts run by park concessionaire are located inside the park alone! Other numerous resorts and hotels are located outside the park, all giving tourists with more options for price and services.
  • One Horned Rhinos and Bengal Tigers are the main two animals that are famous in the park. Spotting them while on a safari will be the joy of a life-time. To spot bengal tiger, you might have to extend your stay in Chitwan a little longer!!
  • Altitude of the park ranges from 492 feet (150m) to 2673 feet (815m)
  • Over a 50 different mammals and 450 species of birds are located in the park
  • The prefix “Royal” is being slowly removed from many names in Nepal such as from the name Royal Nepal Airlines which is now Nepal Airlines. Similarly Royal Chitwan National Park is now just called Chitwan National Park.

Climate of Chitwan National Park

The park has a range of climatic seasons each offering unique experience. October through February with average temperature of 25C offers an enjoyable climate. From March to June temperatures can reach as high as 43*C. The hot humid days give way to the monsoon season that typically lasts from late June until September when rivers become flooded and most of the roads are virtually impassable. Mean annual rainfall of the park has been recorded 2150mm.

In late January, local villagers are allowed to cut thatch grasses to meet their needs, which offer a better viewing of wildlife to visitors. Also, between September and November, and February and April, migratory birds join the residential birds and create spectacular bird watching opportunities. While the monsoon rains bring lush vegetation, most trees flower in late winter. The palash tree, known as the “flame of the forest”, and silk cotton tree have spectacular crimson flowers that can be seen from a distance.

By Anil Blon


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