Information about the Chitwan National Park
A large part of the Rapti Valley in the lowlands of the
Teria region has been considered as a national park and
is known as the Royal Chitwan National Park. This park
is situated 120 km southwest of Kathmandu in the valley
of Rapti and Narayani rivers. Chitwan National Park is
the oldest, best known, developed and most frequently
visited national park in Nepal. This national park
covers an area of 932 square km and consists of thick
forests, swamp, tall elephant grass and rivers. Chitwan
National Park is a 3800 sq km basin surrounded by the
hills, the Siwaliks in the south and the Mahabharat Lekh
in the north and the Narayani and Rapti rivers flowing
from east to west. Before 1950 the Tharus lived here in
numbers, apparently immune to malaria. The malaria eradication
programme encouraged settlement and land-hungry peasant
farmers reduced the area under natural vegetation cover. The
National Park now occupies the area between the Rapti and its
tributary the Reu, with the centre rising to 738 m. Mt.
Manaslu and Himalchuli can be seen on clear days. There is an
airstrip at Meghauli on the northern banks of the Rapti river.
The Chitwan National Park was a private
hunting reserve of the Ranas. Massive shikars were organized
for visiting dignitaries such as European royalty and Viceroys
of India. They were aided by a continuous line of beaters
driving the game towards the guns and there was wholesale
slaughter. The Maharaja of Nepal and his guests shot 433
tigers and 53 rhino in the period 1933 –40. In 1973, this park
became the Nepal's first national park and strict measures
were taken and hunting and poaching were banned. Conservation
measures have increased the rhino and tiger population to
about 400 and 80. This park was declared as a World Heritage
Site in 1984. The best time to visit Chitwan National Park is
from October to March.
Wildlife Attractions in the Chitwan National Park
Some of the animals which can be seen in the Chitwan National
Park are tiger, great one-horned Indian rhinoceros, leopard,
gaur, sloth bear, wild bear, sambar, hog and barking deer,
civet, mongoose, otter, marsh mugger crocodile, gharial and
the Gangetic dolphin. In addition, there are about 50 more
species of mammals, 400 species of birds and several varieties
of fish. The long snouted fish-eating gharial is an endangered
species and a breeding farm has been established at Kasara.
Elephants, though not native, are used for taking visitors
through the park.
How to reach Chitwan National Park
The Royal Nepal Airlines runs daily flights to Meghauli from
Kathmandu, which is situated near the Chitwan National Park.
Chitwan National Park is located near Pokhara and Kathmandu.