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Royal Chitwan National Park

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Royal Chitwan National Park

Royal Chitwan National Park Banner.jpg


Chitwan National Park is in Central Nepal.

Understand[edit]

History[edit]

In 1973, Chitwan National Park was established covering 932 sq km area is now listed in the World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1984. The Park consists of a diversity of ecosystems-including the Churia hills, Ox-bow lakes, and the flood plains of the Rapti, Reu and Narayani Rivers. The Churia hills rise slowly towards the East from 150 m. to more than 800 m. The western portion of the Park is comprised of the lower but more rugged, Someshwar hill. The Park shares its eastern boundary with the Parsa Wildlife Reserve. Recently a website has been launched about Chitwan that provides almost all of the information about Chitwan and Chitwan National Park. The website address is [1]. You can get all information including past and present. You can also find events that is going to happen in future from this website.

The Royal Chitwan National Park is a very popular tourist destination in Nepal. Visitors have the option to enter the park from the eastern town of Sauraha or the western village of Meghauli. Sauraha is the most popular entrance and is where most of all the package tours go. It has more than 150 hotels for all budgets, dozens of restaurans and bars and many tour agencies offering jungle treks and elephant safaries. Meghauli Village is a small Tharu settlement recently open as a "village tourism destination" with the creation of 5 Tharu Homestays. Here there are also 7 luxury jungle resorts and all the infrastructure to run the same jungle activities than in Sauraha, but in a much more intimate environment and with the plus of offering a real nepalese village experience. But here there are no ATMs, internet cafes or souvenir shops, and just a handfull of local restaurants.

Landscape[edit]

The park compromise 932 square kilometres of tropical and subtropical vegetation, with grassland, riverine and Sal forest. Three rivers shape most of its boundaries: the Narayani and Rapti in the north, and the Rew flowing through the National Park.

Flora and fauna[edit]

The Royal Chitwan National Park is home to a very rich flora and fauna. The park is world renown for being one of the last refugees of the one horn rhino and home to other fascinating species like royal Bengal tigers, leopards, Asiatic elephants, wild boars, sloth bears, the endanger gharial crocodiles, monkeys, 5 types of deers and more than 600 species of birds.

Climate[edit]

Being on the plain terrains of Nepal, the weather here is much warmer than in the rest of the country. From November to February (winter time) the nights and mornings can be cold (around 10 degrees), but the temperature during the day is very pleasant. From March to June is very hot and humid, specially from 10am until 4 pm. From July to September is monzoon season and the heavy rain can make the jungle and roads very muddy and full of leaches.

Get in[edit]

The main transportation hub for the Chitwan area is the city of Narayangarh in Bharatpur. From here you can go to the east to Sauraha or to the west to Meghauli Village (there are regular buses departing to both destination). There is also an airpoprt here (Bharatpur) with flights operating to and from Kathmandu and Pokhara.

There are direct buses to and from Kathmandu to Meghauli Village departing from the Kalanki Bus Park every day in the early morning and leaving passengers right in the village. You can get to the bus station by taxi or walking 20 minutes from Thamel to Balaju Chowk and then taking a local bus to Kalanki. On the way back buses depart from the main bus stand of the village.

All "tourist buses" going from Kathmandu or Pokhara with destination "Chitwan National Park" go to the tourist town of Sauraha and will leave passengers in a bus station 7 km far from town from where they need to take a taxi, bicicle rickshaw or ox cart.

Fees/Permits[edit]

For all activities inside and outside (yes, really), visitors must pay NPR 1700 for a park permit. There's no way for you to enter the park without a guide, so add a price of a tour to your budget.

In Meghauli Village you can do a walk in the Community Jungle with very good chances of seing rhinos and other animals. The fee is a fraction of the National Park but you still need to hire a guide, as the animals living in this jungle are very dangerous.

Get around[edit]

Both Meghauli Village and Sauraha are small towns and can easily be covered by foot. To explore nearby villages it is possible to rent bycicles or hire a buffalo cart.

See[edit]

  • Gharial Breeding Center, Kasara 1Km. A crocodile breeding center.
  • Lake Lamital
  • Lake Devital
  • Bikram Baba' , a religious site.
  • Chitwan Hatisar Elephant Breeding Center A museum about elephants in Nepal and stalls for about 10 female elephants with their young ones, which are chained and don't look too happy, although breeding elephants for the national park is supposingly helpful.
  • Bishajari Tal (20000 Lakes). This lake chain is made up of many small lakes spreading and covering huge area of national park. The name however, doesn't derive from the number of lakes, but from the fact that the lakes are situated about 20 000 feet from the highway - a slight disapointment. You can do a bicycle tour to the lakes, which is quite nice as you see the nature and observe many birds, crocodiles and quite often see a rhino.
  • World Elephant Polo Competition
  • Local native dances - quite interesting and usually included in your "hotel package". Stick dancing is very loud as they hit sticks together to form a rhytm.
  • Devghatdham, On Sunauli(Closest to NarayanGhat Bus Stand)-Bharatpur-Mudling Highway Node. An Abode of the Gods, a religious site.  edit
  • Kailaspuri. A religious site.  edit
  • Balmiki Ashram.  edit
  • Pandavnagar. A historio-religious site  edit


Do[edit]

Jungle walk: the jungle inside the Chitwan National park and the Community Jungle of Meghauli Village is a very rich ecosystem and a walk here gives you the chance to see deers, monkeys, wild boars, wild elephants, one horne rhino and many species of birds. Walking with a certified guide is mandatory as these animals can be very dangerous. Tharu guides also know about traditional indigenous medicine and can explain the use of the different grass that the Tharu people collect from the jungle to build their houses, feed the animals, make baskets and produce utensils. In the Community Jungle of Meghauli Village there is a watching tower where you can spend the night for a small fee.

Elefant Safari: the safest way to see wildlife in the jungle is on top of one of the magnificent Asian Elephants. These huge animals make little noise when they move and from their backs you can see great distances and spot animals that sometimes hide behind the tall grass. You can take an Elephant Safari inside the Chitwan National Park or in the Community Forest of Meghaulli Village.

Elephant bath: you can go on top on an elephant inside the Rapti River and help to bathe this beautiful animal.

Jeep safari: going by jeep in the jungle will allow you to get deep inside the park. But keep in mind that the noise of the motors usually scares away the animals, reducing your chances of spotting wildlife.

Crocodile breading centre: any jungle activity inside the park can include a visit to the crocodile breading centre where is possible to come in close contact with the two type of crocodiles that lives in the area, the mugger and the endanger gharial or fish eater.

Swimming in the Rapti river: any jungle program can end with a swim in the Rapti river, after the guides had checked that there are no crocodiles in the area. In some places is necessary to cross by canoe.

Motorcycle Safari Explore the Jungle and traditional Tharu villages on a classic motorcycle. Hearts and Tears Motorcycle Club organise everything out of Pokhara, and bring a local nature guide along for the ride. Just amazing.

The Chitwan Jungle Guides(Crazy Tiger's Trek & Tours), Chitwan National Park, Sauraha (two minute walk from Park entrance Gate, 300 meter far From Government Elephant Stable, and 50 meter far from wildlife display center.), ☎ +9779845272531, [1]. The Chitwan Jungle Guides(Crazy Tiger's Trek & Tours) is a local tour company, which is run by local Nature guides, they organize all kinds of jungle safari tours, and they have specially recommended because who talk with you about tours they guide you. they organize Long and short Jungle Walk (up to 7 days), Canoeing trip (1 -8 hours), Elephant Ride, Jeep safari tours, and Birding, cultural tour, religious tour,Night camping in the jungle, etc.... and more

Buy[edit]

  • Honey
  • Stuff for Bikram Baba if you are religious

Drink[edit]

  • Jungle Pub The original bar on the beach, and the ideal place to watch the sun go down over the jungle. It's also the hang-out of the custom motorcycle riders from Kathmandu and Pokhara when they're in town, so you might see some interesting Royal Enfield bikes.

There are no tourist pubs in Meghauli Village, just a couple of local restaurants serving beer and roxi (homemade rice wine) for locals.

Sleep[edit]

  • Chilax House, sauraha, Bachhauli VDC, Ward Number 2 (Two minute walk from park ticket counter and Two minute walk from rhino statue chowk), +977-9845049594 and +977-56-580260. checkin: 7 am to 8 pm; checkout: 7 am to 12 noon. Special package for Chitwan National Park, With its ideal location at Sauraha, 15 minute walk from Sauraha bus Park. Provide free wi-fi and has 4 common rooms and 5 toilet attached Rooms (hot water supplied. Encompasses a organic vegitable and fruit garden, a self cooking facility restaurant cum kitchen. Provides all jungle activities including nature walks, elephant jungle safari, Jeep jungle safari, bicycle tour/rent, tharu cultural dance programmes, village tours, jungle excursions, Canoe Ride, and other wildlife related and cultural activities. Ranges from US$3 to US$10.  edit
  • Jungle Sunset Camp, sauraha, +977-56-580112,580494, [2]. On the banks of Rapti River, facing Chitwan National Park.  edit
  • Jungle Safari Lodge, (Main Street of Sauraha, Between Elephant Statue and Rhino Statue), +977-56-580500 (), [3]. checkin: 12:00 am; checkout: 10:00 am. With its ideal location at Sauraha, a minute’s walk away from the Chitwan National Park, can be reached by four to five hours picturesque drive from Kathmandu/Pokhara. Contains 34 deluxe rooms and 1 Suite Room (air-con., bathrooms -hot water supplied- and verandah. Encompasses a garden, a restaurant (Nepalese, Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisines). Provides nature walks, Jungle Walk briefing about hiking, elephants, tharu cultural dance programmes, village tours, jungle excursions, Canoe Ride, and other wildlife related and cultural activities. NPR 1500. (NPR 3500,) edit
  • Jungle Wildlife Camp, Sauraha Chitwan, on the Rapti riverbank, opposite the National Park (turn right at elephant statue,after 50 meters left and follow the signs for about 100 meters), +977-56 580093 or 9845240726, [4]. checkin: 12.00; checkout: 10.00 am. Dutch/Nepali management. Colourful, clean and peaceful. from1000to 2000 rupee.  edit
  • Chtiwan Gaida lodge, Chitwan National Park, sauraha, Chitwan, Nepal (Infront of park entrance and office, as well as wildlife display mueseum), +977-56-580083 or 977-9845239509 (), [5]. checkin: 11:00 am; checkout: 10:00 am. Peaceful environment,naturally gardened, homely atmosphere & beautifully serviced lodge which would be your perfect destination to spend your holiday into the nature with wild life experiences. The lodge is owned and managed by leading ornithologist of Asia. Rooms are categorized and balcony with garden view and access.Its home away from home with helpful and friendly staffs. NPR 600. (NPR 2500,Bird and wildlife expertise management) edit
  • Rhino Lodge & Hotel, Gaida Chowk - Sauraha, 00977-56-580065 (, fax: 00977-56-580091), [6]. Located on the banks of the Rapti river. Each room has its own balcony with views across the river, to the jungle and over the hills beyond.  edit
  • Sapana Village, Chitwan (Sauraha), +977 (0) 56 58 03 08, [7].  edit
  • Chtiwan Jungle Lodge, (In the heart of the Chitwan National Park), +977-1-4442240 (), [8]. Old fashioned lodge provides its customers various activities such as bird watching, canoeing, nature walk, elephant briefing, swimming and elephant bathing, an observation tower, jungle drives, slide shows, etc.  edit
  • Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge, +977-1-4361500, [9]. Pioneers of environmentally responsible and sustainable conservation tourism, set the standards for the finest wildlife experience in Chitwan. All are located either in the deep jungle or the buffer zone of the park and have the best-trained elephants and wildlife naturalists to take you on superb safaris.  edit
  • Hotel River Side, Sauraha, +977-56-580009 (). Several activities are possible from there like elephant safaris, bird watching, cultural tours. Rs 2500 for one night and two days.  edit

Camping is possible near the park, along with a chance to see wild animals.

  • Eden Jungle Resort, Sauraha, 0977-56-580071/580271, [10]. A nice resort centralised in a flexible dining area that doubles up as a party zone if travelling in a group. The owner Lozic Shreshtha will be happy to provide direct pick up from Narayanghat Bus Stand or Devghatdham or Sauraha tourist Bust Stand or Sauraha Bharatpur corner with a Rhino statue.  edit

Backcountry[edit]

Get out[edit]

If you want to see more of Nepal, visit any of the tour offices or ask your hotel manager to buy a bus ticket onward. Nearly everyone supplies these so shop around and sometimes you can save a maybe 50-100 rupees on your ticket. The tickets will most likely be for the local bus and not the standard tourist bus like you may have come in.

If you want to go to India from Chitwan, you can buy a bus ticket the same way to the border (tell them you want to go to Sonauli). Sonauli is the border town and is about 4 hours from Chitwan. When you arrive, you should be let off at the last stop (after Lumbini, which is only a few minutes apart). Your bus will be swamped with touts wanting to take you the 2km to the border in their bicycle rickshaws. It should only cost NPR30-50 so bargain accordingly (and remember to be clear that you are both talking about Nepalise rupees and not Indian rupees!). Note that some drivers will take you to a money change office just in front of the Nepal immigration office and then demand extra payment for the unscheduled (read: comissioned) stop. Just pay the formerly agreed upon amount and walk away. The immigration office is on the left side of the road. After getting your exit stamp (don't let them try to charge you a fake exit fee), walk through the large "Welcome to India" arch and proceed straight ahead past the first grouping of police guards on the left and on to a small "office" that is a long table with 3-4 men sitting with entrance forms. The sign is small and so a bit difficult to see and is also on the left side of the road. After filling out your entry form and getting stamped you can either get a taxi to take you onward to your intended city or you can walk approx another 200 meters straight ahead to the bus lot (on right side of road) and ask around for your intended destination.



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