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 . You can get all information including past and present. You can also find events that is going to happen in future from this website.
There are many species of birds, crocodiles, rhinos, sloth bears, tigers (though almost never seen), and monkeys. The elephants you will see walking through the village are domesticated and used for taking tourists on sightseeing excursions. Of course it would not be Nepal without the usual cows, goats, and stray dogs roaming the village as well. Rhino sightings less than a half-mile from the village are not uncommon.
By bus Take the tourist bus from Kathmandu or Pokhara. Stop in at one of the many tour agencies (in either city) at least 1-2 days before your journey. From Kathmandu, Chitwan is about 4 hours (cost is approx NPR 350 for standard tourist bus, no A/C). From Pokhara, it is maybe 6 hours. When you arrive in Chitwan (the village), you will need to take a horse cart or bicycle rickshaw (what the locals call a "taxi") the 7km into the tiny village that Sauraha. A bicycle rickshaw can take about 45 minutes and costs NPR120. When you arrive, you can easily walk down the main road that is lined with lodges and guest houses. By Public Local Bus or Toyota, the nearest bus-stand is Narayanghat which has guest houses around it. NPR 400 per way to Kathmandu for 3 persons in a Toyota.
Rainbow Safari tours operates a bus that goes directly from the tourist bus park outside Thamel in Kathmandu to the bus park just outside Sauraha (as of Dec 3, 2010). When you get off the bus, you will be swarmed by touts waving pamphlets and offering to drive you into town. Ignore them or say you have a reservation and they will be respectful. It is a 15 minute walk into town. Backtrack on the dirt road the bus drove in on, take your first right, then follow the lodge signs into Sauraha.
For all activities inside and outside (yes, really), visitors must pay NPR 500 for a park permit. UPDATE: 24/6/2012 the fees have increased: for SAARC nationals and foreign tourists the fees have been raised from Rs 200 and Rs 500 to Rs 750 and Rs 1,500 per person respectively.
Elephant It's Nepal - everything's possible... from the Jungle Pub
Jeep Usually belonging to Resorts to take the tourist to 3 different points namely The Elephant Ride as maintained by community, Tharu Village with its pub lined road, Entrance to Chitwan National Park for Canoeing, Jeep Safari, Jungle Walk etc from the resorts & pick ups Sauraha Tourist Bus Park. The jeeps cannot be rented however the 3 points are walkable and there are no streetlights between the 3 points and best advisable to go in daylight.
Gharial Breeding Center, Kasara 1Km. A crocodile breeding center.
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
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.
Bird Watching. Usually part of hotel package, this involves walking to Jungle Pub from Resort and looking for birds along the outskirts of CNP. When seen a thing move, the guide usually knows which bird it is from his reference book in hand. Be sure to carry a binocular. edit
Elephant Bath. Usually in mornings at Jungle Pub area... Bargain for a bath with mahouts who manage the elephants ... 100/200/300/400 NPR unless it s part of hotel package.edit
Many hotels in Sauraha that have restaurants serve good food but getting the food is another question-- they forget or they don't understand English so they take your order (you think) and disappear to do other things.
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.
Jungle Sunset Camp, sauraha, ☎ +977-56-580112,580494, . On the banks of Rapti River, facing Chitwan National Park.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, . checkin: 12.00; checkout: 10.00 am. Dutch/Nepali management. Colourful, clean and peaceful.from1000to 2000 rupee. edit
Rhino Lodge & Hotel, Gaida Chowk - Sauraha, ☎ 00977-56-580065 (email@example.com, fax: 00977-56-580091), . 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
Chtiwan Jungle Lodge, (In the heart of the Chitwan National Park), ☎ +977-1-4442240 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 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, . 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 (email@example.com). 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, . 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
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.