Chitawan National Park is located in Chitawan district, Bagmati Province, Nepal. Established in 1973, the park has the total area of 952 square kilometers, with the buffer zone of 750 kilometers, in the inner plains, the subtropical territory. In 1053, late king Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah declared the region of Tikauli forrest on the banks of the Rapti river spreading up to the chure hills below the Mahabharata Hill Range, covering the area around 175 square kilometers, as Mahendra Mriga Kunja, that is Mahendra Deer Park. It was in the year 1963 that the part lying to the south of the Rapti river was declared Rhinoceros Sanctuary. As a recognition to the unique ecosystems of the land, it was made into Nepal’s first National park in 1973. Contemporarily known as the Royal Chitawan National Park, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1984. The natural resources available in the park, including wildlife over there, are jointly conserved by local communities and the park authority under condition that 30% – 35% of the revenue is allocated for community development. This has eased the protection and promotion of the park.
The diverse ecosystems of the Churia hills, lakes, plains of the Rapti river, Narayani river constitute Chitawan National Park. It borders Parsa Wildlife Reserve to the east.
There are tropical and subtropical forests in the park. Deep woods of Sal trees cover almost seventy percent of the forest over there. The park contains beautiful meadows, too, with both short and tall grasses. It is a home for fifty species of mammals, 525 species of birds and several species of amphibians and reptiles. One thing sad about the park is that the species of massive one-horned rhinoceros falls among one of dying out gifts of nature. Wild elephant, royal Bengal tiger, four-horned antelope, golden monitor lizard, pangolin , florican, giant hornbill, white stork, black stork, etc are other attractions there.
If you want to keep a souvenir of your visit in the park, you can buy lovely handicrafts and other locally made materials there. You can enjoy an elephant safari, that offers you an opportunities of looking at rhinoceros, tigers, leopards and other animals and birds. The museum, gharial breeding center, and the lake are other attractions there. There are hotels and resorts, which offer you varieties of services ranging from cheap and moderate to the extravagant.
Chitawan National Park is easily accessible by road and air service.
-Article written by: Bedu Khatiwoda for Land Nepal