With a variety of ecosystem comprising of U-shaped lakes, Churia range hills, Rapti plains and Narayani and Revu Rivers, Chitwan National Park stands as a victorious evidence of nature preservation. It is the first national park of Nepal and one of the greatest treasures of the Country. This beautiful, huge natural park guards 932 square kilometres of wet-land, riffling meadows and the lush green forest and is considered to be one of the biggest attraction of Nepal along with Kathmandu valley and trekking.
It is protecting the rare Indian Rhinos’ species and also serving as a home for many leopards, tigers and South Asian river dolphins. Tourists from all over the world visit this Fascinating Park annually and you can too take to admire its unfettered nature Chitwan ‘Heart of the Jungle’ was considered to be the most famous hunting surface and the Nepalese of ruling class used to shoot thousands of leopards, tigers, sloth bears and rhinoceroses.
The remarkable decline of rhinos force the government to take notice and then measures were taken to save the wildlife. In 1973 the park was established and in 1984, it was declared as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is located in the southern side of Nepal, extending on the Himalayan foothills between India and Nepal. The altitude varies between 2,674 feet of hills to 330 feet of the river valleys.
70 percent of the Park area is covered with Sal trees and in the south of the Churia hills these trees are intermixed with Chir Pine. Also there are small shrubs and flowering trees such as Indian Rosewood , Beleric , Axle wood, Grey Downy Balsam, Elephant Apple and also the creepers Spatholobus parviflorus and Bauhinia vahlii. About 20 percent of the park is covered with Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands where approximately 50 species of the world’s longest grasses like Giant cane, Saccharum ravennae, Khagra reed and Kans grass are found.
The park owns almost 700 breeds of wildlife and still the number of insects, butterflies and moths has not been surveyed. Other than the species of Indian Rock Python and King Cobra there are more than 17 different kinds of snakes, lizards and Indian starred tortoise. The Rapti and Nayarani rivers, small streams and lakes are the home of 113 breeds of mugger crocodiles and fish.
Chitwan National Park is also a habitat for 43 different breeds of Mammals where the Bengali Tiger is the king. Besides, there are many other predators including jungle cats, fishing cats, clouded leopards, marbled cats, leopard cats, golden jackals, Bengal foxes, palm civets, linsangs, small and large Indian civets, binturongs,, mongoose, yellow-throated martens and honey badgers.
With the establishment of the park, a tremendous change has occurred in the number of Rhinoceros which has increased up to 544. To protect the endangered animals from poachers who cruelly kill them and earn money from their precious horns, they are constantly being moved to Bardia National Park and Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve. The park also has the most attractive and beautiful species of birds approximately of 543 kinds.
Very rare and uncommon breed of birds like Gould’s sunbird, black-chinned yuhina, slaty-breasted rail and blossom-headed parakeet are found here. Specially the meadows are the home of many priceless species like Bengal florican, slender-billed babblers, lesser adjutant,, swamp francolin, grey-crowned prinia, grass warblers, Oriental darter and kingfisher.
The number of tourists visiting this park has increased manifolds over the year. It was 31,000 in 1989 and last year it was approximately 77,000. It has many lodges, the famous being the Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge that provide accommodation and boarding facilities along with safari vehicles, elephants, navigating the river with rafts and also the guided walk routes.
At the side of the Park, the village of Sauraha is located which an attractive destination for the tourists as it houses many luxurious hotels, restaurants, lodges and the trip organizing agencies.