Chitwan – 3 days
Chitwan National Park has long been one the country’ treasures of natural wonders. The park is situated in south central Nepal, covering 932 sq. km. in the subtropical lowlands of the inner Terai. 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 150m to more than 800m. The western portion of the park is comprised of the lower but more ruged “Someshwor hills”. The park shares its western boundary with the “Parsa Wildlife Reserve”.
The Chitwan valley consists tropical and subtropical forests. Sal forests cover 70 percent of the park. Sal leaves are used locally for plates in festivals and religious offering. Grassland covers 20% of the park area. There are more that 50 different types of grasses, including the elephant grass (Saccharum spp.), renowned for its immense height. It can grow up to 8m. The shorter grasses (Imperata spp.) are used for roof thatching, mats, rope and paper making purpose. The park is home for more that 50 mammal species, over 525 birds, and 55 amphibians and reptiles.
The park has a range of climatic seasons, each offering a unique experience. October through February with an average temperature of 25°C offer an enjoyable climates. From March to June temperatures can reach as high as 43°C. The hot humid days gives way to the monsoon season that typically lasts from late June until September. Rivers become flooded sometime during the season the scenery looks most amazing with unexpected water level.
The park offers interesting sites and activities like elephant safari. It provides also oppourtunity to get a closer view of the endangered one-horned rhinoceros. One may also get a glimpse of the elusive Bengal tiger. The “Elephant Breeding Centre” gives you information on domesticated elephant and the baby elephants born there. The museum at Kasara (Parks headquarters) has informative display. Near the HQ visitors can see Bikram baba (Hindu religious site) archival value. A short walk (1km) from the park HQ will take you to the “Gharial Breeding Centre” which is also home to the “Marsh Mugger” and number of turtiles. Inside the park there are seven resorts run by park concessionaries that can provide lodging, fooding and access to wildlife activities by providing many facilities. Various resorts and lodges situated outside the park also offer a variety of services. Depending on the purpose of the visit there are different best moments to visit the place: Chitwan National Park – October to May, Bird Watching – December to March. It takes 4-5 hrs to get here by car from Kathmandu.