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Chitwan National Park : south central Nepal

Chitwan literally means “heart of the jungle”. In recent years Chitwan tops the list of things to do in Asia. It is a truly wildlife adventure of a different kind – jungle safaris on elephant backs or jeeps, birdwatching, canoe rides and jungle walks.

The park is situated in south central Nepal, covering 932 km2 in the subtropical lowlands of the inner Terai.

In 1959 AD, the area of Tikauli forest covering an area of 175 km2, which was extended from Rapti river in the south to the foot hills of the Mahabharat mountain in the north, was declared as Mahendra Mriga Kunj (Mahendra Deer Park) by the late King Mahendra. In 1963, the southern area from the Rapti river was demarcated as a rhinoceros sanctuary.

The area was gazetted as Chitwan National Park in 1973 recognizing its unique ecosystems of international significance, which is the country's first national park,. UNESCO has declared the Chitwan National Park as a World Natural Heritage Site in 1984. In 1996 an area of 750 km2 surrounding the park was declared a buffer zone, which consists of forests and private lands including cultivated lands.

The park and the local people jointly initiate community development activities and manage natural resources in the buffer zone. Government of Nepal has made provision of providing am amount of 30-50 percent of the park revenue for community development and natural resource management in the buffer zone.

The climate in Chitwan is sub-tropical with hot and humid summers and mild winters.

Location
South West Of Kathmandu, Nepal
Nearest Rail Head
Bharatpur
Nearest Airport
Bharatpur
Area
932 sq km
Vegetation
One fifth of the park is comprises the floodplain of the Narayani, Rapti and the Reu Rivers. It is covered by dense Elephant grass interspersed with forests of silk cotton (Kapok), Acacia and Sisam trees.
Established
1981
Major Wildlife Attractions
One-horned rhinoceros, tiger, gharial, gaur, wild elephant, four horned antelope, striped hyena, pangolin, Gangetic dolphin, monitor lizard, and python
Best Time to visit
October to February