With its lush forests and exotic fauna which include the rare one horned rhino, the Royal Bengal tiger, crocodiles, elephants, deer and over four-hundred species of birds, the Royal Chitwan National Park offers one of the finest wildlife experiences in Asia. Lying in the Terai belt, and ringed by the Churia Hills, Chitwan is flanked by the rivers Rapti, Reu and Narayani . The Royal Chitwan National Park was established in 1973 and is the oldest National Park in Nepal. The park became a World Heritage Site in 1984. It covers a total area of 932 sq. kms.
During the late 19th century, Chitwan was the private hunting reserve of the Rana Prime Ministers. In 1911, King George V led a hunting party to Chitwan and is said to have shot thirty-seven tigers and eight rhinos. The jungle of Chitwan was a favorite haunt among Nepalese royalty. It is said during 1933-40 the king and his guests killed around four hundred and thirty-three tigers and fifty-three rhinos. By the late 1960s the population of rhinos and tigers in Chitwan had dwindled drastically due to indiscriminate hunting and poaching. The declaration of Chitwan as a national park in1973 and the imposition of strict measures against poaching and unauthorized conversion of forest to farmland have helped in increasing the wildlife population. At present Chitwan National Park is regarded as one of the most developed and most frequently visited of Nepal’s national parks.
Things to do& Places to Visit
The greatest thrill while at Chitwan is the traditional elephant ride. Taking an elephant ride to the jungle is an experience of a lifetime. The lodges inside the park have their own elephants. Three or sometimes four people can ride atop an elephant. Elephant safaris usually start in the early morning or late afternoon .There are also jeep tours available inside the park. The best months for this is from mid-February when the elephant grass has been cut, allowing unobstructed views. You can also take a walk inside the park, provided you are accompanied by guides. Canoeing along the Rapti or Narayani rivers is the most restful way of watching the wildlife especially the aquatic birds and crocodiles. Several lodges arrange visits to nearby Tharu villages. Tharus, the original inhabitants of Chitwan, have their own culture, language and customs which is quite different from that of the Nepalese hill people. A visit to the elephant breeding camp and the gharial breeding centre can also be informative.
The jungle vegetation is dominated by sal forest and open grassland .There are also flowering species of trees like the silk cotton, acacia and flame of the forest. These trees bloom from January to early spring and fill the forest with their colorful blooms. The tall elephant grass dominates the grassland and gives it a savanna like appearance.
The park is home to the great one-horned Indian rhino, the world’s third largest land mammal. They feed on grass, which is also their normal habitat and move alone or in groups. The elephants seen frequently at the park are trained and tamed. The tamed elephants are used for elephant rides as well as to carry heavy loads in Chitwan. The Royal Bengal tiger, at the most remains elusive from prying eyes, but if one is lucky one may chance upon the royal beast ambling alone or sunning itself. The tigers are by nature reclusive and do not attack unless provoked or hunting for food. There are four different species of deer living in the park – the barking deer, the hog deer, the sambar deer and the spotted deer. Different species of birds have been recorded here. The Indian peafowl, the black headed oriole, and the openbill stork are some. The park’s rivers and marshes are home to various reptiles like the pythons, crocodiles, gharials, which feed on fishes and the marsh mugger. The common leopard, langur and rhesus monkey also make up the park’s wildlife population.
Chitwan is accessible by car or bus on the Kathmandu -Mugling-Narayanghat Highway or via the Mahendra Highway from Hetauda. It takes around six hours to drive from Kathmandu to Narayanghat. Air-services from Kathmandu to Meghauli and Bharatpur is also available. The best time to visit the park from is from October to February. Many of the park lodges are closed between May to August, the rainy season.At Chitwan, you can stay inside the park. A variety of lodges are available, from multi-starred to basic but comfortable. Travelers can also stay at Sauraha, which has some high end accommodation.
The best of Nepal trip that covers three major towns of Nepal is a quick outlook of Nepal’s cultural, natural and wildlife treasures. Kathmandu valley, a landmark of ancient civilization offers incredibly fascinating craftsmanship of native Kathmanduians, who dwelled in the valley during ancient and medieval ages. Pokhara, the most beautiful bride adorned by Mother Nature herself, is best opted urban destination for awe-inspiring Himalayan views including the virgin mountain, Fishtail and massive Annapurna Range. Besides the city of Lakes and Caves, Pokhara is the starting point for major treks to Annapurna Region. Chitwan is a wildlife hub. The first wildlife park also the UNESCO World Heritage Site for wildlife conservation. Chitwan National Park is a protected home to Royal Bengal Tiger and One-horned Rhino. Wildlife Safari atop a giant Asian Elephant and canoeing over Rapti River for birding and spotting ghariyal crocodile and gangetic dolphins is fabulous experience at Chitwan.
Shah family from Britain Ajit, Nina and Nikhil had great experience with us during their Best of Nepal Tour this autumn. Here we have few lines quoted by the family on the Best of Nepal Tour and our services.
Fishtail Lodge in Pokhara is wonderful; excellent food, friendly hotel staffs and the incredible views of mountains from the room, the best memory of our trip. We would recommend the hotel to every traveler to Pokhara.
The services of Explore Himalaya were excellent. Sabin, our tour officer was always on time and went beyond expectation to let us use his mobile sim for our phones. Guides, transportation and staffs were just amazing throughout the tour.
Sabin and Pushpa looked after us very well and made our Nepal Trip very enjoyable. We rate Explore Himalaya with five stars.
Our German guests Mr. Michael Hermsdorf and Mr. Moritz Thorenz explored the diverse sides of Nepal during three full days excursion of Nepal. The Mt. Everest Flight took them above the towering peaks in the Everest Region whereas; they explored cultural heritage of Kathmandu on a guided sightseeing tour to the Temple of Living Goddess Kumari at Kathmandu Durbar Square. The walk through the colorful and vibrant streets of Asan was equally interesting. They also enjoyed the wildlife activities at Chitwan National Park.
Here we have few beautiful lines they said after the completion of the tour.
Explore Himalaya is a great organization which prioritizes customer preferences at first place. Everything was perfect.Sabin, our tour guide was very polite and arranged everything as per our wishes. Thank you, we had a great holiday in Nepal.
Knudsens from Denmark, Mr. Frederik and Kristian and Ms. Tine through our exclusive country partner Kipling Travelrecently explored few places of Nepal. Ms. Tine shared her experience on their holiday to Nepal. The group rated the entire trip with 4 stars.
We have lots of beautiful memories of the holiday. Among them Wildlife Safari on Elephant at Chitwan National Park, sightseeing tour of culturally unique Bhaktapur Durbar Square and visit to the temple of Living Goddess, Kumari at Kathmandu Durbar Square are the best memories of the holiday in Nepal.
Explore Himalaya is the team of professionals. Hotels we stayed in were all great. Guides and other staffs were very helpful and knowledgeable.
Explore Himalayans with the school kids at Nuwakot
Six of us, Explore Himalayans set off for 7 days FAM trip to Chitwan, Bandipur, Nuwakot, Samari and Selle. We started our trip from Chitwan, where we spent 3 days exploring the jungle and its vicinity at Chitwan National Park. The activities involved elephant ride, Tharu village tour, Tharu cultural dance, elephant ride, canoeing, jungle walk, Elephant breeding centre visit and bird watching. After our awesome exploration, we retraced back via Bishajari Taal, an enlisted Ramsar site. We also made a short visit to BP Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital Hospice and Palliative Care Unit. We continued our journey to the hilltop settlement of Bandipur. The stone paved town centre and the surrounding alleys were more than enough to savor the evening delights of Bandipur. Next morning, the downhill hike led us to Nepal’s biggest cave Siddha Gufa. The dark cave, which was full of strange images, effortful surfaces and hanging bats added extra thrill to the whole trip. The next stopover was Nuwakot village. Seven storied palace, Shree Bhairavi temple, local school and the home stay offered historical and cultural insights to us. The next 3 hours was a bit strenuous as we headed for Samari Ghar through the dusty main trail after the busy day. Samari Ghar, a neo traditional property at the farm terrace in Samari, is the most heart- warming stopover for the whole trip. 2 nights’ stay allowed us the best opportunity to explore the neighboring Tamang settlements Kallabari and Pokhari at their best. Some of the off- beat experiences we had there were chicken hunting, ghost hunting (?), milking buffalo, camp fire cum barbecue with locally brewed liquor etc. On the 6th day, we headed for Selle, the last stopover. Selle is best known for the mesmerizing 360 degree view of the Himalayas, villages and distant valleys. All those fun filled experiences concluded on 7th day after we were picked up at Torke. Here we have a photo easy on the tour.
As usual view of hills and rivers in the Nepalese highways
Shelter to domestic birds in the tharu village flanking, Chitwan National Park
Everybody admires the nature- Sunset view from the bank of Rapti River at Chitwan National Park
Witnessing a reptilian giant Crocodile, sitting safe atop a mammalian giant Elephant- A thrilling experience during the wildlife Safari at Chitwan National Park
A closer view of the world’s oldest predator- The wetlands within the park offers an ideal ecosystem for these beautiful monsters
Chitwan National Park is the home to endangered species like Royal Bengal Tiger, Gangetic Dolphin, One-horned Rhino and of course Ghariyal Crocodile
A regal posture of Antelope Deer seen during the wildlife Safari at Chitwan National Park
Elephant breeding Center at the end of the jungle, where young elephants are tamed for wildlife safaris
Corporate Social Responsibility- Integral part of Explore Himalaya. Explore Himalayans visiting the Palliative Care Unit of BP Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital
Bandipur- A hamlet over the clouds was once an important stopover in the Indo-Tibet Trade route. Popular for the mid-hill views and culture of Newar and Magar tribes, Bandipur lies at easy access from three major towns of Nepal Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan.
A wonderful view of altitude ascending from green hills to the Himalayan giants from Bandipur. A small stone paved town offers tremendously striking views of wide Himalayas including Manaslu Range on a bright sunny day
A glimpse of devotion- Hindus visit to worship the stone deity inside the largest cave of Nepal- Siddha Cave which lies in the vicinity of Bandipur
A hill of terraced fields usually seen during the trek in the Nepalese mid-hills- the place is even more beautiful to watch during the summers and springs- After all, green represents nature
Wheels have not been invented in the mountains of Nepal- Oxen harnessed to the plough are used to sow seeds in the fields till the date here
Vicinity of Nuwakot Durbar Square- Nuwakot in the medieval age was ruled by a powerful king before it was conquered by King Prithivi Narayan Shah.
A beautiful Samari Ghar at Samari- The traditional house is one of the best home-stay accommodations of rural Nepal. Almost every object used in the house is 100% Eco-friendly.
Sometimes on rolling trials up and down and other times on a straight path- But the best part is nature always walks with you, during the hiking or trekking in Nepal.
A typical Magar hamlet in the region. Mid-hill trek to Nuwakot offers historical outlook whereas, the cultural exploration in the region is of high significance as unique tribal groups of Nepal provide you the best hospitality during the home-stays and school visits
Selle in Nuwakot is a hilltop, ideal for camping accommodation. The place offers the striking views of Himalayan Ranges including the mighty Manaslu Himal. Setting the camps, and enjoying the camp fires at Selle is undoubtedly a thrilling fun attached to this trip
Sunrise view, and that to exceedingly mesmerizing with your head on pillow- Definitely the day goes well. A sunrise view from the camps in Selle.