CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK
Chitwan National Park(CNP)
This very popular wildlife park is 120km southwest of Kathmandu, in the center of Nepal. This is one of the best wildlife parks to visit in
During their visit in 1911, King George V and his son the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), during their hunting expedition 39 tigers and 18 rhinos were killed. In 1973, when Chitwan became a national park, the amount of rhinos was down to 100 and the tigers were just 20.
At the present time the park has around 605 rhinos, 120 tigers, over 68 other species of animals, and over 632 species of birds.
From Kathmandu it takes a day to get to Chitwan and a day to get back to
The best time to visit the park is from October to May. There is a wide assortment of birds in the park. The best time to view migratory species is from December to March.
The park can easily be visited from either
There are many places to stay here ranging from Rs 100 up to $350 per night.
Chitwan is 932 sq km and the adjacent Parsa Wildlife Reserve is 499 sq km.
Chitwan is in Chitwan District in an area known as the Inner Terai. It is surrounded by the Someshwar Hills. The north part of the park is a narrow strip of flat land running along the Rapti and Narayani rivers. It is the most visited part of the park. The east part of the park is connected to Parsa Wildlife Reserve, which is not usually visited, but this is valuable land for the wildlife. The Someshwar Hill going up to 735m are in the south section of the park. Visitors do not usually come here.
There are several lakes in the park, which are good for bird watching. A lake is known as a tal. The best lakes are Devi Tal near formor Tiger Tops, Bis Hajaar Tal(20,000 lakes) near Sauraha,and Lami Tal near Kasara.
The Terai area, where Chitwan is located is subtropical. The park is made up of grassland (12%), hardwood forest (80%) and riverine forest (8%). The hardwood forest is mainly sal(Shorea robusta), and there are also kapok, fig, flame of the forest, strangler vine and shisham.
In the grassland over 68 species can be found. Elephant grasses (the saccharun family) grow up to 8m high. The small species such as khar are useful for thatching.
Sal, which is the main tree in Chitwan, is a valued hardwood, which is used for building and woodcarving. It is known for its strength and durability and this can be seen because many of the ancient buildings in Nepal were constructed by it. It grows in well-drained soil to an average height of 30m.
In wetter area there are shisham (Dalbergia sissoo), Simal trees (Bombax ceiba) and khair (Acacia catechu). Simals have large red flowers in the spring.
There are over 68 species of mammals, 632 species of birds, and 234 species of butterflies. The most interesting animals to see are the tigers (rarely seen) and the rhinos (usually seen).