Chitwan

Known as the heart of Terai region, Chitwan is located in the central climatic zone of the Himalayas, with a subtropical climate. Being the seventh largest city of Nepal, Chitwan is one of the growing tourism hubs.

The major attraction of Chitwan is the Chitwan National Park that exhibits a wide variety of wild animals like Tiger, leopards, Sloth beers, jackal, rhinoceros, etc in an impressive 932 sq.km. Around 450 species of birds including the migratory birds can be seen with 300 species of butterflies are all found at the national Wildlife Park. There are 48 army checkpoints encompassing 1000 people in total living within the area of the National park. Since it’s a national property the Nepalese army and warden’s take care of the place, which is funded by the government. Anti poaching is on top of their list. In 1984 the park was given the status of a World Heritage Site where the park is currently under the supervision of the Mahendra trust.

Tharu’s, Derai’s, Kuma’s and Boti’s are the local inhabitants of the area and one can get a taste of their cultural dances and craftsmanship. Development has spoiled the area thoroughly. Massive construction and deforestation has resulted in a major threat.

History

Chitwan National Park is Nepal first national park that supports a species diversity higher than any neighboring country. In 1950, Chitwan’s forest and grasslands extended over more than 2,600 km (1,000 sq mi) and was home to about 800 rhinos. When poor farmers from the mid-hills moved to the Chitwan Valley in search of arable land, the area was subsequently opened for settlement, and poaching of wildlife became rampant. In 1957, the country’s first conservation law inured to the protection of rhinos and their habitat. In 1959, Edward Pritchard Gee undertook a survey of the area, recommended creation of a protected area north of the Rapti River and of a wildlife sanctuary south of the river for a trial period of ten years. After his subsequent survey of Chitwan in 1963, this time for both the Fauna Preservation Society and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, he recommended extension of the sanctuary to the south.

Chitwan is one of the few remaining undistributed vestiges on the Terai region. The area is very famous for the production of mustard and mustard oils a very essential ingredient for Nepali food. The soil type found in Chitwan is what makes the production of mustard favorable. It’s also liberally spotted with lands with soil type clay that is very good for rice fields. The land also helps Carrot, Cucumbers, Cabbage Pumpkins and cauliflowers grow.

Geography

Chitwan is one of the few remaining undistributed vestiges on the Terai region. The area is very famous for the production of mustard and mustard oils a very essential ingredient for Nepali food. The soil type found in Chitwan is what makes the production of mustard favorable. It’s also liberally spotted with lands with soil type clay that is very good for rice fields. The land also helps Carrot, Cucumbers, Cabbage Pumpkins and cauliflowers grow.

Attraction

Sauraha:
Sauraha is a small settlement on the northern banks of the Rapti where you will find a collection of hotels, restaurants and shops specifically catering to the tourist market. Most visitors will get here by taking a vehicle to Tadi bazaar from Kathmandu/Pokhara and then taking a jeep ride of about 6km south to reach Sauraha. Famous for its restaurants and hotels, there is loads of things to do. These activities include elephant safaris, jeep safaris, dugout canoe rides, jungle walks etc. Once you are done with jungle activities for the day, you can return to the bright lights of Sauraha and chill out over steaks and beer while watching the sun go down over the jungle.

Chitwan National Park:
Chitwan National Park is one of the biggest attractions of Nepal. The national park spreads in 932 sq km within the dense grassland. The park enlists endangered one-horned rhino which is one of the major attractions. Famous for jungle safari and its rich bio diversity the national park holds its pride in the sighting of the illusive Bengal tiger. In1984 the park it was given the status of a World Heritage Site.

Devghat:
Devghat is 6km northeast of Narayangarh. Legend says that Goddess Sita, wife to Lord Ram, died in this very place. The atmosphere of the place is extremely soothing with streets aligned with ashrams and temples. Besides ashrams and temples, tourists can also visit the Someswar Kalika temple and the Kabilaspur fort, built by the ancient Kings of Palpa. Every year in January, during Makar Sankranti, a huge festival takes place where people from all over India and Nepal come to watch and participate.

Balmiki Ashram:
Since the Ashram is in the middle of dense jungle within the national park territory, Royal Bengal tigers, bears and boars roam freely. The Ashram is open to all and can stay as long as they wish. There is no barrier of race, gender, caste or creed. The Ashram has a special room for worship, a langar hall for devotees to congregate and enjoy their meal and a community kitchen to prepare food for the langar. Classroom and library is also available in the Ashram to teach Ramayana to young children.

Facilities

Hotels:
There are roughly 20 hotels within the area, which can be booked, online on prior notice. Make sure you choose a hotel, which is hygienic and safe. Breakfast is mostly included in most of them.

Restaurants:
There are several restaurants in chitwan serving multi-cuisine. However sticking to regular Nepali food would be the best option. The few restaurants around the area which depending on your choice of food and accessibility of the forest you can chose. Sweet Memory, River Sunset, KC’s restaurant, Jungle View and Hamro hotel restaurant and bar. Hamro Hotel is famous for its breakfast and River sunset for its duck, pork and chicken.

Shopping

Famous for its home made honey and Mithila paintings, Happy House is a small shop that might provide you with the basic things you might have forgotten to carry with you. Then there are Women’s Community shop selling souvenirs where all the money proceeds to charity of local women.

The best way to get around the area is on foot with your comfortable shoes but with proper guidance but not before sunset and after sunrise. All the lodges inside have private open gypsies, which can help you commute.