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 area comprising the Tikauli forest-from Rapti river to the foothills of the Mahabharat-extending over an area of 175 sq. km. was declared Mrigakunja in 1959. In 1963, the area south of Rapti river was demarcated as a rhinoceros sanctuary. The area was gazetted as the country's first National Park in 1973.

 
In 1996, an area of 750 sq. km. surrounding the park was declared a buffer zone which consists of forests and private lands. The park and the local people jointly initiate community development activities and manage natural resources in the bufferzone. The Government has made provision of plowing back 30-50 percent of the park revenue for community development in the bufferzone.
 
 Features:
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 8meter. The shorter grasses (Imperata spp.) are used for roof thatching, and 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 endangered fauna found in the park area.
 
 Climate:
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.
 
In late January, local villagers are allowed to cut thatch grasses to meet their needs, which offer a better and easy viewing of wildlife to visitors. Also, between September and November, and February and April, migratory birds and create spectacular bird watching opportunity. While the monsoon rains brings lush vegetation, most trees flower in late winter. The “Palash tree” known as the “flame of the forest” and slick cotton tree have spectacular crimson flowers that can be seen from a distance.
 
 Facilities:
The park offers interesting sites and activities. The display at the “Visitor Centre at Sauraha” provides fascinating information on wildlife and conservation programs. The women's user groups' souvenir shop offers a variety of handifrafts and other local products for gifts and souvenirs.
 
Elephant safari provides 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 at Khorshor”, sauraha 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.
 
 
 Best Time To Visit Chitwan:
Chitwan National Park - October to May, Bird Watching - December to March. Maximum temperature can reach up to 95 Fahrenheit (35 C) in April through September. November through February are cooler months with average temperature around 67 Fahrenheit.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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