A Royal Chitwan National Park is situated approximately 175 km southwest of Kathmandu in the central Terai region, and covers an area of 932 sq km. situated in the subtropical Terai region, close to the Indian border, and provides a total contrast to the snow and ice of the Himalaya.
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, recognizing its unique ecosystems of international significance. UNESCO declared RCNP a World 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 to provide 30-50 percent of the park revenue for community development and natural resource management in the buffer zone.
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 150 m. to more than 800 m. The western portion of the park is comprised of the lower but more rugged Someshwor hill. The park shares its eastern boundary with the Parsa Wildlife Reserve.
The park has a range of climatic seasons each offering a unique experience. October through February with average temperatures of 25oc offer an enjoyable climate. From March to June temperatures can reach as high as 43oC, The hot humid days give way to the monsoon season that typically lasts from late June until September, Rivers become flooded and roads are impossible.
In late January, local villagers are allowed to cut thatch grasses to meet their needs, which offers a better viewing of wildlife to visitors. September ,November , February and April, migratory birds join the residential birds and create spectacular bird watching opportunities. While the monsoon rains bring lush vegetation, most trees flower in late winter. The palash tree, known as the “flame of the forest’ and silk cotton tree have spectacular crimson flowers that can be seen from a distance.
Flore & Fauna
|The Chitwan valley consists of tropical and subtropical forests. Sal forests cover 70 percent of the park. Sal leaves are used locally for plates in festivals and religious offerings.
Grasslands cover 20 percent of the park. There are more than 50
different types of grasses, including the elephant grass (Saccharum spp ), renowned for its immense height. It can grow up to 8m in height. The park is home to more than 50 mammal species, over 525 birds, and 55 amphibians and reptiles. The endangered fauna found in the park are: One-horned rhinoceros, Gaur. Royal Bengal tiger. Wild elephant, Fourhorned antelope, Pangolin, Golden monitor lizard, Python, etc. Bengal florican. Lesser florican, Giant hornbill, Black stork, While stork, etc.