The Royal Chitwan National Park
Situated in the south of central Nepal, the Chitwan National Park is one of the country's natural treasures. The park covers an area of 932 sq. km and is home to a variety of animals and plants. The first section of the park was set aside for animals by King Mahendra in 1959. Later, in 1963, more land was added for a rhinoceros sanctuary. The entire park was first recognized as a united national park in 1973 when it was gazetted as being Nepal’s first national park. It now covers the area of the Tikauli forest from the hills of Mhabharat, the Rapti River and quite a sizable area on the river's southern bank.
The park has received much attention in more recent years as a result of it being declared a World Heritage site in 1984. The National Park is seen as preserving a unique eco system which is significantly valuable to the world. Much of the area is made up of subtropical lowlands, forest and hills. In order to preserve the area as best as possible, only a small portion of the park is used for tourism. 1996 also saw the establishment of a zone around the park which consists of forest and private lands. The park and local communities join together in their efforts to manage natural resources in these zones. Birds and animals are left very much undisturbed and it is felt that there are a large number of undiscovered animals inhabiting the region.
The Chitwan National Park is a beautiful place with incredible diversity in both plant and animal species. It is well worth a visit if you are in the region.