Chitwan is one of the 75 districts of Nepal and is located in the southwestern part of Province No. 3. It covers an area of 2,238.39 Km2 (864.25 sq mi). Situated in the lowland, Chitwan is blessed with rich flora and fauna.
Nepal’s first national park, the Chitwan National Park established in 1973 supports the highest diversities of species in Nepal. Species such as Bengal tiger, Gharial, one-horned Asiatic rhinoceros, mugger crocodile, Indian rock python and several species of deer are found in Chitwan. This is the reason why this place is one of the most preferred holiday destinations in Nepal after Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Here are some of the amazing things to do in Chitwan:
Elephant Safari is the most popular activity for tourists during the stay in Chitwan and is also almost considered as synonymous to Chitwan National Park. Elephant Safari is regarded as the safest way to travel national park and also the best option to observe animals and birds pretty close. Elephant safari is a bold approach to experiencing observation of the rare species such as One-horned Rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger and various types of animals, reptiles, and birds. Joyful and serene ride around the dense forests of Sauraha with a close-up view of wildlife certainly feels exciting. On top of that, one can listen to alluring sounds of birds chirping at a distance. Even though elephant safari is not the most luxurious ride, it surely is one hell of an amazing experience.
Gharial Conservation Breeding Centre
Since the crocodiles breed in very quiet and silent places, the Gharial-breeding center is located in Kasara, a faraway place from the residential area. One can witness both Gharials and Marsh Muggers, the two rare species of crocodiles here. This program is getting a lot of attention from Chitwan National Park mainly because of success it has been able to gather in breeding as well as releasing this endangered species back to the wild. The visit to breeding center turns out to be fruitful when one witnesses fascinating process of reproduction of Gharial starting from egg to being an adult.
Elephant Breeding Center
Between the only two elephant breeding centers that exist in the world, one of them is in Chitwan, in the premises of Chitwan National Park. The core objective of establishing breeding center is the number of elephants is considerably decreasing and becoming endangered animal every passing day. The breeding center aims to increase its numbers. In the breeding centers, the elephants are seen taking baths and also fed with foods. There are often many baby elephants and a small museum as well.
Tharu Cultural Show
Tharu is one of the indigenous communities of Nepal and in Chitwan the majority of people are Tharu. They have enticing culture and unique traditions. With the motive of promoting their culture, tradition, and showcase to the world, every night Tharu community people perform traditional Tharu dance and sing songs for guests. This includes popular stick dance as the major highlight in which a circle of culturally dressed Tharu people runs around whacking sticks together creating a beautiful melody. Your eyes will never get off watching this captivating cultural dance. Interestingly, there’s Tharu Cultural Museum & Research Center located in Bachhauli, nearby to Sauraha. There’s collection of wall-paintings, artifacts and local cultural dress in it.
Canoe ride is best known for sceneries around Riverside, observing crocodiles, birds and also other water creatures. The pleasantly flowing Rapti River offers you a gentle canoe ride. Doesn’t it feel amazing to see birds flying in a group trying to snatch fish from river splashing water? It surely does. That’s what canoe ride offers you. Canoe ride is generally done in the early morning observing the spectacular sunrise with fogs in the view. However, it can also be done during the evening. The tourists can see Mugger Marsh and Gharial Crocodiles in their natural habitats i.e. on the banks of river Rapti during canoe rides.
Elephant bathing is another enthralling experience for tourists in Chitwan. There are two locations in which elephant bathing is conducted; Sauraha and Meghauli in the banks of river Rapti. The tourists can be playful with elephants, swim in the river and at the same time bath with them. The elephants will shower you with a mouthful of water carrying you in their back. Isn’t it tempting to imagine that moment during the scorching sun? Also, it is entertaining to watch elephants bathing to keep themselves cool. You can also opt to dive into the river from the back of the elephant or else elephant can throw you into the river as per the instruction provided by the master. It will be precious memories with incredible photographs to cherish for a lifetime.
Not all the tourists are fond of elephant safari. Some of them think it’s not ethical to ride on an elephant and rests of them are scared of it as well. Regardless of the reasons, it’s a matter of an individual’s choice. During the times when tourists don’t want to ride an elephant, Jungle Safari through jeeps would be the best option. Traveling in the hoodless jeeps the visitors get glances of rare floras and faunas in the forests. One can experience the wilderness, travel crocodile breeding center and inside the dense forests within Chitwan National Park premises. Jeep Safari is a wonderful opportunity for photography enthusiasts to takes snaps as it relatively less shaky as compared to elephant safari and you have more choices too.
Walk and Bird Watching
Some of the tourists might discard elephant ride and also jeep safari, as they love walking around at their own pace relishing each step. They can choose to walk. The benefit of walking is that you can get the perfect timing for watching wild animals and birds. As it is also said that bird watching is ideal while walking. The guide will help spot and identify the species and names of the birds there. And Chitwan is not just ideal for jungle walking but also for village walking. As mentioned above, Chitwan has a huge number of Tharu populations and getting to know their culture is immensely interesting. You will be acquainted with the way of lives of Tharu people, their culture and tradition during the village walk around Sarah.
Night tower stay in the jungle
Night tower stay is for those very few people who choose adventurous outdoor stay in the jungle. This is also for those who want to watch the behaviors of the wild animals at night. The camps are set up on top of the viewing tower and visitors are then okay to stay there. The choice of the tower is the best option mainly because when the wild animals can easily become violent when they sense the presence of human beings.
Bis Hajari Taal
Bis Hajari Taal, when translated into English, is called Twenty Thousand Lake. And the reason why this lake is called Bis Hajari is that there are a lot of smaller lakes there. Also when seen from above, the shape looks like 20 thousand. This lake is renowned for Bird Watching and is home to different species of birds mainly those of seasonal migratory birds mainly in the wintertime. In this lake, the tourists can also see a lot of crocodiles as well as the reptiles. Numerous Tourists choose to take jeep safari tour to 20 Thousand Lake when jeep safari is closed inside Chitwan National Park.
If you are tired of doing all these adventurous and wilderness activities, you can just check into one of the luxurious hotels and treat yourself.
What is your favorite thing to do in Chitwan? Let us know in the comment.
This post is meant to guide you and you can always explore more on your own.