Is it worth a visit to Chitwan? Hold on to your snoopy thoughts and wait for what unfolds next in my stories of Chitwan!
As the thin veil of mist lifted from the verdant hills, the swaying glimmer of River Rapti reminds me of my first magical morning in the Terai region. When thinking of Nepal, you may reminisce the lofty Himalayan Peaks but the charm of Chitwan will turn you into a keen admirer of all the wild things of the jungle.
What fascinated me the most is the experience of tracking wild animals on foot here. Unlike Indian National Parks, hiking here in Nepal is permissible. Frightening yet exhilarating is to walk and share the same path that of wild animals of Chitwan. Several heart-stopping encounters with gigantic one-horned Rhinos during the walk are bound to make you deemed fit for embracing the wild ecosystem of Chitwan.
“In the heart of the jungle” is what Chitwan literally means, is home to some of the distinguished predators like; Royal Bengal Tigers, Leopards, Sloth Bears, Bengal Fox, and Hyena along with one-horned rhinos, wild Asiatic elephants, endangered Ghariyal, crocodiles, and the dolphins. If you are the lucky ones, the elusive predator of the Terai jungle; the Royal Bengal Tiger will reveal himself to you! Embrace that moment. Luckily, the park is extensively patrolled by the foot soldiers stationed at several spots in the jungle. Between the Chitwan jungle and the village settlement lies a buffer zone, a community forest, and the mighty river Rapti. All together, three rivers (the Narayani, Rapti in the north and the Rew in the south) shapes the boundaries of the Chitwan National Park. A declared UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s best biodiversity hotspots, Chitwan is the last surviving pristine example of the Terai Region.
The beauty of Riverine forests, Sal forests, and Savanna grasslands makes the perfect ecosystem to explore. I spent my days rowing up and down the Rapti River, hiking in the forest, going on wildlife safaris, and bird watching. The canoe ride experience at Chitwan National Park is an hour-long memorable experience before you step into the core of the jungle.
Don’t forget to sip the local beer brand, the Rhino Beer!