Ranibari Community Forest is an excellent example of community-led conservation and sustainable resource usage.
With all the new construction and contemporary structure, the Kathmandu Valley has become a concrete jungle in recent years. There are only a few quiet spots where visitors can sit and admire the valley’s natural splendour. Despite the fact that the area is becoming more densely populated, a lovely park is kept within Kathmandu's ring road.
The Ranibari Community Forest, formerly a sacred retreat for Nepal’s rulers, is now a natural paradise with walkways that explore 17 acres of heavily wooded parkland. Nepal established the community first initiative in 1973. The Kathmandu Valley includes 144 community forests. But, Ranibari is the only one within the ring road, which encircles Kathmandu and Lalitpur.
The forest is famous for the birds that call it home, with over 67 species usually seen. Alexandrine Parakeets flying colourfully among the trees, Black Kites disputing with crows, and Scarlet Minivets playing in the canopy may be all seen by the visitors. The glamorously tailed Red-Billed Blue Magpies are one of the attractions of any forest birding experience. Bird Conservation Nepal had created the forest as a learning centre for bird and biodiversity protection.
Two main pathways ring the forest, one at the base, and one that rounds the top of the hill to serve views of the city and the mountains beyond. A modest Ranidevi temple with idols of Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna, and Lord Ganesh, is also located at the top of the hill. The forest is, otherwise, occupied by plants and wildlife.
Various types of saplings were planted to grow and enhance the forest. The forest is also being developed as a prominent destination for morning walks, with around 800 persons visiting the jungle every day during the summer season and 300-500 during the winter, according to the local residents there. The entrance to the park is NRS 10 after 8am, although it is free before that. It is also a popular location for recreation, hiking, picnic areas and a children’s play area.
Do visit and explore the Ranibari community forest oasis when you wish to soak in nature.
Compiled By: Rebika Bishokarma
Photos from Ranibari Community Forest's social media