Chitwan, meaning, Heart of the Jungle, has one of Asia’s best National Park for viewing wildlife
Chitwan, being the 5th largest city of Nepal has tremendous offerings to the tourists. Chitwan is popular for cultural variations, jungle activities, pilgrimage tours and many more. Due to the geographical structure, a trip to Chitwan is easy. Sauraha is the main tourist destination in Chitwan. After the lockdown in the country due to the coronavirus outbreak, there are no international tourists and the domestic tourists have also decreased.
Tourism entrepreneurs of Sauraha have decided to reopen their business from July 30 after a gap of four months. This decision was made after the government allowed to resume the tourism activities after the lockdown ended. The Regional Hotel Association president of Sauraha says the hotels will adopt the precautions to avoid the risk of infection.
Though hotels, restaurants, trekking and mountaineering activities have been allowed to reopen from July 30, however, the international flights are reopening on August 17. Therefore the tourism entrepreneurs will have to rely on domestic tourists for the time being.
Meanwhile, the hoteliers are preparing to announce special offers targeting domestic tourists.
Get ready to rejuvenate yourself and explore the city. Here are the top 10 reasons why you should visit
1. Jeep Safari
Jeep Safari is a popular way to explore the wildlife of Chitwan. On this trip, you will sit at the back of an open jeep and enjoy the scenery, animals and birds in the jungle. The driver will stop at some spots to show you the animals and places. A knowledgeable guide is able to track the animals. Take a deep breath into the jungle and await the rare wild animals like One-Horned Rhinos, the famous Royal Bengal Tiger, and many more. It’s not a guarantee that you will come across the animals, it depends on your luck.
There are basically two ways to go on a jeep safari.
i. Reserved Jeep Safari
ii. Shared Jeep Safari
Reserved Jeep Safari is the best option if you want to explore the jungle deeply. You will be taken into the deep jungle which is longer than the shared jeep safari. It is a full day trip so it is expensive than the shared jeep safari. You can have lunch in the jungle and you need not carry it yourself.
Shared Jeep Safari is done on a fixed route and it takes 7 to 10 people. It is cheaper compared to Reserved Jeep safari. It is a four hours journey which the last spot is Kasara Crocodile Breeding Center.
2. Jungle Trek
If you want to explore the jungle yourself then this is a very good option. Chitwan National Park has over 700 wildlife living there. Trekking into the jungle deeply has a high probability to see some rare wild animals like Sloth Bear, Clouded Leopard, Royal Bengal Tiger, One-Horned Rhino and many more.
There are 3 National park trekking zones.
1. Half-Day trek
2. Full-Day Trek
3. 2-3 Days Trek
4. 3-5 Days Trek
Each one goes deeper into the jungle and further than the previous. There is no price nor the permit difference to any zones other than the time it takes to reach there.
Remember, you need to take a guide in order to locate the jungle and also do not wear bright clothes as the animals get scared of bright colors.
3. Bish Hazaari Taal
Bish Hazaari Taal is a lake that is located in the buffer zone of Chitwan National Park which is a protected area of the inner Terai. It lies in the southern corner of Bharatpur. It is a suitable destination for people who choose a peaceful environment. The variation of birds can be seen in the lake. Reptile lovers can see crocodiles sunbathing in the bank of the lake.
The reason why this lake is called Bish Hazaari Taal is that there are too many small and big lakes which number exceeds the counting of thousands. Another reason for calling this lake Bish Hazaari (which is 20000) is when seen from the sky, the shape of this lake is like 20000.
Different types of birds are found migrating from the north pole. During the winter, the northern pole becomes extremely cold. To avoid the cold regions the birds migrate to Bish Hazaari Taal.
4. View Elephant Breeding Center
Apart from the wildlife and jungle adventures, the second attraction is Elephant Breeding Center. Out of the 2 Elephant Breeding Centers in the world, one of them is in Chitwan. This breeding center was installed because of the elephants being endangered in Nepal and to increase the population of an elephant through breeding. You can see the elephants with their
Moreover, you can see the efforts to increase the elephant population in the center. In 2009, an elephant named Devi Kali gave birth to twin elephant in the breeding center which is very rare in history.
5. Visit Tharu Cultural Museum
Tharu people are the indigenous group in Nepal who have been living in the lowlands for centuries and now are spreading all over the places. The Tharu museum offers the history of Tharu culture and origin. Various paintings, sculptures, cultural dresses, daily household objects, house styles and traditions. It also displays ornaments and distillery pot.
Tharu Museum is nearby Sauraha which a popular destination for domestic as well as international tourists.
You can also watch Tharu dance every day at Sauraha. Fire dance, stick dance, peacock dance are some popular dance in Tharu culture.
6. Sashwat Dham
Sashwat Dham aims to be a destination for learning and spiritual growth. Amidst the scenic foothills of Nawalparasi and spread over 12 verdant acres, the temple is a destination for explorers, spiritual seekers and nature lovers. It lies in the devchuli region of the east-west highway and is 22km from Narayanghat.
With the stunning Ekambareshwor Mahadev Temple, Buddhist Center and a Yoga retreat, the site attract visitors from all walks of life.
7. Cycling outside Sauraha
Chitwan is the most cycle used city in Nepal. It is one of the most relaxing adventures in Chitwan. Limiting yourself in Sauraha, you will miss a great experience to explore what’s outside Sauraha. Outside the tourist area, you can observe the local villages, their lifestyle and see the agricultural fields where people are busy farming.
It would be best to take a guide. You need to pay for the cycle on an hourly basis or a full day basis. If you want to enter Chitwan National Park in a cycle, you need to pay an extra charge.
There is no special track for the cycle in Chitwan so it is best to stay alert while you are cycling as the vehicles are so much in speed.
8. Devghat Dham
Chitwan also welcomes a lot of pilgrimages every year. Devghat is one of the famous cultural and religious centers in Central Nepal. It lies 7km from Narayangarh, 20 km from Sauraha, 150km from the southwest of Kathmandu.
Bus services are available from the Pokhara bus station of Narayangarh or hiring a private taxi can also be considered.
Dev Ghat becomes highly crowded at the occasion of Makar Sakranti. Huge gatherings are observed each year making it one of the huge Melas in Nepal. It is believed that bathing in the Krishna Gandaki River is also related to seeking salvation.
The Krishna Gandaki River is also well known for ‘Saligram Sheela’, a sacred stone which the Hindu devotees worship as Lord Vishnu.
Dev Ghat is home to various temples and caves related to Hindu God and Goddess. Dev Ghat Area Development Committee has started constructing the Hindu end life ritual site with the economic assistance of the Government of Nepal.
9. Elephant Safari
Elephant back safari is one of the most popular jungle activities in Chitwan National Park. Elephant safari is done twice in a day; Morning and Evening. In order to get the elephant ride in the National Park, you need to purchase National Park permit first.
You will be climbing in a short tower and sit in a square-shaped box which can accommodate 4 people easily. Else you can also hire a single elephant if you pay an extra charge.
Your safari starts inside the jungle for approximately 2 hours. You can see different species of animals and birds while you are on the ride.
If you are lucky, you can see animals like One-Horned Rhino, Sloth Bear, Royal Bengal Tiger, Forest Deer, Sambar Deer and many more.
While in the jungle excursion, you need to be careful as you are visiting their place. So try to stay calm and not disturb their sleeping or gazing mood.
10. Elephant Shower
Bathing with Elephant is very popular among the visitors of Chitwan National Park. It takes place at the Rapti River from 10 AM to 11:30 AM where you can also go there to observe others taking shower with the Elephant.
Elephant Shower is taken by sitting on the top of the Elephant and the Elephant splashes water towards you. You can also take part in assisting to bath the elephant and remember to follow the mahout’s instruction.
It is truly a wonderful experience you will not miss in your Chitwan tour.