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Nepal Travel – The Truth About Chitwan National Park

Nepal Travel – The Truth About Chitwan National Park
by Keri Gormley

Avia Nepal Trevel

When planning to travel to Nepal the first things most people imagine are usually the beautiful Himalayan mountains, trekking through them and the unique yet distinctly different cultures found throughout the country. Travel to the jungle might sound like an absurd option to some who want to vacation here, but for those that have done a little more research on Nepal’s travel destinations are well aware of its varied terrain that includes alpine peaks, a hilly region, and tropical jungle as well.

Nepal’s Chitwan National Park is not only one of the most popular parks in the country but it is also the largest protected area as well. Chitwan caters to tourists in the fact that it is one of the most interesting, unique travel destinations in the country. This in mind, there are many Nepal travel websites filled with information about Nepal’s most famous wildlife national park at Chitwan, but they explain little about the park by limiting the information to just travel activities. There are even more sites that claim the park as being an amazing organization for wildlife preservation, this may be true but that was not always the case. The Chitwan National Park is not just an ideal place to vacation, for the most part it always has been, but in its past it had a different view of what was a relaxing travel activity for those visiting the park.

In the 1940’s-1950 the Terai was owned by Nepal’s Rana rulers who claimed the beautiful region for themselves and had Chitwan as their own royal and private hunting grounds. The kings would only invite who they thought were important government persons or other royalty from other countries to travel here and to participate in special hunting parties at their reserve. During such parties, hundreds of Bengal tigers, tens of one-horned rhinos, leopards, exotic birds and other animals like crocodiles and bears were killed, yet these outrageously high numbers of kills did not even put a dent in the population of these species (at first).

Over time with extreme hunting parties traveling through the park and collecting trophies like the one with King George V from England which had a recorded tally with up to 600 elephants alone – not including the other dozens of wildlife species claimed as glorious prizes.

Where the Rana reign thought they were providing large sections of high quality unspoiled habitat for the animals to flourish, the land alone was not enough. As the hunting reserve progressed the one-horned rhinos, usually prized solely for its horn, would have a fluctuation in population from 800 down to 100 in as little as 9 years.

With this magnificent and treasured animal population depleting, the kings ceased their hunting parties and made efforts to protect and restore Chitwan’s rhino population. The preservation was enforced with a royally funded conservation project in 1959 and the numbers of the rhinoceros steadily increased. After the efforts and success with balancing this wild species population, the park took other steps to conserve not just the rhinoceros but the unique land that these animals call home. Chitwan was officially proclaimed a protected national park in 1973 and would eventually have the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site and would also be known to have one of the strictest anti-poaching policies around the world.

Along with the rhino preservation, someone who will travel to Nepal’s Chitwan National Park will see that with royal funding it has made other successful and conscious conservation steps to preserving animal life. There are prosperous habitat preservation centers such as the Bengal tiger monitoring project and elephant breeding center. There is even a separate breeding center for the gharial crocodile population all of which are interesting travel destinations for those visiting the park.

Although Nepal’s Chitwan National Park is now a popular travel destination for travelers from all over the world used for rest and relaxation, the park is not short of its fun and exciting jungle activities. Because of the efforts made to turn the popular times of hunting and gaming around and protect the animals and wildlife, many tourists can enjoy opportunities to participate in activities such as elephant-back riding through the jungle with great views from these animals while also seeing some lazy one-horned rhinos relaxing in the mud. Birdwatching is also a favorite pastime for visitors and boating down the Rapti or Narayani Rivers gives a different view to watch and enjoy the jungle sites. During certain seasons, Nepal travelers can spot marsh mugger and gharial crocodiles along the banks of the rivers while traveling through the water with a safe distance via boat ride.

These great travel opportunities would not have been available if the various wildlife preservation efforts had never been made. Since these steps have been taken they give visitors not just fun things to do while vacationing in Nepal but the guests can also first handedly see how Chitwan National Park’s conservation efforts have truly impacted and helped to progress the populations of all of these beautiful creatures.

It is appreciated for those who travel to Nepal’s Chitwan National Park to know the past of this area. To be educated on what events have happened here in the jungle in the recent past, is to understand the importance of progress that has been made to create such parks with animal preservation in mind for tourists to enjoy. Chitwan is no longer a place for only royalty and government officials to visit for vacation, see the sights, and go hunting but is a welcoming and relaxing travel destination for those looking for a different kind of travel experience. Anyone who wishes to travel here, wants to be immersed in the beauty of the tropical jungle, enjoy the pleasant chirps of birds, the opportunity to get a close look at some wild animals and have a truly unique vacation when they travel to Nepal will venture to the Chitwan National Park.

For more related article on Nepal Travel please visit the Nepal Travel Articles Section.

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