Chitwan


The name Chitwan is a composite of the Sanskrit words "citta" meaning heart and "vana" meaning jungle or forest. Thus, the meaning of Chitwan is Heart of the Jungle. Chitwan, a land of aborigines "Tharus", were very rich in their art & drawings, & are still renowned for it. Their houses are decorated by religious drawings denoting different phases of history, culture and environment along that time. Chitwan is in the western part of Narayani Zone with Bharatpur, the Fifth largest city of Nepal, as its district headquarters. It covers an area of 2,218 km2 (856 sq mi). Bharatpur is a commercial and service centre of central south Nepal and merger destination for higher education, health care and transportation of the region.

Chitwan is very popular for tasty Taas a spicy fried goat-meat lunch dish served with Bhuja or Cheura available in many restaurants. Momo, Sukuti Khaja Set and other Newa cuisine also available. Dal Bhat the staple food of the area, and meat and dairy products are also widely consumed. For centuries, traditional fermented foods and beverages have constituted about 20 per cent of the local diet. Depending on altitudinal variation, finger millet, wheat, buckwheat, barley, vegetable, potato, and soybeans are grown.

Chitwan has a particularly rich flora and fauna. Nepal's first national park, the Chitwan National Park together with the adjacent Parsa Wildlife Reserve support a species diversity much higher than any other on the Indian subcontinent. Rare species include Bengal tiger, Gharial and the world's second largest population of Asian Rhinoceros, but also leopards, Mugger crocodile, Indian rock python and several species of deer. The protected areas are guarded by a battalion of the Nepal Army and patrolled by anti-poaching units.

The Rapti River flows east to south west in the south of Bharatpur and forms the northern border of the Chitwan National Park. The Narayani River flows north to south in the west of Bharatpur. It is the deepest and also one of the biggest rivers of Nepal. The Narayani Bridge over the river connects Chitwan District with Nawalparasi District of Nepal. Small islands, like Nagarban in Narayani river are popular picnic spots.

Bish Hazari (20 Thousand) lake is in the southern corner of Bharatpur. The lake is very attractive for the bird lovers and serves as an important bird watching centre. The lake area houses lots of crocodiles and thus is equally attractive for the reptile lovers. The Lake Lies nearby Chitwan National Park. Bish hazari lake lies just 5 km (3.1 mi) south of the city centre (Chaubishkothi) of Bharatpur.

Narayanghat is the main transit point for all the vehicles traveling via east-west Mahendra Highway and also for the people traveling from Kathmandu, Gorkha, and Pokhara through Mugling road. Recently, Narayangarh has become a retail and commercial capital of whole Chitwan district and Bharatpur Municipality. It is also the center for hospitality industry which includes hotels, lodges, restaurants and transportation hub for the district.

Bharatpur Airport in the central part of the city offered four domestic airlines and one government airline with several flights daily to Kathmandu. Mahendra East West Highway connects the city to various parts of the country, and another highway connects Bharatpur with Kathmandu to the north east and with Birgung on the border of India to the south. Bus, micro bus and other land transportation are available to go out of the city, for internal transportation taxi, rickshaw and car/jeep hiring is available. Hakim Chowk and Chaubiskothi, Shaheed Chok, Pul Chowk, Bel Chowk and Lila Chowk are major centres at intersections of major roads.