Chitwan National Park: for an ultimate escape into the wilderness of the Himalayas

Chitwan National Park, Nepal’s very first National Park and later recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, holds a special place in the hearts of nature lovers. It stands out as a must-visit destination in Nepal, with its wildlife safaris offering compelling reasons to explore. The park is a sanctuary for countless species of flora and fauna, providing a mesmerizing feast for the eyes. As you get ready for your adventure, make sure to do your research and plan for an unforgettable experience.

The ideal timing for a visit to Chitwan National Park

If you prefer drier weather with clearer skies, the best time to visit Chitwan National Park is from October to March. However, for witnessing the diverse array of stunning species, January to March is the prime season.

Chitwan National Park experiences humidity year-round, with the monsoon season spanning from June to September.

When you’re exploring the area: Activities to Enjoy

Riding atop a majestic elephant and immersing yourself in the wilderness alongside these magnificent creatures offers an unparalleled thrill. Guided by the mahout, navigating through the park on an elephant safari adds an element of excitement as you observe animals and birds from a unique perspective.

Photograph the gorgeous plant life.

In the main area of the park, you’ll come across extensive groves of sal trees, along with rosewood, elephant apple, balsam, and gooseberry scattered across the northern slopes. Additionally, you’ll find towering elephant grass and various other types of grasses throughout the region.

Look out for the mesmerizing animals.

In addition to the diverse plant life, the park is inhabited by a variety of fascinating creatures including the King Cobra, Rock Python, Bengal Tiger, starred tortoise, monitor lizards, and mugger crocodiles. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of some deer in their natural surroundings.

Row a canoe              

If you’re a fan of canoe rides, this one’s a must-do for exploring Chitwan National Park. Taking a Canoe Safari allows you to observe crocodiles basking along the riverbanks.

Take a ride in a jeep.

Another way to explore this World Heritage Site is by arranging a Jeep Drive. This is usually part of 3-day, 4-night packages but can also be arranged for a single day upon request. The drive takes you through grasslands, along rivers, and through sal forests to Kasara, the park’s headquarters. Prices for these packages start from around INR 8,000.

Explore the Chitwan Tharu Village.

Despite previous efforts to displace the Tharu tribes living nearby, the Tharu folk dance remains a significant draw of this park. Visiting the village is essential to glimpse into their culture and sample their traditional cuisine.

Important details about the park

  • Size: 932 square kilometers
  • Address: Subarnapur 44200, Nepal
  • Established: 1973 (Designated as a World Heritage Site in 1984)
  • Hours of Operation: 08:00 AM to 06:00 PM
  • Admission Fee: INR 750 per person per day (additional taxes may apply)

Lodging: Enjoying the blend of nature and luxury

For a relaxed weekend getaway to Nepal, it’s essential to book a comfortable and luxurious accommodation near one of the entrances to Chitwan National Park. In addition to Elephant Safari and canoe tours, you can indulge in sweet deals on suites and savor dining experiences featuring freshly grown vegetables and blended spices, adding an extra flavor to your vacation. Green Park Chitwan and Chitwan Village Resorts are among the budget-friendly options in the Sauraha region near the park.

Must Try: Tharu Village Thali which offers a peek into the traditional food of the Tharu tribe living in the Chitwan National Park.

Where to dine when you’re hungry: Best dining spots

These dining options around Chitwan National Park promise to tantalize your taste buds unlike any other.


Providing a variety of cuisines ranging from Nepalese dishes to burgers, wraps, and pancakes, this eatery is an ideal spot for a satisfying meal before your park excursion. You can also enjoy a refreshing beer on a sunny afternoon to cool off.

Operating Hours: 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM

Address: Buspark Road, Jhawani, Sauraha, Nepal


This spot offers delicious curries, barbecues, and stunning vistas, all in one convenient location. Indulge to your heart’s content as the prices are fair and justified. Being a rooftop eatery, it provides a bird’s-eye view of the surroundings, making it an excellent spot for capturing memorable photographs.

Operating Hours: 6:30 AM to 10:00 PM

Address: Gaida Chowk, Sauraha, Nepal

KC’s Restaurant

Nestled in a charming thatched-roof bungalow exuding a cool vibe, KC’s restaurant sets the ideal ambiance for cozy winter dinners. With a crackling fire pit and enchanting garden setting the scene, the chefs have crafted a diverse menu to tantalize your taste buds. 

Operating Hours: 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM

Address: Gaida Chowk, Sauraha, Nepal

How to reach Chitwan National Park

The park primarily features two entrances: Sauraha located in the eastern region, and Meghauli situated in the western area.

From Uttar Pradesh, India
If you’re heading to this destination from India, the closest city is Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. You can catch an air-conditioned bus from Gorakhpur Bus Station, which runs every other day from Varanasi to Kathmandu, taking around 6-7 hours to arrive.


Travel Tip: It’s highly advisable to book your tickets in advance for this route.


From Kathmandu

If you’re traveling from Kathmandu, the nearest airport to this destination (10 kilometers away) is Bharatpur Airport, where you can easily find a taxi upon arrival. Flight prices may start from 11,000 Nepalese Rupees (approximately INR 7000).


Travel Tip: Negotiate firmly for taxi fares as they may vary due to factors like fuel strikes.


Alternatively, you can take a bus from Kathmandu to visit Chitwan National Park. Buses depart from just outside Thamel along Kantipath Road, with varying charges. To arrive early, it’s recommended to depart at 07:00 in the morning from Kathmandu.


Here are some additional pointers to assist you during your visit to this picturesque park:

  • Ensure you carry a government-approved valid ID such as an Aadhar Card, PAN Card, or Passport, which is mandatory for all Indian travelers to this destination.
  • Foreign visitors must have a valid passport to enter Nepal.
  • Hiring a local guide is advisable for navigating the National Park, providing better insight into the area and minimizing any potential mishaps.
  • As the region is abundant in insects, it’s wise to pack insect repellent cream and mosquito nets, especially if staying at budget accommodations.
  • Given the rural setting surrounding both entrances, it’s recommended to carry sufficient Nepalese currency for a hassle-free trip.

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