Chitwan National Park is the most popular destination for tourist wanting to have a good experience of the region’s wildlife. It was declared a national park in 1973. In 1984, UNESCO designated it as a natural world heritage site.The park offers protection to 56 species of mammals including the one horned rhinoceros, Bengal Tiger, leopard, sloth bear, wild elephant, striped hyena, Gangetic dolphin and wild bison. There are an estimated 470 species of mammals, over 500 species of birds, 126 species of fish, 150 species of butterflies, and 47 species of reptiles in the park. A recent study also points out that over a third of Nepal’s Tiger are in Chitwan. The park is spread over an area of 932 sq.kms and located in the lowlands of the kingdom. The forest cover is predominantly sal, interspersed with tall grasslands, amall hills, ox bow lakes and flood plains. The best time to visit Chitwan is from October through February, when the temperature average 25 degrees Celsius. The month of march, April and June can be extremely hot, while July-September is the monsoon season when river swell and parts of the park are inaccessible.
Lumbini, The birthplace of Bhuddha (Siddhartha Gautam), the Shakya prince and the ultimate Buddha, the inlightened. One, is the pilgrimage distination of the world’s millions of people fathful to all schools of Buddhism. Lumbini is situated 308km south west from Kathmandu. It is connected by road and air from Kathmandu.It offers magnificent the secred Garden of Bhuddha. This nativity site, identified by Indian Emperor Ashoka’s comme- morative pillar is liested as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The main attraction at the Lumbini remains the secred Garden spread over 8sq.km and possessing all the treasures of the historic area. The Mayadevi temple is the main attraction for pilgrims and archaeolo-gists alike. Here we find a bas relief of Mayadevi, the Buddha’s mother giving birth to him. Standing west to the Mayadevi shrine is the oldest monument of Nepal, the Ashoka Pillar. The Pillar was erected by Emperor Ashoka in 249BC to commemorate his pilgrimage to the sacred site. To the south of the pillar, we find the sacred pond, Pushkarni, where Queen Mayadevi had taken a bath just before giving birth to the Buddha. There are other places of interested too nearby. It is accessible by air from Kathmandu to bhairawa. From Kathmandu it takes about 8 hours by bus or car.