I was born and brought up in hilly regions of Nepal, mostly around Kathmandu. Besides some tours from my school and college, I had never been far from Kathmandu. Growing up, Nepal’s geographic structure always amazed me, the three regions: Himalayan, Hilly, and Terai, which is structured in a mysteriously impromptu way. I had not visited the plains of Terai ever, witnessing the cinematic landscapes, similar to the painted portraits made the entire first-hand experience overwhelming. Hence, it was the first time I entered Chitwan.
I have path cross Chitwan before on the way to Lumbini and Butwal but never got a chance to visit properly. The urbanization and the roads first attracted my eyes. Living in Kathmandu is tough amongst all cities. Kathmandu has left me indoors most of the time due to scurry crowd.
It was January 5, 2019, I reached Chitwan around 2 p.m. The 6-hour long drive was longer than my usual travel to my relative’s home. The most usual thing to do in Chitwan is the jungle safari in Chitwan National Park, which costs around Rs. 50 for Nepalese and Rs. 2000 for foreigners, such a huge price gap but I benefited. Furthermore, for the SAARC country’s tourist, it is Rs. 1000. I didn’t prefer Jeep safari because a friend of mine suggested that the engine sounds of the jeep are more likely to scare the animals, birds and other creatures away. Elephant bathing is another thrilling activity in Chitwan. People can play with the elephants and dive in the river from the back of elephant while it is bathing. The picture of elephant bathing and playing with humans is equally entertaining. It is even amusing to only see elephants bath. I saw tourists competing against each other to take photographs of the bathing elephants. The elephants at times throw off the riders into water as per the directive. There will be tickets which can cost between Rs. 200 to Rs. 500. A free way to watch elephants Bath is in the evening, the Mahout (Elephant riders) gives bath to their elephants at the end of the day. They’ll do some tricks and showing off. They accept tips too.
Then all that’s left to do is sit back and enjoy the sunset over the river. So, I chilled out beside the serenity of the River and watched the appealing elephant taking a bath but it was too alluring then I joined them while taking a dip down the river.
“The twenty thousand lake” or “The Bis Hazari Taal” is another fascinating creation of nature to disappear in. The Nepali name translated in English seems unusual but the literal meaning carries some sense. The significance behind the name the twenty thousand lake is that there are more than a thousand small and big lakes and the Ariel view of the lake signifies the shape of the number 20,000. Just only hearing the legend is peculiar but it is a fact. Birds gathering there around October and February will be a good visual aid for bird lovers. The lake is in Chaubiskoth, southern part of Bharatpur city.
Other things except hills and plains that excite and entice me is wide and huge rivers and waterfalls. Chitwan also has Narayani River flowing as its veins which is one of the largest rivers in Nepal. The Narayani River is the final collector of seven extremely complex drainage systems of the Trans-Himalaya and consists of countless creeks, hill streams, rivers, forest lakes, wetlands, floodplains, and oxbows. The Kaligandaki is the main feeder system of the Narayani. The Kaligandaki also known as the Narayani system cuts through all of Nepal’s varied zones so it grants a good opportunity to examine the fish distribution along an impressive altitudinal gradient. Boating in the Narayani River has a sense of calmness which relishes the heaviest pain of a person. Like a cherry in a pie, Bharatpur municipality has been constructing a boat that can carry 200 people at a time. This wonderful experience by the authority target the visit Nepal 2020 campaign. Everybody adores there hometown like my friends who are mostly from Chitwan. I had heard wonderful things about the place. Now that I have experienced Chitwan, I can say that whatever I’ve heard was absolutely true. It is a must place to visit in West Terai.
By : Jimi Rajbhandari