In 1973, Chitwan National Park was established covering 932 sq km area is now listed in the World Heritage site by UNESCO. The Park consists of a diversity of ecosystems-including the Churia hills, Ox-bow lakes, and the flood plains of the Rapti, Reu and Narayani Rivers. The Churia hills rise slowly towards the East from 150 m. to more than 800 m. The western portion of the Park is comprised of the lower but more rugged, Someshwor hill. The Park shares its eastern boundary with the Parsa Wildlife Reserve.
Information on Travel (Distance & Time)
Chitwan Chepang Hills Trail
Nepal’s Terai possesses a beauty that is totally unexpected in a country known mainly for soaring snow-covered mountains. Chitwan, a majestic and powerful location teeming with wildlife hosts one of Asia’s finest national parks, renowned for its dense concentration of wildlife. Seas of elephant grass ripple beneath a magnificent sunset and pervasive sense of relaxation soaks in deeper the longer you stay.
The newly developed Chitwan Chepang Hills Trail is unique because of one of the most ethnic cultures of Nepal- Chepang Culture. Chepangs, believed to be influenced by Tamangs, speak their own distinct language,leading a nomadic life and their primary lifestyle, hunting, foraging for wild roots and fishing and traditional farming near jungles.A Praja Pande (faithhealer) might be an interesting figure for cultural tourists to be introduced to.They inhabit the remote and sparse contours of Makwanpur, Chitwan, Gorkha and Dhading districts. Other ethnic groups found in this region largely comprise of Tharu, Musahar, Satahar, Danuwar, Tamang, Kumal Gurung and Magar.
The Chitwan Chepang Hills Trail offers a rare combination of cultural and sightseeing experience. A stay in the beautiful homes of the villagers as guests and sharing their meals is a journey of discovery in itself. The unique culture in this area, bird watching, and other natural attractions add to the experience. Hattibang, the first night halt on the way from Hugdi Bazaar, offers good scenery of the surrounding mountains and touch of Magar, Chepang and Giripuri culture, at the several home stay and community-managed guest house. Villagers give a unique cultural performance for visitors on request and offer Local handicrafts on sale as souvenirs. Siraichuli (1,945 m), one of the highest hills of Mahabharat range, offers spectacular views of the mountains and magnificent sunrise and sunset views. The view includes a wide range of Himalayan peaks such as Rolwaling, Gaurishankar, Langtang, Gorkha Himal, Peak 29, Himalchuli, Manaslu, Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri, and the Royal Chitwan National Park in the Terai. The trek to Siraichuli from Hattibang is challenging through rough landscape and vegetation.
Jyandala village on the trail is a Chepang settlement where tourists can have a cultural experience. A tour of the village and accommodation at village home stay is recommended. Next is Chisapanitar, which is a popular bird-watching site. More than 250 varieties of bird species are found here. The dense forest in this region is also home to other wild animals.
Another interesting place is Uppardang Gadi which used to be the headquarters of Chitwan till early 1962. The remains of a historic fort that defended the surrounding countryside are still here, sitting at 1,275 meters, which is said to have been built by Shatru Bhanjan Shah. Offering spectacular views, camping service is available through community along with Home stay facilities. Shaktikhor, where the trek formally ends gives ample opportunity to visitors for a wholesome cultural experience. Home-stay experience, Cultural shows, Chepang Museum and Visitor's information centre, Caves and waterfalls around Shaktikhor make Shaktikhor a unique experience. Travelling to Chitram waterfall on the next day and stay at Chepang houses in Majhbang village of Siddi VDC is yet another attraction.
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Besides home-stay facilities in Shaktikhor, Gadi, Chisapanitar, Chitram, Majhbang and Hattibang, resting places, porter shelters with bath rooms/toilets are also available. Tea houses are available in Siddhi, whereas camping site is available in Uppardang Gadi, Hattibang, Chitram and Jyandala. The nearest point where all major tourist facilities are available is Sauraha near the Royal Chitwan National Park or Narayanghat.
Wholesome and organic locally produced agricultural items are available along the Chepang Hills Trail. Millets, wheat, corn, buck wheat Dhido (Nepali food item) and roti, baked corn, soybeans and other beans, dal and rice, gundruk (partially fermented edible leaves), seasonal vegetables and fruits, ghee, milk, honey, curd, other juices, poultry/goat items, edible roots, etc. are available. Other items like Kheer (pudding), sel-roti (fox bread), black dal's phuloura (a type of fried item), crab, tama (bamboo shoots), fish, nettle, etc. are also available on demand
A Chepang Museum has also been established at Shaktikhor with the view to preserve and promote primitive cultures, originalities, costumes, life styles of the people. Different materials used by the Chepangs and relics like catapults used in killing birds, slings and bows used for hunting animals, crushing devices, dhiki and janto (traditional stone tools for beating and grinding grains), pots, wooden containers, drums have been kept in the museum.
Shaktikhor Tourist Information Center:
Visit to the tourist information center at Shaktikhor is recommended for current travel information, while trekking in the Chitwan Chepang Hills. The tourist information center at Shaktikhor has resource materials that can provide cultural and natural attractions of the Chepang Hills. The information center also makes provision for trained tour guides, cooks, informative books, tents, utensils, and facilitate Chepang museum tours, local handicraft sales and crop sales, documentary show.
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Chitwan lies south-west of Kathmandu, near the Indian border on the tropical terai. It is accessible by air with a flight from Kathmandu to Bharatpur or Meghauli, and by road from Kathmandu or Pokhara. One can either take a bus from Kathmandu or a raft trip down the Trisuli River to begin your trek. The trail climbs uphill from Hugdi Khola through Laitak Chautara and Khor Bhanjyang, a campsite among terraced fields.
Access to the Trail
The best time to trek in this area is from September through to Mays warm, temperate and pleasant.
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Tourist Attractions and Services :
Hugdi Bazaar: (309Mtr.)
Khorbhanjyang: (900 Mtr.)
Hattibang: (1410 Mtr.)
Jyandala Village: (Kaling-Jautesh-Changa-Rajbhoj-Kolbhanjyang–Dinglang)
Chisapanitar: (1695 Mtr.)
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Upardang Gadi: (1275 Mtr.)
Shaktikhor: ( 355 Mtr.)
Shaktikhor – Siddi – Chitram waterfall:
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