Jul 14, 2024

BARDIYA NATIONAL PARK IN NEPAL: Discovering Nepal beyond its Mountains

BARDIYA NATIONAL PARK IN NEPAL: Discovering Nepal beyond its Mountains

Nestled in the lowland Terai region, Bardiya National Park stands as a testament to the incredible diversity that Nepal has to offer. While the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas may be the country's defining feature, Bardiya National Park invites visitors to explore a whole different side of Nepal's natural beauty.

Bardiya National Park: A Haven for Wildlife Conservation

Established in 1976, Bardiya National Park is the largest national park in Nepal's Western Terai region. Spanning an impressive area of 968 square kilometers, the park was initially created to protect the diverse ecosystems and provide a sanctuary for the majestic Bengal tiger and its prey species.

Starting as a small wildlife reserve called Karnali Wildlife Reserve, the park was expanded to its current size and renamed Bardiya Wildlife Reserve in 1982. Recognizing its significance, the reserve was finally designated as a National Park in 1988.

The success of Bardiya National Park's conservation efforts is evident. In 1986, the park saw the translocation of 91 Greater One-horned Rhinoceros from the famous Chitwan National Park. This initiative ensured the preservation of these magnificent creatures while also helping to restore and maintain the park's natural biodiversity.

A Thriving Ecosystem

Bardiya National Park is not only home to the Bengal tiger and the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros but also boasts an extensive range of wildlife. With a recorded 61 mammal species, 513 bird species, 42 herpetofauna, and 120 fascinating fish species, it is a paradise for nature enthusiasts.

The park's natural beauty extends to its rivers, with both the Karnali and Babai rivers flowing through its borders. These waterways provide habitats for aquatic animals such as mugger crocodiles, gharials, marsh mugger crocodiles, smooth-coated otters, and even freshwater dolphins.

The flora within the park is just as diverse, with sal forests, savannah forests, and vast grasslands adding to the ecological richness of the region.

Experiencing Bardiya National Park: Activities and Accommodations

To make the most of your visit to Bardiya National Park, it is essential to plan your activities and accommodations in advance. All activities within the park require visitors to pay the entrance fee and be accompanied by a guide.

The park offers a range of exciting activities to choose from. Embark on a classic jungle safari, where you can explore the park's terrain and spot wildlife from the comfort of a jeep. For those seeking a more immersive experience, jungle walks allow you to get up close and personal with nature. Boat rides along the Karnali River provide unique opportunities to observe freshwater dolphins, while jeep drives offer thrilling adventures through this extraordinary landscape.

Various jungle lodges surround the park, providing comfortable accommodations for visitors. These lodges also assist in organizing activities and arranging guides for your Bardiya National Park experience.

When to Visit and How to Get There

The best time to visit Bardiya National Park is during the months of October to March when the weather is dry and pleasant. The park experiences distinct seasons, with hot and dry temperatures reaching up to 42 degrees Celsius from April to June. The monsoon season lasts from July to September, bringing rainfall and lush greenery to the park.

To reach Bardiya National Park, you can take a short flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. From Nepalgunj, bus services are available to Thakurdwara, the park headquarters, especially during the dry season. Private vehicles should be well-stocked with fuel for the journey.

Immersing in Tharu Culture

Visiting Bardiya National Park is not only an opportunity to marvel at its wildlife and natural splendor but also to appreciate the vibrant local culture. The Tharu people, who call the area home, offer insights into their traditions and way of life. Take the time to visit Tharu villages and learn about their unique heritage. Some lodges even offer the chance to stay with local Tharu families, providing an authentic and immersive cultural experience.

Exploring Nature's Wonders Beyond the Mountains

Bardiya National Park is a testimony to the fact that Nepal is so much more than just mountains. With its diverse wildlife, captivating landscapes, and rich cultural experiences, the park offers a unique and unforgettable adventure. Whether you're a wildlife lover, an adventure enthusiast, or a cultural explorer, Bardiya National Park is the perfect destination to discover the hidden treasures of Nepal. So step out of the ordinary and experience Nepal's extraordinary biodiversity at Bardiya National Park.