Chitwan is in the western part of Narayani Zone with Bharatpur, the seventh largest city of Nepal, as its district headquarters. The district takes its name from the Chitwan Valley, one of Nepal’s Inner Terai valleys between the Mahabharat and Siwalik ranges, both considered foothills of the Himalayas.Chitwan is one of the few remaining undisturbed vestiges of the Terai region, which formerly extended over the foothills of Nepal.
Chitwan has a particularly rich flora and fauna. Nepal’s first national park, the Chitwan National Park together with the adjacent Parsa Wildlife Reserve support a species diversity much higher than any other on the Indian subcontinent. Rare species include Bengal tiger, gharial and the world’s second largest population of Asian Rhinoceros, but also leopards, Mugger crocodile, Indian rock python and several species of deer.The area was gazetted as the countrys first national park in 1973. Recognizing its unique ecosystems of international significance, UNESCO declared RCNP a World Heritage Site in 1984.In 1996, an area of 750 sq. km surrounding the park was declared a buffer zone which consists of forests and private lands. The park and the local people jointly initiate community development activities and manage natural resources in the buffer zone. His Majestys Government has made a provision of plowing back 30-50 percent of the park revenue for community development in the buffer zone.
Royal Chitwan National Park (RCNP) has long been one of the countrys treasures of natural wonders.