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Bardiya National Park -The Largest National park in Nepal

Bardiya National Park is the largest as well as off-the-beaten National Park of Nepal. Bardiya National Park was established in 1988, as Royal Bardiya National Park which is located in the north-west of Nepalgunj adjoining the eastern bank of the Karnali River and intersected by the Babai River in the Bardiya District. Bardiya National Park covers the approximate area of 968 sq.km and is surrounded by lovely villages and fields inhabited by an indigenous ethnic group.

Bardiya National Park is established to protect the threatened ecosystems and to conserve the endangered species of floras and faunas. Around seventy percent of the park is covered with evergreen forest, savannah, and riverine forest. It has a greater range of habitats compared to Chitwan National Park. The flora listed in the park consists of 839 species of flora, counting 173 vascular plant species comprising 140 dicots, 26 monocots, six fern, and one gymnosperm species. With the lush dense forest, the Bardiya National Park is home to relatively 53 mammals including rhinoceros, wild elephant, Bengal tiger, swamp deer, gharial crocodile, marsh mugger, blackbuck, Sarus Crane, Gangetic Dolphin, and many others. Mainly Tharu people live here and you can explore their authentic culture and traditions of western Nepal.

Bardiya National Park is considered as the most undisturbed and less-visited park of Nepal due to its remoteness. Bardiya National Park can be an ideal option to experience the wilderness of Bardiya and to observe the rich biological diversity. Bardiya National Park has been also contributing to preserving the originality and the wilderness of the ecosystem.

History of Bardiya National Park

Nepal lost the territory of Bardiya National Park to East India Company through the Sugauli Treaty in 1815. The territory returned to Nepal in 1960, after Nepal reinforced the Indian Independence Movement of 1957. The nickname of the territory of Bardiya National Park is “Naya Muluk” which means a new country.

In the beginning, an area of 368 km sq was set as Royal Hunting Reserve in 1969 and officially renamed as Royal Karnali Wildlife Reserve in 1976. The Babai River Valley was included in 1984 and renamed as the Royal Bardiya Wildlife Reserve. Finally, in 1988, the park reviewed as a national park and Royal Bardiya National Park came in presence.

At the time of the regime of the Shah Dynasty, the royal family would come to Bardiya National Park for hunting purposes. Only the royal family and guest belonging to royal family were allowed to hunt animals in the park. After the initiation of democracy, all hunting and killing activities are regarded as illegal.

The parks in Nepal started with “Royal” as a gratitude to the Royal family, but after the revolution to overthrow the King in 2063, the name “Royal” was eliminated from all National Parks in Nepal. The park is now called “Bardiya National Park.”

Best Season to Visit Bardiya National Park

Bardiya can be visited all year round. The best season to visit Bardiya National Park is during autumn, winter and early summer. During these season days will be warm with cool nights and there is a very high chance to spot Royal Bengal Tiger. Peak summer days get hot and rainy seasons may witness floods near the riverbanks. Bardiya will still have its charms to offer in all seasons.

Adventurous Things to Do in Bardiya National Park

Bardiya is jam-packed with fun things to see and do. Check out these adventurous things to do in Bardiya. Let your senses sink in this eventual adventure.

Jungle Safari (by Jeep or by Elephant)

The Jungle Safari is one of the most participated activities by tourists in Bardiya National Park. Explore the jungle with an experienced wildlife expert by Jeep or by Elephant.

Jeep Safari is the most popular way to explore Bardiya National Park in lesser time. Jeep safari allows you deep into the jungle with a good chance at spotting wildlife nearly. Through the open jeeps, you get the chance to see widely varied vegetation in their characteristic territories. With a bit of luck, there's always the chance of glimpsing the Royal Bengal Tiger, the king of Bardiya. Tourists in Bardiya safari have the most probability of sighting and encountering wild Bengal Tiger than in other national parks of Nepal.

Elephant safaris in Bardiya National Park are not favored for several reasons. But if you want to be close to elephants and to discover how they move through the jungle, what they eat, and how they react to and interact with other wildlife you can choose Elephant Safari.

Jungle Walks

A jungle walk is a great way to explore the wilderness of Bardiya. Jungle walk with an experienced guide is a better way of spotting the tigers, watching birds and other animals and plants. Jungle walk in Bardiya national park will give you the perfect atmosphere to probe the wild creatures closely. Bird watching is constantly best by the jungle walk.

Village Walks

If you are considering things to do away from the jungle then visiting some of the local villages around Bardiya National Park is an immense thing to do. The Tharu ethnic groups are native to this area and are best known for their sense of community. A Village walk to Bardiya will give you a true experience of the way of living life of Tharu people and enriching the delightful experience. Handicrafts made by the community members which could be bought as souvenirs.

Bird Watching

Bardiya National Park is a habitat of more than 400 species of birds. Bardiya national park is a perfect place to explore a diverse range of birds and hear melodic sounds of chirps and twitters in a peaceful atmosphere. You may also see the endangered birds like Bengal Falcon and Sarus Crane in Bardiya national park. Thus, bird watching in Bardiya national park is an absolute enjoyment and a paradise for bird enthusiasts and amateur bird-watchers.

Rafting

Rafting gives you a great moment to spot birds and animals on the riverbanks and you might see the rare Gangetic river dolphin. As you raft through either Karnali River or Gerua River, an aquatic adventure will be waiting for you. The rafting will amaze you with its beautiful lowland scenery, jungle artistic and terrestrial beasts.

Tharu Cultural Museum

Tharu Cultural museum is a small museum situated inside the main gate to the Bardiya National Park. It has an interesting exhibition about the customs and rituals of the Tharu people. Tharus are the native resident of Bardiya and its surrounding regions. Bardiya National Park fosters the Tharu culture and tradition which is one of the most preserved cultures in Nepal. Tharu Cultural Museum is worth a quick look to understand the rare culture and tradition of Tharu people.

Cultural Dance

The short and refreshing cultural program of the local tribe of Bardiya, Tharu, will entertain you with different famous Tharu dances like stick dance, peacock dance and many more. These cultural dance carriers their history, culture, traditions, activities, and beliefs. You can also participate in the groups for dancing and it is the best moment to be familiar with the traditions of the Tharu people of Bardiya.

Fishing

For anglers or fishermen, river fishing in Bardiya is a well-known activity. Anglers adore angling on the Karnali River, Babai River or Bheri River which offer various good fishing spots to catch catfish and mahseer. Before you begin to fish, you must acquire a permit from the park administration. Once you've caught the fish and taken a mandatory selfie, you have to release the caught fish back into the river. The perfect period for fishing is from February to May and October to November.

Filming

Bardiya is one of Nepal’s most popular national parks, mainly due to the vast lowlands, dense jungles, and gentle rivers. Bardiya National Park is a perfect location for you to film a nature documentary! Besides the wonderful natural environment, wildlife and rare culture definitely will add a touch of magic to your film.

Local cuisine

An essential element of local culture and tradition is its cuisine! Tharu people of Nepal have unique and special food items like Anadi Rice, Barmuwa, Gunghi (edible snails), Dhikri (made from rice flour), etc. These cuisines are popular for their spicy and distinct flavors.

Thakurbaba Visit

Thakurbaba is a popular temple located at Thakurdwara. Thakurbaba is what the locals call Lord Vishnu. There is a belief of gaining fertility among the pilgrims who come to worship the temple.

Camping

Camping is one of the foremost things to do in Bardiya National Park. There are permitted zones for camping in Bardiya National Park. These zones are the Lalmati and Guthi regions where you can make a tent and spend the night. Camping at Bardiya National Park will give you an amazing experience of real Bardiya wilderness and the thrill of camping in the jungle. In the solace of night, you can take pleasure in listening to the calming sounds of birds chirping and movement of animals. But be careful, you are not permitted to travel outside the camping area.

Elephant Breeding Center

The Elephant Breeding Centre in Bardiya National Park is located about 2 kilometers southwest from the park’s headquarter. Elephant Breeding Center especially is worth a visit in the morning or after 4 pm when the elephants return from grazing in the park. The domestic elephants in Bardiya are mainly used for patrolling in the park and for research activities.

Crocodile Breeding Center

The Crocodile Breeding Centre is located close to the entrance of Bardiya National Park. The breeding center specializes in the Gharial and Marsh mugger crocodile. It is divided into two major sections to take care of crocodiles; hatchery and rearing sections. Eggs needed for the hatchery are collected from the sandbanks of the Geruwa and Babai river. After collecting enough, they are replaced into the Karnali and Babai River.

How to reach Bardiya National Park

Bardiya National Park is situated in the Terai region of Nepal and is accessible through various routes. Bardiya National Park is 516 km far from the capital Kathmandu and regular buses can be found from Kathmandu to reach the national park. The bus ride is long but quite comfortable. The drive to Nepalgunj takes about 12 hours by bus. There are daytime buses and nighttime buses to Nepalgunj. If you have time and want to take pleasure in the long-distance trip to Bardiya National park then it’s the best way to take a bus from Kathmandu. However, the fastest way to arrive at Bardiya National Park is by plane. Approximately an hour flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj will provide you the exciting view of over 200 km of the mighty Himalayan range of Nepal. Then, one can take either local bus or jeep or private vehicles to the park within an hour or so.

Bardiya National Park Hotels, Resorts, and Community Homestay

As Bardiya National Park is one of the popular attractions amongst tourists, there are enough hotels, resorts and community homestay. Most of the popular resorts are situated near Thakurdwara which is a major tourist settlement destination. There are also numerous community homestays near the Bardiya National Part run by the local people. Living in Community Homestay will let you feel the Tharu culture and explore about Bardiya in detail. However, if you choose to stay in a comfy, hygienic and well-established resort in Bardiya National Park, Mr B's Place {https://www.facebook.com/MrBsPlaceBardia}, the number one in Bardiya is your best choice. They have 18+ sophisticated rooms and cottages while they also provide the tented camps within the pristine natural environment. The most popular Mr B’s place always humbly wait for your precious presence.

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