Parsa National Park (12th National Park of the Country), is located in the south-central lowland of Nepal of Province 2 and 3 (Bagmati) in Parsa, Bara and Makwanpur districts. It is connected with Chitwan National Park ( A World Heritage Site) in the West and Valmiki Tiger Reserve of India in the South-western part. It was initially established as Parsa Wildlife Reserve in 1984 ( 2041 B.S. ) with an area of 499km2 aiming to preserve Asian Wild Elephant (Elephas Maximus ) and their remaining habitat of historical Char-Koshe-Jhadi which was spread over Terai from east to west of Nepal. Through the Gazette of August 24, 2015 (Bhadra 7,2072), an area of 128.39 km2 of Bara district was added to it including Halkhoria lake as one of the major wildlife habitats making a total area of 627.39 km2. With this extension, the status of Wildlife Reserve was changed to National Park on July 3, 2017 ( Ashadh 19,2074 ).
Major Attractions of Parsa National Park
- Residential Asian Wild Elephant
- Royal Bengal Tiger
- One-horned Rhinoceros
- Common Leopard
- Sloth Bear
- Wild Dog
- Sambar deer, Barking Deer, Hog Deer, Spotted Deer, etc
- 490 species of birds
- Halkhoria, Kamini, Kali Daha and Lauki Daha/Lake
- Churia/Siwalik, Bhabar and Low-land Tera
Best Season to Visit
In the winter season, local villagers are allowed to cutch thatch grass in the Parsa National Park, which gives visitors better views of the wildlife. Between September & November and February & April, migratory birds join the residential birds and create spectacular bird-watching opportunities. Different watch towers inside provide excellent prospects to catch glimpses of many birds, mammals and landscape views of the park. Wild elephants and Tigers could also be sighted from the view towers. Dudheshwor temple is at top of the hill and is of religious importance. Also one can look over the lush forests of Terai from the top of the hills. Now three elephant camps are located near the Amlekhgunj, Pratappur and Gaduwaline of Bara, Makwanpur and Parsa district respectively. Jungle drives and elephant rides, which is the best way to get a close view of the wildlife, can be arranged from the Park headquarter, Amlekhgunj, Gaduwaline and Pratappur.
Flora & Fauna
The forests are mainly composed of tropical and subtropical species. Sal forests compose about 90 percent of the reserve’s vegetation. Along the banks of the rivers, riverine forests are found containing species like Khair and Silk cotton tree. In the north-eastern part of the reserve, at higher altitudes, Sal and Pine’s forests are occurring. On the southern slope of the Siwalik hills, the forests are dominated by pine. Sabai grass is a commercially important species, grows well on the southern face of the Churia hills.
The Parsa National Park supports good populations of various endangered species include wild Asian elephants, Royal Bengal tiger, Sloth bear, and Leopard. Blue bull, Sambar, Chital, Hog deer, Barding deer, Langur, Rhesus macaques, striped hyena, Jungle cat, and Palm civet are also found in the reserve. The reserve also provides a habitat for more than 500 species of birds. For example, White-breasted kingfisher, Paradise flycatcher, Large racquet-tailed drongo, Golden-backed woodpecker, etc are some of the common sights. Giant hornbill, one of the endangered bird species is found in some forest patches. The reserve is also famous for reptiles and different kinds of snakes include common Cobra, Common and banded Karit, Python and King cobra.
Winter (October-December) provides pleasant temperatures with clear skies. Nighttime temperatures can drop to 0°C. During spring (January-March) temperatures rise and water becomes scarce. During summer (April-June) the days become hot and humid with temperatures rising up to -40°C. Monsoon (July-September) brings cooling rains.
How to get there:
The Parsa National Park headquarter located at Aadhavar, is the most accessible headquarter amongst all protected areas of Nepal. This headquarter is connected with other parts of the country via air and road. The park headquarter can be easily reached from Kathmandu on 15 minutes flight to Simara Airport, which is located at a distance of about 8 km south of Aadhavar. The park headquarter at Aadhavar is about 5-6 hours drive from Kathmandu and 6-7 hours drive ( approx.230 km ) from Pokhara ( the tourist destination in Nepal after Kathmandu ). Aadhavar is 5-6 hour drive from Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha. Hetauda and Birgunj, the two major industrial and business centers of Nepal, are located just about 25 km north and 23 km south from Aadhavar respectively. From both of these towns, Aadhavar can be reached by bus in less than one hour. Birgunj is also the gateway to Nepal from India.
Facilities around Parsa National Park
There are hotels, lodges and tea houses in the buffer zone offering modern amenities. Recently community lodge has been constructed in Ramauli village of Makwanpur for tourism promotion and income generation for the buffer zone community. There are many small hotels and lodges available in Pathalaiya and Simara on the highway where Nepali, Indian and Chinese food is available. Hotel and lodge including Homestay have been built close to Amlekhgunj elephant camp and Suvarnapur. Luxurious hotels and lodges are available in Simara, Hetauda and Birgunj.
Buffer zone of Parsa National Park
On June 27, 2005 (Ashadh 13, 2062 ), an area of 285.3 km2 around the park was declared as a buffer zone. Buffer zone (the area adjacent to park boundary ) management is a joint venture between the park office and local communities. Local communities have a decision-making role in the management of such areas. Additionally, National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1973 has made provision of plowing back 30-50 percent of the park’s revenue into community development and conservation of the buffer zone.