Parsa Wildlife Reserve

Parsa Wildlife Reserve

Parsa Wildlife Reserve is a protected area in the Inner Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal. Established in 1984, it covers an area of 499 km2 in the Parsa, Makwanpur and Bara districts and is the largest wildlife reserve in the country. In altitude it ranges from 435 meters (1,427 ft) to 950 meters (3,120 ft) in the Siwalik Hills. In the north of the protected area the Rapti River and Siwalik Hills form a natural boundary to human settlements. In the east it extends up to the Hetauda - Birgunj highway. In the south, a forest road demarcates the boundary. Adjacent to the west is Chitwan National Park. Together with the Indian Tiger Reserve Valmiki National Park, the coherent protected area of 2,075 km2 represents the Tiger Conservation Unit (TCU) Chitwan-Parsa-Valmiki, which covers a 3,549 km2 huge block of alluvial grasslands and subtropical moist deciduous forests.

Access to Parsa: The reserve is accessible by bus via the Kathmandu Birgunj highway or the Mahendra Rajmarg highway. The reserve headquarters is an 8 hour drive from Kathmandu. Simara airport is 7 km away from the reserve headquarters. It takes only 15 minutes to reach Simara from Kathmandu by plane.

Seasons: The reserve has a subtropical monsoon climate with relatively high humidity. The main season are winter (October-December), spring (January-March), summer (April-June) and monsoon (July-September). Summer days are characteristically hot with average temperatures ranging from 30 - 35 C.

Facilities: There is a small guesthouse with four rooms at the headquarters. There is also a teahouse that can provide tea, snacks, and Nepali food. Hetauda and Birgunj are about an hour's bus. Make sure to bring a first-aid kit containing medicines for intestinal problems. Near the headquarters there is a Machan (view tower) that provides excellent opportunities to catch glimpses of many birds, deer and leopard. Wild elephants could be also sighted form the Machans. Kailas Bhata is atop a hill, and is of religious importance. It house two small temples (Dugdeswor Mahadev) paying homage to the Hindu gods of Shiva and Parbati. Also, one can look over the lush forests of the Terai from here. An elephant camp is located near the Amlekhgunj in Bara district. Jungle rides can be arranged from the reserve headquarters, which is the best way to get a close view of the wildlife.

Vegetation and Wildlife: The forest is composed of tropical and subtropical forest types with sal (Shorea robusta) forest constituting 90% of the vegetation. In the Churia hills chir pine (Pinus roxburghii) grows and along the streams and river khair (Acacia catechu), sissoo (Dalbergia sissoo) and silk cotton tree (Bombaxceiba) occur. Sabai grass (Enlaliopsisbinata), a commercially important grass species, grows well on the southern face of the Churia hills.

The reserve supports a good population of resident wild elephant (Elephas maxinuts), tiger (Pantheratigris), leopard (Panthera pardus), sloth bear (Melursus ursinnus), garu (Bos gaurus), blue bull (Boselaphus tragocamelus) and wild dog (Cuon alpinus). Other common animals are sambar (Cervus unicolor), chital (Zxis asis), hog deer (Axis porcinus), barking deer (Muntiacus muntjac), langur (Presbytes entellus), rhesus macaques, striped hyena (Hyena hyena), ratel, palm civet and jungle cat.

There are nearly 300 species of birds in the reserve. Giant hornbill, one of the endangered species, is found in certain forest patches. Peafowl, red jungle fowl, flycatchers and woodpeckers are a few of the other common birds found in the reserve. Many kinds of snake like king cobra, common cobra, krait, rat snake and python are found in the reserve due to the hot tropical climate.

Tourist Attraction: Kailash (Bhata) - a religious place and scenic viewing spot on a hilltop is 29 km away from Adhabar (the Reserve head quarters).

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