Bardia National Park is situated in the western Terai, east of the Karnali River. The park has the largest and most undisturbed wilderness area in the Terai region, leading to an abundance of wild animals. About 70% of the park is covered with forest, while the remainder is a mix of grassland, savannah and riverine forest. Initially a royal hunting reserve, it was later granted the status of National Park to preserve the fragile ecosystem of the region.
Royal Bardia National Park was once an open area of wilderness until the Rana rulers of Nepal earmarked it as their royal hunting reserve from 1846 to 1950. In 1976 the region was gazetted as Royal Karnali Wildlife Reserve with an area of 368 sq. km. Then in 1982, it was rechristened as the Royal Bardia Wildlife Reserve including the Babai river valley. Finally it was designated as a National Park in 1988.
|Location||Western lowland Terai , Nepal|
|Importance||Largest park in the lowland Terai|
|Area Covered||968 sq. km.|
|Endangered Species||Gharial crocodile, marsh mugger crocodile, Gangetic dolphin, Bengal tiger, wild elephant, great one-horned rhinoceros, swamp deer, and black buck|
|Best Season to Visit||From October to February|
|Major Attraction||Great One-horned Rhinoceros|
The most popular wildlife attraction in Royal Bardia National Park is the one-horned rhinoceros that have been relocated here from other national parks in the 1990’s. The park is also known for having one of the last herds of wild elephants in South Asia. Several deer species also reside in Nepal. These include chital or spotted deer with white spots on a brown coat; Sambhar, the largest deer on the Indian subcontinent; swamp deer, locally called barasingha; hog deer, similar to but smaller than chital; and the barking deer, the park’s smallest deer with reddish skin.
Other big animals residing in the park are the blue bull, locally called nilgai, which is the biggest antelope on the Indian subcontinent; wild boars; sloth bears; and gaur, the biggest wild oxen. Serow, goral and Himalayan tahr are also popular with tourists. Smaller animals include langur, a kind of monkey; rhesus macaque, mongoose, jackal and Indian otter. The park also holds large number of bird species, many of which are migratory.
- There Several open grasslands are within the park. Game viewing is excellent in these grasslands. Many of the forest tracks throughout the park also present very good game viewing.
- More than 350 species including storks, geese, jungle fowls, king-fishers, cormorants, egret, and endangered species such as the Bengal florican, silver-eared mesia and the saurus crane. This makes the park highly attractive for bird lovers.
- The park, a sub-tropical jungle, is thickly forested by sal trees and carpeted with grass, savannah and riverine vegetation.
- The northern part is bordered by the Churia hill range, the west by the Karnali river, while the Babai river flows through the middle of the park.
- On the southern part of the park are the villages of Tharu people. One of the most picturesque national parks in Asia, it teems with rich and varied flora and fauna.
How To Reach Bardia NP:
Daily flights operate from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj Airport, nearest to the Royal Bardia National Park.
Buses from Kathmandu to Mahendranagar, Dhangadi, or Karnali can be taken, or private transport can be arranged to reach the park.