Sauraha

Sauraha is a village of Ratnanagar Municipality in Chitwan District and Chitwan Valley, in the Province No. 3 of southern Nepal. It is a very popular tourist destination.

Geography

The village is the eastern gateway to the nearby and large Chitwan National Park, that project is part of the Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands ecoregion.

It is near the East Rapti River, and 23 km (14 mi) east of Narayangarh city.

Beginning literally like a small and quaint village of daub huts, houses, and hotels, it has grown into a small town with hotels, resorts, restaurants, internet cafes, and gift shops.

Travel

Sauraha has good road access for private-rental vehicles.

By air

Air connections to Sauraha are through Bharatpur Airport, with regular daily air services from Pokhara and Kathmandu. The airport lies just 15 kilometers to the west of Sauraha. Will need to change to a bus, a jeep or a taxi for connection to Sauraha.

By bus

Via Kathmandu — there are three types of buses available. Cheaper Birganj bound buses which will drop you at Tadi Bazaar about 4 kilometers north of Sunauli where you can easily get a local bus, taxi, rickshaws, tanga/pony carts. These second bit more expensive type is the direct tourist buses that are no more comfortable than normal intercity except they are full of tourists. A third type is more comfortable air-conditioned buses (Greenline, etc.). All buses will travel via Mugling, Narayangarh/Bharatpur, Tadi Bazaar, Sauraha; (4–5 hours trip).

Via Sunauli / Bhairahawa — on eastern bound (Birganj/Biratnagar) buses traveling through Butwal, Bharatpur, Tadi Bazaar. Change to a local bus, jeep, pony cart, or rickshaw to Sauraha (3 – 4 hours trip).

Via Pokhara — direct tourist buses are available via Mugling, Narayangarh / Bharatpur, Tadi Bazaar, Sauraha (3 – 4 hours trip).

Sightseeing

Facilities | Chitwan National Park

The park offers interesting sites and activities. The display at the Visitor Center at Sauraha provides fascinating information on wildlife and conservation programs. The Women’s User Group souvenir shop offers a variety of handicrafts and other local products for gifts and souvenirs.

Elephant safari provides an opportunity to get a closer view of the endangered One-horned Rhinoceros. One may also get a glimpse of the elusive Bengal tiger. The Elephant Breeding Center at Khorsor, Sauraha gives you information on domesticated elephants and the baby elephants born there.

The museum at Kasara, the park headquarters, has informative displays. Near the HQ, visitors can see Bikram Baba, a Hindu religious site of archival value. A short walk (1 km.) from the park HQ will take you to the Gharial Breeding Center, which is also home to the Marsh mugger and a number of turtles.

Inside the park, there are 7 resorts run by park concessionaires that can provide lodging and access to wildlife activities. Various resorts and lodges situated outside the park also offer a variety of services.

Destination Chitwan

Chitwan District (Nepali: चितवन जिल्ला) is one of 77 districts of Nepal and is located in the southwestern part of Province No. 3 with Bharatpur, the fourth largest city of Nepal, as its district headquarters. It covers an area of 2,238.39 km2 (864.25 sq mi), and in 2011 had a population of 579,984 (279,087 male and 300,897 female) people. Bharatpur is a commercial and service center of central south Nepal and a major destination for higher education, health care and transportation in the region.

History

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.

Narayangadh is located on the banks of the Narayani River and is the main town with numerous shopping zones where people come from all over the district and neighboring districts.

Chitwan is one of the few remaining undisturbed vestiges of the Terai region, which formerly extended over the foothills of Nepal.

Origin

There are several predictions on the origin of the name Chitwan. Some of the most satisfactory predictions on the origin of its name are:

The name Chitwan is a composite of the Sanskrit words चित्त, transliterated “citta” meaning heart and वन, transliterated “vana” meaning jungle or forest. Thus, the meaning of Chitwan is Heart of the Jungle.

Chitwan was a dense forest ruled by the Tharu God/King Chitrasen Baba. He used to worship in the deep forest and ruled over his state. People believe him as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Still today, Tharu people worship his idol during HariBodhini Ekadashi in Chitrasari (Headquarters of Chitrasen Baba), way to Sauraha. Since the forest locally called ban (वन) was ruled by Lord Chitrasen, it was called Chitra Ban, later transliterated to Chitwan.

Chitwan, still known as Dense Forest was a land of leopard and Bengal tiger. Leopard is locally called चित्रि according to Tharu language. Since the forest (वन) was densely populated by leopard or चित्रि, it was called the forest of leopard, namely चित्रि वन (Chitri Ban), later transliterated to Chitwan.[citation needed]
Chitwan is the homeland of Tharu people, who are renowned for their art and drawing. Their houses are decorated by religious drawings denoting different phases of history, culture and environment along that time. Since their homes in the forest were decorated with their drawings, locally called चित्र, the land was called चित्र वन (Chitra Ban), later transliterated to Chitwan.

Chitwan was originally a dense forest ruled by Chitrsen Baba, where different RishiMunis came to have their meditation during ancient time with numbers of wild animals like leopard and Bengal tiger.