- Published 6 months ago on
- By: Admin
Parsa National Park is a protected area of 627.39 sq km lying in the inner Terai lowlands in the south-east part of Nepal. It was previously known as Parsa Wildlife Reserve and was later turned into a national park in 2017.
It forms the Tiger Conservation Unit Chitwan-Parsa-Valmiki with the Chitwan National Park and Valmiki National Park Tiger Reserve in India. Today in this article, we discuss all the features of Parsa National Park.
Parsa National Park lies in the Parsa, Bara, and Makwanpur districts in the south-eastern region of Nepal.
The protected area covers and overall 627.39 sq km of land. A buffer zone of 285.3 sq km was later added in 2005. In 2015, the national park was extended by 128 sq km.
The Rapti River, Nepal and Siwalik Hills, India form a natural border to the park in the north. The park extends up to the Hetauda-Birgunj highway in the east. The Chitwan National Park lies in its adjacent in the west while a forest road makes its borders in the south.
The park is easily reachable from the capital city. The Kathmandu-Hetauda-Birgunj highway passes close to the park's main entrance.
From the main gate its a 15-minute bus ride to park's main headquarters.
The protected area is a paradise for birdwatchers who visit the area between February and April and during September-November. During this period the migratory birds mingle with the residential birds creating spectacular views.
Local villagers are allowed to entered the park to cut grass during winters, which provides the tourists with a better view of the region.
Prior to being converted as a national park in 2017, the region served as a hunting class for Nepal's ruling class.
In 1984 the hunting grounds were converted into a wildlife reserve of 499 sq km and named the Parsa Wildlife Reserve. It was done so to preserve the Asian Wild Elephant and their last habitat Char-Koshe-Jhadi which is spread over the Terai region of Nepal.
Further, an area of 128.39 sq km was added to the reserve on 24 August 2015.
The winters are quite moderate with clear blue skies during the daytime. However, the temperature during falls below freezing point.
Spring starts from January and lasts till March during which the weather is hot, and water is scarce.
The protected area lies at an altitude ranging between 435 m to 950 m. The soil of the park consists of conglomerates and gravel, which makes it vulnerable to erosion.
The hills are rugged and form numerous dry streambeds and gullies. The foothills of the park are porous, which allows water to seep and flow underground and surfaces about 15 km away from the hill's base.
The Churia Hills Range runs east to west in the park and range between 750 m to 950 m in elevation.
Botanists have recorded the growth of 919 species of flowering plants in the region which include 298 vascular plants, 234 species of dicots, 58 types of monocots, five pteridophytes, and a gymnosperm.
The vegetation of the wildlife reserve is classified into two forest types; tropical and subtropical.
Sal trees cover almost 90% of the forests. The Churia hills are covered with chir pine trees while Khair, silk-cotton trees, and sissoo grow along the banks of the watercourses.
The former wildlife reserve is home to several rare and endangered species of mammals like Royal Bengal tiger, Asian elephant, leopard, and sloth bear.
A survey of 2008 recorded the presence of 4 adult Bengal tigers wandering in the park. A camera-trap study of 2017 conducted for three months spotted 19 Royal Bengal tigers which shows an increase in the tiger's population by three times in over three years.
Another survey of 2008 confirmed 37 gaurs residing in the conservational area. The latest study of 2016 recorded 105 gaurs.
Other mammals found in the national park are Palm civet, striped hyena, langur, Rhesus macaques, hog deer, sambar, chital, blue bull, and barding deer, to name some.
Parsa National Park is home to over 500 species of raptor. The forest is home to the endangered giant hornbill.
Other birds found in the protected area are paradise flycatcher, large racquet-tailed drongo, white-breasted kingfisher golden backed woodpecker, etc.
The common reptiles found in the national park are krait, python, king cobra, and cobra.
Tourists can reside at a small guest situated close to the park's headquarters. There are teahouses around the park that provide Nepali food, tea, and snack.
A view tower (machan) is present close to the headquarters, which gives an excellent opportunity to catch a view of the park and the wildlife.
During their stay in the park, tourists visit Kailas Bhatta which lies atop a hill. The place is famous for the Dugdeswor Mahadev temple dedicated to the Hindu gods Shiva and Parbati.