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Chitwan (चितवन)

Nepali. Name of the first National Park in Nepal, which was established in 1973 and covers an area of 932 km˛ in the Terai Lowlands, at the foothills of the Himalayas (fig.) in south-central Nepal. It is known for its biodiversity, dense forests and grassy plains, and is home to a variety of rare animals, such as the Asian One-horned Rhinoceros (fig.) or Indian Rhinoceros (fig.), the Chital or Spotted Deer (fig.), Sambar Deer (fig.), and the Bengal Tiger, as well as some unique birds, such as the Great Hornbill (fig.), the Woolly-necked Stork (fig.), the Spotted Owlet (fig.), the Asian Openbill (fig.), the Oriental Pied Hornbill (fig.), the Red-naped Ibis (fig.), the Osprey (fig.) and the Lesser Adjutant (fig.), whereas the Rapti River that transverse parts of the park, is home to the Indian Gharial (fig.) and the Marsh Crocodile (fig.) or Mugger Crocodile (fig.). Famous for its abundant wildlife, Chitwan National Park attracts plenty of tourists throughout, many of whom enjoy a photo safari on elephant's back or a ride along the river in a dugout canoe (fig.). The name Chitwan means ‘Place in the Heart’ and refers to the Heart of the Jungle. See MAP.