8 Most Beautiful National Parks in Nepal: For An Utmost Wild Experience
National parks in Nepal

Nepal is primarily famous for its enormous mountains and many beautiful national parks, such as giants Everest, Langtang, and Makalu. However, Nepal has a lot more than just its mountains. Twelve national parks have expanded from the lowland Terai region to the high Himalayas. The best way to discover Nepal is by visiting its national parks, massive mountains, and prominent cultures.

The Terai, bordering India, has several national parks filled with lush jungles and diverse wildlife. Other national parks on the hills are easily accessible from the capital, Kathmandu. They don’t need days of wilderness trekking to enjoy. Among them is a list of Nepal’s eight most beautiful national parks and what tourists will see there.

Chitwan National Park

The Chitwan National Park was set up in 1973 and assigned as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The most famous national park in Nepal is Chitwan National Park. It is the most accessible of Nepal’s jungle national parks at the Indian border and is about equal distance from Kathmandu and Pokhara. The Chitwan National Park has diverse flora and fauna, including one-horned rhinoceros, Bengal tigers, birds, and many more.

Tiger in Chitwan National Park
Bengal Tiger in Chitwan National Park

It takes about four to five hours by bus from Pokhara to Kathmandu. The best time to visit Chitwan National Park is between November and March. Temperatures on the Terai are sweltering between April and October.

Sagarmatha National Park

Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world and is home to the Sagarmatha National Park. Mount Everest means Sagarmatha in Nepali. It is perhaps the world’s most famous and highest mountain. Everest is on the north edge, on the border with Tibet, of the Sagarmatha National Park, which was designed as a National park in 1976.

UNESCO has enlisted Sagarmatha National Park as a World Heritage Site in 1979 because of its excellent natural characteristics. However, the park has much more to see than “just” Everest. Some other very high mountains are close to Everest and within the park (Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Thamserku, Nuptse, Amadablam, and Pumori), as well as the dazzlingly blue Gokyo Lakes, Namche Bazaar, the ice-cold Dudh Kosi River, and remote valleys.

Sagarmatha National Park
Dudh Koshi Valley – Sagarmatha National Park

Many travelers visit Sagarmatha National Park on the famous Everest Base Camp trek, but that’s just one of many trekking routes through the park. Trekking to the park is the only way to get there because there is no road access unless you can afford a private helicopter tour. All-day long, weather-based flights leave for the small airstrip at Lukla from Kathmandu.

Bardia National Park

Bardia National Park is more challenging than Chitwan, situated far west of Nepal, but fewer people go there. The features of the Bardia National Park are a great chance to see tigers. The last free-flowing river of Nepal, the Karnali, flows through Bardia after it has made its way down from Tibet. At the end of a 10-day white-water rafting trip down the Karnali is an epic way of visiting Bardia.

Bardiya National Park
Visit Bardia National Park for the utmost wild experience

People who have been visiting Nepal for decades say Bardia (also spelled Bardiya) is like how it used to be before Chitwan became so popular.

Bardia can be accessible either from Kathmandu on a very long bus trip. A flight from Kathmandu to Nepalganj on a short, overland journey. It’s best to visit, like Chitwan, when the weather is cooler.

Shuklaphanta National Park, wetlands and grassland area, is even further west than Bardia. Avid bird and wildlife enthusiasts can combine visits to the two parks in one trip.

Also Read: Shuklaphanta National Park: Paradise For Wildlife Observation

Langtang National Park

Langtang National Park is the first national park in the Himalayas. It was established in 1976 to preserve the region’s diverse flora and fauna. It is the nearest national park in the Central Himalayan region of Kathmandu.

The Langtang National Park is some of the most easily accessible for the multi-day treks from Kathmandu. They can reach them on a bus after a few hours of travel, unlike a flight, which is like many other routes. The 7-day Langtang Valley trek goes along the Langtang River close to the Tibet border.

Langtang Ganja La Pass Trek
Langtang Valley within the National Park

Enormous landslides triggered by the 2015 earthquake tragically wiped out Langtang’s small village, killing hundreds of locals and tourists. Since then, infrastructure has been restored. From Kathmandu, take a Jeep or Bus to Dhunche or Syabru Besi.

Apart from the diverse flora and fauna, Gosainkunda Lake and its cultural aspects are principal characteristics of the Langtang National Park.

Shey Phoksundo National Park

The Shey Phoksundo National Park is partly located in the eastern part of the Rara National Park in the Dolpo region, an ethnically Tibetan region rain shadow area in the Himalayas. The vibrant turquoise Phoksundo Lake is a main trekking attraction throughout the park. Apart from that, Shey Gumba, crystal mountain, and Yangtser Gumba are also features of the Upper Dolpo Trek. Peter Matthiessen published “Snow Leopard” to a keen reader of travel literature in 1978. Afterward, the Upper Dolpo to Shey Gumpa became a famous tourist destination.

Trek to Shey Phoksundo Lake
Diversity of the Shey Phoksundo National Park

Kathmandu to Dolpo is reachable both by flight and overland journey. The easiest way to explore Shey Phoksundo National Park is by flying from Kathmandu to Dolpo via Nepalgunj. The trekkers require a special permit to enter Upper Dolpo. The park was established in 1984 and enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007.

Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park

Travelers who are short on time in Nepal or have to stay near Kathmandu can still enjoy visiting a national park right on the outskirts of the capital. The Sivapuri-Nagarjun National Park has two unlinked areas: Sivapuri in the north and Nagarjun in the west. Nagarjun is a highly unlinked park. Shivapuri is more often visited, and the park is generally known as Shivapuri National Park.

It is the ideal place to go for a day hiking since the lookout points in the Nagi Gumba monastery offer a sweeping view of Kathmandu. The park is also where Bagmati’s holy river begins in Baghdwar, deep in the forest near Mt. Shivapuri ‘s summit.

The Shivapuri part of the park is easily reachable from Kathmandu. It is getting a bus or taxi to Budhanilkantha, a suburb on the city’s northern edge.

Makalu Barun National Park

The Makalu-Barun National Park is a far less frequent alternative for tourists looking for an authentic mountain wilderness experience just east of the Sagarmatha National Park. This national park is noteworthy for its vast range of altitudes. For example, the lowest and highest points in the park differ by approximately 26,000 feet.

The Arun River crosses the park, and the Arun Valley Trek can link to the Everest Base Camp Trek westwards. A short flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar takes you to the park.

Also Read: The Ultimate Guide to Makalu Base Camp Trek

Rara National Park

RaraNational Park in Nepal
Rara Lake

The highlight of western Nepal’s remote Rara National Park is Rara Lake, one of the country’s most beautiful and deepest lakes. Situated at 9,809 feet, many tourists like to camp beside the lake after trekking through coniferous trees and juniper forests.

Trekking in the Shey Phoksundo National Park can be combined with another spectacular Phoksundo lake trek to the east. It is possible to enter the Rara National Park from Kathmandu via a flight to Nepalganj and then another to Talcha, Jumla, or Juphal.

Conclusion

Nepal is home to some of the world’s most magnificent national parks. Each park has unique flora and fauna that appeal to adventurers and nature lovers seeking an ultimate wild experience. When planning your travel to Nepal, include these eight national parks. Experience the diverse beauty of Nepal’s national parks-from the snow-capped mountains of Sagarmatha to the lush subtropical forests of Chitwan. Pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable adventure!

About Author

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Kumar Lama
Kumar Lama is a founder of Himalayan Exploration Treks Pvt. Ltd. He is leading a team of travel professional offering tailor made travel services across Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.

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