Maruni Sanctuary Lodge - INTRODUCTION
Maruni Sanctuary Lodge is managed by the famous Kathmandu Guest House, the Asia's leading budget hotel with 35 years of experience in travel trade industry in Nepal.Royal Chitwan National Park, the oldest National Park in Nepal, is situated in the sub-tropical inner Terai lowlands of South-Central Nepal. The Park was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1984.
Maruni Sanctuary Lodge is located in one of the least disturbed areas of Sauraha, Chitwan and offers excellent opportunities to view rare and endangered species and also, MARUNI is located between two villages of the Rana Tharu Community, therefore you will also have the chance to engage culturally to the ethnic people of the region.
The Park covers a pristine area with a unique ecosystem of significaant value to the world. It contains the Churiya hills, Ox-bow lakes and flood plains of Rapti, Reu and Narayani Rivers. Approximately 70% of the Park vegetation is sal forest. The remaining vegetation types include grassland (20%) riverine forest(7%) and sal with chiropine 3% the later occuring at the top of the Churiya range. The riverine forests consist mainly of khair, sissoo and simal. The grasslands form a diverse and complex community with over 50 species. The saccharum species, often called elephant grass, can reach 8m in height. The shorter grasses such as Imperate are useful for thatch roofs.
There are more than 43 species of mammals in the Park. The Park is especially renowned for the endangered one-horned rhinoceros, the tiger and the gharial crocodile along with many other common species of wild animals. It also harbors endangered species such as gaur, wild elephant, four-horned antelope, striped hyena, pangolin, Gangetic dolphin, monitor lizard and python. Other animals found in the Park include the sambar, chital, hog deer, barking deer, sloth bear, palm civet, langur and rhesus monkey.
There are over 450 species of birds in the Park. Among the endangered birds are the Bengal jolrican, giant hornbill, lesser florican, black stork and white stork. Common birds seen in the Park inclde the peafowl, red jungle fowl, and different species of egrets, herons, kingfishers, flycatchers and woodpeckers. The best time for bird watching is March and December. More than 45 species of amphibians and reptiles occur in the Park, some of which are the marsh corcodile, cobra, green pit viper and various species of frogs and tortoises. The Park is actively engaged in the scientific studies of several species of wild fauna and flora.
Royal Chitwan National Park (RCNP) has long been one of the country’s treasures of natural wonders. The park is situated in south central Nepal, covering 932 sq. km. in the subtropical lowlands of the inner Terai. The area comprising the Tikauli forest - from Rapti river to the foothills of the Mahabharat - extending over an area of 175 sq. km. was declared Mahendra Mriga Kunj (Mahendra Deer Park) by the late King Mahendra in 1959. In 1963, the area south of Rapti River was demarcated as a rhinoceros sanctuary. The area was gazetted as the country’s first national park in 1973. Recognizing its unique ecosystems of international significance, UNESCO declared RCNP a World Heritage Site in 1984.
In 1996, an area of 750 sq. km surrounding the park was declared a buffer zone which consists of forests and private lands. The park and the local people jointly initiate community development activities and manage natural resources in the buffer zone. His Majesty’s Government has made a provision of plowing back 30-50 percent of the park revenue for community development in the buffer zone.
Conditions are subtropical with a summer monsoon from mid-June to late-September, and a relatively dry winter. Mean annual rainfall is 2400mm with about 90% falling in the monsoon from June to September. Monsoon rains cause dramatic floods and changes in the character and courses of rivers. Temperatures are highest (maximum 38°C) during this season and drop to a minimum of 6°C in the post-monsoon period (October to January), when dry northerly winds from the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau are prevalent.
The park houses a diversity of ecosystems, including the Churia hills, ox-bow lakes, and the flood plains of the Rapti, Reu and Narayani Rivers. The Churia hills rise slowly towards the east from 150m. to more than 800m. The western portion of the park is comprised of the lower but more rugged Someshwor hills. The park shares its eastern boundary with the Parsa Wildlife Reserve.
The Chitwan valley consists of tropical and subtropical forests. Sal forests cover 70 percent of the park. Sal leaves are used locally for plates in festivals and religious offerings. Grasslands cover 20 percent of the park. There are more than 50 different types of grasses, including the elephant grass (Saccharum spp.), renowned for its immense height. It can grow up to 8m. in height ! The shorter grasses (Imperata spp.) are used for roof thatching, and mats, rope and paper making.
The park is home to more than 50 mammal species, over 525 birds, and 55 amphibians and reptiles. The endangered fauna found in the park are:
Mammals and reptiles: One-horned rhinoceros, Gaur, Royal Bengal tiger, Wild elephant, Fourhorned antelope, Pangolin, Gangetic dolphin, Gharial crocodile, Golden monitor lizard, Python, etc. Birds: Bengal florican, Lesser florican, Giant hornbill, Black stork, White stork, etc.
Tharus are the main indigenous ethnic groups in Chitwan. They are well known for their resistance to malaria. Traditionally they are farmers and practice their own unique tribal culture. A stroll or a ride through the Tharu village will provide an opportunity to see their traditional farming and relics. Traditional Tharu stick dance gives an insight into their culture
1. An entry fee of NRs. 650 has to be paid at the Park’s Entrance Gate.
2. Flora and Fauna are fully protected and must not be disturbed.
3. Do not purchase illegal animal or plant products.
4. Respect religious and cultural sites.
5. Place trash in rubbish bins.
6. No one should walk within the park between sunset and sunrise.