Bardia National Park is the home of the Bengal Tiger in southwest Nepal. Bardia National Park, former Royal Bardia National Park is the least disturbed protected area of Nepal. The parks extend to an area of 968-kilometre square. The Bardia national park added the region of Babai valley in the parks area. The park resettled 1500 people who lived in the valley. After the settlement, the vegetation has flourished in the area providing an ideal habitat for plants and animals of the park.
Bardia National Park is the largest protected area of Terai region. The Siwalik hills border its northern perimeter, the Karnali river borders the western region of the park and the Mahendra highway forms the southern border of the park. The park shares its eastern boundary with Banke National Park. Bardia National Park together with Banke National Park forms Bardia-Banke Tiger Conversation Unit (TCU). The TCU of Bardia and Banke covers a total area of 1,437-kilometer square.
Bardia National Park is kept secluded and away from human settlements and interference. Many other national parks of Nepal have suffered massive habitat damage and animal deaths because of human settlements inside the park. Bardia, however, don’t have any human settlements inside the park. The colonies of Babai valley were resettled, and a settlement buffer zone around the park restricts human interference inside the enclosure.
The southern boundary that touches the Nepalgunj-Surkhet highway has caused problems for the wild animals of the park. High-speed vehicles often hit animals like deers and monkeys that venture on the roads. The sounds of cars and buses also have disturbed the natural soundness of life of animals of the park.
Activities to do in Bardia National Park
Bardia National Park sees very few tourists in a calendar year, giving you a perfect opportunity to experience the wilderness at its best. Some of the exhilarating activities you can try at Bardia are:
Tracing the Bengal Tiger
Bardia National Park has the most substantial number of Bengal Tigers in Nepal. Together with Banke National Park, the tiger conservation unit of Banke and Bardia hosts more than 60 Bengal tigers. Bardia gives you the most probability of encountering a Bengal tiger than other parks in Nepal. You can travel inside the park and trace the tracks of the tiger and follow the trails to meet a tiger. The tracing activity is exciting and enthralling and will be the highlight of your trip.
Bird Watching and Dolphin Sighting
Nepal is one of the most cherished destinations for bird lovers and watchers. There are more than 600 species of birds recorded in Nepal. Bardia homes around 250 species of birds in the park. The limited number of tourists and undisturbed habitat of Bardia makes the park a supreme location to view rare and endangered birds in their natural habitat. Some endangered birds you can witness inside the park are Bengal Florican, Bengal Falcon, Sarus Crane and many more radiant birds.
Unlike Chitwan, Bardia National Park is home to many species of fish. The park consists of two major rivers, Karnali and Babai. You can sit back on the shores of the river and angle for fish. Fishing has become a growing activity enjoyed by tourists in Bardia. The Karnali and Babai river has more than 125 different species of fish. Some rare fish found in the rivers are Golden Masheer and the Ganges Dolphin. The Golden Masheer, called the king of fish, is a rare find in the waters of Karnali and Babai. Some other fishes you can see while angling in Bardia National parks are Stone Carp, Snow Trout, and Torrent Catfish. You can also view dolphins if you are lucky enough.
Jungle Trek and Safari
Tourists describe the jungle trek and safari at Bardia National Park as unrivalled to any other parks of Nepal. This settlement-free and vast wilderness park is the abode of natural wilderness inside a protected area all over the world. The sparsely visited park is the epitome for nature lovers who want to see the animals living in their natural habitat.
Jungle Treks at Bardia National Park is excessively popular among wildlife tourists. You can safari inside the park on an elephant back to get a better view of the plants and animals. Riding on an elephant also keeps you safe from wild boars and tigers.
Elephant Breeding Center
Bardia National Park also has a breeding centre for Asiatic elephants. The breeding centre monitors the lifespan of infants as well as the adult elephants. You can stay near the breeding centre to witness the growth of a baby elephant to an adult. Many tourists stay near the breeding centre to film and document the life of an elephant. The elephant breeding centre is a must visit place when you are visiting Bardia National Park.
Flora and Fauna at Bardia National Park
Flora in BARDIA NP
The Bardia National Park is covered entirely of forests. More than 70% of the area of the park is covered with subtropical moist deciduous forest. The Siwalik Hills falls in the northern woods of the park, and the southern region comprises of alluvial grasslands and wetlands. The park has a balanced mixture of grasslands, riverine forest, and savannah.
The park has more than 839 species of flora, which includes several vascular plants, dicots, monocots, fern and gymnosperm species.
Fauna in Bardia NP
The thick forest and wilderness of Bardia have provided a home to numerous animals. The park is an excellent habitat for more than 642 fauna species. The Bardia National Park hosts more than 53 mammals that include endangered animals like Bengal Tiger, One-Horned rhinoceros, swamp deer, Wild Elephant and Gangetic dolphin.
A recent checklist of ornithologist at Bardia National Park reveals 407 species of birds inside the park. Some of the rare birds inside the park are Bengal Florican, peafowl, white-rumped vulture and bar-headed geese. Lesser Florican and Sarus Crane, the migratory birds often visit the park during the winter seasons.
The Karnali and Babai valley water system is home to many fish. There are more than 125 species of fish in Bardia, among which Golden Masheer and the Ganges Dolphin are the rarest fish you can find in the park.
History of Bardia National Park
Bardia National Park was lost to India in the Sughauli Treaty, but after Nepal’s support in the Indian Independence Movement against the British in 1957, as a form of gratitude, India returned several parts of Nepal, which also included the area of Bardia National Park. The returned land was called Naya Muluk, which means a new country.
At first in 1969, the park was about 368 Km. Sq. and its name was Royal Hunting Reserve. In 1976, the park was renamed and called Royal Karnali wildlife reserve. Again the park was renamed in 1984 to Royal Bardia Wildlife Reserve, and at that time, Babai valley was included in the area of the park. Finally, in 1988, an official gazette announced the park as Royal Bardia National Park.
As of today, the park is called Bardia National Park. The word “Royal” ceased to exist in front of parks and reserves after the overthrow of the King and introduction of democracy.
The Royal family and their close friends would visit the park for hunting deers, boars and tigers. Nowadays, hunting and poaching activities are punished severely in Nepal.
How you can get to Bardia National Park
There are several routes you can take to reach to Bardia National Park. The park is situated right next to the main highway of Nepal, the East-West Highway. You can take a local bus from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj from a bus station. The trip is a 12-hour ride and can serve as a possible rest from the jet lags and busy environment of Kathmandu.
You can also opt for a direct flight from Kathmandu to Nepaljung. Regular flights take off from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. The domestic flight to Nepalgunj is about 40 minutes. Bardia National Park is another 30-minute bus drive from Nepalgunj.
You can save the hassle of searching for appropriate buses and secure planes to fly to your travel agencies. The travel agencies are adequate to attend to your needs, and they have a good relationship with ticket counters. So make sure to contact your travel agency to get quick and desirable tickets for your trip from Kathmandu to Bardia National Park.
Resorts in Bardia National Park
There are numerous resorts built around all directions of the park. All the resorts are outside the buffer zone. There are no resorts you can stay inside the park. Most of the preferred resorts located on the banks of the Girwa river, on the western border of the park. The nearest town to the resorts at Girwa banks is Thakudwara, a local Tharu settlement.
The resorts give a perplex view of nearby jungles and beautiful river. Many tourists carry their anglers and fish in the nearby river.
You can contact your travel agency to search for a hotel and resort as per your liking. Your travel agency can help you in selecting the best resort to suit your needs and preferences.
For further information regarding your trip to Bardia National Park, leave your queries to us on our contact page.