Chitwan is the district of Nepal and fifth Largest city of Nepal.Chitwan literally means “heart of the jungle”. In recent years Chitwan tops the list of things to do in Asia. It is a truly wildlife adventure of a different kind – jungle safaris on elephant backs or jeeps, birdwatching, canoe rides and jungle walks. The Chitwan National Park is Asia’s best preserved conservation area, where wildlife thrives and their habitats remain intact. Only half-hour flight from Kathmandu, the park lies in the Inner Terai lowlands and consists of Sal forests, tall elephant grasslands, hills, ox-box lakes and flood plains of the Narayani, Rapti and Reu rivers. Enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Natural) in 1984, the park spreads over an area of 932 sq. km.
A morning procession was held in Chitwan prior to the start of the highly anticipated elephant race, where over a dozen elephants and different cultural floats were included. Sauraha in Chitwan is lavishly decorated for the festival from main cross-roads to hotels to parks and resorts. The annual elephant race and festival is organized in Sauraha with the objective of promoting tourism in this holiday resort town. The ninth edition of the thrilling event, which is an integral part of the festival, will run for three days. The elephant race is taking place at the open ground at local Baghmara. Besides the elephant race, elephant calf football championship, elephant beauty contest, horse-drawn cart race, push-cart race and different types of contests are the highlights of the festival. This year’s race will see some 24 teams competing for the title of the championship. The number of competitors is the highest-ever. There were only 20 groups in the last year´s competition .
There isn't much in terms of souvenirs to be bought in Chitwan's resorts , but slightly more of interest in Sauraha's backpackers' streets. There are some local crafts and arts stuff here, but rather indistinguishable from that of Thamel og Lake Side. Very little that hints back to Tharu culture.Inside the Royal Chitwan National Park area, there are plenty of shops carrying local crafts. They are smaller version of what you'd find in Kathmandu and Pokhara tourist area. You can find books, t-shirts, rice paper products, animal bone ornaments etc.
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