10 Best Activities To Do in Chitwan

Best things to do in Chitwan, activities to do in chitwan

Chitwan is renowned for its balmy climate, with temperatures often hovering around 30 degrees Celsius. This meteorological charm is just the beginning of Chitwan’s allure, as the area is also celebrated for offering invigorating safaris that unfold amidst its rich biodiversity. The laid-back ambiance further elevates the allure, rendering Chitwan an indispensable component of any comprehensive Nepal backpacking itinerary. 

Through the journey travelers discovers the harmonious blend of wildlife encounters and a tranquil atmosphere that defines the essence of Chitwan. Here’s a list of must-do activities that will make your visit an unforgettable adventure.

Things to do in Chitwan

1. Visit Chitwan National Park

Rhinos in Chitwan National Park

Embark on a thrilling safari adventure in Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, including the iconic one-horned rhinoceros and elusive Bengal tigers, the park offers wildlife enthusiasts to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.  

The lush jungles, interspersed with meandering rivers, set the stage for immersive safari experiences, promising close encounters with nature. Beyond the thrilling wildlife encounters, Chitwan National Park provides a sanctuary of serenity, allowing visitors to soak in the beauty of pristine landscapes and appreciate the delicate balance of ecosystems.

2. Tharu Cultural Show

Tharu Stick Dance

Delve into the vibrant culture of the Tharu community through their traditional dance performances. This lively showcase typically includes traditional dance performances that highlight the unique rhythms and movements intrinsic to Tharu culture. Among these, the Tharu Stick Dance takes center stage, captivating audiences with its rhythmic beats and skillful choreography. 

Dancers, adorned in colorful traditional attire, expertly maneuver sticks in a dynamic display that tells stories of their cultural history. The Tharu Cultural Show provides a unique opportunity for visitors to witness the essence of Tharu traditions, fostering a deeper appreciation for the cultural diversity that thrives in Chitwan. 

3. Visit Tharu Villages

Tharu Village Walk in Chitwan

Experience the local way of life by visiting Tharu villages. These villages are home to the native Tharu community. They offer travelers a chance to move off the beaten path and immerse themselves in the vibrant mosaic of traditional ways of life. Interacting with the friendly locals opens a window into their daily routines, customs, and the warmth of Tharu culture and hospitality

The experience offers more than just observation. Visitors gain insights into the cultural nuances defining the Tharu people’s identity. By exploring their agricultural methods and traditional craftsmanship, a trip to the Tharu village in Chitwan becomes a cultural voyage that encourages mutual respect and appreciation.

4. Canoeing on the Rapti River

Family Visiting Chitwan on Canoe

One of the things to miss while in Chitwan is to canoe along the Rapti River. The Rapti River is not only a scenic marvel but also a habitat for diverse fauna, offering glimpses of aquatic life and various bird species. 

This immersive experience allows travelers to appreciate the pristine surroundings while fostering a connection with the river’s ecosystem. Enjoy the picturesque landscapes and keep an eye out for wildlife along the riverbanks. This serene experience offers not only beautiful views but also the possibility of encountering various forms of local fauna.

5. Jungle Walk

group on jungle walk in chitwan

Among the various activities available, guided jungle walks emerge as a captivating exploration option, ranging from short half-day strolls to more extensive multi-day treks. It’s essential to note that engaging a guide is mandatory for these walks within the national park. This ensures both safety and adherence to conservation regulations. 

While there are walks accessible outside the park, those seeking an immersive experience within its bounds must enlist the expertise of a guide. 

6. (Don’t Do) Elephant Bathing

Elephant Bath in Chitwan

Many people enjoy bathing with elephants in Chitwan when the elephants are being washed in the river. If you wish to join in and wash the elephants, you can pay the individuals in the river.


This aspect takes away from the whole experience of washing the elephants, as they are still being ridden in the water. Riding elephants, even in the water, raises significant welfare issues for these mammals. It adds a layer of discomfort, both ethically and practically, as the focus should be on fostering a positive and respectful interaction between humans and elephants. 

7. Visit Bishajari Taal

Bis Hazari Taal in Chitwan

Escape to the tranquility of Bishajari Taal, a serene lake surrounded by nature’s beauty. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and perhaps engage in activities like birdwatching. It’s a perfect spot for those seeking a calm and rejuvenating experience. 

Bike rental is cheaper in Chitwan and offers an enjoyable activity for individuals to consider. Instead of traveling on a jeep you can cycle to the 20,000 Lake. The journey takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes, and it is advisable to ride early in the morning to avoid afternoon heat. 

En route, there are a couple of restaurants, to pause for a lunch or quick snack. You may even come across some temples in Chitwan, adding an extra layer of discovery to the excursion.

8. Spend a Night at the Tower

Overnight tower stay chitwan

Tower Night Stay offers an overnight experience in Nana Jungle’s wooden towers, providing a unique opportunity to observe the local wildlife and natural beauty. If you’re considering an overnight stay in one of these towers, a comfortable camp set-up with basic bathroom facilities can be arranged. It’s important to maintain a reasonable standard of living during your stay. The presence of people can sometimes agitate the animals in the jungle, especially at night.

During your tower night stay, a ranger and guide will reside in the same tower, offering round-the-clock assistance. This unique experience is set deep within the forest, offering sights and sounds not commonly found in most accommodations. These accommodations are typically situated outside the park’s boundaries. Keep an eye out for an array of wildlife, including birds, tigers, deer, and rhinos, providing a rare perspective of their natural habitat.

9. Feed a Vulture

Vulture Feeding Restaurant Chitwan
PC: Bird Conservation Nepal

The Jatayu Vulture Restaurant, established in 2006, holds the distinction of being the world’s first community-managed vulture feeding center. Situated in Pithauli, Nawalparasi District, Nepal, near Chitwan National Park’s buffer zone, this facility provides safe feeding grounds for vultures. Its unique approach to vulture conservation has drawn attention from tourists and conservationists globally.

The center buys old cows and buffalos from farmers, caring for them until they die. Workers place their bodies in cages to attract vultures, and then move them to a field for feeding. To ensure food safety, they regularly test the carcasses for diclofenac, a substance harmful to vultures.

10. Spiritual Trip To Shashwat Dham

Shashwat Dham is an exquisite pilgrimage site for tourists seeking spiritual and cultural enrichment. This serene complex offers a tranquil retreat with its stunning architecture and spiritual ambiance. Visitors can explore the beautifully crafted temple, participate in meditation and yoga sessions, and immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Hindu and Buddhist traditions.

The central shrine of the temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, subtly alludes to the 12 Jyotirlingas. Its architectural style is reminiscent of ancient designs found in temples like Khajuraho. This towering structure is home to 16 deities, with the main sanctum reserved for the Shivalinga, named Ekambareshwara. Surrounding the shrine are waters from Nepal’s seven sacred rivers, known as Saptagandaki, symbolizing a border of positivity.

Best Time to Visit Chitwan

Dinner by the river Nana Jungle Resort

The best time to visit Chitwan is during the dry seasons of autumn (September to November) and spring (March to May). During these periods, the weather is pleasant, and wildlife sightings are at their peak.

How to Reach Chitwan?

Chitwan is easily accessible by various transportation options:

1. Domestic Flights:

For those seeking a quicker mode of transport, domestic flights provide a swift and efficient means to reach Chitwan. With regular flights connecting from major airports across Nepal, this option offers both convenience and the opportunity to enjoy aerial views of the stunning Himalayan terrain.

2. Tourist Buses:

Tourist buses present a comfortable and budget-friendly option for reaching Chitwan. Ideal for those who appreciate a leisurely journey, these buses provide a relaxed atmosphere, allowing travelers to sit back, enjoy the scenery, and anticipate the captivating experiences awaiting them in Chitwan. There are lots of buses that go from Kathmandu, and leave from Thamel can cost around NPR 1000 – 2500.

3. Local Micros:

We advise against using local buses due to their overcrowded and hectic nature, which may compromise safety. However, it’s worth noting that they offer a more economical option, with fares typically ranging around 500-700 per person.

Additionally, if you decide to stay with us, we have a detailed guide on how to travel to our resort in Amaltari, Chitwan.

How Long Should I Stay in Chitwan?

The ideal duration for your stay in Chitwan depends on the depth of exploration you desire and the activities you wish to engage in. To fully experience the diverse offerings of Chitwan National Park and its surrounding areas, a stay of at least 3 to 4 days is recommended. This time frame allows for immersive wildlife encounters, jungle walks, canoeing on the Rapti River, and cultural experiences in the local villages.

If you’re particularly keen on thorough exploration and multiple safari experiences, extending your stay to 5 or more days can provide a more relaxed and enriching visit. Additionally, a longer stay allows for flexibility, ensuring you have ample time to enjoy the various activities at a comfortable pace without feeling rushed.

Ultimately, the duration of your stay in Chitwan should align with your interests and the level of engagement you seek in this nature-rich destination. Whether it’s a short getaway or an extended stay, Chitwan offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to different preferences and timeframes.

Where Should I Stay in Chitwan?

Nana Jungle Resort_Best Resort in Chitwan

There are a variety of great hotels in Chitwan. While Nana Jungle Resort stands out as a popular choice near Chitwan National Park, you might be seeking accommodations that offer a unique experience. 

Lodgings in Sauraha, Kasara, and Meghauli present a variety of well-loved jungle activities, including jungle walks, bird watching, canoeing on the Rapti River, Jeep Safari rides, village tours, and engaging cultural programs.

For those prioritizing comfort during their travels, hotels in Narayangarh/Bharatpur are highly esteemed and boast amenities such as spas, swimming pools, and bars within the resorts. Meanwhile, Kumarwarti provides a private getaway along the Narayani River, offering all the facilities and activities for which Sauraha and Kasara are renowned. 

This diversity in accommodations ensures that every traveler can find a setting that aligns with their preferences and enhances their experience in the enchanting region surrounding Chitwan National Park. For detailed information check our blog on best resorts in chitwan.

Key Takeaways: Explore the Diverse Offerings of Chitwan

Chitwan offers a harmonious blend of wildlife adventures and cultural experiences. From the thrill of a safari in Chitwan National Park to the cultural immersion in Tharu villages, this destination promises a journey that appeals to both nature enthusiasts and cultural explorers. Don’t miss the chance to explore the diverse offerings of Chitwan and create lasting memories in this enchanting corner of Nepal.

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