Bardiya National Park is a protected area in Nepal that was established in 1988 as Royal Bardia National Park. Covering an area of 968 km2 (374 sq mi) it is the largest and most undisturbed wilderness area in Nepal's Terai, adjoining the eastern bank of the Karnali River in the Bardiya District.
The northern limits of the protected area are demarcated by the crest of the Siwalik Hills. The Nepalgunj-Surkhet highway partly forms the southern boundary, but seriously disrupts the protected area. Natural boundaries to human settlements are formed in the west by the Geruwa, a branch of the Karnali River, and in the southeast by the Babai River.
Together with the neighboring Banke National Park, the coherent protected area of 1,437 km2 (555 sq mi) represents the Tiger Conservation Unit (TCU) Bardia-Banke that extends over 2,231 km2 (861 sq mi) of alluvial grasslands and subtropical moist deciduous forests.
The parks origins began in the late 1960's when some 368 sq kms were set aside as royal hunting grounds. However, It wasn't until 1982 that the Royal Bardia National Reserve was officially formed, and even then it didn't become a fully fledged National Park until 1988. The aim was to preserve the diversity of decreasing species, in particular the tiger and its natural prey species.
Over 1400 people living in the area, many of them farmers, were removed to provide a greater area for the abundant species within the park. A buffer zone and community forest were established around the park to try to reduce subsistence poaching inside the park by the local communities. Without so much human interference the diverse habitats inside the park have improved greatly. Bardia's relatively remote location has meant the Park has enjoyed minimum impact from tourism, and though access has improved significantly over recent years, visitor numbers are still much lower than Nepal's most famous park, Chitwan.
It wasn't until the mid 90's that basic facilities for travellers began to appear. Since then, tourism has started to increase and there now are a variety of lodges to choose from. To date the impact of visiting travellers has been minimal and the experience for a visitor is very different to that in Chitwan National Park as you feel much closer to nature and completely removed from bright lights shops, restaurants, bars and traffic.
|Central coordinates||81o 28.00' East 28o 28.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A3, A4i|
|Altitude||152 - 1,441m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2005|
Bardia is situated near the southern border of the far north west corner of Nepal. Some 968 sq kms make it the largest wilderness reserve on the Terai lowlands that form a transition between the plains of northern India and the outer foothills of the Himalayas.
With the Himalayas to the north and twisting turns of the Karnali river and its tributaries to the west and south, the location of the park provides a huge protected area of diverse habitats for a multitude of endangered species.
Following years of unsettlement within the Nepal that left the park out on a limb, Bardia is now much more accessible again and many believe the park is now set to become one of the premier eco-tourism destinations in Asia.
Bardia is well placed for transport links, both to and from Kathamndu or India. We can assist with all your travel arrangements if you are travelling independently to Bardia. Pleasecontact us for further information.
From Kathmandu: Daily buses run from Kathmandu to Mahendrenagar (alight at Ambassa). The bus takes around 15 hours and is a beautiful though long journey as you pass through mountains and forests and then through the mainly flat and rural Terai. Tickets cost from 1200 Nepalese Rupees (approx. US$17). Night buses also operate. There are also daily flights to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu for around 11,400 NR (approx. US$158) which make the journey much shorter and easier.
From Nepalgunj: Two buses per day go to Thakudwara at 11am and 2.30pm, taking 3-4 hours and costing around 100 NR. We can also pick you up from Nepalgunj airport and transfer you directly to the lodge (approx. 3 hours).
From Mahendranagar: Daily buses run from Mahendrenagar to Kathmandu (alight at Ambassa), the bus takes around 4-5 hours, costing around 200 NR.
From India: You can travel to Bardia from India by coming via Banbassa-Mahendranagar or Rupidha-Nepalgunj border crossing points.
*Ambassa: The actual park entrance is situated close to the small village of Thakurdawa, 14km southwest along a dirt/gravel road from Ambassa on the Mahendra Highway. A handful of buses run each day from Ambassa to Thakurdwara for around 30 NR. The journey takes around 30 minutes. We can also pick you up from the junction.
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