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Madi Valley (Southern Chitwan)

Chitwan National Park

Madi valley, which is recently declared as eco-municipality in Nepal in 2015 by combining four smaller administrative divisions. It is surrounded by Chitwan National Park (CNP) in the North, East and West and Someshwor hill in the South which connects to Valmiki Tiger Reserve of India. The Riu river separates the valley with the CNP. It has the total population of 37,683 in 8,960 households. Most of the households in the valley depend on agriculture as the main source of livelihoods that includes cereals and vegetables production, livestock farming and fisheries for household and commercial consumption. 

Chitwan National Park

Nestled at the foot of the Himalayas, Chitwan has a particularly rich flora and fauna and is home to one of the last populations of single-horned Asiatic rhinoceros and is also one of the last refuges of the Bengal Tiger. Chitwan National Park (CNP), established in 1973, was Nepal’s first National Park. Located in the Southern Central Terai of Nepal, it formerly extended over the foothills, the property covers an area of 93,200 hectares, extends over four districts: Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Parsa and Makwanpur. 

The park is the last surviving example of the natural ecosystems of the ‘Terai’ region and covers subtropical lowland, wedged between two east-west river valleys at the base of the Siwalik range of the outer Himalayas. The core area lies between the Narayani (Gandak) and Rapti rivers to the north and the Reu River and Nepal-India international border in the south, over the Sumeswar and Churia hills, and from the Dawney hills west of the Narayani, and borders with Parsa Wildlife Reserve to the east. In 1996, an area of 75,000 hectares consisting of forests and private lands and surrounding the park was declared as a buffer zone. In 2003, Beeshazar and associated lakes within the buffer zone were designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

Weather

The Chitwan National Park has a range of different climate conditions, each offering a unique experience for visitors. From October to February, temperatures are mild and enjoyable, with an average of 25 degrees Celsius. March to June are the hottest months, with temperatures reaching as high as 43 degrees Celsius. This hot and humid weather is followed by the monsoon season, which typically lasts from late June to September, causing rivers to flood and roads to become impassable.

Local villagers are permitted to cut thatch grasses in late January, improving wildlife viewing opportunities for visitors. Additionally, between September and November and February and April, migratory birds join the residential birds in the park, creating great bird watching opportunities. While the monsoon rains bring lush vegetation, most trees flower in late winter. The palash tree and silk cotton tree have vibrant crimson flowers that are visible from a distance.

The Chitwan National Park experiences a tropical monsoon climate with high humidity throughout the year and three main seasons. March to early June are the hottest months, and May marks the beginning of pre-monsoon storms. During the monsoon season, from around the middle of June until late September, heavy rain is brought by the moisture-laden south-easterly winds from the Bay of Bengal. Winter, which lasts from October to February, has cool northerly winds coming down from the mountains, making it the best time to see the Great Himalayan Range with clear skies. January is the coldest month, with temperatures falling almost to freezing-point, especially when it rains, and there is dewfall during December and January nights. Despite the cold mornings, temperatures typically rise to 20-25 degrees Celsius in the afternoon.

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Culture

Madi valley is a home to a diverse culture. It is inhabitted mostly by Brahmin - Hill followed by indigenous Tharu people, both when combined constitute around 50% of the total population of Madi. People of several other castes who live in Madi are Tharu, Kami, Chhetri, Tamang, Gurung, Damai/Dholi, Chepang/Praja, Bote, Magar, Sarki, Gharti/Bhujel, Darai etc.

 

Plenty of folktales portray the cultural significance of Madi. Panch Pandav, (characters of Hindu Mythical Tale Ramayana) are believed to have resided in this region during their exile in forest. Currently a few historic architecture still persist to backup such claims. Some of the important religious sites include a) Someshwar Gadhi b)Goddak Temple c) Panch Pandav  d)Baikuntha Dham etc. The rivers of the region also have an abundance of Ammonite Fossils.    

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