India - March 5th, 2010
The northwestern parts of the dark green area below the Himalayas in this image of Nepal and India, belongs to the Chitwan National Park. Established in 1973, it is the first national park in Nepal.
The park covers an area of 932 km2 and is located in the subtropical Inner Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal in the Chitwan district. In altitude it ranges from about 100 metres (330 ft) in the river valleys to 815 metres (2,674 ft) in the Churia Hills.
In the north and west of the protected area the Narayani-Rapti river system forms a natural boundary to human settlements. Adjacent to the east of Chitwan National Park is Parsa Wildlife Reserve, contiguous in the south is the Indian Tiger Reserve Valmiki National Park. The coherent protected area of 2,075 km2 represents the Tiger Conservation Unit (TCU) Chitwan-Parsa-Valmiki, which covers a 3.549 km2 huge block of alluvial grasslands and subtropical moist deciduous forests.
Visible flowing to the west of the park, in a whitish-tan diagonal line that crosses the lighter green landscape of India, is the Gandaki River, one of the major rivers of Nepal and a left bank tributary of the Ganges in India. It is also known as the Narayani in southern Nepal and the Gandak in India.
Also of note is the city of Kathmandu, the capital and largest metropolitan city of Nepal, visible as a greyish area in the upper right quadrant. The city is the urban core of the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley in the Himalayas, standing at an elevation of approximately 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) and surrounded by four major mountains, namely: Shivapuri, Phulchowki, Nagarjun and Chandragiri.