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Chepang Hill & Siraichuli

Chepang HillIntroduction:
The Chepang Hill and Siraichuli Trek is part of a national development effort to empower poor, rural communities. The driving principle behind this effort is that tourism can be introduced into new areas in such a way so as to improve the socio-economic standing of local communities while conserving the environment and avoiding common pitfalls of tourism expansion. What this development philosophy translates into in this area, is a small-scale eco-tourism destination with an emphasis on use of local porters, home stays, minimal environmental impact/resource consumption, and participation of the indigenous inhabitants. The Chepang Hill and Siraichuli Trek offers visitors a unique experience, very different from the more heavily trafficked trekking routes of Nepal, and has been spared the often haphazard and negative development of other regions. The Chepang Hill and Siraichuli Trek is therefore ideal for tourists who want to see beautiful natural landscapes combined with glimpses into a fascinating and well-preserved, indigenous culture.

Environment:
The Chepang Hill and Siraichuli Trek is located in the Mahabharat Range of Northern Chitwan. It is positioned to the north of the Royal Chitwan National Park, and linked to it via the Barandabhar Corridor Forest. There is a mixture of dense, broad-leafed deciduous forest along with Chir-pine forest, and areas of settlement and cultivation. There are also beautiful groves of Nepal's National Flower, the rhododendron, which burst into flower in the early spring. The highest point of the Chepang Hill and Siraichuli Trek is Siraichuli Hill (1945 meters).

The climate of the area is generally cooler than Kathmandu or the Chitwan lowlands. And in winter visitors should be prepared with warm clothing, but during the summer months the climate is generally warm. From May - July/August, visitors should be prepared for sudden downpours or hailstorms that can make trails dangerous.

As the Chepang Hill and Siraichuli Trek is located at the transition from the low, subtropical Indian sub-continent to the high Himalayan range, it is host to a large diversity of birdlife. Over 237 species of birds have been recorded here, including a number of nationally threatened species. Some of the exciting birds that can be found here include: the Eurasian Jay, White-browed shrike Babbler, Mountain Bulbul, Spotted Forktail, Sultan Tit, Green tailed Sunbird, Rufous–bellied Niltava, Kalij Pheasant, Rufous throated Partridge, and many others. This area also falls within the range of the Royal Bengal Tiger, and other mammals found in Royal Chitwan National Park. Although Tiger sightings are rare, there are many historical records of its presence along with Leopards, Spotted and Barking Deer, Common Langur, Rhesus Macaque, Macaca Asamensis, Small Indian Mongoose, Crab-eating Mongoose, Five-striped Palm Squirrel, Hoary-bellied Himalayan Squirrel, Wild Boar, Asiatic Jackal, Leopard Cat, Himalayan Plain Civet Cat, Indian Civet Cat, Common Palm Civet Cat, Yellow Throated Martin, and others.