Shiva Community Forest in Bardiya attracts touristsEvery day, around 50 to 100 domestic and international tourists arrive in the community forest to catch glimpses of rhinos and tigers.
Shiva Community Forest, which is adjacent to Bardiya National Park in Dalla, Madhuwan Municipality Ward No. 2, is slowly becoming a popular tourist attraction in Bardiya.
Every day, around 50 to 100 domestic and international tourists arrive in the community forest to catch a glimpse of the one-horned rhino and the Royal Bengal Tiger. Parashuram Chaudhary, the ward chairman of Madhuwan Municipality Ward No. 2, said that there are nine rhinos in the forest. He said, “We have estimated that there are seven to 10 tigers in the forest.”
Krishna Pariyar, former chairman of Khata Forest Coordination Committee, said that two rhinos of Bardiya National Park had entered the forest a decade ago and have since made the community forest their home.
Parashu Tharu, former secretary of the community forest, said that the number of rhinos has been increased every year. He said, “Within the last three years, two rhinos have given birth. Local consumers of the forest even named a rhino calf Shiva.”
The community forest covers 104 hectares of land, which is regularly patrolled by a squad of Nepal Army personnel and locals to control poaching of endangered species. Ananath Baral, chief conservation officer of Bardiya National Park, said the Nepal Army had mobilised a small squad in the Dalla area to control poaching and smuggling of endangered species. According to him, there are 37 rhinos in the national park.
Because of the security, locals say the community forest is a safe habitat for the endangered rhinos and tigers.
Apart from its wildlife, Shiva Community Forest’s homestay facilities are also attracting visitors, according to Mangal Tharu, chairman of Shiva Community Forest. There are 20 homestays operating in Madhuwan Municipality Ward No. 2.