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Nepal - Sightseeing Places - Shivapuri

Shivapuri is the second highest peak among the hills surrounding the Kathmandu Valley. It is 2732m at its peak with numerous sharp ridges radiating to all sides. Situated towards the north of the Kathmandu Valley, due to its strategic location and convenience, Shivapuri was proclaimed as a watershed area supplying more than a million liters of natural spring water to the city. After Shivapuri experienced several problems concerning soil erosion as a result of deforestation, over- grazing, cultivation on steep slopes etc.; reducing the quality and quantity of the water supplied, His Majesty's Govt. of Nepal initiated a program to protect Shivapuri and its adjoining areas as a watershed and wildlife reserve in 1975. In 1976, the Shivapuri Development Board was established to ensure a multi disciplinary supervision and guidance of the project activities.

A boundary wall of 111 km was constructed around the reserve and settlements within the area evacuated, establishing the Royal Nepal Army here to safeguard the reserve. A road 95 km in length and foot trails 82 km was built and improved around the reserve. 1193 ha inside and 786 ha outside the reserve had been identified and designated as Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve (SWWR) and its buffer zones. As recently as, in mid 2002 Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve was officially given a National Park status.

Since Shivapuri lies in the transition zone between subtropical and temperate climate, the vegetation consists of a variety of natural forest types, depending on altitude and aspects. Most of the areas below 1800m are covered with Schima castanopsis forest in which pines (Pinus roxburghii) appear on the southern dry ridges, with Utis (Alnus nepalensis) along the streams. A forest of oak species such as Quercus semicarpifolia and Quercus lamelosa mixed with rhododendron and a variety of orchids flourish on the northern slopes. A variety of medicinal herbs is found at higher altitudes. A hundred and twenty nine species of mushrooms have been so far identified and catalogued from the Shivapuri National Park.

Among the wild animals, Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus), Leopard (Panthera pardus), Muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak), Pallas's Cat (Felis manul), Large Indian Civet (Viverra zibetha), Himalayan Yellow Throated Marten (Martes flavigula), Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata), Wild Boar (Sus scrofa), Goral (Nemorhaedus goral), Indian Porcupine (Hystris indica), and Common Langur (Presbytis entellus) etc. can be spotted around the park.

Numerous birds, butterflies and lizards can be seen in around the 97.36 sq. km of SWWR. 177 species of birds of which 9 are enlisted as endangered, 19 species of mammals and 150 species of butterflies some endemic and rare are found in the Shivapuri area, out of the total of 800 species of birds, 130 species of mammals and 600 species of butterflies found in Nepal, thus making Shivapuri a paradise for flora and fauna and one of the few National Parks in the capital around the globe.

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