Chitwan District is one of 77 districts of Nepal, and is located in the southwestern part of Province No. 3 with Bharatpur, the fourth largest city of Nepal, as its district headquarters. It covers an area of 2,238.39 km2 (864.25 sq mi), and in 2011 had a population of 579,984 (279,087 male and 300,897 female) people. Bharatpur is a commercial and service center of central south Nepal and major destination for higher education, health care and transportation in the region.
Chitwan has a particularly rich flora and fauna. Nepal's first national park, the Chitwan National Park together with the adjacent Parsa National Park support a species diversity much higher than any other on the Indian subcontinent. Rare species include Bengal tiger, gharial, rhino, leopards, mugger crocodile, Indian rock python and several species of deer. The protected areas are guarded by a battalion of the Nepal Army and patrolled by anti-poaching units.
The Rapti River flows east to south west in the south of Bharatpur and forms the northern border of the Chitwan National Park. The Narayani River flows north to south in the west of Bharatpur. It is the deepest and also one of the biggest rivers of Nepal. The Narayani Bridge over the river connects Chitwan District with Nawalparasi District of Nepal. Small island, like Nagarban in Narayani river are popular picnic spot.
Bishazari Tal (20 Thousand) Lake is close by Chitwan National Park, about 5 km (3.1 mi) south of Bharatpur. The lake serves as an important bird watching centre and is attractive for bird lovers. It also harbours crocodiles.
Das Dhunga is a famous place in Chitwan. The people's leader Madan Bhandari was killed there in an accident.
Narayangarh is the main shopping area of Bharatpur city, and the main transit point for all the vehicles traveling via the east-west Mahendra Highway, also for the people traveling from Kathmandu, Gorkha, and Pokhara through Mugling. Recently, Narayangarh has become a retail and commercial capital of Chitwan District and Bharatpur Municipality. It is also the center for hospitality industry which includes hotels, lodges, restaurants and transportation hub for the district.