Valmiki National Park
Valmikinagar is located nearly 100 kms from Bettiah in the northernmost part of the West Champaran district, bordering Nepal. It is a small town with scattered inhabitation, mostly within the forest area and a railroad station in the district of West Champaran close to the railhead of Narkatiyaganj.
The overall climate of Valmikinagar is pleasant. It lies on longitude: 83°- 0' East to 84°- 41’ East and latitude: 27°- 3’ North to 27°- 10’ North. Its Altitude is about 125m to 88m above Mean Sea Level (M.S.L.). The summer is from March to June, while the Rainy season is July to September. The pleasant winter months are November to February. The temperature in Valmikinagar is Minimum 8° C and Maximum 36° C. The rainfall is about 1461.2 mm to 2053.3 mm.
After covering 30 kms from Bagaha one enters Valmiki Tiger reserves forest at Rampur, and confronts the tack, which is broken and undulating, often showing highly fragile geological formations. As a result there are step ravines, knife-edge ridges and precipitous walls formed by landslips and sol-erosion. The road nearly 30 kms runs through the forest leading to Gandak barrage.
The great Gandak and Masan rivers collect all the water from numerous, tortuous tributaries. The hill system is a continuation of the Shiwalik Range, largely made of imperfectly compacted and ill formed sandstone dotted with pebbles and boulders. Valmiki sanctuary covering approximately 800 sq km of forest and is the 18th Tiger Reserve of the country and ranked fourth with density of Tiger population. Adjacent to the sanctuary in the forest in Chitwan National Park of Nepal, lies the historic Valmiki Ashram and surrounding temples.
The place has the major religious and historical attraction of the Valmiki Ashram. Although it is located in Nepal, but one has to travel through the forests of Valmikinagar to reach the Ashram, and that is through India. Even the Nepalese have to travel through Valmikinagar, in India to reach the Ashram.
Valmiki Ashram is located at a distance of about 7 kms from Valmikinagar, the Gandak barrage, in the deep forest of Chitwan National Park in Nepal. Rishi Valmiki had written the great epic, “Ramayana”, here. Various points of interest around the ashram are: Birthplace of Luv & Kush (the two sons of Lord Ram and his divine wife- Sita); Sita’s ‘Falahar’ eating place; Meditation place of the great Sage-Valmiki; the place where the Ashwamedh horse was tied; Amrit Kuan; Vishnu Chakra; Gagristhan and the Hawan Kund.
Various temples, which are located in the periphery of 3 - 4 kms around the Valmiki Ashram, are the Jatashankar Temple, Nardevi Temple and Kaleshwar Temple, surrounded by green forest in the backdrop of the Himalayan Mountains. Triveni Temple is located across the Gandak barrage in the Nepal territory at a motorable distance of 2-3 kms from Gandak barrage.
Apart from the natural beauty, it offers a lot to the tourists who are basically the adventure seekers and nature lovers. The peaceful environment of variety of activities in which the tourists of different age groups having different tastes can engage themselves.
With Valmikinagar as base, a tourist can find expression to his nomadic instincts by visiting a number of places, the grandeur and beauty of which are bound to make one experience the heights of ecstasy.
Archaeologically rich places in and around Valmikinagar are Lauriya Nandan Garh and Someshwar Fort.
There is a lion pillar of Ashoka at Lauriya Nandan Garh, which is a single block of polished sand stone. The pillar is 32’- 9.5” in height with a diameter of 35.5” at the base and 26.2” at the top. This pillar is over 2000 year old and in excellent condition.
Nandan Garh is a huge mound composed of bricks and is about 80 feet high. According to the authoritative source, it is an Ashoka Stupa, in which ashes of Lord Buddha’s funeral pyre are enshrined.
Someshwar Fort is situated in Narkatiyaganj sub-division, near Nepal border, on top of Someshwar Hill at 2884 ft. above M.S.L. It is in a ruined state but its remains are well defined.
Close to Valmikinagar is Triveni, which is a holy place for Hindus. The name is derived from the fact that three river, namely – Naraini, Sohna and Pachnad- merge here, to form Gandak, soon after they emerge from the hills. Triveni is also believed to be the site at which the fight commenced between the Lords of Forest and Water (Gaj and Grah or the Elephant and the Crocodile). The main fauna of Valmiki Tiger Reserve consists of Tiger, Leopard, Fishing Cat, Chital, Sambar, Hog Deer, Black Buck, Gaur, Sloth Bear, Langur and Rhesus Monkey, while the flora consists of Sal (Shorea robusta), Asan, Karama, Semal, Khair, Cane (Calamus tenuis), Jamun, Siccharrum, and Teak etc.