Crocodiles of Nepal – Mugger and Gharial

Crocodiles of Nepal – Mugger and Gharial

Crocodiles of Nepal – Mugger and Gharial

Crocodiles of Nepal
Crocodile (Family Crocodylidae)

This family belongs to an ancient group of reptiles that existed for millions of years. They flourished on this earth during the Triassic era. Two million years ago. They lived as they do now in-between land and water interference areas. Both short-snouted (Mugger) and long-snouted (Gharial) crocodiles look similar. The mugger lives in the Lakes and River of lowland Nepal and Gharial live in the fast-flowing major rivers of Nepal.

Crocodiles are the nearest surviving relatives of dinosaurs. The shape of the body of the crocodile follows the generalized reptilian pattern of having a long body and tail with short limbs. The skin of the back is armored with bony plates arranged in Transverse rows.

The crocodile display many structural and functional adaptations for successful amphibious life. Their nostril is placed at the tip of the snout making the reptile breathe while the body is submerged. Both nostrils and ears are provided with valves for closing them when animals dive. The eye has a transparent third eyelid allowing the animal underwater vision.

The crocodiles are intrinsically interesting animals as maintained in the holy epics and Purans of the Hindus. These holy texts mention how Lord Vishnu saved his elephant devotee from the rapacious bite and underwater dragging of a crocodile. There are many folklores, legends, and beliefs about crocodiles. In Nepal, the snout of the crocodiles is still believed to be holy and is helpful for warding off insect pests from the fields. Another predominant belief is that “Ghara” (nasal excrescence), placed under the pillow of pregnant women, makes her childbirth safe, easy, and painless.

Out of 21 species and 7 sub-species of surviving crocodiles on the earth, only two species are found in Nepal. The Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) and Mugger (Crocodilus palustris) were once common in major river systems of Nepal, such as the Gandaki, The Koshi, the Karnali, and the Mahakali. Their distribution spanned most of the Tarai lowlands of Nepal including the east and west Rapti, Narayani, and Koshi river systems. In Karnali, Narayani, and Babai River they co-existed with Gharial.

Crocodilus palustris (Lesson)
Local Name: Gohi

Mugger Crocodilus palustris (Lesson)

The mugger crocodile has remained one of the least known reptiles despite their abundance in the past. Many naturalists have attempted to study facets of the biology of these fascinating animals. Their contributions have paved the way to a better understanding of the intrinsic patterns of habit and behavior of these enigmatic reptiles.

Marsh crocodile or Mugger is a primarily freshwater species found in the stagnant water of marshes, lakes, reservoirs, oxbows, Lakes, and Rivers with a feeble or weak current.

Gavialis gangeticus (Gmelin)
Local Name: Naka Gohi, Gharial

Gharial Gavialis gangeticus

Gharial crocodiles are the nearest surviving relatives of dinosaurs. These remarkable reptiles, if apparently unlovable are fascinating bizarre creatures to observe and study. This section outlines the secrets of life and their behaviors and concentrates attention on the conservation and management of the species. The Gharial is a large freshwater crocodile. The male has a bulging protuberance at the end of the snout which resembles an upside-down pot (Ghara). Its distribution is restricted to Ganges and Brahmaputra River systems. It is found in Narayani, Rapti, Koshi, Karnali, and Mahakali rivers of Nepal.

source: wildlife of Nepal

Crocodile Tour in Bardia National Park Itinerary

Day 01 Fly to Nepaljung & drive to Bardia National Park
Day 02 Full-day Karnali River
Day 03 Full-day Babai River
Day 04 Crocodile Breeding Center & Jungle Safari
Day 05 Drive to Nepaljung & Fly back to Kathmandu


Crocodile Tour in Chitwan National Park Itinerary

Day 01 Fly to Bharatpur & drive to Chitwan National Park
Day 02 Full-day Rapti River River
Day 03 Full-day Narayani River
Day 04 Crocodile Breeding Center, Canoe  & Jungle Safari
Day 05 Drive to Bharatpur &  Fly back to Kathmandu


Crocodiles of Nepal – Mugger and Gharial; Similor Information 

Gharial Breeding Center Kasara, Chitwan

Bardia National Park

Chitwan National Park

Royal Bengal Tiger Tour in Bardia National Park