Unfiltered beauty of Bhutan: Royal Manas National Park

 In Bhutan, National Park, Travel

Bhutan is a land of natural mysteries, if you too want to explore the depths of its natural beauty then buckle up and get your Bhutan itinerary today. Get your safari hat and camera lenses, because your trip to Royal Manas National Park will be a roaring good time. 

Bhutan is a treasure trove of natural beauty and cultural richness. Every end of the country is filled with majestic mountains, valleys, and hills. Renowned for its picturesque landscape this small kingdom offers you pristine water bodies, snow-capped peaks, mind-blowing culture, etc. 

It has much more to offer than just scenery and that’s its verdant landscape, Its rich biodiversity, and its natural habitat of excellent wildlife. One such excellence is the Royal Manas National Park, where you will get to watch some of the rare and endangered species of the region. 

The main point of attraction in Bhutan is often the majestic Himalayas that dominate most of the land area of Bhutan. But the rich biodiversity, which are mostly conserved in the form of National Parks such as the old Royal Manas National Park. 

Know Your Royal Manas National Park Better

Image Source : Travel Diaries

Bhutan is a country that will give you that mystical experience of your dreams, it is a place where nature and culture co-exist harmoniously. Visitors of Bhutan are captivated by its colorful festivals, intricate architecture, amazing hospitality, and spiritual impact. One such aspect that is often overlooked about Bhutan is its natural diversity. 

Royal Manas National Park, which is one of the best places to visit in Bhutan, covers an area of 1057m and was established in the year 1966. It is situated at the southern end of the country and is featured in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Some of the basic facts about Royal Manas National Park are that the Royal Manas National Park holds about 900 species of plants and remarkable wildlife. 

Some of the most common endangered species like Bengal Tigers, Asian Elephant, Clouded leopards, and many more are free to roam within the park’s boundary. There are around 340 species of birds recorded to date including some endangered bird species.

Visiting Royal Manas National Park is one of the best things to do in Bhutan as it offers a lot of fun to its visitors. Thereindigenousndegenious community that lives close to the national park. These communities have lived in harmony with nature for a long time. Thus visitors have the opportunity to explore the rich cultural heritage of the communities. You could get guided tours, homestays, and the cultural heritage of these communities. 

History of Royal Manas National Park

Image Source : Bhutan Inbound Tour

The Royal Manas National Park has a rich history of conservation ethos and cultural heritage of the region. Over the years many steps have been taken towards improving the national park, such as the park was upgraded in 1993.

Likewise, there have also been collaborations with neighbouring countries for the conservation of species. One such iconic collaboration was including Manas Tiger Reserve under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1973. 

This transboundary conservation act of the country has been marked as a successful conservation act. Another glorious time of the Royal Manas National Park was marked in 2008 when it was designated as a World Heritage Site under UNESCO.

Today the history of Royal Manas National Park stands as a testament to multiple successful biodiversity conservation that showcases the harmonious co-existence of nature and culture. Its history showcases the dedication of Bhutan to environmental stewardship and the preservation of its natural and cultural heritage for future generations. 

Best Time to Visit Royal Manas National Park

Although the national park is open for visitors throughout the year the autumn and spring season are considered the best time to visit Royal Manas National Park. The best months to visit could be September to early November and months between March to May. During this period the temperature is mild and the skies are clear so that no extreme weather conditions are expected during your visit. A mild temperature helps with enjoying outdoor activities inside the national park. 

Usually, the autumn months are the best time because mostly by this time rain has subsided leaving behind lush greenery and rejuvenated landscape. Some of the activities that you can enjoy at this cool temperature such as bird watching, trekking, wildlife safaris, and many more. 

Similarly, during the Spring season, it is the blooming season. You can witness the forest burst into bloom with vibrant flowers while trekking at some of the most majestic trekking trails in Bhutan. During the spring wildlife is also active and you can also get the opportunity to spot migratory birds. 

Try avoiding the peak winter and peak monsoon months which are December to February and June to August. During the winters the temperature is too low at the high elevations, while during the peak monsoon, the trails are sloppy and muddy. Along with that chances of sudden weather change are also high so you have to be updated with the weather report before you visit the Royal Manas National Park

How To Get To Royal Manas National Park


Royal Manas National Park location is about 2-3 hours from Gelephu. So the first thing you have to do is reach Bhutan. 

Reach Bhutan:- Start by reaching Bhutan through flights or any other means. The closest airport you can fly to is the Paro International Airport, which is the only international airport in Bhutan. Then you can take a domestic flight to Bathpalathang airport, or you can also drive your way to the national park. 

Ride till Gelephu:- Once you reach Bathpalathang, you can travel to Gelephu. The ride to Gelephu will be filled with the scenic beauty of Bhutan. Gelephu is a big town located near the Royal Manas National Park. 

Reach Park:- On reaching Gelephu you can hire a taxi or other vehicle available. Then travel through Small villages and picturesque countryside to reach the entrance of Royal Manas National Park.

Alternate route:- If you are traveling from India then the shortest route could be through Guwahati in North East India. From Guwahati, you can travel by road or take a flight to Samdrup Jongkhar, which is a town in the Southeastern Bhutan bordering India. You can get a direct road connecting to Royal Manas National Park from Samdrup Jongkhar.

Places to visit in Royal Manas National Park


The Royal Manas National Park is huge and has a lot to offer to its visitors. Some of the most common places to visit in Royal Manas National Park are:-

1. The Manas River

The Manas River through the national park and you can enjoy the majestic riverside view and click some amazing pictures. The unfiltered beauty of the river will blow your mind with its serenity. You can enjoy some amazing aquatic species and the wonderstruck beauty of the river.

2. Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary

This Sanctuary inside the national park is one of the top wildlife sanctuaries in Bhutan and is famous for its endangered Golden Langur. Other than this there is also another wildlife you can enjoy if you are lucky enough to spot them. It can be the perfect place for wildlife photographers and wildlife enthusiasts. 

3. Wildlife observation towers

The wildlife observation towers inside the national park are placed strategically in such a way that you can enjoy the wildlife and many more. If you want to observe birds you can also do that from the towers. 

4. Hiking trails

Royal Manas Park offers a lot of hiking and trekking trails inside the park. Whether it’s a short nature walk or a multi-day trek, there are options for every level of adventurer to immerse in the park’s natural wonders.

Things to do in Royal Manas National Park


There are plenty of exciting things to do inside the Manas National Park. 

1. Nature Walks

Let’s start with the most basic activity which is taking nature walks. No fancy facade, just a simple walk while enjoying nature’s pristine charm. Enjoy the park’s diverse ecosystem or guided walk. On your guided walks or hiking you can also learn about the flora and fauna of the area while enjoying the serenity of the park.

2. Wildlife Safaris

You can also embark on a safari to spot rare and endangered species of the park. Some of the most common animals that you can spot are Elephants, clouded leopards, Bengal Tigers, Gaur, Hispid Hare, Black Bear and other mammals. 

3. Birdwatching

The national park houses around 365 species of birds which may include the majestic Rufous-necked hornbill and the endangered White-bellied heron. Some of the most common birds found here are The spotted Wren-Babbler, Pallas Fishing Eagle, Pied Hornbill, etc.

4. Photography

Even if you are not a wildlife photographer, still you will get a lot of opportunities to click mind-blowing pictures of nature here, as it is one of the best photography places in Bhutan. From stunning landscapes to cultural heritage, you will get it all here. As you walk through the Manas National Park you can capture the high peaks, the verdant beauty of its trees, the vibrance of its flora, and many more.


5. Joining the conservation efforts

You can also join guided tours and educational programs that are organised by the park. Although it doesn’t happen often, if you are lucky enough to get any such opportunity then you can also take part in conservation activities. Some of the activities that you can enjoy are planting saplings, attending habitat restoration tours, wildlife monitoring, and many more. 

6. Swimming and boating

When you reach the Manas River confluence you can take a small swim or book a boat to enjoy the breathtaking elegance of the river water. You can also enjoy river rafting if that option is available. River rafting in Bhutan and that too in the famous Manas River is one of the in-demand activities among adventure enthusiasts.

7. Enjoy Elephant Riding

Seating on the back of these magnificent creatures you can explore the dense areas of the park in the most safe and eco friendly way. You can get Elephants that are highly trained and taken care of and will be accompanied by mahouts. These mahouts hold extensive knowledge about routes and specialties of the park.

8. Camping

Camping inside the Royal Manas will be an experience of a lifetime. You can enjoy the clear night skies filled with stars ( if allowed) or you can experience a camp surrounded by majestic wild animals and get your share of adrenaline boost.  

Royal Manas National Park Travel Tips 

Some of the most common travel tips that you should keep in mind when visiting Royal Manas National Park are:-

  1. Obtain necessary entry permits in advance. Certain areas of the national park need entry permits so make sure all your documents are ready. 
  2. Plan your trip accordingly so that your outdoor activities don’t get hampered in any way. For-ex check the weather forecast before visiting to get a clear idea of the weather changes you can face inside the park.
  3. If you are planning to stay near the national park then book your accommodation in advance. There are small villages near the park so you might not get many accommodation options. So research properly and keep your accommodation options ready.
  4. Pack appropriately:- If you are aiming for outdoor activities such as wildlife safari, hiking, trekking, etc. Then pack your clothing, gear, insect repellent, sun protection creams, water bottles, food, and other stuff appropriately. 
  5. Health Precautions:- Take necessary health precautions such as packing essential medications, hydration measures, first aid, and many more. You can also consult a health professional for safety measures before you start your trip. 

Royal Manas National Park Entry Fee 

During general seasons when the park receives visitors from all around the world, the entry fee of the Royal Manas National Park is around $250, and during unseason visits you will have to pay somewhere around $200 entry fee. Kids below the age of 12 are exempt from $65 under Royalty Component. Also, there might be extra charges for guide tours, food, etc. Both Bhutanese Ngultrum (Nu) and US dollars are accepted here. 

But you will also have to understand that the entry fee of Royal Manas National Park depends highly on several factors such as nationality, activities planned inside the park, changes in rules and regulations, etc. 

How can I ensure a responsible visit to Royal Manas National Park?

Follow the rules and regulations of the park strictly and also make sure not to litter inside the park.

What activities can I do in Royal Manas National Park?

Some of the activities that you can do are:-

  1. Hiking
  2. Fishing
  3. Boat Rising
  4. Photography
  5. Nature walks, etc.

How can I visit Royal Manas National Park?

All the routes to visit the Royal Manas National Park are mentioned in the blog. There are three ways to reach the Park by air, by road, or by foot from the nearest village. 

What is Royal Manas National Park?

It is one of the oldest national parks in Bhutan and is the natural habitat of a lot of vibrant flora and fauna.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment