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Bardiya National Park is located in the Mid-Western Development Region and was established in 1988 as Royal Bardia National Park. Covering an area of 968 km2(374 sq mi) it is the largest and most undisturbed wilderness area in the Terai, adjoining the eastern bank of the Ghaghara River in the Bardiya District.

The northern limits of the protected area are demarcated by the crest of the Siwalik Hills. The Nepalgunj-Surkhet highway partly forms the southern boundary, but seriously disrupts the protected area. Natural boundaries to human settlements are formed in the west by the Geruwa, a branch of the Karnali River, and in the southeast by the Babai River.

Together with the neighboring Banke National Park, the coherent protected area of 1,518 km2 (586 sq mi) represents the Tiger Conservation Unit (TCU) Bardia-Banke.