Corbett National Park, set amidst the foothills of Himalayas, houses a variety of flora and fauna including rare ones such as tigers and is a treat for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.
The oldest National Park in India, Jim Corbett National Park was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park and is home to the critically endangered species of the Royal Bengal Tiger. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas and along the banks of Ramaganga River, it is home to around 50 species of trees, 580 bird species and 50 species of animals along with 25 reptile species spread over an area of more than 500 sq km covering riverine belts, hills, marshy depressions, lakes, streams and grasslands. The Park is divided into 5 zones namely Bijrani, Dhikala, Jhirna, Domunda and Sonanandi and all of them have different gates. A visit to Corbett National Park is incomplete without a jungle safari, so make sure you go for a safari.
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A beautiful place for one to visit to witness the beauty of flora and fauna at its zenith. One can spot rare tigers in the area. Also, its proximity to several major cities like Dehradun And Delhi help Corbett National Prak gather most of their tourists.
The resort is not open all throughout the year. The major parts of the resort are shut down in the monsoon months to help in the servicing and repairing of the roads of Jim Corbett. Also, the major stations and connecting nodes are all at least 50 km away, thus creating a bit hassle for the tourists.
Families looking for a get-together, couples seeking a getaway, or just a bunch of keen youngsters wanting to witness the wildlife of the country, Jim Corbett satiates everyone's needs, thus ensuring no one is missed out on while visiting this place.
The headquarters of Project Tiger, Ramnagar offers many accommodation centes ranging from budget hotels and adventure camps to mountain and jungle resorts. Most of these hotels also offer facilities for sightseeing and pick-up from railway and bus stations. Lodgers at Dhikala and Bijrani can also enjoy films on wildlife which are screened in evenings and have educational content on wildlife. Dhikala also has a well-stocked library covering a lot of topics on wildlife. For the updated tarrifs and timings, please check out http://www.corbettnationalpark.in/corbett-tiger-reserve-tariff.pdf
Being India's oldest and most prestigious national park established in 1936 as Hailey's National Park, Jim Corbett has ensured to maintain its legacy by retaining the richness of tigers in the region it is known for. Being one of the very few national parks to allow staying inside the premise at night, Jim Corbett is special in its own ways. The landscape at Jim Corbett is incredibly diverse, ranging from marshy land to small hills, and lakes. Apart from tigers, it houses a wide variety of flora and fauna, including Otters and various type of fishes. It is advisable to roam around the park by renting a jeep, which is the comfortable option for the tourists. It also boasts of housing a variety of birds including migratory birds as well. The rich variety of Flora and Fauna is the major attraction for tourists coming to visit Jim Corbett.
The park is segregated into a few zones, all of which are explained.
1. The first zone or the tourist zone is made to ensure travellers enjoy flora and fauna of the region. Visitors can roam by safari and enjoy his zone with close proximity to animals.
2. Bijrani zone, located at 1 km distance from Ramnagar is a beautiful zone with loads of lush greenery.
3. Open all throughout the year, Jhirna Safari Zone is located at a 16 km distance from Ramnagar.
4. Dhela Safari Zone is the only zone in the buffer area open for tourists. The lush greenery and the rich biodiversity of this zone attracts a lot of attention of the tourists. Also, the distance between the zone and Ramnagar is approximately 13 km.
5. Dhikala Zone is the richest zone in biodiversity, which is located 18 km away from Ramnagar. Plan a night stay in the zone to accentuate your adventures.
6. Mainly known for bird watching, Durga Devi Zone is located at a 36 km distance from Ramnagar.
In as early as 1907, the British administration of colonial India came up with the idea of setting up a game reserve in this part of the country. Jim Corbett, the famous wildlife conservationist and author, assisted the British government in delimiting the area during the 1930s. In 1936, a wildlife reserve area known as Hailey National Park (covering an area of about 300 sq.km) was set up in this region. It was not before 1955-1956 that this reserve area was renamed as the Jim Corbett National Park, as a mark of tribute to Jim Corbett and his relentless service aimed towards the conservation of wildlife. Jim Corbett National park was selected as the location to launch a prestigious wildlife conservation campaign - Project Tiger in 1974. The entire area of Sonandi Wildlife Sanctuary, under Kalagarh forest division, was added to its immediate boundary in 1991. This reserve is located in and administered from the district headquarters of Nainital in Uttarakhand.
A staggering 600 species of trees cover the gigantic area of about 521 sq.km under the Jim Corbett National Park, as per the Botanical Survey of India. The species include bamboo, shrubs, ferns, grass, climbers, trees to name a few. This reserve is extremely blessed in terms of the diverse flora, which comprises both freshwater flora and alpine flora. Sal forests dominate Jim Corbett National Park, covering more than 75% of the reserve area. Among the most dominant species in trees are Sal, Khair and Sisso. However, bamboo forests (led by Male Bamboo) too dominate some areas. The only conifer tree you will find is that of Chir Pine. Though a lot more species have contributed to the immense diversity of flora in this reserve, they are found but sparsely. The mesmerizing and luscious green coverage of Jim Corbett is credited to the flowering trees which can be found in huge numbers. Some of the more prominent names include Kachnar (white tom pink flowers), Semal (huge red blossoms), ?flame of the forest?, Dhak(bright orange), etc.
Jim Corbett has always been a favourable habitat for fauna, especially home to a significant population of endangered and critically endangered species of animal including Asiatic elephant and Ghariyal, respectively. The star attraction of this reserve that lures thousands of tourists throughout the year for an exciting jungle safari is the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger. However, other species like Asiatic Black Bear, Hog Deer, Walking Deer, Sambar, Sloth- to name a few also flock every nook and corner of Jim Corbett. The wildlife reserve serves as a paradise for bird lovers as an astounding 600 species of birds find a home in Jim Corbett. Great pied hornbill, white-backed vulture. Peacocks, Hodgson?s bushchat, orange breasted green pigeon, pallas fish eagle, golden oriole, fish owl, Indian Pitta are among the most prominent birds that can be found here. Apart from animals and birds, Jim Corbett National Park also houses endangered reptiles, Mugger Crocodiles, King Cobra, etc.
To enjoy bird watching and sights of wild animals, especially tigers, wandering in the wild, the jungle safaris offer jeep rides through the terrain.
Read more about Wildlife Safari in Corbett National Park
Jim Corbett being a national park, won't have a particular itinerary. One can take two days to explore the national park, and at the end of the first day, plan a night stay at Dhikala zone to make it an affair to remember. Plan the elephant ride and the jeep ride for your friends and family and roam around the beautiful national park, depicting the beauty and diversity of life in the country.
The best option for food in Corbett tends to be the hotels and resorts here. They offer rich and delicious North Indian, Chinese, Mughlai, Continental, Kumaoni and local cuisine. Don't miss the Chicken, Kebab and other barbeque delicacies here. However, non-vegetarian food and alcohol are strictly prohibited inside the park. The local cuisine offers a number of delicacies with Bhaang Ki Khatai, Kappa (a green curry), Sisunak Saag(a dish prepared with green leafy vegetables and many local ingredients), Aloo ke Gutke( a Kumauni potato dish), Rus ( a preparation of many dals) being just some of the popular items here.
- Book accomodation and safaris well in advance.
- In order to increase you chance of seeing a tiger, take on more than one safari. Morning safaris are generally said to give you higher chances of spotting a tiger.
- There is minimal network coverage for mobile phones and internet.
By Varun Ashok
Is August a good season to go Jim Corbett?