Weather :

Timings : 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Time Required : 2-3hrs

Entry Fee : INR 500-7000 depending on the type of safari.

Dhikala, Jim Corbett National Park Overview

Corbett National Park is one of the oldest and most well-known wildlife sanctuaries in India. Established in 1936, the national park is named after renowned hunter turned nature conservationist Jim Corbett. Its location in Nainital, Uttaranchal is an ode to the exotic natural beauty of India, and the Dhikala Forest Lodge is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience this wilderness in all its primitive glory. Operated under the administration of the Forest Department of Indian Government, the Lodge is conveniently situated bang in the middle of the jungle, making it an elite destination for tourists. Wildlife enthusiasts from India and all over the world come to the lodge not only to enjoy the diverse variety of wildlife found in the forest but to enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding valley, grasslands, and the Ramganga River.

Skirting the edge of Patli Dun Valley, the Lodge is a historic building established over a hundred years ago by the British, as is evident in its architectural style. It has remained an attraction due to its position in the heart of the forest. Most importantly, Dhikala is a chance to see the endemic Royal Bengal Tiger and Asiatic Elephant. Other animals that can be seen on the safari here include the spotted deer, Sambhar, elephants, fox, hyena, and barking deer among many others. The rooms and hutments are surrounded by a solar wire fence, ensuring the safety of visitors at all times.

Moreover, Dhikala Chaur remains one the largest remaining grasslands in India, along with Phulai Chaur. This attracts diverse migratory birds, especially during the winter, making it a paradise for bird lovers and wildlife photographers as well.

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Planning A Trip To Dhikala

It is essential to make bookings in advance for both the safari experiences as well as the stay at the Dhikala Forest Lodge. For Indian nationals and SAARC members, visitors must convey their dates at least 45 days in advance, whereas foreign tourists need to book their accommodation about 90 days in advance. Generally, the package includes acquiring required permits, safaris (depending on the length of your stay), along with gipsy rides and guide allocation.

Staying at Dhikala Forest Lodge

The Dhikala zone offers six different modes of accommodation, which can be selected based on lifestyle choice and budget:
-Old Forest Rest House
-Dhikala Annexes
-New Forest Rest House
-Old Range Quarters

The government has been expanding facilities for housing as the inflow of tourists has increased with each passing year. By far, the Rest Houses are the most popular choice for travellers. The place is well-maintained, with courteous staff and basic amenities. Although only vegetarian food is available, it is remarked to be fulfilling.

Activities at Dhikala Forest Lodge

Dhikala could easily be the ultimate destination for an adrenaline-filled, adventurous tour into the wildlife facet of India. Do try out some of these activities for getting the best out of your Corbett holiday (some of them are only available in the Dhikala region):

Safaris: This may sound like a no-brainer, but there are three different types of safaris available based on your travel style. The Jeep Safari is the most convenient option, as you explore the jungle in an open vehicle, harbouring an authentic wildlife experience. The Elephant safari and Canter safari are only available in the Dhikala zone. While the elephants take you on a gentle ride into the wilderness, canter safaris are most suited for those travelling in large groups or families.

Fishing and Angling: if this sounds like a fascinating thing to do, you are in for a treat. Corbett encloses an extensive riverbed area, including the Ramganga and Kosi river. One can go fishing for a Mahseer or Goonch in this area.

Bird Watching: Dhikala is home to a diverse species of birds such as rain quail, black-necked stork, and the Himalayan Bulbul among many others. For those who have the inclination towards bird-watching, Dhikala offers a handful.

Rappelling/Rock climbing: For those partial towards hard-core adventure sports, special rappelling or rock climbing trips can be organized upon request. This is not for the faint-hearted, so do ensure you are up to the challenge!

Food and Eateries at Dhikala Forest Lodge

Dhikala Forest Lodge boasts of two well-equipped eateries - a canteen run by the state government offering reasonably priced delicacies, as well a private restaurant that serves food a la carte. A small shop near the canteen provides any extra everyday items that may be needed for the stay, ensuring that the tourist is properly provisioned despite staying in the middle of the forest. Non-vegetarian food items and alcohol are strictly prohibited in the area.

Who Should Visit Dhikala Forest Lodge?

Since the Dhikala Forest Lodge requires a lot of planning and arrangements in terms of booking and obtaining permits, the effort will be worth it if you are a wildlife and nature aficionado, who would enjoy a quiet, disconnected stay at the rest house (there is no Wi-Fi range in the middle of the jungle!). It is believed that staying at the Dhikala Lodge increases your chances of seeing the Bengal Tiger manifold. If not, the Ramganga river nearby is a source of water for many animals in the sanctuary, making it possible to spot the deer, Sambhar or an elephant lurking near the lodge. Wildlife photographers would be especially rewarded during their stay at the Lodge.

Dhikala Forest Lodge Safari Timings

Winter Safaris Timings - Dhikala Safari Zone

Entry:- Morning Safari: 7:00 AM
Evening Safari: 2:00 pm
Exit:- Morning Safari: 10:00 AM
Evening Safari: 5:30 PM

Summer Safaris Timings - Dhikala Safari Zone 

Entry:- Morning Safari:6:00 AM
Evening Safari: 3:00 PM
Exit:- Morning Safari: 9:30 AM
Evening Safari: 6:30 PM

Best Time To Visit Dhikala

The best time to visit Dhikala Forest Lodge would be between 15th November and 15th June every year. The lodge is unavailable during the monsoon season.

Tips For Visiting Dhikala

1. Please ensure that you have made bookings in advance and obtained the required permit.
2. Do carry your identity document (especially the individual's in whose name the permit is issued). The entry permit is not transferable.
3. Entry to forest area is prohibited after sunset.
4. Without permission, don't take your private vehicles inside Dhikala area. Gypsies are allowed only if you have made a booking in forest rest house. This is done to minimize the disturbance caused by unabated traffic movement to the animals. The other way to get inside the Dhikala Zone without accommodation inside Dhikala area is by canter safari (takes 4 hrs).
5. At Dhikala one can see wild animals roaming at large in their natural habitats. One can hear the roaring of wild animals from rooms of Dhikala Forest Rest House. Tourists can see Wild Elephants, Wild Boars, Deer and some times tigers from tourist Complex only, All you need to carry is good binoculars.

How To Reach Dhikala

The Dhikala Forest Lodge is reachable mainly via vehicle. Dhangari Gate is the main entry point, where individual permits and ID documents will be checked. The Lodge is located 30 km after the gate, which takes slightly more than an hour to cover, and is surrounded by vast expanses of grasslands, highlands, the Ramganga river and dense patches of sal trees. One can already begin to see animals on this journey. Altogether, the Dhikala Forest Rest House is approximately 43 km from the main town of Ram Nagar.

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Ukinfo 1 year ago
Dhikala Zone Jim Corbett is the best site to spot a tiger. The landscape of this zone is also very beautiful.

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