Welcome to the wild stretches of Jim Corbett National Park, the first wildlife reserve of India, extending over an area of more than 500 sq km in the Himalayan foothills. Thanks to trained guides and State tourism department, you need not be too adventurous to stay in the middle of jungle - now strewn with tourist lodges - and witness the wildlife in jeep/elephant safari.
And a brief stay here should remain a fond memory for the years to come. For, to spot a leopard perched licking his paws atop a tree; to watch a regiment of pachyderms frolicking in muddy water; or to even hear a tiger growl late in the night, indeed make a gripping bedtime story for your grandchildren.
The tourist season begins in November every year and closes in June. The first two-three months are ideal for bird watching. During this season, one can spot over 500 species of winged creatures here; prominent among them being greylag, barheaded goose, grepe, snipe, sandpiper, gull, great pied hornbills, warblers, finches, and various wagtails. Besides these, the birdlife here includes parakeets, flycatchers, babblers, cuckoos, robins, and bulbuls.
Located in the foothills of the Himalayas is the majestic Corbett National Park. Home to a variety of flora and fauna, it is famous for its wild population of Tigers, Leopards and Elephants. Corbett national park was established in 1936, as the Hailey National Park. India's first national park and the first sanctuary to come under Project Tiger, Corbett supports a variety of vegetation making it the ideal habitat for the Tiger and its prey.
Once a popular hunting ground of the British, this 201 square mile park was named in honor of the late Jim Corbett, the legendary hunter-naturalist turned author and photographer who most of his years in this area and contributed in setting up the this park. With the help of the World Wildlife Fund, Project Tiger was launched in Corbett National Park in 1973 and this park was one of the first such tiger reserves in the country.
Flora In Jim Corbett Park
The varied topography comprises hilly and riverine areas, temporary marshy depressions, plateaus and ravines. The lower areas are almost completely populated by Sal trees. In the Jim Corbett National Park are found 110 tree species, 50 mammals species, 580 bird species and 25 reptile species.
Major Wildlife Attractions - Corbett National Park
Corbett is a haven for Tigers as well as its prey, which include four kinds of Deer, Wild Boar and some lesser-known animals. Leopards are mostly found in the hilly areas of the park. Some nocturnal cats found here are the Leopard Cat, Jungle Cat and Fishing Cat. Sloth Bear is found in the lower regions of the park while the Himalayan Black Bear is seen in the higher hills only. The Dole or Wild Dog, though they can be seen in the southern areas of the park along with the Jackal.
Some of the smaller residents of the park are Himalayan Palm Civet, Indian Gray Mongoose, Common Otter, Blacknaped Hare and Porcupine. Elephants are among one of the main attractions of Jim Corbett Park. Along the Ramganga River shores, one can spot the long-snouted, fish-eating Gharial Crocodile and the 'Mugger' Crocodile. Also seen on the rocky hillsides is the Ghoral or Goat Antelopes. The Langur and Rhesus Monkeys are well distributed through out the park and warning the whole Jungle with alarm calls when they see either a Tiger or Leopard from tree-top perches.
Other Attractions In Corbett
Ramnagar : Situated in the rich farm belt of Terai, on the southeastern fringes of the great forests, the busy market town of Ramnagar is the main administrative centre for Corbett National Park and Project Tiger. Ramnagar makes a fishing base camp. At Lohachaur, 15-kms north along the River Kosi, good anglers are in with a chance of landing the legendary Mahseer, a redoubtable battling River Carp. Permits to have a go must be sought from the Project Tiger office in Ramnagar; most resorts also arrange all inclusive fishing trips.
Wildlife Viewing : Chital, Sambar, and various other Deer species find refuge in the Savannah grasslands known as the Maidan, behind the campsite to the south, and Tigers are occasionally drawn in looking for prey. Two hour elephant rides, explore this sea of grass, rarely penetrating far into the deep jungles beyond; try to convince your Mahout or Elephant driver to venture in, as they can be quite magical. Come at dusk or dawn; in the heat of the day you probably won't come across much more than deer among the tall grass. Tiger-sightings are few and far between, but you may be rewarded with fresh pug marks.
Jeep Safari in Corbett : Jeeps Safari, is the most convenient way to travel within Corbett national park, and can be rented for the park trips from Ramnagar, from the KMVN Tourist Lodge and other travel agencies . One bus each day goes to Dikhala from Ramnagar, stopping at the Forest Rest houses en route. Banking and other important tourist facilities are available at Ramnagar and Lucknow. Note : Bring binoculars, remain quiet, and don't wear bright colours or strong perfumes.
Best Time to Visit - Jim Corbett National Park
The best visiting season of Corbett is from November 15 to June 15. Corbett remains closed between June 16 and November 14, when the monsoons flood the river beds and cut the fragile road links.
How to Get there
Air : Phoolbagh, Pantnagar at a distance of 50-kms is the nearest airport. Delhi at a distance of 300-kms is the nearest international airport.
Rail : Ramnagar is on the broad gauge track from where the road transport options have to be availed to reach the park. For faster trains and connections to other parts change at Moradabad.
Road : Dhikala is 300-kms from Delhi, 145-kms from Lucknow and 51-kms from Ramnagar. The route from Delhi spans Hapur-Murababad-Ramnagar. The turn off is some 7-kms beyond Muradabad to the left, marked by a small board. The route from Lucknow spans Bareilly–Kichha–Rudrapur–Doraha–Kashipur. Ramnagar is served by frequent buses to and from Nainital and Ranikhet, 112-kms north. Buses arrive every half hour or so after the eight hour trip from Delhi; Delhi Transport corporation run a semi deluxe service, and most of the alternatives are pretty basic.