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Jim Corbett National Park
Jim Corbett National Park is considered as the main wildlife attraction of Uttarakhand. It is located between the two main regions of this state – Kumaon and Garhwal. It’s named after the legendary tiger-hunter Jim Corbett (1875 – 1955). He has contributed to put Kumaon on the map via his book, The Man Eaters of Kumaon. The park is spread over 1318 sq kms, containing a variety of wildlife, bird life in its grassland, Sal forests, riverine belts and amazing scenic location of the Himalayan foothills.
Jim Corbett National Park is the ultimate place for a tourist who is interested in watching tigers. In India, this place has the highest number of tigers in its amazingly widespread flora and fauna. It carries the glory of being accorded as the oldest national park in India. Although it has been coined the term Tiger Reserve, there are many other prestigious animals that consider this place as their home. The diversity of wildlife, flora and fauna, here, draws thousands of bewildered spectators to this place every year from all parts of the world.
The original recognition of Jim Corbett National Park dates back to 1936. It is one of the oldest and prestigious parks in Asia. Initially, it was known as the Hailey National Park but was renamed as an honor to the great conservationist and hunter Sir James Edward Corbett (or Jim Corbett). The noted hunter and naturalist had hunted down several man-eaters during the period of 1907-1939 in the Kumaon area of Uttarakhand. He strongly advocated the conservation of wildlife and ecosystems, especially tigers. That is why the Indian Government started the “Project Tiger” and launched it in 1971.
The Jim Corbett Park is spread over a dimension of 520 sq kilometers. Situated across the Nainital and Pauri Districts, the total forest area combined with another Reserve Forest Sonanadi would account for 1288 sq km. The landscape is not even and can be divided into hills, grasslands, marshy depressions, river belts and lakes. Nature watch is amazing here, both during day and night.
Corbett Park is a vast area and provides shelter to nearly 650 species of migratory birds, 25 species of reptiles, 110 species of trees and 50 species of mammals. These wild species are spread across the park, covering both lower and higher regions. This place is a perfect natural hub for several endangered plants and animals. Greatly known animal species at Jim Corbett Park are Asiatic Elephants, Bengal Tigers, Leopards, Wild Boars, Sloth Bears, Sambar Deer, Hog Deer, Barking Deer, Jackals, Mongoose, Crocodiles, Gharials, Monitor Lizards, etc. Main flora of this park is Sal, Khair, Sheesham, Bel, Dhak, Semal, Rohini, Bakli, Chhabila etc.
There are mainly five Corbett Tiger Reserve Zones that you can visit. You can book online for safari, by Jeep or Canter, to visit these amazing zones. These zones are: –
Dhikala Zone: Dhikala Zone is known for its splendid natural beauty and also for offering a sight of many exotic animals and birds. If you are a hard-core wildlife lover, then it is recommended that you go for a night stay in this zone for better sighting opportunities. The ideal time to visit this place is from 15th of November to 15h of June, every year. Animals to be spotted are Bengal Tiger, Elephants, Cheetahs and several species of birds.
Bijrani Zone: Bijrani Zone in Corbett Park is known for its richness in natural beauty and the vast grasslands. Mixed type of topography can be seen here. Tiger spotting is almost a certain activity in this zone compared to other places in Corbett Park. The best time for visiting this zone is from Mid October to June.
Jhirna Zone: Jhirna Zone is a popular tourist area in Jim Corbett National Park. It is blessed with abundant scenic beauty and is also popular because it remains open for visitors throughout the year. Wild bears can be spotted in this area along with the other animals.
Durgadevi Zone: Durga Devi Zone in the Corbett National Park is located at a high altitude. It gives a difficult yet a very adventurous trekking trail to the visitors. Situated on the northeastern side of the Corbett National Park, this is an amazing place for bird spotters. Besides bird spotting and trekking, tourists can indulge in the sheer joy of angling in this zone. This place is open to visitors from mid-November to mid-June.
Dhela Zone: The Dhela Zone is newer as compared to other zones in the Corbett Park. It was opened in 2014 ,during the winters. This zone is abundant with varieties of rich flora and fauna. Similar to Jhirna, this zone is also open to tourists throughout the year.
Sonandi: Sonandi Zone also welcomes tourists with open arms throughout the year. A lot of animals such as tigers, elephants, jackals, etc. can be spotted in this natural zone.
Corbett National Park can be toured best using different kinds of safaris. There are mainly three Safari options for any visitor: Jeep Safari, Canter Safari and Elephant Safari. Each of these is unique and can be enjoyed with distinct experience both as individuals and in groups.
Morning Safari: 6:30 Am to 9:30 Am
Evening Safari: 2:00 Pm to 5:00 pm
Morning Safari: 6:00 Am to 9:00 Am
Evening Safari: 2:30 Pm to 5:30 pm
Safari Rides are safe and are supervised under expert guidance, as directed according to the government safety protocols. While going on a safari, it is requested to the tourists that they shouldn’t disturb the natural habitats of the animals or make the place dirty.
Besides animal and bird spotting, there are several activities that visitors can indulge in and around Corbett Park, such as flying fox, rock climbing, fishing and angling, rappelling, balancing rope, Burma bridge, monkey caroling, commando net etc.
There are several places that provide accommodation close to the exotic wilderness.
Many tourists prefer staying in the forest lodge accommodations managed by the forest departments. Booking and staying is possible in the forest lodge accommodations in Dhikala, Gairal, Sarapduli, Sultan, Bijrani, Malani and Jhirna zones. The rooms, here, are always packed. Hence, it is suggested that you should make bookings at least 60 days in advance.
Besides the forest lodge accommodations, there are several luxury wildlife resort accommodation facilities. These facilities have all kinds of modern amenities for their guests. The list is given below.
As mentioned above, there are different zones in Corbett National Park that remain open at the different time of the year. Zones like Jhirna and Sonanadi remain open throughout the year whereas the other zones are open from mid-October to June.
Jim Corbett National Park is well connected to a number of major places. However, Ramnagar is the closest town to this park. Ramnagar has good road networks to major places like New Delhi, Lucknow, Nainital, Haridwar, Ranikhet and Dehradun.
The nearest Airport would be the Pantnagar Airport.
The nearest town Ramnagar is also well connected to major Indian cities via train.
Bus facilities can be easily availed from places like Delhi, Lucknow, Dehradun, Nainital and Ranikhet.