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Jim Corbett National Park
Jim Corbett National Park is considered as the main wildlife attraction of Uttarakhand. It is located amongst two main regions of this state Kumaon and Garhwal. It’s named for legendary tiger hunter Jim Corbett (1875 – 1955), he put Kumaon on the map with his book The Man Eaters of Kumaon. The park is spread over 1318-sq-km contains verity of wildlife, bird life in its grassland, Sal forests, riverine belts and amazing scenic location of Himalayas foothills.
Jim Corbett National Park is the ultimate place for a tourist who is interested in Tigers. Within India, this place has the highest number of tigers in its amazingly spread 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 find this place as their home. The diversity in wildlife, flora and fauna here draws thousands of bewildered spectators to this place every year, from all over 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 to show 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 1907-1939in Kumaon area of Uttarakhand. He strongly advocated the conservation of wild-life and eco-system, especially Tigers. That is why Indian Government started the “Project Tiger” and launched it here in 1971.
The Jim Corbett Park is spread with a dimension of 520 sq kilometers. Situated across 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 trees species and 50 species of mammals. These wild species are spread across the Park covering both lower and higher regions. This 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, Kair, Sheesam, Bel, Dhak, Semal, Rohini, Bakli, Chbila etc.
There are mainly five Corbett Tiger Reserve Zones that you can visit. You can book an online Safari of Jeep or Canter Safari to visit these amazing zones. These zones are: –
Dhikala Zone: Dhikala Zone is known for the splendid natural beauty and also for offering the 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 15th of November till 15h of June every year. Animals to be spotted are- Bengal Tiger, Elephants, Chetaals and birds.
Bijrani Zone: Bijrani Zone in Corbett Park is known for the richness in natural beauty and the vast grasslands. Mixed type of topography can be expected 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 end.
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 bear can be spotted in this area along with other animals.
Durgadevi Zone: Durga Devi Zone in the Corbett National Park is located at a high level. And it gives a difficult and yet a very adventurous trekking trail to the visitors. Situated at the North-Eastern 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 till mid June.
Dhela Zone: The Dhela Zone is a newer zone compared to other zones in Corbett Park. It was opened in 2014 winter. This zone is abundant with varieties of rich flora and fauna. Like 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 made with expert guidance as directed according to Government Safety protocols. While going on a Safari, it is requested that do not disturb the natural habitats or do not make any place dirty.
Besides animal or 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, Gariral, Sarapduli, Sultan, Bijrani, Malani, Jhirna. These rooms are always packed. Hence it is suggested that you should book at least 60 days in advance.
Besides the forest lodge accommodations, there are several luxury wildlife resorts 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 different times. Zones like Jhirna and Sonanandi remain open throughout the year whereas other zones are open since mid October till June.
Jim Corbett National Park is well connected from a number of major places. However, Ramnagar is the closest town to this park. Ramnagar has good road networks to important 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.