Corbett National Park

Corbett National Park is in the State of Uttarakhand in the Himalayan North region of India. The park is open to visitors from mid-September to mid-June.

Dense forest area in Corbett National Park

Understand

Once inside the park, one gets to enjoy a spectacular panorama of the jungle, reminding one of Kipling's Jungle Book. Apart from this, one can see, observe, and photograph several many species of birds, mammals, reptiles, flora, etc. Corbett National Park has been the hot favorite getaway for the tourists, wildlife fans, and adventure seekers since many years. However, only a few selected regions of the Corbett Tiger Reserve are open for the tourists to explore its spectacular scenery and the varied wildlife. In recent years the number of people coming here has increased dramatically. Presently, every season more than 70,000 visitors come to the park from India and other countries.

History

The park was originally named the Hailey National Park after Governor Hailey and was created on August 6th 1936. It was India's first National Park. After independence, the park was renamed, this time after the Ramganga River, and was hence called the Ramganga National Park. The park was renamed again in 1957. It was named after James E. Corbett who helped to set up the park and spent most of his life in the area.

The area of the park was increased in 1991 when the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary was added to the park.

Flora and fauna

White-Capped water-redstart

Flora: There are almost 488 different types of species of plants in the park.

Fauna: This Park has almost 33 different species of reptiles, 7 different species of amphibians, around 7 different species of fish and 37 different species of dragonflies.

Climate

There are three well defined seasons in the winter season which lasts from November to February, the summer season which lasts from March to June, and the rainy season which covers the rest of the month. The summer rains cause flooding in the park. The temperature in the Winters can go down to 4 degrees centigrade at night and the entire jungle is dry in the summer months as the temperature goes up to 44 degrees centigrade. The annual rainfall in the park ranges between 1400mm and 2800mm.

Get in

It is normally accessed from the town of Ramnagar, and is a two hour drive to the north.

The main areas (Dhikala and Bijrani) of Jim Corbett National Park are closed from 16 June - 14 Nov for the monsoon season. Jhirna & Sitabani (Buffer Zone) remain opened all year round.

Fees/permits

At the office in Ramnagar you can buy the tickets to get into the park. One can also enter the park through Kotdwar, which is situated on the other side of the park. Travellers can use their own vehicles from Kotdwar towards Jim Corbett.

Safari

A herd of elephants

While inside the park, better not to use your own vehicle because only a trained professional knows where to go. Best to hire a Taxy (Gypsy) which is fully open and costs about ₹1800.00-₹2500.00, depends upon the negotiation for two days.

Safari Timing

Depending upon the season, the morning safari in all the zones starts at around 5:45 AM/6:00 AM/6:30 AM. And the afternoon safari starts from 1:00 PM/1:30 PM/2:00 PM.

Get around

In Ramnagar you can organize a 4WD with a driver.

See

Keep in mind that in order to actually see a tiger, you will need to plan on taking more than one day of safari, because there aren't that many tigers. chances of sighting tigers can be significantly raised by staying at Dhikala Forest rest house & leaving early morning for Safari, as Dhikala is rest house is in the core area of jungle.

Dhikala:

It is one of the most popular destinations in Jim Corbett National Park for tourists. Dhikala, located near to Patil Dun Valley, offers an amazing and uninterrupted view of the valley. There is a watchtower near Dhikala, which gives more imposing view of the valley.

Bijrani:

Bijrani area was once formed part of a shooting block. This shooting block area covers the entire in and around area of Bijrani. This place was most famous during the British time for hunting. Bijrani terrain is drier in comparison to Dhikla and it also has more diverse vegetation then Dhikla

Jhirna:

Jhirna is a rest house which lies inside the south area boundary of the park. This rest house is located on the road from Ramngar to Kalagarh. Landscape in this area is drier than Dhikla. Jhirna was one of the farming village till 1994 and after that it was taken under project tiger.

Durga Devi:

All those who are avid bird lovers shall not miss this zone. From the Black Chinned Yuhina to Maroon Orile to Grey Headed Fishing Eagle. Further, tourists will be glad to know that it is the same zone where the endangered Mahsheer fish come to breed.

Dhela Zone:

It is the newest zone in Corbett National Park. Opened from 1st December, the zone only allows day visits. Unlike other zones, tourists can roam in this zone under the guidance of security personal. It is the first time that such facility has been introduced in this park

Corbett Museum: Tourists can know about the life history of Mr. Jim Corbett and see some of his belongings in the museum.

Do

Elephant Safari: Elephant ride is the major attraction in Jim Corbett National Park. Tourists feels like a royal person, while sitting on an elephant and going into the grasslands and jungles in search of tigers or wild elephants. This safari is arranged twice in a day which starts from Dhikala, once early in the morning and once late in the afternoon.

You can go for an elephant ride, see documentaries at Dhikala, visit the museum or just soak in the wild environment.

Jeep Safari: This is one more way to explore the beauty of this national park. Jeeps to visit the park can be taken on rent from the Ramnagar, from the various travel agencies.

Buy

You can buy souvenirs and books at the canteen at Bijrani.

Eat

Good food is available at canteens in Guest Houses (Dhikala, Gairal, etc) and also at the entrance gates (Dhangari). Non-veg food is not allowed inside the park.

Drink

Drinking alcohol is prohibited inside the park.

Sleep

Lodging

A few guest houses are available, Dhikala and Gairal being the most sought after. Advance booking can be done at tourism office at Barakhamba Road, New Delhi. On the spot booking can be done at Ramnagar. Stay is very reasonable. around ₹2500 is charged for double bed room with all basic facilities.(At Dhikala forest rest house). This rest house is high in demand so it is always advisable to book well in advance. Maximum stay of 3 nights at a time is permitted. Electric fences are present around the housing area.

Camping

There are several camps you can choose to stay at. The facilities in these camps are in surprisingly good condition: hot buckets, nice food, and good beds.

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