Jim Corbett National Park, India

Posted in Asia | April 19, 2011 | Comment Now

Dedicated to the conservation of the most extinct tiger genus called the Bengal Tiger who is also admired the most, the Jim Corbett National Park is the most ancient park of India, which is now almost 75-years old. It has been named so because of the India-born hunter of the same name who later became a conservationist in the repentance of his cruel killings. Nestled today under the shades of the Lower Himalayas, the park actually stretches in the very famous Nainital region of the newly made Uttarakhand state in the north east direction of the country. With its more than 450 plant types as well as 600 animal species, this major eco-tourism spot has been the best weekend gateway of the tourists since the past few decades where not only animals welcome, but even the adventures as well as sights seem to engulf you in their own charm. Further with the increasing number of tourists from the different parts of world already reached now up to 70,000; it seems that the park has already become successful in making people aware of the importance of conservation as well as the ill effects of hunting.

But before planning a tour of the Jim Corbett National Park, one needs to know that only some regions of the most famous Corbett Tiger Reserve are kept unlocked for getting exposed to its varied wildlife as well as dramatic scenery.

The dramatic landscapes and the dividing ecosystems

Within the park, your eyes will really enjoy the eclectic treat of geographical sceneries: riverine belts, ridges, plateaus, hills, swamps, marshy depressions, ravines, large lake, grass lands, and small streams. If you are willing to explore the whole park, expect to pass through the deciduous forests, Himalayan pine jungles (subtropical), and the Upper Gangetic Plains. Overall, there are two sections in the area, the core and buffer of which the former is the Jim Corbett National Park, while the latter includes the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and the forest reserves.

For the botany and animal lovers

73% of the park is mainly dominated by the dense moist deciduous forests that engulf mango trees, rohini, papal, haldu, and sal trees; while the 10% are owned by the grasslands to offer habitats to over 580 bird species, 100 tree species, 50 mammal species, and 25 reptile groups along with the most demanded Bengal tiger of India.

It is only here in India where you will come across plenty of Bengal tigers, but are somewhat tough to spot due to their concealment. The reason why they are not left wandered is their uncontrolled nature of killing large animals of prey even including elephants as well as buffaloes. Most of the times, you will be able to spot them in dense jungles as well as near the Ramganga river. Besides the tigers, you can also spot leopards in the low land forest and hilly areas, jungle as well as fishing cats, sambar deer, barking deer, black buck deer, chital, leopard cat, sloth, Indian grey mongoose, Indian pangolins, Himalayan Black bears, langur, owls, rhesus, otters, ghoral (goat-antelopes), yellow-throated martens, and nightjars whose sound can be heard at the night.

There are also elephants that you spot in herds, especially in the summer’s dry season; the life-risking Indian python who can kill the chital, protected crocodiles in the Ramganga River, and many migratory as well as dwelling birds such as the blossom-headed parakeet, red jungle fowl (all fowls’ ancestors), the crested serpent eagle, dragonflies, as well as the little green bee-eaters. Most of the birds including the migratory waterfowl in the winters are seen near and around the Kalagarh Dam that is located in the park’s southwest.

For the adventurous

Explore the park via the Elephant Safari to be like a king for some time as you dare to face the tiger and leopards right in front in the grasslands. Starting from Dhikala, this one takes place twice, one in early morning and the other one in the late afternoon. Dhikala itself is an attraction for its edged Patli Dun valley, old rest house, vistas of the valley, and the Kanda ridge.

In fact, this is the only way to take a tour of the park as strolling inside is banned permanently. Alternatively, you can also trek with a guide for getting around the park. If you are coming here on the full moon day after the new moon day of Diwali (October/November), do travel to the banks of River Kosi accessible from the nearby Ramnagar town by traveling for 14 km. This is where a temple of the Goddess Garjia resides along with a great annual fair.

Best time to visit

November to June.

Accommodations in and around the park
  • Corbett Riverside Resort
  • Dhikala Forest Lodge
  • Corbett Hideaway
  • Tiger Tops Corbett Lodge
  • Quality Inn Corbett Jungle Resort
Distance from nearby famous cities
  • Delhi – 300 kms
  • Lucknow – 145 kms
  • Ramnagar – 51 kms

Avoid staying until late in the evenings during the winters.

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