"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves."
~ Edmund Hillary


Uttarakhand ~ Corbett National Park

Situated in the picturesque Kumaon hills in Nainital district, Corbett National Park is the place from where Project Tiger was launched in 1973.The park has a core area of 520 sq. kms with picturesque hilly ridges covered by sal trees. Lower down are the grasslands and bamboo growth. A list of species reported from Corbett included 582 species of birds, 26 species of reptiles, 7 species of amphibians and 50 species of mammals. The floral diversity is also extremely varied.

The Park is named after the famous hunter and naturalist, Jim Corbett, who popularised this land and its animals in his book "The Man-Eaters of Kumaon". Corbett recounts many fascinating tales of hunting down man-eating tigers. Always a nature lover, he helped set up a sanctuary called Hailey Park in 1936. Eventually, an all India initiative for the protection of the Tiger was launched from here. The park has a high density of tiger population.

To visitors, the tigers sometimes prove elusive but the other wildlife is not. Elephants are numerous and move around singly or in herds. There are four varieties of deer in the park, and spotted and hog deer can be seen moving about near the river and in the grasslands and the forests. The main inhabitants of the park are the tiger, elephant, gaur, sambar, chital, wild dog, sloth bear, partridge, pheasant, jungle fowl and numerous other varieties of birds and animals. There are many opportunities for bird watchers in this park with over 580 species of birds. It is ideal to trek to one of the machans and sit patiently, perched high up, to view the animals and the birds. The Ramganga river flows through the Park and in it one can spot the gharial (fish eating crocodile) and the marsh crocodile.

There is a museum at the main entrance that is worth visiting for information on Jim Corbett, the history of the park, the environment and wildlife.

More on Uttaranchal
Valley of Flowers
Char Dham Yatra
Festivals of Kumaon

Kumaon Remembered

Indian Tiger


Khedatal Trek

Dhikala is the most popular complex in the park One can arrange for an elephant back safari from here. Many visitors do not venture to other areas of the park. However, it is worth visiting them as one can enjoy the surroundings in relative isolation.

Useful Information:
Daytime visitors are only permitted to travel in the Bijrani sector and day permits are issued at the Ramnagar office. Overnight visitors to Corbett require an entry permit as well as reserved accommodation in one of the guesthouses. Advance reservations are available at the Field Director's office in Ramnagar.

When to visit:
The park is open from mid-November to mid-June. The months from March to June get very hot but are considered the best time to view the animals as they come down more frequently to the water to drink.


Where to stay:
Accomodation is available at Ramnagar as well as at the Park. There are a variety of hotels, lodges and rest houses to chose from. The Forest Dept. has accommodation at 24 rest houses in the reserve that are located at Khinna, Bijrani, Dhikala, Ghairal and Khinnanaul, Lohachaur, Halduparao and Sarapduli. There are also log huts, tourist huts and tented lodges at Dhikala.

Check out: Camp Forktail Creek

Getting there:
Air: The nearest airport is a small airport at Phoolbagh, Pantnagar, 51 km away.
Rail:The closest station is at Ramnager, 21 kms distant. Ranikhet Express, which leaves the Old Delhi Railway Station at night, is convenient as it reaches Ramnagar early next morning.
Road:Access to the park is from Ramnagar and buses are available to Dhikala in the park. Taxis can also be hired here. It is also feasible to drive down from New Delhi. The 300-km drive takes six hours, is extremely picturesque and gives glimpses of various regions of Uttar Pradesh from the most industrialised to the agricultural and the remote. Buses run from New Delhi to Ramnagar but unless it is a luxury bus the ride can be extremely uncomfortable.


Information: Courtesy Government of India

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Editor: Romola Butalia       (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.