Corbett National Park

The SariUndoubtedly the most beautiful Park in North and Central India, Corbett National Park is India's first National Park. The Park was established in August 8, 1936, and named after the Governor of the United Provinces, Sir Malcolm Hailey, as Hailey National Park. In 1952, the Park's name was changed to Ramganga National Park. In 1957, the Park was renamed yet again, this time after Jim Corbett, the famed hunter-author-photographer-naturalist. Jim Corbett is famous for his exploits in the jungles of Nainital and Kumaon, where he shot many man-eaters. The Man-eaters of Kumaon, The Temple Tiger and The Man-eating Leopard of Rudraprayag are a few of Jim Corbett's famous books. On the road to Nainital from the Park is Jim Corbett's home, now a museum.

Location

Situated in the north of Uttar Pradesh, in Nainital and Garhwal districts, Corbett National Park was the venue from where Project Tiger was launched on April 1, 1973. Project Tiger aimed at saving the tiger from extinction because a census in 1970 revealed that the tiger population had dwindled to 2,000, from 40,000 in 1913. The Park is situated in the Himalayan foothills, amidst forested
mountains that range from 400m (1,312ft) to 1,210m (3,970ft) in height.Through most of the Park flows the Ramganga River,on the banks of which lived a community in ancient times. It is believed that these people cleared away a tiny part of the forest, and made the area their home. Evidence in the form of terracotta figurines and ruined temples further corroborate the fact that the Ramganga valley was the home of an ancient civilisation.

Flora Attraction

Corbett National Park is rich in vegetation, with different kinds of trees and shrubs. The lower reaches of the Park, where the land is flat compared to the upper reaches, consists of tall and slender sal (Shorea robusta) trees. Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo) and khair (Acacia katechu) trees are found in the middle reaches,while the upper reaches of the mountains are full of bakli (Anogeissus
latifolia), chir (Pinus roxburghii), gurail (Bauhinia racemosa) and bamboo trees. The Park is dotted with lantana shrubs, a species that is a great cause for concern.Imported years ago from America, the lantana shrub ensures that nothing else grows near it. In the Park are 110 species of trees, 51 species of shrubs, and over 33 species of bamboo and grass that are mostly found in chowds, or meadows.

Wildlife Attractions

Corbett National Park has more than 50 species of mammals, 585 species of birds and 25 species of reptiles, but the Park is known for its elephants and leopards, not its tigers. Many kinds of deer, namely chital (spotted deer), sambar (Indian stag), chinkara (Indian gazelle), pada (hog deer) and muntjac (barking deer) abound in the Park.

Tiger Sighting

Tiger sighting is rare, in spite of a lot of alarm calls from monkeys and deer. Elephant herds comprising tuskers, females and calves are commonly seen. However, an elephant herd with calves is perhaps the most dangerous encounter in the wild, for elephants are very possessive of their young and do not hesitate to charge at intruding human beings.Leopard sighting is even rarer than that of
the tiger, and these spotted cats confine themselves to the higher reaches of the Park. Other feline species found in the Park are leopard cats, jungle cats, the rare fishing cat,and caracal, to name a few. Sloth bears, wild boars, monkeys, dholes (wild dogs), jackals and ghorals mountain goats) also inhabit the Park.

Jeep and Elephant Safari in Corbett

The Jim Corbett National Park endorses Jeep Safari, Horse Safari, Bird Safari, Elephant Safari, Fishing safari and the Nature walk. Take an early dawn elephant back safari with an authorized mahout guide. Jeeps Safari, is the most convenient and comfortable way to travel within Corbett National Park. Jeep rides can be arranged at the Tourist Centre. Although jeeps penetrate deeper into the forest than elephants, they cannot get nearly as close to the wild animals. The jeeps can be rented for the park trips from Ramnagar, from the KMVN Tourist Lodge and other travel agencies.

How to Reach

By Air

Phoolbagh, Pantnagar at a distance of 50 km is the nearest airport. Delhi at a distance of 300 km is the nearest international airport.

Buy Train

Ramnagar is on the broad gauge track from where the road transport options have to be availed to reach the park. For faster trains and connections to other parts of India change at Moradabad.

By Road

Dhikala is 300 km from Delhi, 145 km from Lucknow and 51 km from Ramnagar. Ramnagar is served by frequent buses to and from Nainital and Ranikhet, 112 km north. Buses arrive every half hour or so after the eight hour trip from Delhi; Delhi Transport Corporation also runs semi deluxe services.