Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India and was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park to protect the endangered Bengal tiger. It is located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand and was named after Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishment. The park was the first to come under the Project Tiger initiative.
The park has sub-Himalayan belt geographical and ecological characteristics. An ecotourism destination, it contains 488 different species of plants and a diverse variety of fauna.The increase in tourist activities, among other problems, continues to present a serious challenge to the park's ecological balance.
Corbett has been a haunt for tourists and wildlife lovers for a long time. Tourism activity is only allowed in selected areas of Corbett Tiger Reserve so that people get an opportunity to see its splendid landscape and the diverse 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.
Corbett National Park comprises 520.8 km2 (201.1 sq mi) area of hills, riverine belts, marshy depressions, grasslands and a large lake. The elevation ranges from 1,300 to 4,000 ft (400 to 1,220 m). Winter nights are cold but the days are bright and sunny. It rains from July to September.
Dense moist deciduous forest mainly consists of sal, haldu, peepal, rohini and mango trees. Forest covers almost 73% of the park, 10% of the area consists of grasslands. It houses around 110 tree species, 50 species of mammals, 580 bird species and 25 reptile species.
Dhikala is a well-known destination in the park and situated at the fringes of Patli Dun valley. There is a rest house, which was built hundred of years ago. Kanda ridge forms the backdrop, and from Dhikala, one can enjoy the spectacular natural beauty of the valley.
Jeep Safari is the most convenient way to travel within the national park; jeeps can be rented for park trips from Ramnagar.
Treks: tourists are not allowed to walk inside the park, but only to go trekking around the park in the company of a guide. The winter season is cold, so tourists should make proper arrangements for their clothing, if they are traveling in the winter season.
Walking Safaris are possible in the buffer zone areas - and very rewarding with Corbett having a very healthy and lush, rich buffer zone around; look for lodges around with trained staff for the same.
Kalagarh Dam is dam located in the south-west of the wildlife sanctuary. This is one of the best places for a bird watching tour. Lots of migratory waterfowl comes here in the winters.
Corbett Falls is a 20 m (66 ft) water fall situated 25 km (16 mi) from Ramnagar, and 4 km (2.5 mi) from Kaladhungi, on the Kaladhungi–Ramnagar highway. The water falls is surrounded by dense forests and pin drop silence.
Garjiya Devi Temple is sacred to Garjiya Devi and is mostly visited by the traveller during the Kartik Poornima (November – December). It is a prominent temple located on the bank of river Kosi, amidst the hilly terrains of Uttarakhand, nearby Garjiya village, at a distance of 14 km. from Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, India.
Corbett National Park is situated in Ramanagar in the district of Nainital, Uttarakhand.
Area: 521 km2
Route: The town of Ramnagar is the headquarters of Corbett Tiger Reserve. There are overnight trains available from Delhi to Ramnagar. Also, there are trains from Varanasi via Lucknow and Allahabad via Kanpur to Ramnagar. Reaching Ramnagar, one can hire a taxi to reach the park and Dhikala.
Ramnagar is also well connected by road with Kanpur, Lucknow, Bareilly, Nainital, Ranikhet, Haridwar, Dehradun and New Delhi. One can also drive from Delhi (295 km) via Gajraula, Moradabad, Kashipur to reach Ramnagar. A direct train to Ramnagar runs from New Delhi. Alternatively, one can come up to Haldwani/Kashipur/Kathgodam and come to Ramnagar by road.
Best Time to Visit: Mid-November to Mid-June.