Corbett National Park
Jim Corbett National Park named after the hunter and naturalist Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishment is the oldest national park in India. Situated in Nainital district of Uttarakhand, the park acts as a protected area for the critically endangered Bengal tiger of India, the secure survival of which is the main objective of Project Tiger, an Indian wildlife protection initiative. An ecotourism destination, it contains 488 different species of plants and a diverse variety of fauna. Once inside the park, the safari is great, you get to see very relaxing jungle views, several kinds of antelopes, birds, Langur, monkeys, Elephant and of course- The Big Cats!
Over 580 species of resident and migratory birds have been categorized, including Hornbill, crested serpent eagles, blossom headed parakeet and the red jungle fowl - ancestor of all domestic fowl. 33 species of reptiles, 7 species of amphibians, 7 species of fish and 37 species of dragonflies have also been recorded.
The park was originally named '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 after the Ramganga River and was called Ramganga National Park. The park was renamed again in 1957 as Jim Corbett National Park 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.
Bengal tigers, although plentiful, are not easily spotted due to the abundance of camouflage in the reserve. Thick jungle, the Ramganga river, and plentiful prey make this reserve an ideal habitat for tigers who are opportunistic feeders and prey upon a range of animals. The tigers in the park have been known to kill much larger animals such as buffalo and even elephant for food. The tigers prey upon the larger animals in rare cases of food shortage, often in packs using the advantage of numerical superiority. The reserve has enormous boars, weighing up to 200 pounds, who provide a match for the tigers as a large male boar is quite capable enough of competing with a tiger. There have been incidents of tigers attacking domestic animals in times when there is a shortage of prey.
Leopards are found in hilly areas but may also venture into the low land jungles. Smaller felines in the park include the Jungle Cat, Fishing Cat and Leopard Cat. Other mammals include four kinds of deer (barking, sambar, hog and chital), Sloth Bears, Indian Grey Mongoose, otters, yellow-throated martens, ghoral (goat-antelopes), Indian pangolins, and langur and rhesus monkeys. Owls and Nightjars can be heard during the night.
In the summer, Elephants are seen in large herds of several hundred. The Indian python found in the reserve is a dangerous specie, capable of killing a chital deer. Local crocodiles were saved from extinction by captive breeding programs that subsequently released crocodiles into the Ramganga river.
Dhikuli: This well known destination in Corbett is situated at the fringes of Patli Dun valley. There is a rest house here 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.
Jeeps Safari is the most convenient way to travel within Corbett national park, and can be rented for the park trips from Ramnagar.
Treks: Tourists are not allowed to have a walk inside the park, but they are allowed to go for trekking around the park, only with a guide. This place becomes very cold in the winter season, so tourists should make proper arrangements for themselves, if they are traveling in the winter season.
Kalagarh Dam: This dam is located in the south west direction of the Jim Corbett wildlife sanctuary. This is one of the best places for the bird watching tour. Lots of migratory waterfowl comes here in the winters.
Best Time to Visit
Jim Corbett National Park is completely spread over Nainital, Pauri Garwahl and Almora Districts of Uttarakhand. It is one of the oldest national park in India. The park is known for its initiative Project Tiger, for endangered Bengal tiger of India. The total area of the reserve is 1318.54 sq. km. consisting 520 sq. km. of core area and 797.72 sq. km. of buffer area. After India's independence in 1947, the park was renamed as Ramganga National Park. But in 1956 it was renamed as Jim Corbett National Park in the memory of Colonel Jim Corbett.
Corbett National Park opens from mid November to mid June. The Jhirna zone of Corbett National Park remains open throughout the year. Birjani zone opens from mid October to mid June and the main core area Dhikala opens from 15th of November. The park closes partially during the period of monsoon. Most of the roads in Birjani and Dhikala are wash away during monsoon. The gates remain close after sunset and no nocturnal driving is allowed.
Main Visiting Season Jim Corbett National Park
Winter (October - February)
It is the best time for Bird watching. Bird lovers are advised to visit during the winter season to get glimpses of varieties of birds. It is also the preferred season for the sighting of tiger. The chances of natural sight of tiger are high during this time of the year. During this season the 5 degree C. but the day time are pleasant and balmy. The night can get pretty cold. Thus it is the best time to enjoy cold nights. Animals are easily spotted during this period as they come out to laze around in the sun.
Monsoon (July - September)
It is the best time for those who want to avoid crowd. The flow of the crowd declines due to the monsoon season. It is the best for some great experience for trekking lovers. The monsoon prevails from mid June to October. The temperature drops during this time and the weather is sustains a pleasant aura. The rainy season is the mating time of the animals and the park remains closed for tourists keeping that in mind. Also the risks of soil erosion and land slides can prove to be harmful. This is the best time to enjoy flora in Corbett national Park. The place becomes magnificent with greenery and vegetation.
Summer (March to June)
The summer season prevails from the month of March till mid June. The temperature during this time becomes very scorching. The day time can get very hot, up to 40 degree C mark. The inhabitants and animals suffer the wrath of the rising heat of the sun during this time. This is the best time for sighting of animals. Mostly a hot wind blows throughout the day time during summers. And a thick cloud of dust covers up the region, penetrated by occasional thunderstorms. This season is considered as the best time form river rafting. River rafting enthusiast can opt for this time period to visit.