Corbett National Park
Once inside the park, one gets to enjoy a spectacular panorama of the jungle, reminding one of Kipling's Jungle Book. Apart from this, one can see, observe, and photograph several many species of birds, mammals, reptiles, flora, etc.. The Corbett National Park has been the hot favorite getaway for the tourists, wildlife fans, and adventure seekers since many years. However, only a few selected regions of the Corbett Tiger Reserve are open for the tourists to explore its spectacular scenery and the varied 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 from India and other countries.
The park was originally named the 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, this time after the Ramganga River, and was hence called the Ramganga National Park. The park was renamed again in 1957. It was named after Edward James "Jim" 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.
Flora and fauna
Flora: There are almost 488 different types of species of plants in the park; some of the main species found here are Bel, Chbilla, Dhak, Bakli, Pula, Bamboo, Semal, Khingan, Sal, Khair, Sissoo, Ber, Kuthber, Kharpat, Rohini.
Fauna: This Park has almost 33 different species of reptiles, 7 different species of amphibians, around 7 different species of fish and 37 different species of dragonflies.
There are three well defined seasons starting with the winter season which lasts from November to February, the summer season which lasts from March to June, and the rainy season which covers the rest of the year. The summer rains cause flooding in the park. The temperature in the Winters can go down to 4 degrees centigrade at night and the entire jungle is dry in the summer months as the temperature goes up to 44 degrees centigrade. The annual rainfall in the park ranges between 1400mm and 2800mm.
There are 4 airports near Corbett National Park
Dehradun airport is the nearest airport to the park which is well connected with rest of the country. Kotdwar is 1 and a half hour drive away from Dehradun airport.
The main areas (Dhikala and Bijrani) of Corbett National Park are closed from 16 June - 14 Nov for the monsoon season. Jhirna & Sitabani (Buffer Zone) remain open year round.
Ramnagar is 10kms from the park and has a small railway station that is connected to major cities around. Kotdwar is 5km from the park and has a railway station which is connected to major cities.
There are 4 airports around the national park 1. Pantnagar (123KM Away) 2. Dehradun (176 KM Away) 3. Delhi (248 KM Away) 4. Lucknow (447 KM Away)
At the office in Ramnagar you can buy the tickets to get into the park. One can also enter the park through Kotdwar which is situated on the other a side of the park.one can travel on his own vehicle from Kotdwar towards Jim Corbett.
While inside the park, better not to use your own vehicle because only a trained professional have the idea where about to go. And Best to hire a taxi (Gypsy) which is fully open. And it cost about Rs 3500.00-4500.00, depends upon the negotiation for two days.
In Ramnagar you can organize a 4WD with a driver. However, most of the resorts offer their complimentary services by providing you a car to move around
Keep in mind that in order to actually see a tiger, you will need to plan on taking more than one day of the safari, because there aren't that many tigers. Chances of sighting tigers can be significantly raised by staying at Dhikala Forest rest house & leaving early morning for Safari, as Dhikala is rest house is in the core area of jungle.
It is one of the most popular destinations in Jim Corbett National Park for tourists. Dhikala, located near to Patil Dun Valley, offers an amazing and uninterrupted view of the valley. There is a watchtower near Dhikala, which gives the more imposing view of the valley.
Bijrani area was once formed part of a shooting block. This shooting block area covers the entire in and around area of Bijrani. This place was most famous during the British time for hunting. Bijrani terrain is drier in comparison to Dhikla and it also has more diverse vegetation then Dhikla
Jhirna is a rest house which lies inside the south area boundary of the park. This rest house is located on the road from Ramnagar to Kalagarh. The landscape in this area is drier than Dhikla. Jhirna was one of the farming village till 1994 and after that, it was taken under project tiger.
Durga Devi is a gate on the north-eastern side of Corbett National Park. It serves as the entry point for the Lohachaur Guesthouse inside Corbett. This part of the trail in Corbett runs along the hills and crosses the Ramganga River on the way to the guesthouse. The Ramganga River flowing through this area finally drains into the Ramganga Reservoir in the Dikhala Zone. This is a hill road with the valley on one side and the mountain on the other. The area is said to be populated more with leopards and elephants, but occasionally one may spot the tiger here too.
Corbett Museum: Tourists can know about the life history of Mr. Jim Corbett and see some of his belongings in the museum.
Jeep Safari: This is one the most popular modes of viewing the national park. Jeeps are organized by resorts and lodges outside the National Park Core Zone if you are staying in one of these places. Alternatively, a few tour companies who book the entire tour for you online will also arrange for a jeep safari. Jeeps to visit the park can also be taken on rent from Ramnagar, from the various travel agencies. A typical Jeep Safari lasts for 2.5 - 3 hours and usually starts early in the morning and post lunch at about 2 p.m. from any one of the four gates for which the permit is obtained (as per your choice). Jeep Safaris in the Dikhala zone are only allowed for people who are staying inside the Park in the forest rest houses in the Dikhala Zone.
Elephant Safari: Elephant ride is the major attraction in Jim Corbett National Park. Tourists feel like a royal person, while sitting on an elephant and going into the grasslands and jungles in search of tigers or wild elephants. This safari is arranged twice in a day which starts from Dhikala, once early in the morning and once late in the afternoon.
You can go for an elephant ride, see documentaries at Dhikala, visit the museum or just soak in the wild environment.
You can buy souvenirs and books at the canteen at Bijrani.
Finger licking food is available at canteens in Guest Houses ( Dhikala, Gairal, etc) and also at the entrance gates (Dhangari).
Drinking alcohol is prohibited inside the park.
Few guest houses are available. Dhikala and Gairal being the most sought after. Advance booking can be done at the tourism office on Barakhamba Road, New Delhi. On the spot booking can be done at Ramnagar. The stay is very reasonable. Around Rs.2500 charges for double bedroom with all basic facilities. (At Dhikala forest rest house). This rest house is high in demand so it is always advisable to book well in advance. Maximum stay of 3 nights at a time is permitted. Electric fences are present around the housing area.
It is advisable to stay inside the National Park and getting accommodation booked there is no more difficult. The booking has to be made at least 45 days in advance with an online booking service recently launched by the government (http://corbettonline.uk.gov.in/) and booking can be done for dates on or beyond 15 November 2013. There are a few local companies like 'sam's travel house' that offer to do the entire package [pickup from Ramnagar station, booking in the Forest Rest House in Dikhala and jeep safaris] that can be booked online.
Alternatively, one can look at staying in one of the numerous resorts, lodges, hotels outside the core zone on the road running north-south in between Sitabani Reserve and Corbett National Park. These places organise permits and jeep safaris for the guests and provide basic to lavish accommodations along the western bank of the Kosi River (not the one in Bihar).
There are several camps you can choose to stay at. The facilities in these camps are in surprisingly good condition: Hot buckets, nice food, and good beds.
Avoid shouting and pointing fingers while you are on a jungle safari. Follow you guide and do whatever he tells you. Its the easiest way to be safe in a jungle. The park authorities are very cooperative if you follow all the rules. Avoid taking alcohol inside the restricted zones of the national park.
The nearest destination you can go from Jim Corbett National Park are:
1. Nainital : Its a very good hill station around 60kms from the National Park.
2. Ranikhet : Its also around 80kms from the national park. It has some old temples.
3. Delhi : Delhi is around 250 Kms from the national park, you can always explore the capital of the country.
4. Dehradun : Its also 3-4 hours from the place.It's the capital of the state Uttarakhand.