for its population of tigers, leopards and elephants, the Corbett National
Park has the eminence of being the first national park of India. Established
in 1936, the park is nestled into the foothills of the Himalayas and is
located in the state of Uttaranchal. An erstwhile hunting ground of the
British the was first named Hailey National Park. Later, it was renamed
Corbett National Park after late Jim Corbett who spent a considerable amount
of time in the jungles of the park. His worthy contribution turned this
British hunting ground into a productive wildlife haven for some of rarest
and most endangered wildlife species of the country. The park harbours
around 50 species of mammals, 580 species of birds, 110 tree species and 25
species of reptiles.
Go There For
The 201 square miles of the Corbett National Park is home to an abundant
number of flora, fauna and avi-fauna. The varied topography of the park
provides the needed refuge for animals of various species. The jungle
comprises of riverine areas, marshes, plateaus and ravines. Sal trees
dominate the lower regions of the park.
Though tigers are the biggest draw for tourists, the park is also a haven
for animals like deer, wild boar, leopard cat, Jungle cat, fishing cat,
sloth bear, chital, sambar etc. Sloth bear can be spotted in the lower areas
of the park while the Himalayan Black bear prefer the higher hilly areas.
The wild dog and the jackal are generally seen in the souther area of the
park. Elephants are also a major attraction for wildlife fanciers. The
Ramganga river shores serve as a fitting refuge for the Gharial crocodile
and the Mugger crocodile. The Goat Antelope inhabits the rocky hillsides
while the langur and the Rhesus Monkeys are equally distributed throughout
the park. The smaller inmates of the park include Himalayan Palm civet,
Indian Gray mongoose, Common otter, porcupine etc.
Safaris & Other Attractions
Jeep safari is the most appropriate option to explore the deep forests. You
can hire an open Jeep or a canter to penetrate deeper and spot wildlife at
close quarters. If you are a couple or an individual, you can share a Jeep
and reduce the cost of a safari. Specialised guides are available to take
you to the sites where sightings are common.
You can also choose to take an elephant ride into the park. The mahouts are
well versed with ins and outs of the jungles and know well where to venture
and spot the animals. But do remember to explore either at dawn or dusk for
daytime doesn't seem to be quite rewarding in terms of spotting tigers.
Ramnagar, that lies in the Terai region, is the administrative centre of
the Corbett National Park. It serves as a popular fishing base. So, fishing
enthusiasts can have a good time here. Lohachaur is the place where you can
try your hand at catching the Mahaseer in the Kosi River.
Reaching The Park
The closest airport from the Corbett National Park is Phoolbagh, Pantnagar
that lies at a distance of 50 km. Delhi is 300 km from here and is the
nearest international airport. Ramnagar, the administrative centre of the
park, lies on the broad gauge track. Moradabad is the convenient railhead
connecting to the major cities and towns of the country. By road, one can
first reach to Dhikala from Delhi (300 km) and Lucknow (145 km).