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Corbett National Park

Corbett National Park

City : Corbett National Park

Area : 600 sq. km (core area 322 km)
Altitude:400-1,200 metres above sea level
Language : Hindi and English
Best Season : February to May
Best time to visit : February-June
STD Code : 05945 (Ramnagar)

Introduction

A primal jungle, as Rudyard Kipling puts it, Corbett National Park is a part of the Nainital and Pauri Garhwal districts in the state of Uttaranchal. The park has managed to retain its primeval ambiance, where man must walk timorously, in awe and with a strong sense of his own insignificance. This is a no mean an achievement with the increasing number of tourists visiting the park. Corbett is the first national park of India and was first delimited in consultation with Jim Corbett, the great hunter and wildlife conserver. The park has grown considerably in its 64 years of eventful history.

The park has three well-defined seasons—winters from November to February, summers from March to June, and rain rest of the year. The park is closed for the visitors between June 15 to November 15 every year and you should plan your visit accordingly.

Sightseeing

Situated on the foothills of the Himalayas, Corbett national Park has a beauty that is shown not only by its wildlife but also in its floral heritage. Moving around in the jungle on the back of a pachyderm or in a jeep or just walking around to appreciate the nature, you would come across a wealth of natural splendour in the forms of flora and fauna. Sighting a wild cat, even more than once a day, is not an unusual phenomenon here. Even though you may not be able to sight one, there is plenty for you to make your day.

Excursions

Corbett is a part of the Kumaon region of Uttaranchal. The entire state is a tourist paradise with picturesque hill stations, pilgrimages, wildlife, and high-speed rivers all around. Some of the major destinations in this region are still unexplored, and this gives you ample opportunities to have a great time. Ranikhet or the ‘queen’s paddy field’ is only one of such destinations. Kalagarh Dam, Sitabani, Garija Devi, and Kaladungi are all small retreats in the Corbett National Park where you would find a sylvan atmosphere and spiritual isolation. Rampur is a former princely town in Uttar Pradesh with a great library that houses thousands of rare books and paintings.

Corbett Park Sightseeing

Flora and Fauna

Dhikala, at the heart of core area, is the centre of all tourist activities in Corbett. The varied topography of this region with islands of sheesham and sal trees, thickly foliated, and the green pastures carrying long grasses is just amazing. This habitat abounds with wildlife of enchanting beauty including 50 mammals, 25 reptiles, and 577 bird species. The Ramganga River teems with mugger, gharial, mahseer. Also flocks of cormorants visit this region during winters.

Tigers, the largest cats in the world, are the main attraction here but they are not the only cats in this jungle. There are also leopards, jungle cats, and fishing cats that have made their own empire here. Other wild animals that might encounter you during the course of your safari are sloth bear, Himalayan black bear, dhole, jackal, yellow-throated marten, Himalayan palm civet, Indian grey mongoose, common otter, porcupine, and black-naped hare.

Deer have been represented by four species, namely, barking deer, para, kakkar, and the well-known spotted-deer chital. There is one representative of the goat antelopes also, which are locally known as the ghoral.

Elephant safaris are the best way to move around, more as they can take you to any part of the park. Jeep safaris are another good option if you want to have a quick visit in the park.

Nature Walking

There are invaluable experiences for adventurous and serious-minded wildlife buffs, photographers and anglers in Corbett National Park. Walking in some areas is permitted, but only when accompanied by a guide as direct encounters with the big cat is not an unusual event in this part of the world.

Bird watching should be a favourite pastime as there are 580 species of birds, most of them of the migrant variety, which arrive here in winter. Some of the species that are quite regular are graylag, bareheaded goose, duck, grepe, snipe, sandpiper, gull and wagtail. The resident species include egrets, herons, the black-necked stork, darters, cormorants, and the spur-winged lapwings.

For the daredevils, the park also has several reptile species with fish-eating, long-nosed crocodiles, a few species of turtles and tortoises, the Indian python, viper, cobra, kraitand king cobrainhabiting the park.

Corbett Park Excursions

Ranikhet

Situated some 103 km from Dhikala, Ranikhet, as the name suggests, is a beautiful and quiet hill station at an altitude of 2,000 metres above sea level. It has a pleasant climate with mild summers and chilled winter. This is one of the few unexplored destinations in the country where you can find a serene environment, traffic-less streets, and hospitable people.

Kalagarh Dam

Kalagarh Dam, situated at the south-western tip of the Corbett National Park, is one of the best place in the region for bird watching. The dam that played havoc with the ecological system of the region in 1970s now attracts a great number of migratory waterfowl in the winters. There are also many nature-walking routes nearby.

Sitabani

Sitabani is a place traditionally associated with the Ramayana as it believed that Sita was exiled by Rama here. Sitabani is a birdwatchers’ paradise and there is an ashram tucked away in the jungle. Panthers and other wildlife move to Sitabani when the tourist season is on in Corbett.

Rampur

Situated around 125 km from Corbett National Park, Rampur was formerly a princely state which later became a part of Uttar Pradesh after independence. The place is famous for its library with more than 12,000 rare manuscripts and a fine collection of Mughal miniature paintings. Rampur is famous—rather infamous—for the Rampuri dagger.

Garija Devi

Garija Devi (10 km from Ramnagar) is fast becoming a major tourist attraction in recent times. Situated on the Kosi River, the place is a perfect retreat for the tourists.

Kaladungi

Located on the main route to Nainital from Dhikala, Kaladungi was the former residence of the legendary hunter, Jim Corbett. He was the man who helped in establishing this fine national park.

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