Located in the foothills of the Himalayas is the majestic Corbett National Park. Home to a variety of flora and fauna, it is famous for its wild population of Tigers, Leopards and Elephants. Corbett national park was established in 1936, as the Hailey National Park. India’s first national park and the first sanctuary to come under Project Tiger, Corbett supports a variety of vegetation making it the ideal habitat for the Tiger and its prey. Once a popular hunting ground of the British, this 201 square mile park was named in honor of the late Jim Corbett, the legendary hunter-naturalist turned author and photographer who most of his years in this area and contributed in setting up the this park. With the help of the World Wildlife Fund, Project Tiger was launched in Corbett National Park in 1973 and this park was one of the first such tiger reserves in the country.
Corbett is a haven for Tigers as well as its prey, which include four kinds of Deer, Wild Boar and some lesser-known animals. Leopards are mostly found in the hilly areas of the park. Some nocturnal cats found here are the Leopard Cat, Jungle Cat and Fishing Cat. Sloth Bear is found in the lower regions of the park while the Himalayan Black Bear is seen in the higher hills only. The Dole or Wild Dog, though they can be seen in the southern areas of the park along with the Jackal. Some of the smaller residents of the park are Himalayan Palm Civet, Indian Gray Mongoose, Common Otter, Blacknaped Hare and Porcupine. Elephants are among one of the main attractions of Jim Corbett Park. Along the Ramganga River shores, one can spot the long-snouted, fish-eating Gharial Crocodile and the â€˜Muggerâ€™ Crocodile. Also seen on the rocky hillsides is the Ghoral or Goat Antelopes. The Langur and Rhesus Monkeys are well distributed through out the park and warning the whole Jungle with alarm calls when they see either a Tiger or Leopard from tree-top perches.
Jeeps Safari, is the most convenient way to travel within Corbett national park, and can be rented for the park trips from Ramnagar, from the KMVN Tourist Lodge and other travel agencies . One bus each day goes to Dikhala from Ramnagar, stopping at the Forest Rest houses en route. Banking and other important tourist facilities are available at Ramnagar and Lucknow. The varied topography comprises hilly and riverine areas, temporary marshy depressions, plateaus and ravines. The lower areas are almost completely populated by Sal trees. In the Jim Corbett National Park are found 110 tree species, 50 mammals species, 580 bird species and 25 reptile species. The best visiting season of Corbett is from November 15 to June 15. Corbett remains closed between June 16 and November 14, when the monsoons flood the river beds and cut the fragile road links.
Phoolbagh, Pantnagar at a distance of 50-kms is the nearest airport. Delhi at a distance of 300-kms is the nearest international airport. Ramnagar is on the broad gauge track from where the road transport options have to be availed to reach the park. For faster trains and connections to other parts change at Moradabad. Dhikala is 300-kms from Delhi, 145-kms from Lucknow and 51-kms from Ramnagar. The route from Delhi spans Hapur-Murababad-Ramnagar. The turn off is some 7-kms beyond Muradabad to the left, marked by a small board. The route from Lucknow spans Bareillyâ€“Kichhaâ€“Rudrapurâ€“Dorahaâ€“Kashipur. Ramnagar is served by frequent buses to and from Nainital and Ranikhet, 112-kms north. Buses arrive every half hour or so after the eight hour trip from Delhi; Delhi Transport corporation run a semi deluxe service, and most of the alternatives are pretty basic.