Jim Corbett National Park
Tucked away in the foothills of the sub-Himalayan belt and unsurpassed in scenic beauty, Jim Corbett National Park is not only home to the densest tiger population in the world but also to a vast variety of flora and fauna. It guarantees glimpses of the big, elusive cat in its premises.
It is located near Ramnagar which is in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, India. The park encompasses Patli Dun valley formed by the Ramganga river. It has numerous ravines, ridges, minor streams and small plateaus with varying aspects of degrees of slope. The core area forms the Jim Corbett National Park while the buffer contains reserve forests as well as the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary.
Being the oldest national park in India, it was initially established as Hailey National Park in 1936. It was renamed Jim Corbett National Park in honor of the famous British Colonel Edward James “Jim” Corbett in 1957.
Why visit Jim Corbett?
Sprawled over the vast area of 520 square kilometers, Corbett has different topography of lands like hills, grasslands, riverine belts, marshy depression and large water bodies like lakes. The forest of Jim Corbett National Park is dotted with Sal, Peepal and mango trees. More than 73 percent area of the park is covered with the forests of these forests. The entire area of the park feeds more than 600 species of birds, 110 kinds of trees, 50 species of mammals and 25 different species of reptiles. It is popularly called as the Tiger Capital of India and hence visited by several wildlife enthusiasts and tourists every year who wish to catch the glorious sight of the royal majestic tigers.
The best time to visit it is during mid-November to mid-June. It is during this time that the climate is most pleasant and hotels and good accommodations are easy to find.
What to do in Jim Corbett?
To enhance the wildlife tourism and maximize the wildlife sightings the area of the Jim Corbett National Park has been divided into five distinct tourism zones. Bijrani, Jhirna, Durgadevi, Dhela and Dhikala are the designated safari zones and fall under the Corbett Tiger Reserve area. 4×4 Jeep vehicle is the most feasible option to explore the wilderness of the park.
· Jeep Safari: The most convenient way to travel within the park. Jeeps can be rented from Ramnagar.
· Treks: Tourists are not allowed to trek inside the park but can trek around the park with the company of a guide. Winters can get very cold so proper clothing arrangements must be made beforehand.
· Walking Safaris: These can only be done in the buffer zone areas which are very rewarding as they’re very rich, healthy and lush.
· Kalagarh Dam: It is located in the southwest corner of the park. It is one of the best places for bird watching tours. Lots of migratory waterfowls come here during the winters.
· Corbett Falls: It is a 20 m (66 ft) waterfall situated 25 km from Ramnagar and 4 km from Kaladhungi, on the Kaladhungi-Ramnagar highway. It is surrounded by a dense forest and serene quietness.
· Dhikala: A well-known destination in the park situated at the fringes of Patli Dun valley. Kanda Ridge forms the backdrop. A rest house can be found there which was built over a hundred years ago. One can enjoy the spectacular natural beauty of the valley from Dhikala.
· Garjiya Devi Temple: It is devoted to the Garjiya Devi and is mostly visited by travelers during the Karthik Poornima (November – December). It is a prominent river located at the bank of river Kosi, amidst the hilly terrains of Uttrakhand, near Garjiya village. It is 14 km away from Ramnagar.