Just as our universe is full of unknown elements and unexpected encounters, the Jim Corbett National Park is a magical box of unlimited experiences. Author and naturalist John Muir had rightly quoted once, “The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.”, and there couldn’t be a better way to observe the preciseness of the statement in the park. Treading in later will act as guide to the other worldly feat.
The hill station of Nainital and district of Pauri in Uttarakhand acts as a host to all of them who wish to see nature, as it is in the national park. In 1936, the efforts of British wildlife conservationist Jim Corbett resulted in this sanctuary. This makes it oldest declared and preserved natural ecology in India. Adjoining Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and area under Reserve Forest makes Corbett Tiger Reserve contributing in the total area, extended to 1288 sq Km. Divided into five tourism zones with named gates (given in brackets below) for convenience, they are:
It is a call for many globe-trotters and wildlife enthusiasts, as they visualise the extraordinary landscapes and views spread in 521 sq Km. Moreover, being prepared for marshes, lake, river belt, mountains and hills besides vivid flora and fauna is no help, reason being, they still do not fail to amaze.
The unique geographical specifics were the prime reasons the place needed to be preserved. Nearness to Himalayas and interaction with various rivers allowed it to develop an eclectic mix of the fauna. One could spot Asiatic Elephants as easily as a Sambar, Wild Pig or Rhesus Monkey.
It is impossible, to be in Corbett and then stay away from clawing views of:
The endangered exotic species of Royal Bengal Tiger adds to the overall tour sentience of tourists. They feel enthusiastic to record how these carnivores are benefitting from the Project Tiger, a government initiative.
However, this magnetic draw cannot steal away the attraction of other species in the family of wildcats which is Leopard. They are found to be highly adaptable to their ecosystem, but still face dangers like habitat destruction and poaching.
This is about our primates; and there are two of them that are easily spotted:
The former is omnivore in contrast to the other, a vegetarian. Observing them is fascinating to many animal lovers because they could see so many behavioural similarities with human beings.
Corbett National Park is home to many of them, not only in population but in species as well. The list includes:
Some are commonplace like spotted ones, and there are others that can be very rarely seen like hog deer. Timing of a safari can be critical here.
The expression of freedom finds its association with birds; the national park fortunately happens to be one of the most celebrated regions for domestic and migratory birds. Many bird watchers and ornithologists find their solace viewing around 600 species of them, the endangered and prevalent one, both.
Woodpecker, Pelican, Jungle Fowl, Partridge, Darters, Grebes, Teal, Stork, Egret, Peacock, Cormorants, Crow, Seagull, Vulture, Heron, Parakeet, Bittern, Laughing Thrush, Flamingos, Kingfisher, Kaleej Pheasant, Oriole, Drongo, Hawk, Eagle, Dove and the list would go on for the enthusiasts.
Endangered Crocodiles, i.e. Ghariyals and Mugger, distinct mammals like Otter (common, smooth-coated and small-clawed), Asiatic Jackal, Wild Boar, Himalayan Goral, Vipers, King Cobra, Rock Python, Monitor Lizard, various species of fishes and insects, etc also find their home in Corbett Tiger Reserve for its credited geographical importance.
The other aspect of Corbett’s ecology, flora is as abundant as its fauna. As many as 488 species and more become a matter of curiosity for botanists around the world. Forests of Sal, Khair and Sissoo form diverse habitats altogether accommodating various fauna. These are also accompanied by bamboos, various grasses, herbs and shrubs, vines and climbers along with many flowering and non-flowering plants.
All the excursions in Corbett National Park are booked at Ramnagar Office of Forest department but timing,(as in season and the time of day) is crucial. The allotted time for Jeep, Canter and Elephant Safari is fixed by Forest Department itself. It varies from one tourism zone of the reserve to the other, suitably adjusted according to the summer and winter seasons. However, approximated entry timings of the park are given below:
Mornings: 5.30 am
Evening: 2.30 pm
Mornings: 6.00 am
Evening: 1.30 pm
Mornings: 6.00 am
Evening: 2.30 pm
Apart from the mid-day break duration from 1130 hr to 1300 hr, a tourist gets around 5 hours of safari if he books for full day. Assume half hour variation on the timings, as per the zones.
Activities could include fishing, rafting, bridge slithering and river-crossing on Kosi along with visiting Corbett Museum, Maa Garjiya Temple and Corbett Falls keep tourists engaged when they are not in Safari trip.
Typically, there could be three ways to reach Corbett. Consult the suggestions given below:
Air : The capital city of New Delhi is the location for nearest International airport, which is 300 Km away from Corbett NP. On the other hand, Phoolbagh in Pantnagar is the domestic airport around 50 Km away from the final destination. From the airport, local road transports are to be hired to reach the park.
Railways : On a broad gauge track, Ramnagar serves as the railway station nearest, only 5 Km away from the wildlife haven. The station is connected to most of the major cities of India, after which taxis could be taken to reach the Corbett’s. It also caters tourists rail-bound to the Nainital being the last stop.
Road : Road transports are extensively employed to reach the park, especially by those who live in nearby cities. It includes car, bus, and taxi hiring. From New Delhi, one can avail service of luxury buses, as well.