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Jim Corbett National Park

 

Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India and was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park to protect the endangered Bengal tiger. It is located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand and was named after Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishment. The park was the first to come under the Project Tiger initiative.

Spread over 520.8 sq.km., the park has sub-Himalayan belt geographical and ecological characteristics. An ecotourism destination, it contains 488 different species of plants and a diverse variety of fauna. Corbett and its adjoining area is a home to more than 650 species of residents and migratory birds. Particularly Dhikala is fine place to look for birds of prey, more than over 50 species of raptors alone shows the healthy biodiversity of the area.

Safari Zones in Jim Corbett National Park

The Jim Corbett National Park is a dream destination for wildlife lover and thus, in every year it is flooded with tourists from different nooks and crannies of the world. Considering the inflow of tourists, Corbett has been divided into four safari zones, namely:

 

  • Dhikala Zone
  • Jhirna Zone
  • Bijrani Zone
  • Durga Devi Zone
  • Sitabani

Dhikala Zone

Dhikala is the most Well known of the destinations in Corbett. It is located at the edge of the broad Patli Dun valley through which the Ramganga flows in numerous channels. Dhikala offers an awesome uninterrupted panoramic view of the valley, with the Kanda ridge in the backdrop. This site appears all the more imposing from the watchtower near Dhikala. The Tourist Complex overlooks Dhikalachaur (one of the largest remaining grasslands of the Park) and Phulaichaur. A drive through the numerous trails through chaurs is rewarded with sightings of wild elephants, chital, hog deer, and numerous grassland bird species and raptors. The old rest house at Dhikala is a historic structure, having been built over a hundred years ago.

Entry Gate: Dhangadi Gate

Best time to visit: Mid of November to Mid of June

Jhirna Zone

Jhirna was a farming village until 1994 when it was successfully relocated under Project Tiger. The abandoned farmland is gradually reverting to a wild state and is being managed to develop grassland habitat. The nearby terrain consists of numerous sots and narrow gorges running through typically Shiwalik landscape. The hills to the north of Jhirna are covered with dense patches of bamboo. Apart from being a good habitat for tiger, leopard, and deer, the place hosts other interesting mammals like sloth bear and wild boar. A variety of birds can also be enjoyed here.

Entry Gate: Jhirna Gate

Best time to visit: October to June End

Bijrani Zone

The area in and around Bijrani once formed part of a shooting block. During the British period it was much famed for the quality of game hunting that it offered to shikaris. In comparison to Dhikala, the terrain at Bijrani is drier and also has more diverse vegetation.

Entry Gate: Amdanda Gate

Best time to visit: Mid of October to June End

Durga Devi Zone

Durga Devi Zone is the best place for those who are fond of bird watching. Be it a Grey-Headed Fishing Eagle, Black Chinned Yuhina, Maroon Orile, Crested Laughing Thrushor a Long Tailed Broadbill, you name it and the Durga Devi Zone has it. Besides this, it is the very zone in Corbett where the endangered Mahsheer fish come for breeding.

***Apart from these zones, there is one more area that catches the eyeballs of tourists.

Entry Gate: Durga Devi Gate

Best time to visit: Mid of November to Mid of June

Sitabani

Sitabani Zone doesnʼt fall under the Corbett Tiger Reserve. This zone is famous for its temple and various avifauna species; thus, visitors enjoy great birding experience. One doesnʼt need any prior permission to enjoy jeep or elephant safari in Sitabani.

Best time to visit: October to June End

Safari Timing in Corbett

Be it jeep, elephant or canter safari, you can enjoy all of these in Corbett. Here is a table to brief you about which type of safari visitors can enjoy in different zones.

Jeep Safari

For enjoying jeep safari in Corbett, one needs to get prior reservations from the park authorities depending on availability status & for long holiday weekends it is advisable to book your Jeep safaris in well advance (at least 01 month prior) to avoid any chance of unavailability. Jeep Safari is the safest mode of enjoying wildlife tour inside the national park.

Elephant Safari

Elephant safari in Corbett provides a closer view of wildlife to the tourists. It covers all those corners that canʼt be accessed via jeep safari. For elephant safari you donʼt need to make any prior bookings, it can be done on first come first serve basis.

 

Canter Safari

Canter Safari in Corbett is the best option for those who reside outside the Dhikala Zone and wish to sight the wildlife of the area. Canter is a 16 seater open air bus that drives from Ramnagar to Dhikala and then back to Ramnagar. For canter safari also one needs to make prior booking.

When visiting the Corbett National Park:

  • Follow the rules, for e.g., do not walk around if you are not permitted to do so
  • Wear clothes in shades of brown and green as they are less disturbing to the environment
  • Avoid wearing perfumes and do not smoke in restricted areas.
  • Animals are extremely weary of the human voice. Don’t make noise, don’t play music and please don’t honk car horn.
  • Carry Personal medication and insect repellent
  • Carry Binoculars, Cameras, film rolls along with books and other reading material
  • Don’t leave behind any litter and plastic bags are big hazards for animals
  • Comfortable walking shoes are appropriate than the fashionable ones
  • For winter travel heavy woolens are a must, especially for open jeep safaris. Cotton are apt for summer months
  • Rain Gear is essential for the monsoons and

Find about the habits of the animal you want to see beforehand, to avoid disappointment.