Corbett National Park
Situated in the picturesque Kumaon hills in Nainital district, Corbett National Park was the venue of the maiden launch of Project Tiger (1973).
The park has a core area of 520 sq. kms with picturesque hilly ridges covered by sal trees. Lower down are the grasslands and bamboo growth. A list of species reported from Corbett put the population at 582 species of birds, 26 species of reptiles, 7 species of amphibians and 50 species of mammals. The floral diversity is equally varied. The Park is named after the famous hunter and naturalist, Jim Corbett, who popularized this land and its animals in his book "The Man-Eaters of Kumaon". Corbett recounts many fascinating tales of hunting down man-eating tigers. Always a nature lover, he helped set up a sanctuary called Hailey Park in 1936. Eventually, an all India initiative for the protection of the Tiger was launched from here. The park has a high density of tiger population.
Wildlife Attractions in Corbett National Park
The Corbett Wildlife Sanctuary is an excellent and largely inviolate specimen of the rich sal and mixed woodland that spans the outer Himalayas. Because of its rich bio-geographic diversity, the Park is a natural haven for the flora and fauna of the plains, the sub mountainous regions and high altitude areas.
At the lower level are winding strips of alluvial grasslands or chaurs (beloved to many species of deer) crossed by numerous water courses. The lifeline of the Park is the sparkling Ramganga river which provides safe harbor to mahaseer fish, crocodile and otter. Stately stands of sal and diverse mixed forest cover hills and valleys, fodder and foliage for large herds of elephants. Sharp spurs in the terrain make it an idyllic habitat for shy species like the tiger. Some of the unique attractions of the park include
Corbett is one of the most congested parks in India with a ratio of 1 tiger to every 5 acres. Gullies, ravines and thick forest cover give tigers the right kind of habitat and herdes of deer, particularly the sambar, plenty of food. The tiger is reclusive, but can be somewhat predictable in its beat. You are more likely to spot a tiger close near a water body than to meet him or her accidentally on the forest path!
What warns you is the sharp tang of freshly crushed vegetation and the sound of leaves being torn. Spotting elephants in the wild is a raw, exhilarating experience. The Corbett Park is the best place in Northern India to observe them at fairly close quarters. About 300 - 350 Asiatic elephants roam around the park in herds, along the river Ramganga or foraging in the grasslands. The forests provide the elephants enough food. The elephant's daily diet is perked up with wild berries and fruits which are available in plenty.
The forests provide the elephants enough food. The elephant's daily diet is perked up with wild berries and fruits which are available aplenty.
The park, with its rich biogeographic diversity, is home to more than 600 species of birds - about half of the total species found in the entire Indian subcontinent! You can see parakeets, owls, orioles, drongos, thrushes, babblers, bulbuls, cuckoos, doves, bee eaters, rollers, flycatchers, warblers, robins, chats, finches, forktails, hornbills, kingfishers and many many more. It is also possibly one of the best places in the world for observing birds of prey. Many of these birds are migratory: The park forms a natural crossroad and meeting ground for avian species from high altitude areas, plains and eastern and western regions.
Corbett - A home for vanishing species
The protective environment of Corbett Park has kept some endangered species safe and thriving, like the hog deer which has been virtually saved from extinction. At last count, the numbers had increased substantially.
Corbett is also the only home of the rare Indian pangolin. Consider yourself supremely blessed if you spot one! The rare fish eating, long snouted gharial is a common sight on the banks of the river Ramganga.
Several species on the world hit list have been seen to be breeding happily in the park, at ease in Corbett's rich, life supporting bio diversity.
Take an early dawn elephant back safari with an authorized mahout guide. Jeep rides can be arranged at the Tourist Centre. Conducted bus tours of 4-5 hours are available at Bijrani and Dhikala. All visitors are required to obtain an entry permit, which is available from the park administration centre at Ramnagar.
The busy little market town of Ramnagar, situated on the south-eastern border of the park is the main administrative town and the base camp for visitors traveling to the Corbett National Park. The town also makes a good fishing base camp.
How to Get there
The nearest airport to Corbett National Park is Phoolbagh, Pantnagar which is at a distance of 80 km. The nearest international airport is at Delhi.Delhi is conveniently connected to major Indian and International cities through a number of daily flights. It is a good option to travel to Corbett from Delhi by a private four wheeler or train. Besides taking your own vehicle will also help you travel inside the park.
The nearest railway station is at Ramnagar, which can be accessed from Delhi through the Ranikhet Express (Dep. 10:50 PM, Arr. 4:35 AM). The journey from Delhi takes around 6-7 hrs. but be sure to get into the right part of the train as it bifurcates at Moradabad.
Dhikala is 300 km from Delhi, 145 km from Lucknow and 51 km from Ramnagar. The route from Delhi spans Hapur-Murababad-Ramnagar. The turn off is some 7 km beyond Muradabad to the left, marked by a small board. The route from Lucknow spans Bareilly-Kichha-Rudrapur-Doraha-Kashipur. To travel from Delhi, take the NH24 to Moradabad via Hapur and Gajraula, follow the state highway to Amdanda, Garija and Dhangarhi gates of the park via Kashipur and Ramnagar.
Distances from Major Cities
260 km (NE)
12 km (NE)
Travel Tips/Important Information
- The park has two main zones, the Bijrani range lies near Ramnagar and is the smaller of the two. The other larger range is known as Dhikala (entry through the Dhangari gate), where entry is permitted only to those who have an overnight stay permit at one of the five forest rest houses.
- Some of the main entry gates to the park are Dhangari gate (20 km from Ramnagar), Amdanda gate (2 km), Khara gate (20 km), Durgadevi gate (30 km), Vatanvasa gate (40 km from Kotdwar) and Teria gate.
- Park charges Entry Fee : Rs. 50 (Indians) & Rs. 400 (foreigners, 450 for overnight), Vehicle Entry : Rs. 750/day (heavy vehicles), Rs. 150/day (light) & Rs. 400/day (mini bus), Elephant Ride : Rs. 150 (Indians) & Rs. 250 (foreigners), Guide : Rs. 125/day/vehicle (Dhikala) & Rs. 100 (4 hr trip, Bijrani), Camera : Still free, Rs. 100 (video).
- Fishing is allowed at Ramganga, Kosi, Mandal and Kothri rivers. Fishing rods can be hired for Rs. 500/day.
- Reach half an hour before the entry gates open, to complete the required formalities.
- Wear clothes in shades of brown and light green to blend with the environs.
- Follow the rules of the park, avoid trespassing into restricted areas and do not wear strong perfumes.
- Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Carry woollens during winters and light cotton clothes during the summer season.
- To maximise your chances of spotting wild animals, get prior information about animal habits and be sure to take a guide along.
- Sunscreen lotion, sun hats, flash lights and mosquito repellent will be of much help.