Jim Corbett National Park can be befittingly called the paradise of Tigers for the fact that it holds a large population of tigers in its breathtaking landscapes that consists of different varieties of flora and fauna. Named after the legendary tiger hunter turned naturalist Jim Corbett (1875-1955), the proud destination 'Jim Corbett National Park' was the first national park of India, which was established in 1936 in the hill state of Uttarakhand in Northern India. It is one of the most famous wildlife destinations in India, visited by several wildlife enthusiasts who want to catch the glorious sights of the Indian tigers.
Identification: First and Oldest National Park in India
Objective: First Tiger Conservation Project in India (long tradition of conservation)
Established in: 1936 (as national park)
Location: Spread in Nainital and Pauri District, Ramnagar Town, Uttarakhand, India
Area: 1318.54 sq km
Core Area: 520.82 sq km
Buffer Area: 797.72 sq km
Altitude: 385 m - 1100 m above MSL
Longitude: 7805' E to 7905' E
Latitude: 29025'E to 29040' N
Annual Rainfall: 1400-2800 mm.
Temperature Range: 4°C in winter to 42°C during summer
Climate: temperate, throughout the year
Best Time: 15th November to 15th June
During its inception, the name of the park was Hailey National Park, which was rechristened afterwards in the honor of the great conservationist and naturalist Jim Corbett, who hunted down tigers that had turned man-eaters in Kumaon, Uttarakhand, between 1907 to 1939. Jim Corbett believed in the conservation of the ecosystem and wildlife, especially tigers and which is why Jim Corbett National Park was chosen as the venue for the inauguration of 'Save the tigers' project in India. Launched in 1973, one of the stated intents of Project Tiger is to maintain the ecological balance of nature and conserve extant ecosystems. The project seeks to establish a natural link between the wildlife & flora of national parks and sanctuaries and the humans living on their peripheries. It also seeks to create awareness about harm to environment and preservation efforts.
Spread across the districts- Nainital and Pauri, the Corbett National Park covers an area of 1288 sq. km, together with neighboring reserves- Sonanadi Wildlife Santuary and Reserve Forest. It is home to approximately 110 tree species, 50 mammals' species, 580 bird species, and 25 reptile species that are found both in the lower and higher regions of the park. The geographical location of this place that encloses streams, rivers, and ridges crisscrossing the terrain, makes Jim Corbett National Park a perfect habitat for numerous plant and animal species. The most famous of Corbett's wild residents are the Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Elephant, Leopards, Wild Boar, Sloth Bear, Jackal, Mongoose, and Crocodile.
Tourists from all across the world visit Jim Corbett National Park to view India's precious predators during the months of November to June, which is considered to be the best time to make a visit this park. It is during this time that visitors can explore the Indian wildlife through jungle safari, available from five different tourism zones…Dhikala, Bijrani, Domunda, Jhirna and Sonanadi,. Corbett also invites people for adventure activities like rock-climbing, rappelling, river-crossing and slithering, organized by the hotels & resorts located near Jim Corbett Park. The best thing about being in Corbett is that there is never a dull moment –once you are done with exploring the park you can head to the many interesting places sprinkled in and around Corbett like: Garjia Temple, Kyari Camp, Sitabani Temple, Sitabani Forest Reserve, Bijrani, Dhangari Museum, Corbett Water Falls, and Sunrise Point.
Summer (March to September): 19°C-46°C
Winter (October to February): 2°C-30°C
Best Time to Visit: January to March & November to December
Safari Options: Jeep, Elephant and Canter
Jim Corbett National Park is home to around 50 mammals, 577 birds and 25 reptiles.
Species of Birds are divided into 5 categories in Jim Corbett National Park:
Water-birds and Waterside-birds:
Cattle Egret, Black Neck Storks, Cattle Egret, Darter, Grey Heron, Cormorants, Graylag Geese, Large Pied Wagtail, White-Capped Redstart, Sandpipers, Snipe, Great black-headed Gull. There are about 15 kinds of duck and a variety of wagtails.
Birds of Prey:
Himalayan Vulture, peregrine falcon, booted hawk-eagle, steppe eagle, black eagle, osprey, Himalayan grey-headed fishing eagle, crested serpent eagle, black-winged eagle
Fish owl, Stone curlew, Great stone plover, Jungle nightjar, Franklin's nightjar, Scops owls
Green Pigeons, Hornbills, Barbets, Orioles, Drongos, Peafowl, Parakeetam, Babblers, Thruses, Red Junglefowl, White-crested kalij pheasant, Bulbus, Warblers, Tailor Bird, Robins, Chats, Redstarts, Bayas, Finches, Doves, Beasters, Open Ground Birds Black Partridge,
Indian Alpine Swift, Crested Swifts, the Dusky Crag Martin, Striated (or Red-rumpled) Swallows, the Indian Cliff Shallow, and the Wire-tailed Swallow
Barking deer, Sambar deer, Hog deer, Chital, Sloth, Himalayan black bears, Indian grey mongoose, otters, Yellow-throated martens, Himalayan goral, Indian pangolins, Langur and Rhesus macaques.
Prestine water of mountain streams in Jim Corbett National Park is home to multiple fish species namely Goonch (Bagarius bagarius), Indian trout (Barilius bola), Golden Mahseer (Tor putitora) and Rohu (Labeo rohita).
Garial crocodile, Mugger crocodile, Indian Python, King Cobra, Indian Pythons, Monitor Lizard, Turtles, Cobra, Tortise, Russell's Viper, Kraits
One of the biggest claims of Jim Corbett National Park is its vegetation. Sal (Shorea robusta), Sheesam (Dalbergia sissoo), Kanju (Holoptelea integrifolia), Ber (Zizyphus mauritians), Dhak (Butea monosperma), and Bael (Aegle Marmelos) are some of the trees which can be seen scattered in Jim Corbett National Park. Some of the grasses which can be seen in Jim Corbett National Park are Kansi, Themeda arundinacea, Baib or Bhabar, Narkul, Tiger Grass, Khus Khus and Spear Grass
Tourist can head to Jim Corbett during anytime of the year. Corbett is divided into 5 different zones and each zone has a different topography with different visiting period:
Jhirna Zone: Bestowed with the best scenic beauty, Jhirna is probably the best and most comfortable for tourists to see. This is the only zone in Jim Corbett National Park which remains open for throughout the year. Moreover, Jhirna is famous among the wildlife lovers for providing the sight of the wild bear.
Dhikala Zone: The best time to visit Dhikala zone is from 15th November till 15th June. Situated on the edges of Patil Dun, Dhikala zone is a good place to spot Bengal Tiger, Cheetahs, elephants, etc.
Bijrani Zone: The region of Bijrani Zone is blessed with mixed topography. Best time to visit the zone is from 1st October to 30th June. The probability of spotting a tiger in Bijrani Zone is more as compared to other zones of Jim Corbett National Park. It is easy to avail forest rest house accommodation at this zone.
Sonandi Zone: The zone remains open for tourist throughout the year though the best time to visit the park is from November till April. The sanctuary is located nearby Jim Corbett National Park. In Sonandi zone tourists can expect to see Asiatic Elephants, Tigers and many other species in their natural Habitat.
Durga Devi Zone: All thanks to its high elevation, Durga Devi zone is one of the most difficult treks to visit for the visitors. The park remains open from 15th November till 15th June. Its hilly topography and deep dark woody vegetation are quite favourable for witnessing several distinct species of birds. Mahasheer fishes which are quite popular in the world and can be seen here in large number. Here tourists can also enjoy Angling we well.
Blessed with breathtaking mountains and thrilling jungle, Jim Corbett National Park is a heaven for adventure and wildlife seekers. For adventurers, it has always been a great and fascinating experience to enjoy thrilling activities in Jim Corbett National Park. Other than the wildlife safari, tourist can indulge in many adventure activities like angling, river crossing, fishing, mountain climbing, rappelling, trekking, nature walk, jungle drives, etc.
Garjiya Devi Temple: This revered shrine is located on the bank of Koshi river amidst the Jim Corbett National Park. The temple is sacred to Garijiya Devi and is mostly visited by devotees during the Kartik Poornima (November – December).
Sitabani Forest Reserve: The place attracts millions of bird watchers every year. It is also to be the place where Goddess Sita rested during the exile, and an ancient temple dedicated to Sage Valmiki is also situated in the reserve.
Sitabani Temple: Located 20 kms. away from the Ramnagar, the temple is highly approached during the day of Ramnavami.
Corbett Museum: The area on which the museum is currently standing was once the home of Mr. Jim Corbett, who was a hunter in his early life. Don't forget to buy a memorabilia from here.
Dhangari Museum: Located at the entrance of Jim Corbett National Park, Dhangari Museum is a place to catch sight of Wildlife reserve's history. Here tourists can see the carcasses of animals that died naturally or in a fight, like tigers, Tusker, deer, leopard, crocodiles, etc.
Corbett Water Fall: This pristine waterfall is a treat for those who are looking for a peaceful time amidst the wilderness. Corbett waterfall is 25 km away from Ramnagar, it offers an opportunity to the nature lovers to camp and bask in the cherished silence.
Sunrise Point: This is the highest peak in the park. From the top of the point, tourist can see the scenic view of both Kosi and Ramganga rivers along with the encompassing area of Bhuwankhal village.
Following are the conservation programs which were stared in Jim Corbett National Park:
Project Tiger: Started in1973 by the Government of India
Crocodile Conservation Project: Initiated in 1976 with the support from United Nations Development Programme and Food and Agriculture Organization.
Project Elephant: The project was initiates in 1992 by Government of India Ministry of Environment and Forest.
The closest town from Corbett National Park is Ramnagar, which is well connected by road to places like Lucknow, Nainital, Ranikhet, Haridwar, Dehradun and New Delhi. Ramnagar is also an important connecting point whether you are travelling by train or air; if you are travelling by train from Delhi, there are overnight trains that arrive in Ramnagar by dawn, which you can take advantage of in case you want to explore the park and return home the same day.
By Air: The closest domestic airport is Pantnagar Airport, which is 80 km away. New Delhi is the nearest International airport.
By Train: Ramnagar (5 km), which is the nearest railway station, is well connected to all major Indian cities.
By Bus: The Park is connected to all major destinations within and outside the state by motorable roads. Visitors can easily hire a private taxi or state-owned buses to arrive at the park.
Distance from the major cities: