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Uttarakhand: Corbett National Park and Tiger Reserve Forests - A Traveller's Guide
Corbett National Park and Tiger Reserve Forests
Visiting Season: November- May.
Sanctuary is open: During 15th November- 15th June.
The Corbett National Park was formed very recently in 1935. It was popularly known during that time as Hailey National Park which was named after the name of the Governor of that period, Sir Malcolm Hailey. Later on, in 1957 the captivating National Park was named as Corbett National Park according to the name of the veterinary physician and hunter, Jim Corbett. After Indian independence, the National Park was famously known as Ramganga National Park. The National Park became the first Tiger Reserve Forest of India on 1st April, 1973. According to the statistics, the Corbett National Park is the homeland of 138 tigers.
A lot of restrictions, however, have been imposed on the tourists who want to get into the National Park to witness the riveting natural background. The Dhangarhi Gate at Dhikala, located at a distance of 18 km towards the northern side Ramnagar- Ranikhet road, remains open for the hordes of holiday makers during 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. Bicycles, scooters and motor cycles are not permitted to go inside the territory of the National Park. Private Jeeps, nevertheless, are allowed. You can hire a Jeep for a comfortable and enjoyable journey spending approximately 1200 rupees. A guide would assist you to know the National Park properly. Tourists have to pay extra bucks for carrying movie camera inside the forest. Still cameras, however, can be taken inside without paying anything. You have to show a consent letter at the Dhangiri Gate while entering into the woodland. Buses travel deep inside the forest from the Dhangiri Gate, about 18 km away from Ramnagar. Don’t forget to collect the “Clearance Certificate” from the reception center while returning back. You have to submit it at the Dhangiri Gate. The day visitors are not allowed to go to the Dhikala Range. Tourists who avail package tours and want to complete the trip of the forest on the same day get permission on the first come first serve basis. These tourists and nature lovers get the authorization to go to Bijrani which is located 8 km deep inside the forest through the Amdanda Gate, about 3 km away from Ramnagar. But, most of the tourists who visit Bijrani opine that the forest here is not as good as the other parts of the National Park.
Located at an elevation of 1210 meters, the Corbett Wildlife Sanctuary is covering a wide territory of 525.8 square km and is spread across Kumaon and Garhwal districts, atop the Shivalik Himalayan range. Later on, the volume of the sanctuary was increased to 1318 square km. The core terrain of the National Park, however, is covering only 521 square km of green manor. The Ramganga River is acting as a moat outside the forest around the northern and western terrains of the National Park. The water stream of the River hits at various scattered stones on its way and gives birth of a sweet melodious musical tune. The River is the only barricade between the districts, Kumaon and Garhwal as well.
Due to the installation of a dam on the Kalagarh River, the Ramganga water body was formed. It’s covering a sprawling 40 square km of area. Apart from its huge green manor, the Corbett National Park is pulling crowds from all over the world for tigers. Definitely tigers are the main enticements of the forest but other than tigers, elephants, crocodiles, hyena, foxes, deer, hog-deer, black bears, sloth bears, red foxes, boars, nilgai, sambars, leopards and turtles stroll in and around the forest freely. All these natural denizens enjoy their life in the shades of towering Sal and Shisham trees. Chir, palm, Pine and hundreds of species of other trees provide shelter to various species of colorful and animated animals. The surrounding soaring hills offer maximum protection to the land of Corbett and its very own natural denizens.
More than 50 species of mammals freely amble around the territory. Tourists can watch some of these interesting species while moving in and around the dark forest tracts. Hornbills, Oriole, Paradise Flycatcher and Spotted Dove are few noteworthy vivacious birds among 580 species that enjoy their living on the branches of the green trees of the Corbett National Park. Bird watchers, however, have to travel to the neighboring Bhakrakot Village to gaze at the maximum numbers of native and indigenous birds. These dynamic birds greet every tourist and nature lover with their charming melodious songs. The species of reptiles in the National Park entertain holiday makers as well.
14 observation towers are scattered across the Corbett National Park. Tourists who climb up any of these towers get the opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring natural wonder and various kinds of wondrous species of denizens and birds. To take pleasure in the natural setting of the forest, there is no substitute of booking a seat for the elephant safari. The journey to various appealing corners of the forest riding on elephant starts twice a day, at 6:30 a.m. and at 4:30 p.m. Tourists who want to explore and enjoy the charisma of the forest to the fullest can hire their own car which starts from Dhikala Forest office. Hiring a guide alongside would assist you to know the forest in a better way. Nature lovers and tourists, however, have to follow strictly all the guidelines that are put into practice by the forest authority. Olive green and Khaki colored dresses are preferred. White, red and bright colored dresses are not allowed. It’s advisable to carry drinking water, binocular and a cap alongside. Smoking is strictly prohibited inside the forest compound. Tourists always have to keep in mind that “walking can be suicidal” in the forest. The grassland, placed at a height of 10 feet, is a free strolling paradise for elephants and wildlife animals. But, it’s really tough to even catch a glimpse of tiger on the green lands of the wildlife National Park.
Blooming Polash flowers (Butea Monosperma) spread colors at various spots of the riveting Corbett National Park. Various kinds of colorful flowers attract countless numbers of birds to the forest. Different kinds of wild flowers decorate the entire territory of the woodland marvelously. A library inside the forest can be seen as well. Wildlife feature films can be seen at Dhikala for free. Hot days of May sometimes cause some problems but nights of the month of May are pleasing. Humidity, nevertheless, creates a lot of problem all over the year. Swarms of holiday makers can enjoy cool breeze inside the forest though.
The main entrance of the forest is Dhangari Gate but there are a number of other doorways as well. The Amdanda Gate, about 3 km away from Ramnagar, is the best entrance through which Bijrani (the deep forest land) can be accessed. Bijrani is not more than 7 km away from the Amanda Gate of Corbett.
The Jim Corbett Museum in the house of Kaladhungi, amidst the well-spread-out Sal and Litchi trees, is rich in collection. Jim Corbett, (born in 1975) used to stay in this house during 1907- 1939. The shrine of the favorite dog of Jim Corbett is placed on the premise of this historical house. The assortments of letters, pictures and stuffed animals, kept and maintained in the museum, impress tourists on any given day.
The beautiful Corbett waterfall draws attention and is located at a distance of 3 km away from the Kaladhungi house.
Kaladhungi has few notable hotels (Forest Rest House, Tourist Rest House and Camp Corbett) where tourists can stay overnight at.
If you have time, then it’s suggested to visit Moradabad which is famous in the close proximity for its signature brass items. The artistic works on these brass utensils are laudable. The holy Jumma mosque, the tomb of Nawab Azmat Ullah Khan and Church are few of the sought after tourists’ attractions nearby on the banks of the Ram Ganga. These interesting and charming places are located towards the northern side of the shattered fort of Moradabad.
Moradabad is well connected to various spots of North India both by buses and by trains.
Tourists can book rooms for them at Moradabad in various hotels, such as, Rahi Tourist Bungalow, Maharaja Hotel, Basera, Rajan, Sher-e-Punjab, Chowla Residency, Paradise, Prince and Mansarovar.
Another neighboring admirable destination is Ramnagar, about 241 km away towards the north- eastern side of Delhi. The British Commissioner, H Ramsay (1856- 1884) had lent a hand to built the city of Ramnagar. Ramnagar is the nearest railway station and a prominent business hub of Corbett. The Head quarter of the forest authority has been set up in Ramnagar. During January- February, the Vasant Utsav is celebrated in Ramnagar. The festivity pulls huge crowds to Ramnagar every year.
Buses regularly ply to Dhikala from Ramnagar. Special cars are arranged by the Kumaon Motor Owners’ Union to Corbett. Pantnagar, about 135 km away from Ramnagar, is the nearest airport of Ramnagar. Ramnagar is well connected to Almora, Ranikhet, Nainital, Moradabad, Delhi, Lucknow, Dehradun, Hardwar, Kathgodam and Halduani by bus.
The notable hotels of Ramnagar are Tourist Holiday Resort, Bharat, Mayur, Everest, Banawari, Bangari and Govind.
How to reach Corbett: Trains regularly travel to Moradabad, the nearest railway station of Corbett, from Kathgodam, Bareilly, Saharanpur, Shahjahanpur, Lucknow, Delhi, Kolkata, Amritsar, Firozpur, Rajgir, Allahabad, Chandigarh and many more places.
Where to stay at Corbett: Corbett Jungle Club, The Den, Safari Park Resort, Wild Trail River View, Infinity Resort, Corbett Country Resort, La-Parle Resort, New Forest Rest House, Tourist Hutment, Log Hut, Green Hut and Old Forest Rest House.
Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.