About Corbett National Park.
How to Reach.
Safari & Timing.
Facilities Corbett National Park.
Nearby Tourist Attractions.
About Corbett National
The Corbett National
Park just short of 300 km northeast of Delhi, cradled in the
foothills of the Himalaya's in the state of Uttrakhand in the
North India. It is India's first national park and also one of
This park has quite a history. Long ago, on the banks of the
river Ramganga, there lived a flourishing community. Today,
some evidence of their culture is found in fragments of
terra-cotta and the remains of their temples along the river.
This community lived by clearing some of the forest in the
duns (valleys) and had to fight a constant battle to keep
their farmlands free from the invading jungle.
The First in a Series:
The 40 years following the arrival of the British in
this area in 1820 were disastrous. Trees were felled
mercilessly for timber and these virgin forests were
devastated. It was a Major Ramsay who took the first real
systematic measures which, in years to follow, were to restore
the forests to their former health.
Cattle stations were removed, cultivation was stopped, a
fire-fighting force was established and, most important, the
removal of timber without a license was totally prohibited.
Then in 1907, the possibility of creating a game sanctuary in
this area was first mooted, but was rejected outright. Two
forest officers, E.R. Stevens and his successor, E.A. Smythies,
were to take up this cause again. However, it was only later,
when Smythies was conservator that he consulted Major Jim
Corbett who knew this area well, regarding the possible
boundaries for a proposed national park.
During the 1930s, tiger shooting was in vogue and many a
viceroy, governor-general and other dignitary visited this
area - the famous terai and bhabar tracts of the then United
Provinces - to bag their tigers from elephant-back and high
machans in elaborate tamashas (entertainments): tiger shoots.
However, it was through the efforts of other hunters, the true
conservationists, who abhorred this form of sport and
massacre, that Sir Malcolm Hailey, then Governor of the United
Provinces, keenly accepted the recommendation that an area of
99.07 sq miles (256.59 sq km) be set aside for the park. Thus,
on Aug. 8, 1936, the Hailey National Park, India's first, was
Tribute to an Enlightened Hunter: In 1952, a few years after
India attained independence, the park's name was changed to
Ramganga National Park, after the life-giving Ramganga river
that flows through almost the whole length of it. In 1957, it
was renamed once more, Corbett National Park, in honor and
memory of the late Jim Corbett, the legendary,
hunter-naturalist turned author and photographer who had
helped in demarcating the park's boundaries and setting it up.
it was in this area that he had shot the dreaded "maneaters,"
the notorious Kanda Maneater being one of them. His books on
these thrilling, true-life adventures, The Maneaters of Kumaon
and The Maneating Leopard of Rudraprayag, are perennial
best-sellers, well-known all over the world.
The man who had influenced Jim Corbett most to hang up his
guns and take to the camera was a forest officer, F. W.
Champion, the pioneer of wildlife photography in India
In the late 1960's and the early 1970's, the world was hit by
the awareness that the Indian tiger ( Panthera Tigers ) was on
the brink of extinction and that of an estimates 40,ooo at the
turn of the centaury. less than 2000 survived in the wild. A
far reaching project was envisaged. Its philosophy was that,
if the tiger and its habitat were totally protected in tiger
reserves, then other species of fauna and flora too would
flourish as nature would maintain her own balance. Thus, with
the help of the World Wildlife Fund, Project Tiger was
launched at Dhikala in the Corbett National Park on Apr. I,
1973. This National Park was one of the first tiger reserves
along with seven others in the country; today, there are 15
such reserves. The tiger census for 1984 reveals that there
are now 4005 tigers in India.
The Corbett National Park or just "Corbett" as it is also
popularly known is situated in the hilly districts of Pauri
Garhwal and Nainital of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
It lies between latitude 29° 13' North and 29° 35' North . and
longitude 78° 33' East and 78° 46' East. The park comprises an
area of 201 sq miles, (520.6 sq km). Of this, an area of 123.5
sq miles (320 sq km) is the core - the sanctum, where no kind
of disturbance is permitted. There is a move to expand the
park by another 425 sq miles (l100 sq km). After that an area
of 116 sq miles (300 sq km) added to the northern area of the
park. This expansion is keenly sought after by
conservationists as it will link the park with other forests
through corridor's. This is important to help the overflow of
animals to level out, prevent inbreeding and ensure that
viable gene pools are maintained.
The area in the Himalayan foothills in which the park is
situated is known as the South Patlidun. In elevation the park
ranges between 1312 feet (400 meters) at its lowest to 3970
feet (1210 meters) at its highest. Corbett is, in fact, a
large valley with its long axis from east to west. Through
this valley run three thickly forested ridge systems roughly
parallel to one another and in the same direction. Small
offshoots of these ridges run north to south and the valleys
formed in between are known as sots. The ridge to the north
forms the boundary of the park in that direction and Kanda,
the highest point, with its magnificent panoramic view of the
park is here.
Between the northern ridge and the median ridge which is the
longest is the Ramganga river, which enters the park from the
northeast, flows through the park into the reservoir and makes
its exit at Kalagarh towards the southwest. The southern ridge
is a bit lower and this area of the park is drier and is
notable for its more deciduous type of vegetation and its own
A topographic change of significance that took place in the
park was the inundation of 16 sq miles (42 sq km) of prime
habitat when almost a tenth of the park's area was lost to the
waters of a multipurpose hydel dam at Kalagarh. This is the
largest earthern dam in Asia and lies at the southwestern
fringe of Corbett. The construction of the dam certainly was
not in the best interest of the park. Conservationists had
feared that the changes that would come with such a dam would
bring about adverse effects but the changes by and large have
been absorbed by the remarkable resilience of nature.
The waters first started to fill up in 1974. In 1976, when
they had inundated a greater part of the reservoir, the
elephant migration routes linking the park with the western
and northwestern reserved forests were cut off. Not for long
though. Those great, accomplished surveyors of gradients and
trailblazers soon established other routes. There was a shift
of animals from the affected areas to higher ground. There
will also be changes that are less apparent at this stage and
though some research has been done, much more is needed and is
planned to study these changes in detail. The lake, besides
just its scenic charm, has added to the park in a few ways. A
large number of species of water birds, both migrants and
others, have begun to frequent its waters, though mainly in
winter. Crocodiles - both the long-snouted, fish-eating
gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) and the mugger (Crocodylus
palustris) have found new homes here and their numbers have
increased. They can often be seen sunning themselves on the
For anglers too the lake is a paradise. Sporting fish such as
the mahseer (Barbus tor) and malee (Wallago allu), abound in
the lake and in the river. The mahseer is a well-known
fighting fish. Fishing with rod and line is allowed if a
permit is first obtained. Fishing in the river, however,
offers greater pleasure as well as good exercise to the
sportsman who is called upon to pit his skill to outwit the
mighty mahseer. The lake offers better fishing perhaps, but
lacks the thrill and sport of the river.
Over 50 mammal, 580 bird and 25 reptile species have been
list~d in Corbett. The insect life in itself is astounding and
though not much work has been done in this respect even the
layman will be amazed at its abundance, mainly after the
Pug marks are seen in abundance on the roadsides, paths
and animal trails. It's by tracing these pug marks, which bear
individual characteristics, that the estimated population,
which has shown a marked increase from 40 in 1972 to 90 tigers
in 1984, is known. 164 Tigers in 2009.
Leopards (Panthera pardus) are found in the hilly areas of the
park. They do sometimes venture into the lower jungles but at
much risk to themselves from tigers. There have been many
cases of leopards being killed and eaten by tigers. The
leopard is, however, a great survivor and can sustain itself
on even small birds and rodents. The lesser cats such as the
leopard cat (Fe/is bengalensis horsfieldi), the jungle cat (Felis
chaus), the rare fishing cat (Felis viverina) and some others
are found here, but being nocturnal are rarely seen. The sloth
bear (Melursus ursinus) is found in the Bijrani-Malani areas
of the park. It can be seen on the roadsides in the early
morning or late evening, busily demolishing termite mounds for
the grubs, or in the mahwa (Madhura indica) trees, relishing
the sweet sticky flowers, which ferment in the hot season and
The Himalayan black bear (Selenarctos thibetanus) is seen in
the higher hills towards Kanda but only rarely and that too in
the cold winters.
The dhole (Cuon a/pinus), the wild dog, is also rare and seen
in the southern areas of Corbett towards Bijrani. The jackal (Canis
aureus) is commonly seen around all the campus areas. During
the fawning season, jackals are most active and can be seen
killing and carrying off newly dropped chital fawns.
The yellow-throated marten (Martes .f/avieula flavieula), the
Himalayan palm civet (Paguma larvata grayi), the Indian gray
mongoose (Herpestes dwardsi), the common otter (Lutra lutra
montieola) and the blacknaped hare (Lepus nigrieo/lis
rufieaudatus) are some of the smaller resident mammals. The
porcupine (Hystrix indica) can also be seen at night near the
garbage dumps of the campus at Dhikala.
Elephants (E/ephas maximus) are. one of the main attractions
of Corbett. The whole jungle belongs to them. It is
possible to see a herd or even a lone tusker crossing the
road. Corbett's elephants by and large are well behaved, but
one must always remember that, "Elephants have the right of
way." The park's elephant population varies from about 200 to
300 and more in summer, when the sub-herds amalgamate and form
Of the four species of deer that are found here are the chital
(Axis axis), the wellknown spotted deer and considered one of
the most beautiful in the world. This is one of the chief prey
animals of the carnivora. A smaller cousin of the chital, the
para (Axis porcinus) is found in the more open grassland and
riverain areas. The sambar ( Cervus unicolor) is the largest
Asiatic deer and is sought after by the larger adult tigers of
the park. The kakkar (Muntiacus muntjak), also called the
barking deer, is the smallest of the four. Nervous and shy, it
warns the jungle's denizens of danger with its hoarse,
The Goat-antelopes are represented by the ghoral (Nemorhaedus
goral) in Corbett. Ghorals can be spotted on a drive up the
hilly road to Kanda.
Wild boar (Sus serofa) are found in the forests as well as
in the grasslands, sometimes seen in sounders of 10 to 30
pigs. Even the tigers respect the large male boars. In
encounters sometimes, tigers are known to have been killed by
a large male wild boar. The Langur (Presby tis entellus) and
the rhesus (Macaca mulatta) are well distributed throughout
the park and also warn the jungle with their alarm calls, when
they see either tiger or It';opard from their tree-top perches.
HOW TO REACH
CORBETT NATIONAL PARK
Corbett National Park By
Patanagar airport is the nearest airport to Corbett National
Park. It is a domestic airport at a distance of nearly 50 km
from Corbett National Park and a cab will charge about Rs 1000
for travel from airport to Corbett. Nearest International
airport is New Delhi, which is about 260 km away and is well
connected to most of the major foreign cities.
Corbett National Park By Bus
Corbett National Park bus station connects to all nearby
cities by the public transport systems in Uttarakhand state.
Deluxe and semi deluxe buses can be availed from Delhi to
Corbett National park.
Corbett National Park By Train
Ramnagar railway station is the nearest railhead which is
about 60 km away. The station is well connected to many major
cities in India.
Elephant Safari - Corbett National Park
Starting Date : 15th
Nov to 15th June.
Rest of the Time Dhikala Gate is closed for the Visitors
The other gate Bizrani will open till 15 July and Jhirna gate
thru out the year.
WINTER (Oct to Jan)
MORNING - 06 : 30 to 10 : 30 AM,
EVENING - 01 : 30 to 5 : 30 PM
SUMMER SAFARI TIMING (Feb to June)
MORNING - 06 : 00 to 10 :00 AM
EVENING - 02 : 30 to 06 : 30 PM
Facilities - Corbett National
Park Safari by Jeep
Knowledgeable English Speaking Naturalist
Visit to Villages to experience local culture
Transfer facilities to and from Railway Station and Hotel
Transport Arrangements to any part of India by Ac / Non Ac Car
Accommodation Arrange at Hotel of your choice.
Assistance on arrival and departure
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