Jim Corbett national park and tiger reserve

pictures of elephants, maps, elephant safaris, how to reach Corbett, train to Ramnagar, staying at Dhikala

Corbett National Park - Monkeys Jim Corbett national park. An elephant safari into the grasslands and jungles searching for tiger or a herd of wild elephants is the highlight of any visit to Jim Corbett national park. The best way to see wildlife is on elephant back. An elephant safari allows travel deeper into the wilderness and to get very close to wildlife without scaring the animals away. Commonly observed wildlife includes the spotted deer, wild boars, sambar, barking deer, rhesus macaques, langur monkeys, peacocks and herds of wild elephants. Corbett is a paradise for birdwatcher's, containing over 580 different species of birds.

Corbett Tiger Reserve - Elephant The primary purpose of the Corbett tiger reserve is to save the animals and plants of the Ramganga river valley, particularly the tiger and the fish eating gharial crocodile. The 2003 census of Corbett tiger reserve indicates that there are close to 150 tigers at Corbett tiger reserve, a spectacular increase since 1976, when 44 tiger were estimated to live inside the reserve. Both the muggar (Indian marsh crocodile, also known as mugger) and gharial, a species of fish-eating crocodile, are present in the park. It is estimated that 16 muggar and 4 gharials were present in the park during 1974. Numbers are increasing with the release of 250 young gharial reared in captivity between 1982 and 1994, and now that the muggar population breeds in the Ramganga reservoir. A 1997 census counted 283 gharials and 301 muggars at Corbett.

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Corbett National Park

Corbett National Park Corbett is famous for the richness and diversity of its wildlife which included over 50 species of mammals and over 580 species of birds. The national park is an important refuge for the tiger, Indian elephant, wild dog, leopard cat, Indian pangolin and hog deer. All of which were once common throughout the terai of Uttar Pradesh but are now rarely seen outside the park. The terai (moist land) is a belt of marshy jungle and grassland stretching between the foothills of the Himalayas and the Indian plains, a large part of the terai is in Nepal. Corbett's avifauna is particularly interesting because of the overlap between the plains and high altitudes. The Ramganga river is a source of attraction to many winter migrant birds. A number of high altitude birds also visit the national park during winter. With altitudes at Corbett ranging from 400 meters to 1,200 meters above sea level, there is a rich variety of habitats. Nearly 73% of the park is covered by dense moist deciduous forest with a predominance of sal trees, accompanied by haldu, pipal, rohini and mango trees. While 10% of the core area is composed of grasslands in the valleys, which offer visitors a better view of Corbett's wildlife.

Photos of Corbett national park, click to enlarge.
All photos © Imtiaz Dharssi
monkeys Early morning mist Scenic view
elephant Mahout Imtiaz returning from an early morning safari. The elephant carries six passengers and the mahout, Corbett wildlife sanctuary, 1996.
Sambar deer Spotted deer A herd of wild elephants hiding in the long grass (honestly). Corbett tiger reserve, 1996.
Barking deer Sambar doe and fawns Jungle Termite mound, Corbett tiger reserve, 1996.

Jim Corbett national park is located in the state of Uttaranchal (a new state, formed in 2000, from the northern part of Uttar Pradesh state), India. The park is part of the Corbett tiger reserve which lies in the foothills of the Himalayas within the districts of Nainital, Pauri Garhwal, Almora and Binjore. Corbett tiger reserve covers an area of about 1,300 sq. km including about 500 sq. km of core area and 800 sq. km of buffer area. The core area forms the Corbett national park while the buffer area contains the Sonanadi wildlife sanctuary and reserve forests. Corbett tiger reserve forms the catchment area of the Ramganga, a tributary of the river Ganga.

Dhikala The park is the oldest national park on the Indian subcontinent, established in August 1936. It was originally called the Hailey national park after the then governor of United Province (Uttar Pradesh), Sir Malcolm Hailey. After independence, in 1947, the park was renamed the Ramganga national park. In 1957, the park was named the Jim Corbett national park in memory of the legendary hunter and conservationist, who was largely responsible for marking out the park boundaries and helped in setting up the park.

Dhikala in Corbett national park has the distinction of being the venue, during 1974, for the inauguration of Project Tiger, India's ambitious conservation program to save the tiger and its habitat. The creation of 9 tiger reserves, including Corbett, was announced. In 1972, India's tiger population had fallen to an all time low of 1,800. A 1993 census suggests that India's tiger population stands at 3,750. There are now 27 declared tiger reserves covering more than 37,700 sq km.

Travel information for visits to Corbett national park

Every year 70,000 people visit Corbett national park from India and abroad. The park is only open from mid November to mid June because monsoon rains wash away the roads during the other times of year. It is only by November that the roads are repaired and can be used again. The headquarters of Corbett tiger reserve is at the town of Ramnagar. The major accommodation inside Corbett national park is located at Dhikala.

Good Points about Corbett national park

  • Beautiful location with rich variety of wildlife, including tiger and elephant.
  • Elephant safaris allow wildlife to be seen from close up and are great fun.
  • Relatively easy to travel to Corbett because of the overnight train between Delhi and Ramnagar.

Bad Points about Corbett national park

  • Very popular with tourists, so demand for elephant safaris often exceeds availability.
  • Dormitory accommodation is basic and not particularly clean. You have to bring your own bed sheets.

Links to other information on Corbett national park

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