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Corbett National Park

Introduction

Pack more wildlife into your trip. After Ranthambore, get set to say hello to more tigers at the Corbett National Park, yet another bio-diversity hotspot on Indias wildlife map .History tells us that Corbett  at one time served as Corbett National Parkthe hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Rewa.It is  at present  a famous natural hub for White Tigers. Tigers  played havoc among  human and cattle population in the beginning of the 20th century and  the first man-eaters came to surface. Soon the numbers of these man-eaters increased for which  Kumaon hit the headlines. The area was initially named as the  Hailey National Park. It was renamed the Corbett National Park in 1957 and declared a Tiger reserve in 1973. Project Tiger was launched and the Jim Corbett National Park was formed - the name a tribute to  the famous hunter of the past, Jim Corbett. Visit Corbett and you are transported to a world of tigers, diverse forms of wildlife and natural beauty.


The National Park

The first stop is at the Corbett National Park, where various forms of flora and fauna come together to live in perfect harmony with the natural environment. Local grasslands called the Chaurs, Shisham and Khair trees and deciduous forests constitute the Corbett greenery cover. Several mammals, birds and reptiles inhabit the wildlife sanctuary. The jungle safaris at Corbett offer the opportunity of spotting the Sloth Bear, the Spotted Deer and elephants, among other fauna. A special mention must be made of the White Tiger, a rare species.The Tiger,  has,  over time come to represent  the face of the National Park. The Reserve is also a bird watchers paradise as it is home to over 500 species of  birds , that are in large part migrant. Reptiles and fishes are also a  part of the natural environment. Visit Corbett, it's worth the trip!
The Corbett National Park has five tourism zones - Dhikala, Bijrani, Jhirna, Lohachaur and Sonanadi wildlife sanctuary.


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Dhikala

Dhikala Forest Lodge, Corbett National ParkAt the heart of the Park is the The Dhikala zone that provides tourist  accommodation.  The Forest Rest Houses of Gairal, Sultan, Khinanauli, Sarapduli, and Kanda provide booking facilities. Confirmed bookings are an advantage. Only in the last few years has a conducted day visit to the Dhikala tourist complex been organized by the park authorities. One must remember that accommodation is limited which means that  only a limited number of tourists have access to the Park at a given time. Just outside the complex is the chaur or grasslands which merge with the sal forests. The chaur, the river, and the surrounding forests are prime wildlife viewing areas as they are home to herds of chital, hog deer and elephants. Tigers are also concentrated in the zone.  Elephant safaris are the best part of the Corbett experience . A library dedicted to books on wildlife and wildlife movie shows are part of the recreation facilities that Corbett has to offer.


Garjia Temple

Garjia Temple, Corbett National ParkReligion is also part of the Corbett trip , with a stop at the Garjia temple as part of the tour itinerary. The Garjia temple is a tourist attraction in the vicinity of Corbett National Park. Around  14 kms. from Ramnagar,on the way to Ranikhet, a huge rock springs from the midst of a river Kosi. The sacred rock has been named Garjia Devi after the deity. The temple serves as a site of worship for thousands of devotees from different parts of the state. A large fair is held on the temple premises on Kathie Purnima day. Garjia Devi Temple is 14 kms from the Ramnagar bus terminus.



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Bijrani

Bijrani is the tourist zone adjacent to the Jhiran area.It is home to a variety of avian fauna and elephants.It also has a more diverse vegetation cover. Four different species of deer are also known to inhabit the park, the  spotted deer being the star attraction The Sambar and  Kakkar, also known as the barking deer, have also made the Bijrani range their home. Creepy-crawlies are also part of the wilderness, what with reptiles such as the  King Cobra,  the python making their presence felt. The Bijrani area is also home to the sloth bear. They are drawn to  the sweet nectar of Mahua flowers the bears true to their name, have often been observed in an inebriated state when the Mahua ferments in their stomachs. Sal Tortoises are seen floating  around their natural habitats-the water holes. Jeep safaris take you through the wilderness, so you have every reason to look forward to the ride.


Jhirna

Jhirna is a rest house in the southern region of the park. Jhirna was essentially farming land till 1994 and then incorporated under the Project Tiger area. Efforts are being made to cultivate grassland habitats for tiger. Jhirna is also a natural habitat for the leopard and the deer, the sloth bear and wild boar. Birds also add to the wildlife variety.


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Corbett Wildlife Museum

A stop at  the Corbett Widlife Museum offers an  insight into the life of  a man who espoused the cause of  Tiger conservation in India. The small museum is located in Nainital , Uttaranchal and is a tribute to Jim Corbett. He emerged as a key crusader for tiger conservation at a time when tiger hunting was a popular sport for royalty and colonisers alike. He managed to vanquish as many as ten man eaters. His other key contribution lies in the founding of  the Wildlife Preservation Society. The village of  Chota Haldwan  and its people  are vividly described in Corbett's books . His sister was instrumental in his well-known works such as the Man-eaters of Kumaon, The Temple Tiger and  My India .The museum is a valuable storehouse of information on Jim Corbett and bears testimony to his remarkable contributions to the cause of wildlife conservation in India.


When to visit

The Corbett National Park is open from October to June so make sure you plan your trip accordingly.

How to get there

By Air : Phoolbagh, Pantnagar at a distance of 50 km is the nearest airport. Delhi at a distance of 300 km is the nearest international airport.
By Rail : Ramnagar is on the broad gauge track from where the road transport options have to be availed to reach the park.By Road, Dhikala is 300 km from Delhi, the capital  of India.



Accommodation

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Accommodation worries may be set aside as Corbett National Park has several guest houses to make provisions for its tourists. Accommodation options point to deluxe hotels and standard class hotels located on the periphery of the park, that offer a splendid view of the mountains. Forest lodges are another option. Try Infinity Resort and Claridges Riverside Resort for deluxe class.



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