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A Travel Guide to the Jim Corbett National Park

Named after Jim Corbett, the legendary tiger hunter and enchanting writer who put Kumaon on the mental map of people with his book, 'The Man-eaters of Kumaon', this is India's first national park and one of the best in Northern India to see nature at its closest. Today, tiger sightings here take a lot of luck with some 150 odd tigers in the sanctuary. The best chance of spotting one will be between April and June as the animals come out in search of water. Whether you sight a tiger or not, it is guaranteed that no wildlife enthsiast will leave this place disappointed. Commonly seen wildlife include wild elephants, sambars, leopards, mugger crocodiles, gharials, sloth bears and many more. Here is a travel guide to the Corbett National Park for you. The park is open throughout the year but the best time to visit is between November 15 and June 15 when all the tourism zones of the the park are accessible.

How to Reach

How to Reach

Corbett, in Nainital district of Uttarakhand is normally accessed from the town of Ramnagar which is accessible by train from Delhi. If you are interested in the life of Jim Corbett, do visit his house, near Ramnagar, which has now been converted into a museum. Read more here.

Pic Credit: Wiki Commons

Dhikala zone - The Core Area

Dhikala zone - The Core Area

Corbett national park is divided into 5 different zones - Bijrani, Dhikala, Domunda, Jhirna and Sonanadi. Dhikala is the highlight as it is the core area of the jungle and one of the few core areas in India where you can stay overnight. This zone is open from November 15 to June 15. Be sure to check out the view of the valley from the watchtower near Dhikala.

Pic Credit: Wiki Commons

Safari
 

Safari

Jeep Safari  - Arguably the most popular mode of viewing the national park, Jeeps are organised by various parties like tour companies, resorts or lodges where you are staying or from Ramnagar where you can rent jeeps from various travel agencies. Jeep safaris will last for 2.5 to 3 hours and will be conducted twice in a day. One in the mornings and the other in the afternoon. Jeep safaris in the Dikhala zone are allowed only for people who are staying there overnight.

Pic Credit: Wiki Commons

Elephant Safari

Elephant Safari

The obvious advantage of this safari is that an Elephant can go to places where a jeep can't. Organized twice a day, this safari starts from Dhikala. You can go for an elephant ride, see documentaries at Dhikala, visit the museum or just soak in the wild environment.

Pic Credit: netlancer2006

 

Bus Safari

Bus Safari

Enjoy this open bus ride which operates from the Dhikala zone. This is accessible for tourists not staying within the park's core zone. It approximately lasts for 6 hours with pickup points at Ramnagar and Dhangari gate.

Pic Credit: wribs

Lodging

Lodging

Dikhala and Gairal are the most sought after zones for lodging. Advance booking can be done on the tourism office on Barakhamba Road, New Delhi. The Dikhala forest rest house is always in demand and a maximum stay of 3 nights is permitted. Electric fences are present around the housing area to ward off animals. It is advisable to stay inside the National Park.

Pic Credit : wribs

Outside the Core Zone

Outside the Core Zone

One can also look at staying in the numerous lodges and hotels outside the core zone on the road running north south between Sitabani reserve and Corbett National park. There is the option of camping too and there are several good camps. Here are more options of staying.

Pic Credit: Koshy Koshy

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