Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve
Established as Hailey National Park in 1936, Corbett National Park is the first national park in India. It was renamed Corbett National Park in 1957 after the famous hunter turned naturalist Jim Corbett.
Jim Corbett is located on the foothills of Himalayas in Uttarakhand, spread over three districts, viz. Pauri, Nainital and Almora. It is spread over a vast area of 1318 sq km, out of which 520 sq km is the core area. This was amongst the first few national parks to be brought under the Project Tiger in 1973.
Corbett is one of the noted reserves to spot tigers in India. According to a tiger population estimate at Corbett, there could be around 250 tigers in the forest. Explore the reserve to spot leopard, barking deer, sambar deer, langur and many other mammals.
With more than 500 resident and migratory bird species, Corbett has been a favourite haunt of birdwatchers. Paradise flycatcher, crested serpent eagle and parakeets are the commonly seen birds here.
Bijrani, Dhikala, Jhirna, Dhela, Durga Devi and Sonanadi are designated as core zones. The most popular ones are Bijrani and Dhikala.
The Park is bisected by the Ramganga river and Koshi river along with many of their tributaries. Ramganga river creates a large reservoir called Kalagarh Dam which is situated within the park.
The core area of Corbett National Park has been divided into six different zones for tourists.
1. Bijrani Zone
This is a very popular tourist hub because of its prolific natural beauty. Entry to the Bijrani zone is through Amdanda gate, located almost 1 km away from Ramnagar city.
This area is preferred for day-visits and is known for its excellent wildlife tracking by jeep safari.
2. Dhikala Zone
Dhikala is known to be the largest zone in Corbett National Park and is famous for its rich wildlife and excellent scenic beauty.
Entry to this zone is through Dhangari gate which is around 18 km away from Ramnagar city.
To enjoy jeep safari in this zone, you need to stay in one of the four Forest Rest Houses (FRHs) within the park, namely Dhikala FRH, Gairal FRH, Sarpduli FRH, Sultan FRH.
Dhikala is open for tourists from 15th November to 15th June and remains closed during monsoon season. This is the perfect place to spot crocodiles and gharials relaxing on the banks of the Ramganga river.
If you couldn’t manage to book your stay in any of the Forest Rest Houses, try booking a canter ride for a day visit in Dhikala.
3. Jhirna Zone
Jhirna is another important tourist zone of Corbett National Park. It is open for tourists round the year.
Entry to Jhirna zone is through Dhela gate which is located at a distance of 16 km from Ramnagar city.
4. Dhela Zone
Dhela is a newly developed eco-tourism zone, created in November 2014. This zone attracts large numbers of tourists because of the abundant flora and presence of varied species of birds. It is open for tourists throughout the year.
5. Durga Devi Zone
Highly recommended zone for those who are fond of bird watching. The entry gate is located almost 36 km away from Ramnagar.
You can also spot the legendary freshwater fish Mahseer and Golden Mahseer in the water streams passing through the forest.
6. Sonanadi Zone
Sonanadi range is located in Sonanadi wildlife sanctuary and you can reach there through Vatanvasa gate. This zone boasts of the presence of more than 500 distinct species of birds.
7. Sitabani Zone
Sitabani forest is a buffer zone which means it isn’t considered a part of the core area of the park. Legend has it that Sita, wife of Lord Rama spent some part of her exile in Sitabani.
Splendid natural beauty of this zone draws many tourists and entry is not restricted like the core zones.
There is no limit on the number of vehicles entering this area. Sitabani zone is considered a birdwatchers paradise.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Corbett is between mid-November to mid-June. The park remains closed during monsoon from mid-June to mid-November.
|Dhikala||15 th Nov – 15 th June|
|Bijrani||15 th Oct – 30 th June|
|Jhirna||Throughout the year|
|Dhela||Throughout the year|
|Durga Devi||15 th Oct – 30 th June|
|Sonanadi||15 th Oct – 15 th June|
How to Reach Corbett National Park
The nearest domestic airport is located in Pantnagar. There are direct flights available from Delhi and Dehradun, operated by Alliance Air. It is almost 2 hours drive from Pantnagar airport to Corbett.
The closest international airport is in Delhi, roughly at a distance of 245 km from the park.
It takes almost 5-6 hours by road to reach Corbett from Delhi. You can catch a train also from Delhi to Ramnagar if you don’t prefer a long road journey.
The park lies at a distance of about 12 km from Ramnagar railway station. From there, you can hire private taxis or catch a local bus to reach Corbett.
Area of the Tiger Reserve
Core/critical tiger habitat : 821.99 sq.km.
Buffer/peripheral area : 466.32 sq.km.
Total : 1288.31 sq.km.
Latitudes : 290 25’ N to 290 40’ N
Longitudes : 780 05’ E to 790 05’ E