Jim Corbett National Park is well known for being the oldest National Park in India. It was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park in order to protect Bengal Tigers. The Park is located in Nainital District of Uttarakhand and owes its present name to Jim Corbett who played the main role in the establishment of this park. It is also glorious for being the first ever Park brought under Project Tiger.
Around 500000 tourists visit this Park every year. A specific area of the Park is allowed for tourism activities. Being one of the favorite tourist destinations, the increasing number of tourists every year poses certain challenges to maintaining ecological balance in the Park. Hence, only selected areas are open for tourists.
Area: 1,318.54 sq km
Location: Nainital District of Uttarakhand
Flora & Fauna
The major characteristic of the Park is its sub-Himalayan belt geographical ecology. It contains about 488 species of plant. The forest in the Park is mainly dense moist deciduous type including trees like mango, peepal, Rohini, haldu and sal. These forests cover almost 73% of the park area while other 10% is covered by large open grasslands. The park has about 110 species of trees.
Jim Corbett Park offers abode to 50 species of mammals, 580 species of birds and more then 25 species of reptiles. Birds include species like hawks, eagles, vultures, kites etc. Wildlife includes Royal Bengal Tigers, Asiatic Black Beer, Asiatic elephants, Sambar, Hog deer, Otters, Gharial etc. It is also rich in aqua fauna and comprises of Indian Pitta, Golden Oriole, Scarlet Minivet etc. As far as reptiles are concerned, Gharial, Crocodiles and King Cobra are found in the Park.
Major Tourist Attractions near Jim Corbett
For those planning to have a long vacation in and around Jim Corbett, following is the list of top places to visit near Jim Corbett.
- Sattal: It is a well-known place where there are seven beautifully interconnected lakes. This town is surrounded by thick woods and is an abode to migratory birds. It is around 123 km from Jim Corbett i.e. it requires a three and a half an hour drive from the Park to reach Sattal. One can enjoy boat riding here in the evening.
- Lansdowne: It is 132 km far away from Jim Corbett (4 hours drive).Named after an Indian Viceroy in British era, this place is famous for spectacular sights like Bhulla Lake and St. Mary Church.
- Rishikesh: The adventure capital of India-Rishikesh is popular for river rafting and bungee jumping in addition to sacred places like Kunjapuri Temple, Rishi kund, Triveni Ghat, Geeta Bhawan and Beatles Ashram.
- Nainital: An alluring hill-station with a pear-shaped lake, it is at a distance of 151 km from the Park (4 hours). Nainital is popular for its serene beauty especially the sunrise and sunset view from Snow view point that is the highest peak of Uttarakhand.
- Bhimtal: This place is awesome for adventure lovers as tourists can enjoy paragliding, rock climbing, boat rides, fishing and rappelling here.
- Naukuchiatal: It is 170 km from Jim Corbett and the name is derived from the deepest lake here having five corners. It is famous for Escape Festival of Art and Music plus activities like parasailing, paragliding and boating.
Activities to be enjoyed
The park offers three kinds of Safaris to tourists to explore the place to the fullest.
Elephant Safari: Riding on elephant’s back and enjoying the Jim Corbett Park is both fun and adventure. The well-known safari starts from north-eastern border of the park i.e. Durgadevi gate and completes at north-western boundary at Halduparao gate. The charges of this safari are INR 500 per person for Indians and INR 1500 per person for foreigners. One elephant can carry a maximum of four people at a time. One can book any of the two rides available i.e. morning one that starts at 6:30 a.m and ends at 10 a.m or evening ride from 1:30 p.m to 5:30 p.m
Jeep Safari: This safari is fast and comfortable as compared to Elephant Safari. Charges are INR 3600 per person for Indians and INR 7000 for foreigners. It gives tourists an opportunity to discover the wilderness of flora and fauna of the park.
A jeep is allowed to carry 6 persons at a time. Timings of Jeep safari are same as elephant safari.
Canter Safari: This safari is mainly for those who want to stay in the resort and explore Dhikala forest. It carries 16 persons at a time. Charges are 1500 INR for Indians and INR 3000 for foreigners. The safari gives you a 5 hour ride through the forest that is extremely fun. Morning timings of Canter safari are 6 am while next safari timings are from 12 pm onwards.
Best time to visit
Mid-November to Mid-June
Weather of Nainital remains moderate throughout the year. The temperature varies from 5 degrees to 30 degrees Celsius during winters. During winter, mornings are very foggy. In summers, it raises to a maximum of 40 degrees Celsius. Monsoons bring heavy rainfall in the park area.
How to get there?
By Train: One can easily reach the park via Ramnagar, a small city that connects to Park. Many trains from cities like Delhi, Bareilly and Moradabad provide direct access to Ramnagar railway station.
By Road: Through roadways, several buses are available that connect major Indian cities to Ramnagar via an amazing road network.
It is important to note the distance between Ramnagar and major Indian cities
- Delhi-260 km
- Nainital-62 km
- Lucknow-436 km
- Dehradun-232 km
Where to Stay
There are a great number of Hotels and resorts in Corbett, The stay at forest rest houses is however the best nature experience.
- To enjoy your trip to the fullest, hire a gypsy with professionals
- Stay at Dhikala forest rent house for at least two days and go fro early morning safari to increase your chances of seeing the real tiger.
- Follow guide instructions as they are adept to park routes
- Make advance bookings as Dhikala is occupied throughout the year
- Carrying alcohol or consuming non-vegetarian food in the park is strictly prohibited
- Avoid shouting in the park
- Keep a safe distance from any animal that you see in the park
- On safaris, avoid carrying any non-biodegradable things like plastic bags or bottles
- Avoid taking heavy bags and luggage inside the park
- Carrying gun or pistol is strictly prohibited
- Do not feed animals
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