The legendary hunter-turned conservationist, author and naturalist Edward James “Jim” Corbett is remembered for killing the fearful man-eating tigers and leopards of the Kumaon Hills – you can read his stories in the “Maneaters of Kumaon”. He was however a great nature lover too, and is also known for his ground-breaking efforts in creating consciousness for protecting the tiger, which is now under threat. In fact, he played a key role in establishing India’s first National Park in the Kumaon region. Originally known as the Hailey Park, it was subsequently renamed as “Corbett National Park” in honor of his pioneering work in animal conservation in the country.
Corbett National Park
Situated in the Nainital district of the Indian state of Uttarakhand, the Corbett National Park is a protected area, primarily for the endangered Bengal Tiger. Thanks to the Project Tiger, the numbers are now stable, but the tiger population is still at threat.
Outside of Africa, India probably ranks at the very top when it comes to wildlife. There are many awesome national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and tiger reserves across in the country, such as Kanha, Bandavgarh, Ranthambhore, Periyar, Sundarbans, Simlipal, Kajiranga, and others. But it is the Corbett National Park that ranks at the very top. It is stunning, and often the top choice for wildlife viewing in India.
Encompassing a vast area (520.8 square km) consisting of hills, dales, riverine belts, marshy low lands, grassy meadows and natural lakes, the National Park’s elevation ranges from 1,300 ft to 4,000 ft on an average.
Corbett National Park Wildlife and Trees
The Bengal Tiger is its most famous resident. But there are large herds of Indian elephants, leopards, wild boars, one-horned rhinoceros, many species of deer, fishing cat, jungle cat, Himalayan black beer, many species of resident and visiting birds, and plenty of reptiles. A jeep or elephant safari to see these animals is an experience of a lifetime. 488 different species of plants have been recorded in the park.
Accommodation in Corbett
There are several FRH or Forest Rest Houses in different parts of the National Park, maintained by the Park authorities. But you have to book months in advance to stay here, as they are highly prized eco-friendly rest house. There are many resorts and hotels as well just outside the park and in the buffer zone. Private accommodation is not allowed within a forest’s core area in India.
How to Reach
By Air: The closest domestic airport to Corbett National Park is 50 kms away at Phoolbagh, Pantnagar. At 295 Km from Corbett National Park, the nearest International Airport is at Delhi. The major air link for tourists coming from northern parts of India is at Dehradun and Lucknow.
By Rail: The closest railway station is Ramnagar, which is 12 km from the Park entrance. Ramnagar is the terminus of Delhi-Moradabad-Ramnagar broad gauge branch of North East Railway.
By Car: Delhi to Corbett is 245.2 km. It takes about 5 and half hours by road.