Located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, Corbett National Park acts as a protected area for Bengal tigers of India, which are a critically endangered species. Corbett National Park was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park. The standard altitude of this national park ranges from 360 m to 1,040 m. It is home to around 50 species of trees, 580 bird species and 50 species of animals along with 25 reptile species.
Sprawled across an area of 1,308.58 square km, the region includes 520 sq km of dense core area while the buffer area spreads across 797.72 sq km. The dense core area of the reserve forms the Jim Corbett National Park. This national park comprises 512.8 sq km of area, which covers riverine belts, hills, marshy depressions, lakes, streams and grasslands.
History of Corbett
Named after the hunter and conservationist James E Corbett, Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India. Jim Corbett played a key role in the establishment of the reserve.
Formerly, some of the areas of this park were part of the princely state of Tehri Garhwal. In order to make the area less vulnerable for Rohilla invaders, the forests located within the region were cleared. However, a part of this region was ceded to the East India Company by the Raja of Tehri. This was done by him so as to return favours to the East India Company as it had assisted the Raja of Tehri in ousting gurkhas from his land.
A tribe of the Terai, which was known as the Bokas, settled on this land and began cultivation. However, in the 1860s, with the advent of British rule, this tribe was evicted from the land. After this, the control of the land was passed on to the hands of the British Forest Department. The department, after gaining control over the land, prohibited cultivation along with operation of cattle stations of this land.
In 1907, the British administration focussed on the possibility of establishing a game reserve on this land. As a result of this consideration, in 1936, a reserve area known as Hailey National Park was established which sprawls across an area of 323.75 sq km. However, this preserve was renamed as Ramganga National Park in 1954-55, which was later renamed again in 1955-56 as Corbett National Park.
In 1974, Jim Corbett National Park was chosen as the location for Project Tiger. At present, this national park is among the 13 protected areas, which is covered under the Terai Arc Landscape Programme by the World Wildlife Fund.
This park does not authorise hunting, however it permits timber cutting for domestic purposes. Later, rules were passed, which prohibited killing and capturing of reptiles, mammals and birds.
The best time to visit Corbett National Park is from November 15 to June 15. The park remains closed for the rest of the year as its roads are washed out during monsoons. However, the buffer zones Jhirna and Sitabani are open throughout the year.
Things to do in Corbett
Jeep safaris are conducted at 6 am and 2.30 in the afternoon. Safaris can be booked and tickets can be bought by tourists at Ramnagar
, the headquarters of the Corbett Tiger Reserve. Elephant safaris are also conducted inside the park, which start from Dhikala
near the Patli Dun Valley. Local guesthouses in Corbett have canteens that serve simple food. Books on the tiger and souvenirs can be bought at the canteen in Bijrani
range forest. Tourists and adventure enthusiasts can also try out various budget packages
for trip to Corbett.
Travelling to Corbett
To reach Corbett
, Ramnagar is the gateway. at 51 km away from the national park. The best way to reach Ramnagar is through Delhi. Although the nearest airport to the destination is in Patnagar, 50 km away, Delhi is the closest international airport. Ramnagar railway station is connected to Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi and other nearby towns. Tourists can also take a bus from Nainital or Delhi to reach the destination. The town’s bus station is located near the railway station. National Highway 121 connects Ramnagar to other cities.
Travel Tips for Corbett
Tourists need to keep a few do’s and don’ts in mind before exploring Corbett. Walking or trekking inside the national park, smoking, plucking flowers or plants and talking loudly is strictly prohibited. Wearing bright-coloured clothes should be avoided.
Accommodation options in CorbettHotels in Corbett
range from budget hotels and adventure camps to mountain and jungle resorts. Most of these hotels also offer transfers for sightseeing and pick-up from railway and bus stations.