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Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett National Park, earlier known as Hailey National Park, was established in 1936 and is the first and hence the oldest national park in India. It is also the first park to have been come under the Project Tiger scheme, launched in 1973 to protect tigers in the country. The Corbett National Park was one among nine such tiger reserves. Named after the leading conservationist and tiger lovers, Jim Corbett, the park is a safe haven for tigers that are in the verge of becoming extinct if more adequate measures are not taken to safeguard them.

Since the park is located in the sub-Himalayan belt, it has the geographical and ecological characteristics of the region. There are around 488 species of exotic plants and even a more diverse fauna, thus making the Corbett Park one of the best ecotourism destinations of the country. Yet, the increasing tourism activities pose a serious threat to the ecological balance of the region.

Being one of the first and vast national parks in India, where tigers can be spotted easily, Corbett National Park is a popular destination for tourists and wildlife enthusiasts ever since its inception. Only select areas of the Park are open to tourists yet it is possible to see the fabulous scenery and the varied wildlife of the region. The number of visitors to the Park only has increased in the recent years and it is estimated that around 70, 000 visitors both from India and abroad visit the Corbett every season.
Spread around 520.8 square kilometers, Corbett National Park comprises hills, marshy depressions, grasslands, riverine belts and a large lake. Rainy season lasts from July to September. Though days are sunny and warm, nights at the Park tend to be very cold.

The trees are deciduous such as sal, rohini, papal, mango and haldi trees amongst others. It is home to around 110 different tree species. The trees occupy almost 73 per cent area of the Park.  Grasslands cover around 10 per cent of the area. Apart from being home to the endangered Bengal Tiger, there are around 580 bird species, 25 reptile species and around 50 species of mammals in the Park.


Established in 1936 as Hailey National Park, it was always known for the resident tigers. Around 1954-55, it was renamed as ‘Ramganga National Park’, in 1956, it was renamed again after Jim Corbett who had resided in the region and had hunted down tigers who had turned man-eaters. Later, Corbett contributed immensely to the cause of tiger and nature conservation.


Corbett National Park is located at 29°25' to 29°39'N latitude and 78°44' to 79°07'E longitude. The average altitude is somewhere between 1181 ft which is around 360 m and 3412 ft, around 1040 m. There are many small plateaus with varying slopes, several gorges, small streams and more. Patli Dun Valley formed by the Ramganga River is also covered by the Park. It also includes the Gangetic plains in the upper region complete with moist deciduous forests and also the pine forest regions in the Himalayan subtropical areas. The climate is thus like the regions of the subtropical and highland regions, humid and warm.

Presently, the Park has a core area of 520 square Kms and a buffer area of 797.72 sq kms. The total area of the Park is 1,318 sq kms.  Jim Corbett National Park is in the core area and the buffer area is reserved for the forest area and also the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary.


The climate of the Park is temperate and temperatures do not rise above 40 °C (104 °F) is summer while during the winter temperature can be from 30 °C (86 °F) to 5 °C (41 °F). Mornings can be foggy. Rainfall occurs both during dry season and monsoons, with light showers during former and heavy rains during the latter season.

Flora & Fauna


What makes Corbett stand apart from any other national park, is the diverse flora and fauna present here. It has an amazing variety of flora. Different types of trees, plants and more types of flora flourish here. Hence, it is a perfect destination for nature lovers and particularly wildlife photographers will find their ideal snaps at the Park.

Some of the trees found here are date palms, mahua, bakli, chir pine, banj oak, kanju, jamun, bel, aamla, kusum and more. Another attraction is the wide variety of flowers. Some species found here are Kachnaar (Bauhinia variegata) which has pink and white flowers, Semal (Bombax ceiba) which has big red flowers, Dhak or Flame-of-the-forest (Butea monosperma) which has bright orange flowers, Madaar or Indian Coral (Erythrinia indica) that blooms with scarlet red flowers and Amaltas (Cassia fistula) which looks amazing with its yellow chandeliers.


When it comes to fauna, Corbett National Park is home to many endangered species and thus plays an important role in the environment conservation of India. Though the main resident is the Bengal Tiger, leopards are also spotted. Other animals at the Park are barking deer, sambar deer, hog deer and chital, Sloth and Himalayan black bears, Indian grey mongoose, otters, yellow-throated martens, Himalayan goral, Indian pangolins, langurs and Rhesus macaques. Some of the cat species found at the Park is leopard cat, jungle cat and fishing cat. Indian python is also a great attraction here. In addition, more than 500 bird species are found at the Park, crested serpent eagle, blossom-headed parakeet and red jungle fowl among them. Also, present are around 36 species of dragonflies, seven fish species, seven species of amphibians and 33 species of reptiles.


One of the most popular activities enjoyed by the tourists is the Safari.  The buffer zone of the Park that spreads around 797.72 sq kms is divided into five zones. These zones are open to visitors. The zones are Dhikala, Jhirna, Bijrani, Sonanadi and Domunda. Jeep Safari can be undertaken at Jhirna, Bijrani and Sonanadi but Canter Safari Zone can be done only at Dhikala. The safaris can be undertaken only at certain period during the year. Jeep Safaris start from 1st of October while Canter Safari is available only from 15th of November. The Park remains shut in the period June 15-September 30.

Safari Timings

The safaris work as per a set schedule, morning and afternoon, with each zone having a fixed timing. The morning safari begins from 7 am and the afternoon safari from 2 pm from October to March while from April to June, the morning safaris begin from 5.45 am and the afternoon safaris from 3 pm. The timing for the safari in Dhikala differs though. The timing is from 11.30 am in the morning and from 12.30 pm in the afternoon from April to June.


Dhikuli located on the fringes of Patli Dun Valley is a popular destination within the park. A rest house, believed to be built hundreds of years ago, is situated at Dhikuli. It offers an amazing view of the valley.

Jeep Safari is not only a popular activity inside the Park. In fact, it is also needed to travel within the Park. Jeeps are available on rent from Ramnagar.

Treks Though tourists cannot undertake trekking on their own, they can trek around the park along with a guide. Since winter tends to be very cold, tourists are asked to carry appropriate winter clothing.

Kalagarh Dam is a popular place for bird watching. Located in south-west of the Park, this is a spot for avid bird watchers. Migratory waterfowl are a major attraction during winter.

Corbett Falls is a picturesque waterfall inside the Park. It is located on the Kaladhungi-Ramnagar at a distance of 25 km from Ramnagar and 4 km from Kaladhungi. With green and dense forests surrounding the Falls, it is a serene place that offers silence and beauty of the nature. The waterfall is around 20 m in height.


Visitor Information

  • It is mandatory for visitors to take necessary permits and adhere to all rules specified.
  • The visitors have to take the help of official nature guides. They are helpful in spotting      wildlife and also to help the visitors in finding way inside the Park.
  • It is mandatory for drivers to drive carefully and slowly without making noise so as to not to disturb the wildlife. It will also help in spotting wildlife.
  • There are specified roads and trails and it is mandatory to drive only along these or else there is a danger of trampling vegetation and even disturbing or harming resting animals.
  • The Park is home to these wild animals and hence it is expected that the visitors will respect their schedule and life. Visitors have to maintain a safe distance from the animals and do not disturb them in any way.
  • When inside a forest area, silence is best than loud music. Noise alleviates wild animals and you may not be able to spot them if you or your radio makes too much noise.
  • The clothing has to be dull colored instead of bright. As bright colors can catch the attention of wild animals and scare them away.
  • Guns are not allowed at the Park but cameras are.
  • Smoking is strictly prohibited so are light campfires. Any small fire can spread and destroy this beautiful heaven in no time, destroying a large national heritage.
  • There are certain spots where you can get off, otherwise it can be dangerous for your life and even the wildlife.
  • Though spotting wildlife is why most tourists come here, it is not possible that they will be waiting for you in a parade. Do not be disappointed, as the natural scenery itself offers a magnificent view.
  • No doubt, the Corbett National Park is known as the home of Bengal Tiger, yet it might not be able to spot it all the time. But with such a variety of other species, you can spot many others.
  • Non-vegetarian food and alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited inside the Park.
  • The Park is a national heritage and hence it is the responsibility of each of us to keep it clean and devoid of pollution. Hence non-biodegradable litter such as plastic, glass, tin etc should not be thrown around and should be disposed off outside in dust bins only.

How to Reach


The nearest airport is Phoolbagh, Pantnagar located at a distance of 50 km from the Park. The only international airport which is near is the Delhi airport, at a distance of 300 km from the Park.


The nearest rail station is Ramnagar. The trains have to be changed at Moradabad if you want to opt for faster trains.


Buses are available to the Park from different nearby places. If you are travelling from Delhi, it is an 8 hour trip to the Park by buses. Buses are available every half hour. While semi deluxe bus services of Delhi Transport Corporation are run, other bus services are the usual ones with only basic facilities. Buses to Dhikala are available from Delhi which is 300 kms from the Park, from Lucknow which is 145 kms from the Park and from Ramnagar which is just 51 kms from the Park. There are frequent bus services from Nainital and Ranikhet to Ramnagar. The Delhi bus service runs on the Hapur-Murababad-Ramnagar route and the Lucknow service takes the Bareilly–Kichha–Rudrapur–Doraha–Kashipur route.

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