The very first National Park in mainland Asia, the unique wildlife diversity and breathtaking wildlife of Jim Corbett National Park was identified in the year 1936. Ever since, Corbett attained the distinction of becoming of first National Park in Asia. Edward James Hunter was a renowned hunter during the British era in India but after looking at the declining numbers of Tigers in the Park, Edward turned into a conservationist.
Therefore, the Park got its name after James Edward Corbett who invested his life in conserving the nature and wildlife of this National Park. Before that, the Park was named as ‘Hailey National Park’ till 1971 when Government of India launched the ‘Project Tiger’ for conserving Tigers in Corbett National Park.
The rich history and most diverse wildlife make this Park as one of the top tourist attraction in India. To the originally declared land for National Park, other areas were added with time and now the total area covered by the National Park is 1288.31 square kms.
The tourism into the state of Uttarakhand is therefore quite prominent and more than thousand of hotels and resortshave come up in the surrounding areas of Jim Corbett for providing better staying opportunities for tourists.
Unique Wildlife and Nature
In the massive 521 sq km area of the Jim Corbett National Park, the most diverse and versatile wildlife stays harmoniously with nature. The Park is a perfect combination of hills and plains with Shivalik Himalayas on side and plain large landscapes on the other.
The streams, rivers and ridges crisscrossing the terrain, present Corbett with a remarkable variety of landscapes. The soft flowing streams, wavering rivers and ridges crisscross the Park terrain. Spectacularly beautiful landscapes spread across wide areas of Park creating a perfect habitat for different wildlife.
This vivid mosaic of habitats wet and dry, plain and mountainous, gentle and rugged, forests and grasslands supports numerous plant and animal species, representing Himalayan as well as plains ecosystem.
The massive and most beautiful creatures- The Royal Bengal Tiger are the famous residents of the Park along with beautiful Asiatic Elephants. Additionally, 550 species of avifauna living and constantly migrating to this Park creates a richest bird region in the Country. Consequently, the Park has been declared as an 'Important Bird Area' (IBA) by Birdlife International.
It won’t be wrong to claim the Jim Corbett National Park as the most richly populated with most diverse and unique wildlife in India. The Jim Corbett National Park comprise of freshwater flora and alpine flora. The alpine flora which is prominent in the Park is Sal trees, Chaurs, Kahir-Sissoo forests and much more. There are approximately 600 species of trees, shrubs, grasses, ferns, herbs, climbers and bamboos.
Other alpine flora of Jim Corbett National Park is Pine trees, ChinChoti trees, Oaks could also be seen here and there which is truly a Himalayan species. Prominent Palm species are Date Palms found in the open and well-lighted areas. Kanju (Holopteliaintegrifolia), Jamun (Syzygiumcumini) and Aamla (Emblica Officinalis) are seen in the moist areas. Other tree species comprise Bel, Kusum, Mahua and Bakli.
Also, many artificial tree species are implanted in the Park that comprises Teak (Tectona grandis), Eucalyptus, Jacaranda, Silver Oak, and Bottlebrush.
Not only trees, even grasses, shrubs, Bamboo are prominently present in the Park. There are over 70 known and registered species of grasses in the Corbett Park. Male Bamboo is another prominent flora species that inhabits the major area in Jim Corbett Park. All the rich and unique flora of Jim Corbett makes it what it is- unique and rich in its flora.
Royal Bengal Tigers we all know resides here with great dignity and admired by all the nature lover and conservationist. Well, spotting a Tiger is not that easy here until you go deep into the buffer zones.
Adult tigers could be seen as solitary wanderers to the tourists, whereas tigresses could be spotted with young cubs. Apart from that, Leopards and Asiatic Elephants are some of the prominent animals that comprise the bigger-sized wildlife population of the Park.
Smaller-size feline population comprises the Jungle Cat, Fishing Cat and Leopard Cat. Other mammals living in the Jim Corbett National park includes deer species (Barking, Sambhar, Hogg and Chital), Sloth bears and Himalayan Black bears, Indian Grey Mongoose, otters, Elephants, Yellow Throated Martens, Ghoral (Goat-Antelopes), Indian Pangolins, and Langur and Rhesus Monkeys.
Tourists can also spot Owls and Nightjars during the night. Local crocodiles (along with the banks of the Ram Ganga River) and Indian Python, King Cobra, Common Cobra could also be seen in the Jim Corbett Park.
Jim Corbett National Park as a Tourist Attraction
Well, when you are a tourist, the in depth details of Flora and Fauna are not important but the things that place has to offer to you. So, when it comes to the most diverse National Park of India, there are plenty of adventure activities that await you.
From most astonishing lodging options with plethora of newly built hotels and resorts to venturing into the Park in Jeep Safaris, you can enjoy your trip to Jim Corbett during your weekend getaway. The Park is strategically divided into 5 tourist zones to make tourism more efficient and comfortable for the tourists coming to visit here. These regions are:
These regions are the most beautiful areas of the Park where visitors can experience the exotic wildlife and for some time can be a part of it. The experience of this magnificent jungle around you will captivate and who knows which wild animal encounter might shake you.
These zones are visited mostly because of its active wildlife movements. Animals are often spotted most in these areas due to the flora and availability of water in these regions.
Bird Watching Experience
With more than 550 species of significant avifauna including habitant and migrating birds, Jim Corbett offers a splendid bird watching experience to the tourists. Your knowledge about the birds does not matter here as there are more than 500 species, so you can just enjoy looking at them, interacting with each other and feel real close to the natural world.
Birds like parakeet, crested serpent eagle, bee eaters, tawny fish owl, red jungle fowl and several other migratory birds. Some of the popular spots for bird watching within the park include Durga Devi Zone, which is the most beautiful location for spotting exotic birds.
The lush green settings of this zone and the availability of food attracts a large number of local as well as migratory birds to this setting. Winter is the best time for bird watching in this zone as during this period of the year; it attracts a large number of migratory birds to this region.
Stay inside the Park to spot the wildlife
Well, if you want to experience the wildlife from real close without failing to spot any animal, then there are options for you to stay inside the Dikhala zone of the Park. Dhikala zone named after the large Dhikal grassland which is the largest grassland in the Corbett Reserve landscape. Why live here? Well, maximum times it is reported that Tigers are spotted here the most and also it is the largest grassland in the Corbett Reserve Landscape.
The zone is 50 kms inside the Park where you can reach by Jeep or Canters according to the number of visitors. Ramganga River flow through the park and passes via Dhikala zone due to which a lot of wildlife could be spotted in this region for animals often come near river for drinking water.
Some of the options for spending a night inside the Park with the wild animals are Dhikala Forest Rest House and Gairal Forest Rest House. In order to stay at night in the Dhikala Forest guest House, the Indian and SAARC visitors have to book the accommodation in Dhikala Forest Lodge 46 days in advance and the Foreigners have to book the accommodation 91 days in advance.
The major wildlife attraction of Dhikala safari zone is the spotting of Royal Bengal Tiger and Asiatic elephants. Dhikala zone is fairly populated with these major animals of the park and thus makes up for the best adventurous stay.
If you did not get enough time to book the night stay inside the park, don’t worry, we have you covered. The deep jungle safari is yet another way to enjoy your visit to the Jim Corbett National Park. You can visit the National Park in different Safaris- Jeep Safari, Elephant Safari, and Canter Safari. Safaris are conducted during the morning and the evening every day which tourists have to book a few weeks before in order to get the bookings.
Safaris are the best way to enjoy the lush green magical beauty of massive Tiger Reserve in Uttarakahand. Jeep and open Canter Safaris allow you the most convenient way to enjoy the park and spot the exotic wildlife. While the jeep safaris are more suitable for a smaller group, the open canter safaris are preferable for larger groups and alike.
For those who want to explore the jungle from atop and get closer to the nature, they can opt for the elephant safaris and step into the wilderness of the park. Mostly conducted during the early mornings, these safaris also prove to be exciting ways to witness and enjoy the appealing charm of the park.