Situated in the picturesque Kumaon hills in Nainital district, Corbett National Park is the place from where Project Tiger was launched in 1973.The park has a core area of 520 sq. kms with picturesque hilly ridges covered by sal trees. Lower down are the grasslands and bamboo growth. A list of species reported from Corbett included 582 species of birds, 26 species of reptiles, 7 species of amphibians and 50 species of mammals. The floral diversity is also extremely varied.
The Park is named after the famous hunter and naturalist, Jim Corbett, who popularised this land and its animals in his book "The Man-Eaters of Kumaon". Corbett recounts many fascinating tales of hunting down man-eating tigers. Always a nature lover, he helped set up a sanctuary called Hailey Park in 1936. Eventually, an all India initiative for the protection of the Tiger was launched from here. The park has a high density of tiger population.
To visitors, the tigers sometimes prove elusive but the other wildlife is not. Elephants are numerous and move around singly or in herds. There are four varieties of deer in the park, and spotted and hog deer can be seen moving about near the river and in the grasslands and the forests. The main inhabitants of the park are the tiger, elephant, gaur, sambar, chital, wild dog, sloth bear, partridge, pheasant, jungle fowl and numerous other varieties of birds and animals. There are many opportunities for bird watchers in this park with over 580 species of birds. It is ideal to trek to one of the machans and sit patiently, perched high up, to view the animals and the birds. The Ramganga river flows through the Park and in it one can spot the gharial (fish eating crocodile) and the marsh crocodile.
There is a museum at the main entrance that is worth visiting for information on Jim Corbett, the history of the park, the environment and wildlife.
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Char Dham Yatra
Festivals of Kumaon
Dhikala is the most popular complex in the park One can arrange for an elephant back safari from here. Many visitors do not venture to other areas of the park. However, it is worth visiting them as one can enjoy the surroundings in relative isolation.
When to visit:
Where to stay:
Check out: Camp Forktail Creek
Information: Courtesy Government of India
Editor: Romola Butalia   (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.