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Corbett National Park

Seeking the striped in the wild

“It kept staring at me with its yellow brooding eyes as it stood there in the distance at the turn of the street and then disappeared into the bushes. You can spot a leopard here every 15 days. I always keep my stick with me.”

-Rampal, Driver in Ramgarh, Nainital district, Uttarakhand

A visit to Corbett feels quite incomplete without the locals’ tales of their encounters with leopards, wild elephants, or sometimes even a tiger. And if you happen to stay somewhere near the jungle, don’t be too surprised to find a lost deer knocking on your door or hiding in the dense foliage in the backyard as you step out in the midnight to take in the clear starry night or the enigmatic air of the Corbett.

Jim Corbett National Park is a part of Corbett Tiger Reserve located in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand. Established in 1936, it enjoys the glory of being India’s oldest national park.

The legend has it that British hunter James Edward Corbett (1875-1955), after his several encounters with the tigers in the region and locally earning fame as the heroic slayer of the man-eating beasts, turned into a conservationist and encouraged the protection of the glorious carnivore. His book Man-eaters of Kumaon earned him international fame. Thus, what was once established as Hailey National Park came to be known as Jim Corbett National Park.

Today, home to the famed royal Bengal tigers, Asiatic elephants, and several other species of birds, reptiles, and mammals, Jim Corbett National Park is a favourite among jungle and wildlife enthusiasts, researchers, conservationists, and any traveller in search of peace or thrill.

Located primarily in the district of Nainital, the reserve covers an area of 1,288.31 square kilometres that also extends to the districts of Almora and Pauri in Uttarakhand. The park itself covers an area of 521 square kilometres. The rest is covered by the neighbouring Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and Reserve Forest areas that, together with Jim Corbett National Park, constitute the Corbett Tiger Reserve.

Talking of the landscape, there are hills and mountains, streams and rivers, ridges and valleys, marshes and grasslands in the reserve located between the lower Himalayan range of Shiwalik and the terai.

Here, we become your guide to travelling in and around the place that gave became the point of genesis for the famous Project Tiger launched by the government of India in 1971. We give you some essential details on when to go, where to go, what to eat, what to do, what to shop, where to shop. Read on.

How to get there:

By road: Ramnagar serves as the gateway to the park on most of the routes and lies on a well-connected road network. It is only 15 kilometres from the park.

By rail: If you are going by train, book your tickets till Ramnagar Railway Station. It’s connected to major cities like Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi.

By air: The nearest airport is Pantnagar airport which is about 83 kilometres from Ramnagar.

Delhi to Ramnagar: 223.1 km via NH9

Ranikhet to Ramnagar: 176 km

Lucknow to Ramnagar: 448.7 km via Agra - Lucknow Expressway

Chandigarh to Ramnagar: 387.0 km via Grand Trunk Road

Jaipur to Ramnagar: 517.9 km via NH9

Nainital to Ramnagar: 65.9 km via UT SH 41

Best time to visit:

Corbett enjoys a pleasant weather throughout the year with its temperature ranging between 4°C in winter and 42°C in summer.

You may also like to know that the park is divided into five zones based on the topography. Each has a rich variety of flora and fauna and has a different visiting period.

Based on the weather and other preferences, you can choose a period to visit.

i) Jhirna Zone: Open throughout the year

ii) Dhikala Zone: Between November and June

iii) Bijrani Zone: Between October and 30th June

iv) Sonanadi Zone: Throughout the year

v) Durga Devi Zone: Between November and June

V Recommended: Places to see
V Recommended: Food to eat
Cuisine in Corbett
Hit the local restaurants to get a flavour of the Kumaoni cuisine. Talk lentils, mustard and cumin seeds that dominate the Kumaoni flavours. With lots of locally-grown herbs, the cuisine enjoys a distinctive favour among other cuisines of the country. Try out delicacies made out of gahat (a brown lentil) like thatwaani and faanda. If you are more of a greens person, try out things made of wild... .
V Recommended: Things to buy
Shopping in Corbett National Park
Around Corbett are souvenir shops where you can get traditional souvenir items like pens, hats, jackets, and handicrafts. Since we are talking jungle, you will get plenty of tiger miniatures. For a good round of shopping, head over to nearby stations like Nainital that offer a wide variety of shopping choices. .
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