Walk with the Tigers at Jim Corbett Ramnagar
Located in the state of Uttarakhand, Jim Corbett is one of the oldest wildlife parks in India and is quite famous for the tigers. With its enormous bounty of flora and the fauna, the park has more to explore every time you visit. The wildlife park is also home to many species of birds and is preferred by many for fishing as well.
The national park was established in the year 1936 when India was still under the rule of the British. The park was initially named the Hailey National Park after the governor of the region where the park is located. The park was then renamed Ramganga National Park in the name of the river flowing through the region. Finally, it was renamed Jim Corbett National Park in the year 1956 after the famous conservationist.
Jim Corbett was a renowned hunter, tracker, and British conservationist, and this national park has been named after him to honor him. He played a major role in the establishment of this park and had passed away a year earlier.
About Jim Corbett
Born in the year 1875, British hunter turned conservationist Jim Corbett, lived in India until its independence after which he migrated to Kenya. He was a renowned hunter as he hunted down many man-eating tigers, and leopards, and is also known to have killed nearly a dozen of them. He was also known for the many stories and hunting tales he shared with others. He was also quite famous as a conservationist in his later years.
Jim Corbett was the son of a postmaster and he was often called upon to hunt man-eating tigers by the government. The house they occupied in the winter at the foot of the hills, has been changed into a museum now. This is also the place, referred to as his training grounds, before he started hunting in the forests. He was known to be protective of tigers while also being compassionate to the villagers living nearby. This fine balance is also why he became quite famous. And the park was named after him to honor his role as a hunter in the early years and as a conservationist later.
The National Park
Jim Corbett national park is located in the scenic landscape of Nainital and expands over an area of about 520square kilometers. It is part of the 1288sq.km tiger reserve and combined with the neighboring Sonanadi sanctuary, it makes the ideal habitat for tigers.
With streams running through the grasslands and hills, this is an ideal territory for Bengal tigers and it is also the place where Project Tiger was first launched. It was in the year 1973 when the project was launched to protect tigers. It is a tiger reserve boasting the highest population of tigers in the world. But this national park does not have just tigers though. There are plenty of other species sharing space with the majestic tigers like 600+ elephants and more than 600 species of birds. With an interesting array of fauna and colorful flora, the place is a haven highly coveted by tourists from all over the world.
Touring Jim Corbett National Park
The main reason one would want to be at the Jim Corbett is to enjoy the fantastic flora and fauna amidst the naturally breathtaking views. The resort at the national park also organizes many different activities like photography, bird watching, safaris, etc.
To manage tourism better, the entire park is divided into five zones based on what it can offer. Each of these zones has eyecatching scenery and a lot of wildlife to charm you. These zones have safaris organized in two shifts by the forest officials.
- Dhikala: Dhikala is the largest and the most beautiful of the five zones in Jim Corbett national park. The zone is very popular for its majestic flora and fauna. If you love wildlife, then this is the zone you have to stay in to get some worthy pictures for your eyes. From tigers to deer, elephants to wild pigs, there are many to watch and enjoy.
- Bijrani Zone: The second most famous zone in the park, this is also the most visited place by many tourists. The atmosphere in this zone is quite relaxed and it makes anyone feel at peace immediately. There is also a lot of wildlife and birds to enjoy watching in this zone. Just a kilometer away from Ramnagar, this place has variety in landscape encompassing narrow rivers, and thick and thin sal forests.
- Dhela zone: The zone was recently opened in the year 2014 and is open all through the year. A lot of small rivers flow through this region and it has forests comprising Kusum, Sal, Samber, Sagun, Rohini, Bahera, and Haldu. Along with the royal Bengal tiger, the place also has deer, elephants, leopards, nilgai, etc.
- Jhirna: Jhirna is on the southmost corner of this national park and is another place often flooded by tourists. The major attraction in this zone is the tiger of course. But you can also enjoy other wildlife like wild elephants, deer, Sambar, wild boars, bears, and more. There are also plenty of birds to watch in this zone.
- Durga Devi Zone: In the northeast is the Durga Devi Zone with plenty of flora and fauna to feast your eyes upon. It is a place that any nature lover can never resist and is bound to keep you awe-inspired with its charm. The smaller arms of the rivers Mandal and Ramganga flow through this region giving it a serene atmosphere.
- Sitabani Forest zone: “Outside area” of Jim Corbett national park lies the Sitabani Forest zone with dense foliage, forests, old temples, etc. There is an ancient temple called the Sitabani temple in this zone and it is maintained by the country’s archaeological department. You can watch plenty of animals in this zone as well like Nilgais, elephants, deers, different birds, sambar, etc.
Apart from the organized safaris in the different zones, the park has other things to offer as well. The Ramganga river running through this region divides the land into small valleys and edges offering different topographic conditions. The river is also home to plenty of water-borne species like crocodile, mahseer, cormorant, etc.
The Corbett waterfall is the best place you might want to go for a picnic and it is just 25km from Ramnagar. You can spend your day swimming in the natural waterfall and lounging around in the natural beauty of this place.
The park is open from October till June but the best time to visit would be between December and March to ensure that you spot tigers. It is the season when most of the animals come in search of water after breeding.
If you are looking to have a splendid time in the laps of nature then there is no place better than the state of Uttarakhand, with a lot of options to explore. However, if you want to check out the best wildlife, especially the Royal Bengal Tigers, the pride of the nation, then visiting Jim Corbett national park should be part of your itinerary.