Jim Corbett National Park Tour:
Jim Corbett National Park is one of the finest tiger reserves of India which has always fascinated the wildlife enthusiast from India and abroad.
The significance of biodiversity and wildlife of the area which now comprises Jim Corbett National Park was recognized a long time back, which can be understood by the fact that Jim Corbett National Park (created in 1936) was the first National Park not only in India but also in the mainland Asia. The park was initially named Hailey National Park (with an area of only 325 sq. km.) but after the end of British rule in India, the name was changed in 1954 to Ramganaga National Park- after the river which is the lifeline of the reserve. The National Park was again named to Jim Corbett National Park in 1956, after the death of Jim Corbett- in memory of the noted hunter turned conservationist of the area. On April 1, 1973, Project tiger was launched at Dhikala with the help of WWF and Corbett was one of the 8 original tiger reserves, today there are 48.
Corbett Tiger Reserve (area of 1288.32 sq Km) spreads over three districts of Uttarakhand i.e., Pauri, Nainital, and Almora. It comprises of Corbett National Park ( area of 520.82 sq Km), Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary in the NW (area of 301.18 sq Km), and Buffer forest (area of 466.32 sq Km). Geographically it is located between the Shiwalik Hills and the Terai of Himalayas. The habitat of Corbett national park comprises of hills, marshy depressions, riverine belts, grasslands, and large lakes.
It has a healthy habitat of not only one of the largest populations of the Royal Bengal tiger but also a good population of other charismatic species like elephants and leopard as well as rare species like Otters and the Gharial. The Corbett Tiger Reserve is one of the most sought after destinations for the wildlife enthusiasts and more than 5 lakh tourists visit the tiger reserve every year, the highest among all protected areas in India. It is home to approximately 110 tree species, 50 mammal species, and 25 reptile species. In addition with over 550 species of birds (including over 50 species of raptors), Corbett is one of the richest bird regions of the Country and has been declared as an ‘Important Bird Area’ (IBA) by Birdlife International.
The Tourist Zones of Corbett Tiger Reserve
In order to promote and regulate tourism in the tiger reserve, Corbett National Park has been divided into six different zones. The visitors are allowed in these zones as per the carrying capacity of the Park and every day a limited number of vehicles/visitors are allowed inside the Park. The following are the tourist zones within Corbett:
Bijrani Zone: Bijrani Zone is amongst the most popular tourist zone for its natural beauty and open grasslands. The entry gate of the zone is Aamdanda which is located merely 02Km from Ramnagar town. This zone remains open from 15th October to 30th June for tourism.
Dhela Zone: Dhela is a new tourism zone in Corbett National Park, opened for visitors only in November 2014. This is the only area in the reserve’s buffer zone open to tourism in CTR and it remains open throughout the year. The entry gate of this zone is Dhela, located at a distance of around 16 km from Ramnagar town.
Dhikala Zone: Dhikala is the place where Project Tiger was born in 1973 and is characterized by large grasslands and a reservoir on the Ramganga river. The entry gate of this zone is Dhangarhi which is located around 18 km away from Ramnagar town. The park remains open for tourism from 15th November to 15th June. Large herds of elephants and spotted deer in addition to hog deer can be seen here. Its also famous for its water fauna including crocodiles, otters, and large shoals of Golden Mahseer fish.
Durga Devi Zone: Located on the north-eastern boundary of the Jim Corbett National Park, the Durga Devi zone is characterized by its high elevation and hilly terrains. The entry gate of this zone is located around 30 km from Ramnagar town. The park remains open for tourism from 15th November to 15th June. It’s one of the best places for bird watching and angling.
Jhirna Zone: Jhirna zone is characterized by one of the richest biodiversity in the Corbett landscape owing to its location in Terai of the Himalayas. The entry Gate of this zone is Dhela which is located around 16 km from Ramnagar city. The zone remains open throughout the year for tourism.
Sonanadi Zone: Sonanadi zone falls on Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary which is a part of Corbett Tiger Reserve. This is the only zone in Jim Corbett where tourists can walk on foot into the zone which is richly house by non-venomous/ venomous snakes of different kinds. This zone remains open for tourists throughout the year though the best time to visit is between November to April. The sanctuary is located in the North-Western region of Jim Corbett National Park and the entry gate for this zone is Vatanvasa.
Jeep safari in Corbett
The facility of jeep safari is available in Corbett National Park in the specially designated tourist zones. We conduct Jeep safari in open jeep (4X4) through the jungles of Corbett and if lucky enough can spot some of the charismatic species of Corbett including tigers, leopards, and herds of elephants.
The park is divided into five ecotourism zones for the ease of tourists for Jeep Safari.
The Dhikala Safari zone remains open from the 15th of November every year, Durga Devi and Bijrani Zone from the 15th of October whereas Jhirna and Dhela remain open through the year. The safari is regulated by the Corbett Tiger Reserve administration and we employ trained professionals to conduct the tour. The safaris are not just a great source of entertainment but also of deep knowledge and learning about the different animals, their behavior, and habitats.
The visitors are advised to book their visits (safari and accommodation) in advance. Indian nationals can get the booking 45 days advance to the date of the actual visit while foreign nationals can get the same 90 days before their expected date of visit.
Highlights of the tour:
- Day visit to all zones are strictly regulated and only a limited number of vehicles are permitted entry during each morning and afternoon.
- Visitors are advised to acquaint themselves with gate timings and arrive well before the designated time to avoid any inconvenience.
- Visitors are also requested to carry valid ID proof along with them at the time of safari.
- Private vehicles are not allowed entry for tourism purposes and visitors use specially designed vehicles registered with CTR for their visits. Day visits to the Dhikala ecotourism Zone are only permitted by specially conducted buses.
- Visitors can also enjoy elephant rides at Bijrani and Dhikala ecotourism Zone.