Jim Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett National Park is a well-known eco-tourism spot that lies in Nainital district of Uttarakhand state in Northern India. It was established as Hailey National Park in 1936 and is one of the oldest national parks of India set amidst the foothills of Himalayas. The park is also the first one to be recognized as a Project Tiger initiative in order to protect endangered Bengal Tiger. With a diverse range of flora and fauna, it is a divine hub to witness idyllic landscapes and nature at best. The tiger reserve area is spanned across 1,318 sq. km, of which the national park covers an area of 520 sq. km. Presently, tens of thousands of visitors come and explore the rich wildlife and serene nature every season.

Draw your attention: The national park is named after a famous naturalist Jim Corbett who spread awareness about protecting India’s wildlife.

In the times of yore, the British administration of colonial India wanted to set up a game reserve during 1907. Jim Corbett helped the British government to establish a wildlife reserve area, and Hailey National Park was created in 1936. It was renamed as Ramganga National Park in the duration of 1954-1955. Around 1955-1956, it was again renamed after the well-known naturalist to honor and mark his relentless efforts towards the conservation of wildlife. After being chosen as the location for launching Project Tiger in 1974, the reserve is now governed by its headquarters in the district of Nainital.

The park embraces around 600 different species of flora, which includes plants, trees, herbs, shrubs, grass, ferns, climbers, bamboo, etc. It is largely dominated by the Sal forests covering 75% of the area. Khair, Sisso, Chir Pine, Bamboo are some other species scattered around the region. A number of flowering plants like Semal (giant red blooms), Dhak/the flame of the forest (bright orange flowers), Kachnar (white tom pink flowers), Amaltas (bright yellow chandelier), and Madaar (Indian Coral) adds alluring beauty to the entire range. Eucalyptus, Teak (Tectona grandis), Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis), Silver Oak (Grevillea robusta), etc. are artificially planted inside the reserve area. In addition, shrubs like Maror Phali (Helicteres isora), Ber (Zizyphus), amongst others, can be easily spotted.

Source: Nainital Corbett Tourism

If we talk about fauna, there are over 600 elephants and 164 tigers preserved in the Jim Corbett. In fact, it is one of the best-preserved parks with a healthy population of animals. Endangered species like Royal Bengal Tiger, Gharial, etc. and other mammals including Hog Deer, Yellow-throated marten, Black Bear, Sloth Bear, Sambars, Otters, etc. dwells here. With around 600 species of birds, it is home to White-backed Vulture, orange-breasted green pigeon, the great pied hornbill, Pallas fish eagle, tawny fish owl, and others. There are more than 30 species of reptiles found here, including Indian Python, Mugger Crocodiles, amongst others.

Jim Corbett National Park is divided into different tourist zones to streamline tourism management and boost tourism activity. Visitors can enjoy wildlife Safari and observe the interesting behavior of the animals with bare eyes from close. The five main zones are as follows:

Dhikala Zone: This zone offers the most picturesque landscape and is the largest zone in the Corbett National Park. The entrance to the range is through Dhangari Gate and is situated at around 32 km from Ramnagar. The Royal Bengal Tiger and the Asiatic elephants are the major attractions, and it is highly suggested to spend a night and encounter actual wildlife.
Opened during: 15th November to 15th June
Safari rides available: Day Canter Safari only

Bijrani Zone: This zone allows tourists to experience plentiful of natural and open grasslands. The entry to the zone is through Amdanda Gate, which is nearly 2 km away from Ramnagar.
Opened during: 15th October to 30th June
Safari rides available: Elephant Safari, Jeep Safari

Durgadevi Zone: This highly tranquil zone, which defines perfect serene beauty, is located approximately 30 km from Ramnagar. This range is home to exotic birds and a paradise for bird watching lovers. The entrance to the zone is via Durgadevi Gate.
Opened during: 15th October to 15th June
Safari rides available: Day Jeep Safari

Jhirna Safari Zone: This zone is accessible through Dhela Gate, located at a distance of about 15 km from Ramnagar. One of the important zones, it provides some exclusive tiger and sloth bear spotting along with the stunning view of the landscape.
Opened during: Throughout the year (depending on weather)
Safari rides available: Day Jeep Safari, Elephant Safari

Dhela Safari Zone: This zone has been recently included in the tiger reserve zone in November 2014 and has an entrance via Dhela Gate. Located about 15 km from Ramnagar, it is rich in flora and fauna and makes an ideal spot for bird watching tours. It also accommodates Dhela Forest Lodge for those who want to spend some more time in its ethereal beauty.
Opened during: Throughout the year (depending on weather)
Safari rides available: Day Jeep Safari

Sitabani Buffer Zone: This zone nestled adjacent to the Jim Corbett National Park is a pristine abode to distinct flora and fauna. The authorities organize nature walks and jungle safaris for adventure and also accommodates stone cottages and tents for a thrilling experience. Just 4 km away from Ramnagar, the zone allows a private vehicle to enter the area.
Opened during: Throughout the year
Safari rides available: Day Jeep Safari, Day Elephant Safari

How to reach here?

Sprawling across the areas of Pauri Garhwal, Nainital, and Almora, the park is easily accessible through airways, railways, and roadways routes. The nearest town to the Jim Corbett is Ramnagar, which is the gateway to the park. It is maintained with well connecting roads from the major cities in the country. It also forms the headquarters of the Jim Corbett National Park and Tiger Reserve.

By Air: Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun which is a domestic airport is the nearest, located at a distance of about 148 km through NH34. Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi), which is the major airport in India is another option located at a distance of around 240 km. Further, you can hire taxis or personal cabs to reach Jim Corbett. It is the most preferred mode of transportation as it saves time and convenient to travel.

By Train: Ramnagar Railway Station is the nearest station, which is just 10-12 km away from the park. The station has direct trains from Delhi and is one of the most suitable and economical options to explore the great wildlife and nature. Kotdwar (45 km), Gaushala (20 km) are some small stations which are near to the park. Cabs and local transport are easily available to reach the destination.

By Road: The good network of roads in Uttarakhand are available to reach Jim Corbett National Park. The park is located at around 260 km from the capital city of Delhi. The state government of Uttarakhand provides direct buses at regular intervals from Delhi, Nainital, Moradabad, and Haldwani. Other modes of transport services like taxis, cabs, etc. are easily available which can take to Jim Corbett.

The distance of Ramnagar from the major cities:
Delhi - approx. 260 km
Lucknow - approx. 436 km
Nainital - approx. 62 km
Dehradun - approx. 232 km

Places to see around

Besides Kaziranga National Park, there are several other beautiful places to see around, which are worth visiting.

Corbett Falls

Source: Jim Corbett Resorts

A great picnic spot that embraces beautiful scenic waterfall is located at a distance of approximately 25 km from Ramnagar. Falling from almost 60 feet height, this cascade serves as a perfect backdrop to witness nature's true glory.

Corbett Museum

This is a heritage bungalow which used to be a home of Jim Corbett where his memoirs, letters, personal possessions, rare photographs are being reserved. It is located at Kaladhungi, just 3 km away from the main town.

Garjiya Devi Temple

Source: Google

The sacred temple of Garjiya Devi is situated on the outskirts of the Corbett National Park over a large rock in the Kosi River. It is a very famous temple in the district of Nainital and thousands of devotees come here to worship the deity of Devi Garjiya.

Kalagarh Dam

Located within the Jim Corbett National Park, it is also known as Ramganga Dam and considered one of the best places for bird watching. So, now you are aware of where to go for your favorite activity.

Further, Jim Corbett National Park is surrounded by an assortment of top hill stations where the beauty of nature lies. So, if you are on an extended trip, choose any of the tourist spots and take great scenic pleasure to satisfy your soul.

Now, it’s time to explore!

These are the following activities which you can enjoy and experience the park at its best:

  • Jungle Safari in Jim Corbett National Park:
Source: Google

Jim Corbett National Park offers adventurous wildlife safari inside the jungle through Jeep Safari, Elephant Safari, and Canter Safari. Visitors can enjoy scenic views, heavenly nature, peaceful aura, and of course, lucky ones can get a glimpse of Royal Bengal Tigers. It is definitely a thrilling experience to see wild animals from your naked eyes.

Jeep, Canter, and Elephant Safaris are available during different times depending upon the availability and weather. They are available for booking in advance or on the first cum first serve basis done at Ramnagar Forest Office. Kindly check the booking procedure on its official site or contact directly at its office.

  • River Rafting
  • Nature Walks
  • Trekking
  • Rope Slithering
  • River Crossing
  • Body Surfing
  • Mountain Climbing

Best time to visit Jim Corbett National Park

Winter (October to February): It is perhaps one of the best times to see the beautiful and unseen wildlife. The weather during winters is delightful and pleasant but during the night, the temperature goes down to as low as 5 degrees. It is the time when all the zones are open and you can spot most of the animals especially Royal Bengal tigers.

Monsoon (July to September): Jim Corbett National Park receives very heavy rainfall during the southwest monsoon. This is a great time if you want to avoid huge crowds and also get services available at low prices. Undoubtedly, the jungle looks green lush and rejuvenated but accompanies a great risk of landslides and soil erosion. The temperature hovers between 20-30 degrees; two zones along with Sitabani are open during this time.

Summer (March to June): It is one of the peak seasons and allows visitors to get a sight of most of the animals inhabiting the park. The temperatures are not so comfortable because it is too hot and reaches up to 40 degrees. All the five zones are open during this time; you can get a mesmerizing scenic view around the water bodies as most of the mammals to hang around near them. Plus, you can enjoy river rafting and go on adventure trails to get unforgettable experience.

Where to stay?

With numerous hotels, resorts, and homestays, Jim Corbett provides great accommodation options within and outside its boundaries.

  • Dhikala Forest Lodge: 
Source: Dhikala Forest Lodge

Dhikala Forest Lodge is situated in the heart of dense forests in the Corbett and provides unique forest accommodations in the world. Administered by the forest department of Jim Corbett National Park, it offers breathtaking views of wildlife and nature, plus an unforgettable experience. Moreover, several streams of Ramganga River are flowing through this area, which gives visual pleasure by enhancing the beauty of the forest. It is one of the best options to stay for all wildlife enthusiasts.

With the total availability of 32 rooms, the guest house is segregated into six wings:
Old Forest Rest House
Old Range Quarters
New Forest Rest House
Annexe Room
Cabin Rooms
Hutment Rooms

Along with these, it also has two dormitories possessing 12 bunk beds, two eateries available, and one general store.

Apart from Dhikala Forest Lodge, some of other forest rest houses are:

  • Bijrani Forest Rest House
  • Malani Forest Rest House
  • Sultan Forest Rest House
  • Gairal Forest House
  • Sarapduli Forest House
  • Khinnanauli Forest House

Some of the hotels and resorts around the park are:

  • Corbett De Floresta
  • Corbett Wild Iris Spa & Resort
  • Corbett Manu Maharani
  • Ashoka Tiger Trail
  • Corbett Le Reserve Resort
  • Atulya Resort Corbett
  • Corbett Maulik Mansion
  • Samsara Resort
  • Aahana Resort

So, are you excited to get into an enthralling expedition and make memories for life? Plan it soon, it’s totally worthy!


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