Corbett National Park lies in two districts – Nainital and Pauri – in the hill state of Uttaranchal in northern India. It covers an area of 521 sq. km and together with the neighbouring Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and Reserve Forest areas, forms the Corbett Tiger Reserve over 1288 sq. km.
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The park was then named as the 'Hailey National Park'
and was later renamed as 'Corbett National Park' after James Edward Corbett the noted hunter turned conservationist of
the area. The area came under 'Project Tiger' in 1971 when Gov. of India launched this ambitious conservation project.
Jim Corbett National Park, which is a part of the larger Corbett Tiger Reserve, a Project Tiger Reserve lies in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. The magical landscape of Corbett is well known and fabled for its tiger richness. Established in the year 1936 as Hailey National Park, Corbett has the glory of being India's oldest and most prestigious National Park. It is also being honored as the place where Project Tiger was first launched in 1973. This unique tiger territory is best known as the father who gave birth of the Project Tiger in India to protect the most endangered species and the Royal of India called Tigers.
Spans over an extent of 520 square kilometers, its whole area comprises of hills, marshy depressions, riverine belts, grasslands and large lake. It is among the few tiger reserves in India that allows overnight stays in the lap of the National Park. Nature watch and wildlife viewing in the park is done in an open four wheeler Jeep and on elephant back. Sheltering a healthy population of tigers and rare species like Otters and the endemic fish eating crocodile, the national park is one of the most sought after destinations for the wildlife buffs. Dhikala, situated at the border of the extensive Patil Dun valley, is the most popular destination in Corbett because of its superb location and sheer abundance of wildlife present.
Today after addition of areas into the originally declared National Park, the total area of Tiger Reserve extends 1288.31 sq. kms spreading over three districts of Uttarakhand viz., Pauri, Nainital and Almora. Corbett National Park covers an area of 521 sq. km and together with the neighboring Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and Reserve Forest areas, forms the Corbett Tiger Reserve. Geographically it is located between the Shiwalik Himalayas and the terai. The streams, rivers and ridges crisscrossing the terrain, present Corbett with a remarkable variety of landscapes. This vivid mosaic of habitats wet and dry, plain and mountainous, gentle and rugged, forests and grasslands supports numerous plant and animal species, representing Himalayan as well as plains ecosystem. The most famous of Corbett's wild residents are the Royal Bengal Tiger and the Asiatic Elephant. In addition to that with over 550 species of avifauna Corbett is one of the richest bird regions of the Country and has been declared as an 'Important Bird Area' (IBA) by Birdlife International.
If you love bird watching then Corbett is virtual haven for such tourists. Corbett and its adjoining area is a home to more than 650 species of residents and migratory birds. Particularly Dhikala is fine place to look for birds of prey, more than over 50 species of raptors alone shows the healthy biodiversity of the area. Their multiplex behavior is intriguing and their varied songs are very much pleasing to the ear. In a nutshell, this finest national park of India is well known for rich and varied wildlife including royal Bengal tiger, elephant, four to five species of deer and rich birdlife.
The Tourist Zones: In order to promote tourism in the region Corbett National Park has been divided into five different zones. These are the marked buffer or core area of the park where visitors can be part of wildlife safari and can enjoy the intriguing behavior of the animals with bare eyes at proximity.
Bijrani Safari Zone : Bijrani Zone is very popular tourist's hub because of its abundant natural beauty and open grasslands. The entry gate of the zone is located at only 01 Km from Ramnagar city.
Jhirna Safari Zone : Jhirna is another important tourist zone in the Jim Corbett National park that is open for tourist round the year. Jhirna Gate is located at 16 km from Ramnagar city.
Dhela Safari Zone : Dhela is a new eco tourism zone in Corbett National Park included in tiger reserve zone in November 2014. This is the only area in the reserve's buffer zone open to tourists in CTR. The zone is retaining the attention of large number of tourist because of its wealthy flora and fauna, open throughout the year, located at an approximate distance of 13 Km from Ramnagar City.
Dhikala Zone : Being the largest and most varied zone in Corbett, Dhikala is famous for its abundant natural beauty as well as offering the best sight for exotic fauna. The entry gate is 18 km away from Ramnagar city. Night stay inside the Dhikala Tourism Zone is highly recommended for the hard core wildlife enthusiasts.
Durga Devi Zone : Located on the north-eastern boundary of the Jim Corbett National Park, Durga Devi zone is the heaven on planet earth for those who are fond of bird watching. Entry gate is located at an approximate distance of 36 km from Ramnagar city.
Sitabani Buffer Zone : Sitabani Zone doesn't fall under the Corbett Tiger Reserve area. If you are fond of serene ambiance of the natural beauty, must visit Sitabani area.
How to Reach Corbett
Ramnagar is perhaps the best approach to the Corbett National Park which forms the headquarters of CTR. This small city is well connected by road and rail network with major cities of India like Delhi, Moradabad, Nainital and Bareilly. Once you reach Ramnagar, then it takes only half an hour to reach Corbett National Park. The park is around 15 Kms from Ramnagar railway station.
By Road: Ramnagar has a very good network of road that connects the different cities. The Corbett National Park is situated at an approximate surface distance of 260 Kilometer from India's national capital Delhi. The state government of Uttarakhand plies buses at a short interval of time from Delhi, Moradabad, Haldawani, and Nainital that reaches Corbett directly.
By Rail: The railway station in Ramnagar receives trains from different major cities of India like Delhi, Moradabad and Bareilly. A direct train to Ramnagar runs from Delhi. You can check out for Ranikhet Express, Corbett Link Express and Kathgodam Express that takes you directly to Ramnagar.
Distance from Major Cities:
- Delhi: Delhi - Moradabad - Kashipur - Ramnagar (260 Kms)
- Nainital: Via Kaladhungi to Ramnagar (62 Kms)
- Lucknow: Lucknow - Bareilly - Kicha - Rudrapur - Kashipur - Ramnagar (436 km)
- Dehradun : Dehradun - Ramnagar (232 km)
The Park attracts a large number of wildlife tourists and is divided into six ecotourism zones:
Corbett Tiger Reserve provides Accommodation and Day Visit facility to visitors. Online booking for Accommodation and
Day Visit can be booked in advance through our website:
Inside Corbett Tiger Reserve zone wise accommodation facilities are available as follows:
Accommodation facilities are available in Dhikala, Sarpdhuli, Gairal, Sultan, Bijrani, Malani, Jhirna, Dhela,
Halduparao, Kanda and Lohachaur in the Sonanadi Tourism Zone. All rooms are provided with double beds and with
basic amenities. A twelve bed dormitory at Dhikala and an eight bed dormitory at Gairal are also available for
the visitors intending to stay inside the forest.
Day Visit Booking
Apart from Night Stay Accommodation facilities in the forest rest houses, Corbett Tiger Reserve also offers Day Visit/Jungle Safari facilities for the visiting tourist. This is a preferred way by many tourists to visit the park who cannot come for longer stays or wish to stay outside the park. The Day Visit/Jungle Safari is done 'only' with vehicles registered with the park administration as private vehicles are not allowed inside the park. Bookings for Day Visit/Jungle Safari can be done using this website.
The other mode to visit the picturesque park is via the 'Ramganga conducted tour' which takes the tourists to the Dhikala Zone for Day Visit in Canters (capacity of up to 16 adults). Every day two Canter rides are conducted in morning and two in the evening shifts.
Every tourist season, Dhikala Ecotourism zone open after monsoon on 15th of November for day visit (via Ramganga Conducted
Tours), while Durga Devi and Bijrani Zone opens for day visits from 15th of October onwards. Jhirna and Dhela remain
open throughout the year for day visits. The Bijrani ecotourism zone is famous among the tourists for its beautiful Sal
forest and expansive grasslands. Elephant safari is conducted here for the willing visitors. The safaris are a great
source of learning for the visitors about Indian Wildlife and conservation efforts.
Along with Bijrani, for the convenience of visitors and streamlining tourism management in Corbett Tiger Reserve, the reserve has been divided into six mutually exclusive tourism zones, each having separate gate for entry.
- Day visit to all zones are strictly regulated as per the scientifically calculated carrying capacity and only a limited number of vehicles are permitted entry during each morning and afternoon.
- Permits for day visits to the Sonanadi Ecotourism zone can be obtained from the visitor reception center located at Kotdwar.
- Permits for day visits to other zones are available online on our website.
- Visitors are advised to acquaint themselves with gate timings and arrive well before the designated time to avoid any inconvenience.
- Private vehicles are 'not' allowed entry for tourism purposes into the park and visitors use specially designed vehicles, registered with CTR for this purpose. Day visits to the Dhikala Ecotourism Zone are permitted only through the specially designed Canter buses via Ramganga Conducted Tours.
- Visitors can also enjoy elephant rides at Bijrani and Dhikala ecotourism Zone, which is available on 'First come, first get' basis.
- Canteen facilities are available at Dhikala, Bijrani and Gairal. At other locations, kitchen facilities have been provided.