Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Tourism

Tourism      Wildlife      Tiger Reserve      Uttarakhand     Nainital    



Corbett National Park & Tiger Reserve

 

Place

:

Lies in two districts Nainital and Pauri, Uttaranchal

Best Time to Visit

:

November to April. Park is open to tourists only from 15th November to15th June

Nearest Town

:

Ramnagar (19km)

Main Attraction

:

Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Elephant and its rich avi fauna

Significance

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India's first National Park and Tiger reserve.

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Asia's oldest National Park and India's First Tiger Reserve, Corbett National Park lies in two districts Nainital and Pauri in the hill state of Uttaranchal in northern India. It was established as a National Park in 1936 under the United Provinces National Parks Act of India. Then the reserve area, known as Hailey National Park, was renamed in 1954-55 as Ramganga and in 1955-56 was given its present name. 

The park is named after Jim Corbett, a legendary hunter-turned-conservator cum writer, best known for his hunting expeditions of man-eating tigers and leopards in this region in the first half of the 20th century. The original area of the Park was 323.75 sq. km. to which 197.07 sq. km. was added later. The 521 sq. km area of the park together with the near by area of Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary (301.18 sq. km) and Reserve forest areas of Kalagarh Forest Division and the Ramnagar Forest Division forms the Corbett Tiger Reserve covering over 1288 sq. km.The Park is situated at the junction of two distinct hill regions of Uttaranchal, Garhwal and Kumaon.The altitude of the park is385-1100 m above sea level and the temperature ranges from 4°C in winter to 42°C during summer. The park gets an annual rainfall of about 1400-2800 mm.It is closed during the Monsoon season and opened to tourists after the monsoon, from 15th November to 15th June.

The Park has a remarkably varied landscape with streams, rivers, mountains, hills, forests and grasslands. It covers the majestic ranges of the Himalayas including Patlidoon bordering the river Ramganga and the undulating Shivaliks interspersed with flat plains and savannah grasslands known as 'Chaurs'. Here is a dynamic ecosystem with a variety of cover and trees including Sal, Khair, Sissoo, Kisson, Chaurs etc. capable of sustaining diverse fauna.Sal which grows up to 35 m tall is the main tree species of Corbett and often grows as a dense forest. Khair - Sissoo grow on sandy, gravelly areas mostly near the rivers and streams. Chaurs or savannah grassland is the most unique vegetation habitat of Corbett. Some of the grasslands got submerged when the Ramganga reservoir across the Ramganga river at Kalagarh came into being in 1974, stretching over an area of around 40 sq. km. of the park.

Apart from the above, more than 600 species of trees, shrubs, herbs, bamboos, grasses, climbers and ferns have been identified in the Park. Major trees are Chir pine, Palms, Kanju, Jamun, Aamla and Tendu, Bel , Kusum, Mahua and Bakli. which occur naturally in the Park and Teak, Eucalyptus, Jacaranda, Silver Oak and Bottlebrush planted artificially in and around forest rest houses. Flowering trees such as Kachnaar, Semal, Madaar, Dhak, Amaltas with their colourful blooms add beauty to the park.

Corbett is famous for its Bengal Tigers and Asiatic Elephants, as well as its rich avifauna with about 600 species.As a part of saving the endangered species, the park has three conservation projects - Project Tiger, Crocodile Conservation Project and Project Elephant. he major animals found in the park besides tigers and Asian elephants are jackals, deer, chital, Hog Deer, Sambar, Kakar or Barking Deer, Rhesus Macaque, Langur, Himalayan Goral or Ghural, Wild boar, Otter, Gharial and Mugger crocodile, two of India's three crocodilian species. King cobra, Indian cobra, Indian Rock Pythons and several kinds of vipers, kraits are also found  in the park. The Bengal Monitor is the most imposing of Corbett's lizards. There are other species of Agamas, Geckos and Skinks.

Some of the Bird species include peafowl, jungle fowl, partridges, flycatchers, great barbet, wall creeper etc. Bird life increases during winter with the arrival of migrant birds which come here to escape the extreme climatic conditions. These includes birds like osprey and ducks, coming all the way from East Africa, Europe and Central Asia. Ramganga river is the largest of the precious few perennial sources of water in the Park. Other rivers are Sonanadi, Mandal, Palain and the Kosi river.Sonanadi river adjoins Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and Corbett National Park and forms an important part of the Corbett Tiger Reserve. Even though Kosi river which lies on the eastern boundary of the park, does not enter the park, it is a source of drinking water for the animals. There are many seasonal streams called 'sot' running through the park. Sots in Corbett are Paterpani, Laldhang, Kothirao, Jhirna, Dhara and Garjia. Most common fishes seen in the park are Golden Mahseer, Goonch, Indian trout, Rohu etc.

Corbett Tiger Reserve is divided into five tourism zones, each having a separate gate for entry. The zones are Bijrani Zone and the gate way to this place is Amadanda, the gate way to Dhikala Zone is Dhangarhi, the gateway to Jhirna Zone is Khara or Kalagarh, gateway to Domunda zone is Durgadevi, and Sonanadi zone gate way is Vatanvasa. Tourists need permission  to enter Corbett Tiger Reserve.Permission for day visits are issued at the respective Entry Gates and night halts at the CTR Reception Office at Ramnagar.

Elephant rides are offered at Dhikala, Khinanauli, Bijrani, Gairal and Jhirna during mornings and evening. Nature guides are available for tourists. There are watchtowers at Dhikala, Phulai and Jhirna, and several machans near Dhikala, Bijrani and Kothirau to facilitate the viewing of wildlife. There is also a Visitor Centre and Museum at Dhangarhi Gate which remains open through out the year.