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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.
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.
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.