In the most rugged yet enchanting settings of Nainital, Uttarakhand lays one of the oldest and largest National Parks of India- Jim Corbett National Park. Why the park is named as Jim Corbett National Park?
The oldest National Park got named in the honor of legendary hunter Jim Corbett. Built in 1936, the park was named as ‘Hailey National Park,’ later it was named as Ramganga National Park. In 1957, the Park was named as Jim Corbett National Park.
About Jim Corbett: Edward James Corbett was a British hunters, tracker and conservationist, author and naturalist, who hunted a large number of man-eating tigers and leopards. Corbett was an expert hunter for killing the man-eating tiger and leopards that used to prey on people in the nearby villages of Gharwal and Kumaon and hence the villagers addressed him as ‘sadhu’ or ‘saint.’
Corbett is the author of Man-eater of Kumaon, Jungle Lore, and many other books that is the documentation of his hunts and experiences with the beasts. Corbett was also a photographer wherein he described through his pictures the need to protect India’s wildlife.
Therefore, he played a great role in creating a national reserve for endangered Royal Bengal Tigers as an influencer and guide and persuader. After Jim Corbett passed away in 1955, the park's name was changed from 'Ramganga National Park' to 'Jim Corbett Park' in 1957. The early 19th century saw the beginning of the drive to preserve our heritage and wildlife, and the region gained a reputation for having a rich history of flora and fauna. It is the first ever 'Tiger Reserve' in India and the oldest national park in Asia. With his writing about wildlife enthusiasts have even served to inspire individuals. For more than 100 years the park has been known for its diversity of fauna and flora.
Ever since, the park has become the popular tourist attraction in North India and attracts thousands of tourists and travelers every year. Home to 488 different species of flora and fauna, which is spread across the massive 520 square kilometers, Jim Corbett is one of the largest Tiger Reserves of India.
Majorly, the geography of the park consists of rugged hills, riverine belts, marsh lands, and massive grasslands with sufficient supply of water all year round. The tall beautiful forests of the park form the lanes that are mystical and you get a dramatic natural view that you might just have dreamt of.
The main trees are sal, haldu, peepal, rohini and even mango trees inside the park. Forest covers almost 73% of the park, 10% of the area consists of grasslands. It houses around 110 tree species, 50 species of mammals, 580 bird species and 25 reptile species.
The presence of River in the Reserve, marshy lands, ridges and plateaus, the park forms a rich habitat for range of flora. Enough water supply support and nurture different types of flora species beginning from non-flowering plants like ferns, lichens, mosses and continues with different types of flowering plants including the exotic orchids, dodder, scarlet red flowers and several others.
The park also has a significant number of woody climbers like melletia auriculata, crypotepris buchanani, porana paniculata and others. Among the types of grass and herbs, you can find kansi, baib, tiger grass, khus khus, cyanthia, drymaria diandra, bhilmora, euphorbia hirta, clover and others alike.
Different types of shrubs and bamboo plants can also be found in large number within the park. On the other hand, chir pine, date palm, kanju, jamun, aamla, banj oak, semal, maddar, kanchnaar and dhak are some of the commonly found tree species within the park.
Well, if you are not much of a conservationist and naturalist, it would be difficult to spot all the different species. However, even if you are not so much of a conservationist, you can certainly find some exotic fauna species and you can even spot them easily.
Since, it is a Tiger Reserve, Bengal Tiger is one of the major attraction of this park but only if you are lucky enough to spot it. Besides, predators like leopard, jungle cat, fishing cat, and leopard cat may fetch your attention. Other dominant inhabitants of the park include Indian Asiatic Elephant, buffalo and Himalayan Black Bear. All these are the speciality of Corbett whether the other types of mammal, you can find a large population of Barking deer, Sambar deer, Hog deer, Spotting deer, Chital, Sloth, Indian Grey Mongoose, Rhesus macaques, Bear(Himalayan bear), Otters and different species of Cats family (Tiger, Leopard) and 33+ species of reptiles could be seen here.
Corbett National Park is one of the oldest and largest national parks in India; also it was the first project which came under the Tiger Reserve in India. Park isn’t just famous for tigers as well as for other different varieties of animals and species of various rare fauna. The population of wildlife creatures always falls on the increasing side as the atmosphere and weather remain positive for flora and fauna. Today, it is known as the best-preserved park with a good number of animals and different species with it. Animals like the Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Elephant, Gharial, King Cobra, and different varieties of fishes and birds like Trout, Goonch, Mahseer, Tuna and so many more.
Home to significant avifauna with a total of 586 species of habitant and migrating birds, the place is a best to enjoy bird watching. Birds like parakeet, crested serpent eagle, bee eaters, tawny fish owl, red jungle fowl and several other migratory birds. Some of the popular spots for bird watching within the park include Durga Devi Zone, which is the most beautiful location for spotting exotic birds.
The lush green settings of this zone and the availability of food attracts a large number of local as well as migratory birds to this setting. Winter is the best time for bird watching in this zone as during this period of the year; it attracts a large number of migratory birds to this region. Since Corbett is located in the mountainous region of Uttarakhand, where birds like the great pied hornbill, Red Jungle Fowl, Thick-knee, and Bush hen can be seen. For a long time, Corbett was just known for Tiger viewing, today visitors are also going there to observe the birds because there are so many different kinds of birds to see there as Golden Eagle, Black Eagle, Crested Kingfisher, Peacock, Brown Fish Owl, Hawk Eagle, Woodpecker, Fincher and so many more.
You can enjoy visiting the National Park in different Safaris- Jeep Safari, Elephant Safari, and canter Safari. Safaris are conducted during the morning and the evening every day which tourists have to book a few weeks before in order to get the bookings.
Safaris are the best way to enjoy the lush green magical beauty of massive Tiger Reserve in Uttarakahand. Jeep and open Canter Safari allow you the most convenient way to enjoy the park and spot the exotic wildlife. While the jeep safaris are more suitable for a smaller group, the open canter safaris are preferable for larger groups and alike.
For those who want to explore the jungle from atop and get closer to the nature, they can opt for the elephant safaris and step into the wilderness of the park. Mostly conducted during the early mornings, these safaris also prove to be exciting ways to witness and enjoy the appealing charm of the park.
Well, if you don’t choose to stay inside the park in the Dhikala zone, you have plenty of options to stay in the vicinity with a list of some exotic stays. Resorts in Jim Corbett offer extremely comfortable and soothing stay for all those who come here for enjoying the long weekend in the lap of the nature. You can choose from the list of hotels in Jim Corbett and enjoy an exceptional stay in the Park.