Jim Corbett National Park is one of the most celebrated wildlife reserve in India. This park is spread in Nanital, Pauri and Almora district. Corbett National Park is an amazing blend of high hills, swamp, River side belts and green meadows covering an area of 522 kilometres at the foot hills of the great himalayas and this makes the park a heaven for wildlife adventures lovers. This park is famous for variety of rare flora, wild animals, reptiles and birds species. A pathway adorn with mango orchards leads one into a complete different world housing a record number of 488 different species of plants and 580 birds type. Moreover a plethora of 25 reptile species and 50 species of mammals are reasons enough to go personal with this wonderland. Visitors are allowed May to June to visit Corbett National Park.
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 honoured 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 kilometres, 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 neighbouring 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 criss-crossing 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 Bird-life 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 behaviour 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 bird-life.