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A First Time Traveler’s Experience at Jim Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett National Park, also known simply as the Corbett National park lies in the Nainital district of the north Indian state of Uttarakhand. It was here that the prestigious ‘Project Tiger’ was launched in the year 1973. 

The place is a treat for nature and wildlife lovers. It territory of the land ranges over  500 square kilometers, and the entire terrain is beautiful. From marshy swamps to over arching hills, from riverine belts to lakes, every geographical component is present here. Love for nature is explored here via an open four wheeler Jeep and on elephant back. 

Jim Corbett National Park is not just home to the tiger but also other wildlife species and birds. In fact some of the most established bird watchers visit Corbett to observe different varieties of birds.

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Jim Corbett National Park

Known as one of the biggest tiger reserves in India, Jim Corbett National Park is also home to other rich flora and fauna. Photography by Muhammad Sujath

Jim Corbett National Park – An Overview

LOCATION Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, North India
MODE OF TRAVEL By road
MAIN ATTRACTION Tiger spotting, wildlife
BEST TIME TO VISIT November to February
NEARBY PLACES TO VISIT Lansdowne, Nainital

How to Reach Jim Corbett National Park ?

To reach Jim Corbett National Park, you will have to first visit Ramnagar – the nearest town to the Tiger reserve. Ramnagar is connected by both road and train to major Indian cities.

Travel Distance from some Popular Visitor Locations to Jim Corbett National Park

  • Nanital – 66 kms
  • Delhi – 260 kms
  • Lucknow – 145 kms
  • Ranikhet – 112 kms
Jim Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett is one of the oldest abodes to the Indian tiger. Photography by Tanuj Kumar

 What Way did I Take to Reach Jim Corbett National Park ?

Well from Chandigarh (located at a 4 to 6 hour distance from New Delhi)  there are mainly two ways from which you can travel to Jim Corbett National Park –

1.First way is via Haridwar and it goes like: Chandigarh – Saharanpur – Roorkee – Haridwar – Corbett

2. The second way is via Rishikesh and it goes like: Chandigarh – Dehradun – Rishikesh – Corbett.

The second path to the Jim Corbett National park was chosen by us because of the good road conditions. The roads from the first path are in a bit of bad shape as told by the driver.

When on the bus, we had only one rule. No one will sleep during the entire journey folks. The driver did the job of driving around and we did the job of keeping everyone up. The trip started with enthusiasm and dance music and we all danced like there is no tomorrow.

Official Travel Zones Inside Jim Corbett National Park

 Durga Devi Zone Recommended for bird watching
 Sitabani Buffer Zone Beautiful but lies a little outside the reserve
 Bijrani Safari Zone  Closest to the reserve and green.
 Dhikala Zone Excellent for overnight halt inside
 Jhirna Safari Zone Easy wildlife spotting
 Dhela Safari Zone Only area in buffer zone open to visitors
Jim Corbett National Park

A beautiful tiger spotted at Dikhala zone. Photography by Chetan Pardeshi

Jim Corbett National Park: A Place Unknown to Me at First

What does it feel like when you are travelling to a place completely unknown to you? The excitement trumps any other feeling as the day for the journey comes closer. Visiting Jim Corbett National Park was my first college trip. 

I am a ‘hostel boy’ so that place was my home and my friends and the students from college were the people I was going to travel with. The Adventure Club of the college was the organizer of the trip. I was also a part of the club and my duty was to call and inform every student going to the trip about the info meeting that had to take place before going.



Jim Corbett National Park and its Bollywood Connection

The Jim Corbett  National Park was where we were going, the same place where the movie KAAL was shot. We knew this was going to be epic. There were some things mandatory for every person to carry and the rest was a personal choice.

Anyhow we gathered at a meeting point early in the morning (still dark), loaded our luggage, attended the roll call to make sure everybody was present and off we go!

We had already hired a bus from local tours and travel Company.

Budget Accommodation Options Near Jim Corbett National Park

We stayed at The Den. This hotel is located in Kumeria Reserve Forest, Kumeriya, Chilkiya Range, Uttarakhand. The jungle safari to Jim Corbett is a 30-40 minute drive from there.

The place overall is a nice place. We were 4 guys and were allocated a room where there were two beds one on ground floor and one on first, which was accessible from the inside only. It was a nice room, had a nice tv but who comes to a trip to watch television right?

Some Nominal Stay Options

Forest Rest House

Great view, Nominal prices. Try booking in advance.

Camp Riverwild

Decent place to stay. Close to the river. Staff is trained well to serve guests.

Jim Corbett National Park

The Forest Rest House at Bijrani. Photography by Saim Ahmed

Accommodation Options Inside Jim Corbett National Park

Accommodating yourself inside the Jim Corbett National park will not be easy because there aren’t many stay options inside the reserve. However, good news is that this is one of the few tiger reserves in the world that offer you options to stay within its boundaries. You can halt at night, live amidst the wildlife and then venture out in the reserve next morning.

The accommodation options inside Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve are located at 3 places – 

  1. Dhikala
  2. Gairal
  3. Bijrani 

All of the stay options available at the above mentioned 3 places have been provided by the reserve officials themselves and should be booked in advance.

Note: Out of the 3 places mentioned, the most spacious accommodation is available at Dhikala.

Permits for Accomodation Inside Jim Corbett National Park

Prior reservation booking will have to be done online. You’ll have to pay the requisite tariff and book your spot. Once the reservation is done, collect  your ‘in-reserve’ permit can  from the Ramnagar Reception Office before entering the Park. It needs to be mentioned here that visitors from India can make booking up to 45 days in advance, while foreign nationals can make bookings up to 90 days in advance.

Jim Corbett National Park

Me having fun at the poolside of the Den. Credits by Sahil Rana

 

Jim Corbett National Park

The Den. Photography by Sahil Rana

 

Jim Corbett National Park

The Premises of Forest Rest House. Photography by Shubhankar

 

Jim Corbett National Park

Camp Riverwild. Photography by Rimli Baruah

A Visit to Kosi River

We stayed up playing cards and socializing and talking and finally taking a nap at 4 A.M. We were woken up at 6 by our ‘new friends’ who were just as excited to go to the Kosi river which flows right next to the hotel.

We went down and found this place to be amazing! Chilling with our feet in the water and just looking at the landscape was truly amazing.

Jim Corbett National Park

Kosi flows peacefully through the national park. Photography by Rishi Sharma

 

Jim Corbett National Park

Logger bridge on the Kosi. Photography by Nehal Shah

The Complete Safari Experience inside Jim Corbett National Park

Breakfast was ready as we barged in hungry after having fun at the river. After that we assembled and sat in the bus which took us to the Safari Site, which was almost 35 minutes from the hotel.

We were divided into groups and given our jeeps (with driver) to explore in. It was morning time and the locals there told us that the best time to spot a tiger was around evening. All set in our jeeps, we started the journey as it took us into the footsteps of the forest reserve.

Jim Corbett National Park

Preparing for Safari. Photography by Sahil Rana

 

Jim Corbett National Park

The Safari begins. Photography by Sahil Rana

Wildlife Spotting at Jim Corbett National Park

As we were going more and more into forest, we saw the wildlife emerging from the scene. The Jim Corbett National Park as we were told was coming to life.  Initially we saw –

  • Monkeys
  • Langur
  • Parrots
  • Wild chickn
  • Moose
  • Peacocks
  • Elephants
  • Fox
  • Deers
  • Birds
Jim Corbett National Park

Beautiful nests. Photography by Sahsrash Singhal

 

Jim Corbett National Park

The Langur. Photography by Nilotpal Sinha

 

 

Jim Corbett National Park

A brown fox. Photography by Nilotpal Sinha

 

Jim Corbett National Park

Spotted deers at Corbett. Photography by Nilotpal Sinha

 

Jim Corbett National Park

A herd of elephants. Photography by Kapil

The Watch Tower at Jim Corbett National Park

There is a spot in the Jim Corbett National Park where the jeeps stop by turns. It is a watch tower which gives the whole view of the forest and is a very good place to capture wildlife if you are lucky enough.

What the drivers did is that they turned off the ignition as we were climbing the tower and as soon as we reached the top it was so peaceful. By maintaining the quiet there was a chance that we would get to see some of the nature in action but we couldn’t spot anything. We saw weaver bird’s nest which was an amazing work of art.

The driver as we drove along was telling us all about the wildlife there.

We came back around 2-2:30 without spotting the Tiger but we were not disappointed. The jungle safari definitely introduced us to the wild and by experiencing that a feeling is introduced into you, a feeling of respect, for the nature and the animals.



The Amazing End to our Experience at Jim Corbett National Park

All journeys must come to an end and so did this one.  I’d like to conclude by mentioning the dive in the pool. Just before we had to leave we took a quick dip or say dive into the pool and were doing it continuously till we were called up because we were getting late. Typical college kids right? It looked like we can never have enough of this Jim Corbett experience.

Jim Corbett National Park is a place for everyone! From the explorers curious to know about the unseen of the wildlife to the people who find serenity in nature. I’ve seen kids being excited to see the forest and animals around them and I can say with confidence that you will too. Definitely an experience worth having because one truly indulges when the nature hypnotizes. 

What’s to share is that going out so far for the first time, enjoying and making our own moments, playing like kids in the hotel room, jungle safari and making new friends was an experience that I will never forget.

Jim Corbett National Park

A lonesome tiger behind the bushes. Look at those powerful big eyes. Photography by Varun Chopra

 

 

Jim Corbett National Park

A deer spotted at Corbett. Photography by Nilotpal Sinha

Jim Corbett National Park

A beautiful waterfall inside Jim Corbett. Photography by Sumit Kumar

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) on Jim Corbett National Park ?

Is Jim Corbett National Park accessible throughout the year ? No. It remains closed from July to October
How to book a ticket for Park Safari at Jim Corbett National Park ? Book online
How many vehicles are allowed inside the Jim Corbett National Park per day ? 180 vehicles divided zone wise
How many visitors are allowed per jeep ? Maximum six people
Can permits to the Safari be rescheduled ? No
Are accommodation options available inside the Jim Corbett National Park ? Yes
If you’re a nature and wildlife lover, take some time out from your busy schedule and plan a trip to Jim Corbett National Park. Witness the big cats as well as other wildlife. Try staying overnight inside the reserve and most important be in sync with nature at all times.
Happy Wayfaring 🙂

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Rana is an Engineer by trade and an adventurer  by heart. He hails from the city beautiful Chandigarh. Sahil believes that travel isn’t just about sight seeing but the journey as well. It is the development of the mind and growth of the soul. He likes to travel solo as well as with friends. Sahil’s ultimate fantasy is to travel the world and meet as many people as possible.

Jim Corbett National Park

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