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Jim Corbett National Park

by Rohit Rathore
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Jim Corbett National Park

Introduction

Jim Corbett National Park, located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, is a jewel in India’s wildlife conservation efforts. Established in 1936 as Hailey National Park, it holds the distinction of being the country’s oldest and most prestigious national park. Furthermore, it was the birthplace of Project Tiger in 1973, a program aimed at protecting the endangered Bengal tiger.

Tourist Zones

To encourage tourism, the park has been divided into six distinct tourism zones where visitors can partake in wildlife safaris:

  • Bijrani Safari Zone: Known for its natural beauty and open grasslands, with an entry gate only 1 km from Ramnagar city.
  • Jhirna Safari Zone: Open year-round, it’s 16 km from Ramnagar city.
  • Dhela Safari Zone: Added to the tiger reserve in 2014, it’s open year-round and 13 km from Ramnagar City.
  • Dhikala Zone: The largest and most diverse safari zone, known for its exotic fauna, 18 km from Ramnagar city.
  • Durga Devi Zone: Ideal for birdwatching, it’s 36 km from Ramnagar city.
  • Sitabani Buffer Zone: While not part of the Corbett Tiger Reserve, it offers serene natural beauty.

How to Reach Corbett

Ramnagar is the closest town to the park and serves as the gateway to Corbett National Park. It is well-connected by rail and road to major Indian cities like Delhi, Moradabad, Nainital, and Bareilly. From Ramnagar, it’s just a 15 km journey to the park.

  • By Road: Corbett National Park is approximately 260 km from Delhi, and Uttarakhand’s state government operates buses that run directly from various cities to Corbett.
  • By Rail: Ramnagar railway station is well-connected to Delhi, Moradabad, and Bareilly. Direct trains from Delhi include Ranikhet Express, Corbett Link Express, and Kathgodam Express.

Dhikala Forest Lodge

Jim Corbett National Park is the only park in India where you can stay overnight inside the jungle. Dhikala Forest Lodge, an old structure built by the Britishers, is a popular choice among tourists. It may not be luxurious, but the experience of staying amidst the jungle is unforgettable. The forest department manages tourism within the park, offering various accommodation options at Dhikala, including Forest Rest Houses, Cabins, Hutments, and Log huts with bunk beds.

Corbett Hotel & Resort

Corbett National Park is a top tourist destination in Uttarakhand, drawing adventurers and nature enthusiasts from around the world. It offers a range of royal hotels and resorts, making it a popular choice for destination weddings, with its lush green backdrop. The organic decor complements the natural beauty of the park and provides a superb setting for a memorable stay.

Dhikala Booking Procedure

To book a stay, you’ll need to provide the names, ages, genders, and ID proofs (such as Passport No., PAN No., Voter ID, Aadhar No.) of tourists, along with the required booking amount. Availability is confirmed 90 days before the arrival date. While local tour operators assist with the booking process, please note that they are not responsible for the quality of services at the forest rest houses operated by the forest department.

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