Corbett National Park, Crafting a Niche for Tiger Tourism in India
Securely clasped in the hands of sprawling jungles, the diverse wildlife beckons a pure connection between nature and human. Taking a giant leap, Corbett National Park, which by the way takes pride in being the oldest National Park in the country; which inititate a mission to benefit tourism in India.
Home to about 485 species of plants, 600 species of birds and many other varieties of wild animals, Corbett is one of the best managed national parks in India. Exciting jeep safari, canter safari, opportunity of bird watching, animal-spotting, rafting and rappelling (Oh My God! I am out of breath!), keep visitors engaged.
Getting Ready for the Tiger Tour:
Since you are in an explorer’s shoes, you need to be well prepared and well informed. Make sure you book hotels and safaris in advance. Needless to say that you can be spoilt for choices when it comes to accommodation options in and around Corbett National Park. Dhikala, Gairal and Bijrani offer options for night halts amidst the vast Corbett Jungle. There are many hotels within close proximity to four main gates of the park. Permits are mandatory for entering Corbett; for night halts, permits are issued separately. Although summer is considered the best season for tiger and other animal spotting, winter can be surprisingly lucky for the wildlife lover as well. The simple reason is the shortage of water in summers that force animals to trudge to the few remaining reservoirs.
Meet the Wild:
With bated breath begin one of the best Tiger tours in India at Corbett. The fixed driving trails and well-maintained zones take you a step closer to wildlife. Corbett is strategically divided into four zones; however, a jeep safari also include a visit to Sonanadi zone (a part of Sonamani wildlife sanctuary). While Jhirna renders excellent bird watching opportunity, it is also a secure shelter for the growing population of tigers, thus you have fair chances to spot a tiger in this zone. Along with being a refuge to tigers, Jhirna is also a home to Himalayan sloth bears, nilgai, sambhar and wild boars. On the other hand, wide grassland welcomes you to Bijrani zone. Dressed in Sal, its upper reaches meet the valley of tropical moist and deciduous forest. Criss-crossed roads, variety of vegetation and adequate water availability conduce towards making Bijrani zone a perfect base for prey and predators. You just cannot miss out on Dhikala! An excellent place for night halt, it owns the widest range of accommodations in Corbett. A varied topography makes it a shelter for ghoral, crocodile, alligators and the great mahasheer. On the other side, Durga Devi zone is a haven for bird watchers. There are varieties of birds like grey headed fishing eagle, maroon orile, crested laughing thrush, black chinned yuhina, little forktailand bar tailed tree creeper and slaty blue flycatcher. Undulating terrains of this zone also give good opportunity for spotting of tigers and leopards.
A major attraction at Corbett, safaris are the best way to explore the vast stretches of the National Park. Corbett offers three options namely jeep, canter and elephant for exploring its four different zones. Jeep rides can be enjoyed in Jhirna, Durga Devi and Bijrani zone and canter ride is made available in the Dikhala zone. Following fixed trails, jeep and canter safari help you explore the vast, thick forest area, while ensuring a safe distance from animals necessary for their and your security. On the other hand, elephant safari adds a bit of an edge to the exploration. The fact that elephant rides give a better opportunity to explore the wildlife makes it popular amongst those with adventure instincts. However, each jungle safari has its own charm and each of it aims at bringing you closer to wildlife and nature.
Adventure at its Best:
While you enjoy catching a glimpse of wildlife, make sure you do not miss out on other brilliant adventure opportunities Corbett has in store for you. An adventures’ paradise, Corbett gives you options to enjoy activities like fishing/angling, rafting and bird watching. Kosi, Mandal, Kothri and Ramganga rivers are venues for some good fishing and angling time. River Kosi, which touches the periphery of Corbett, also offers excellent opportunity for rafting, especially in the monsoon season. Other than that, rappelling, kayaking and river crossing are other activities that one can enjoy in and around Corbett. Also being home to many species of birds, Corbett offers a great bird watching experience.
Places around Corbett:
Undoubtedly, Corbett and its vicinity are full of exciting expedition opportunity. There are a number of destinations around Corbett that are known for their scenic landscape and religious importance. Located 45 minutes away is Tumeria Dam, which is the main attraction for bird watchers and nature lovers. One can also visit Garjia, which is located 3 kms from Corbett National Park. A beautiful temple dedicated to Goddess Durga is perched upon a huge rock here, which attracts a lot of devotees. The house of conservationist Jim Corbett in Kaladhungi (32 kms from Ramnagar) has been converted into a museum and has also become a popular tourist attraction in the Corbett region. Another tourist haunt in the periphery is Corbett Fall, a great picnic destination.
Corbett…More than Just a National Park
While the onrush of wildlife inflates your lungs, you ought to also understand its conservation perspective. Corbett provides you with ample of opportunities to contemplate the present scenario of tiger tourism. It is more than just a term as it holds a great responsibility to connect nature and human in a bond of compassion and understanding. Corbett’s eloquent language redefines wildlife exploration and in disguise specifies our duty to do the needful. Along with conservationists and wildlife lovers, the local people of the surrounding villages realizes the importance of the existence of a wildlife reserve like Corbett, IT IS TIME THAT WE SHOULD REALIZE IT TOO…
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