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. 

Jim Corbett National Park is a treat for nature and wildlife lovers. Its territory of the land ranges over  500 square kilometres, and the entire terrain is beautiful. From marshy swamps to overarching 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.

In this travel blog, I will be sharing you my experience at the national park and all other details you need to know before you visit the place. 

Jim Corbett National Park – An Overview

Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India. The park has a large number of animal species including Bengal tigers, the leopard cat. Himalayan black bears, Indian grey mongoose, otters,  Indian pangolins, etc. Here are a few things you need to know before planning a visit to the park.

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

Travel Zones in Corbett

Six (6)

Accommodation Options

Inside the park

Near the park

About Jim Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett National was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park with the aim to protect the endangered Bengal tiger. The park was later named Jim Corbett after Edward James Corbett who played a key role in the establishment of this park.

Jim Corbett was a hunter who killed many man-eating tigers in India. He was called upon by British officials to kill man-eating tigers and leopards in the nearby villages of the Garhwal and Kumaon regions.

Corbett killed many man-eating tigers and leopards in the region. He found that the big cats turning man-eaters were either injured or incapable of normal hunting. He later persuaded the government to form a protected area so as to minimise man-animal conflict.

Jim Corbett National Park’s terrain spread over 500 sq km is beautiful. From marshy swamps to hills, from riverine belts to lakes, every geographical component is present here. There is a wide variety of flora and fauna in the park. 

Did you Know? Corbett National Park has the largest tiger population in India i.e. 200+

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

Corbett National Park is very popular among travellers from nearby towns, mainly because of the ease of travel and the distance.

Nainital – 66 km

Delhi – 260 km

Lucknow – 145 km

Ranikhet – 112 km

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 –

1The 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.

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

Official Travel Zones Inside Jim Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett National Park is divided into the five ecotourism zones for the proper management of the tourism activities in the tiger reserve area. These zones are

 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

The only area in the buffer zone open to visitors

How to book a Corbett National Park Safari?

The safari booking at Jim Corbett National Park can be done well in advance online. While Indians can book a safari 45 days in advance, foreign nationals can do so up to 90 days in advance. 

There are several other operators in Ramnagara and the hotels also book it for you, though they add a service charge on the government rate.

You can choose between a jeep safari and a canter safari. The Jeep safari will go to any of the zones mentioned above, while canter will only go to Dhikala zone. 

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 the 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, the 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 Accommodation 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

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 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?

Here are a few questions that are commonly asked questions about Jim Corbett National Park. In case you have more questions, drop them in the comment section and I will try to answer them as soon as possible.

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

jim corbett national park

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 sightseeing 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.

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