The Corbett National Park is located in the terai region of the state of Uttar Pradesh, straddling the undulating Shivalik foothills of the Himalayas. Located around 300 kilometres away from New Delhi, it is India's first ever national park.
The park was established in 1936 as the Hailey National Park, following the advice of the hunter-naturalist Jim Corbett. The park covered 520 sq. kilometres in 1986, and a proposed extension of 588 sq. kilometres is under consideration. Project Tiger, which was set up with the help of the World Wildlife Fund, was launched at Dhikala, in the Corbett National Park on April 1, 1973. This project was aimed at saving the Indian tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) from extinction.
Over 50 mammals, 580 birds and 25 reptile species have been listed in the Corbett National Park. The insect life is also astounding, noticeable especially after the monsoons. But undoubtedly, the jewel of the Corbett is the Indian tiger. It was estimated that in 1984, the tiger population was 90 in this park.
Leopards as well as lesser cats such as the leopard cat, jungle cat, fishing cat are also found here. The sloth bear, Himalayan black bear, dhole, jackal, yellow throated marten, Himalayan palm civet, Indian grey mongoose, common otter, porcupine, clacktaped hare are the other attractions of this area. It is possible to see elephants all over the park.
Four species of deer are found here. These are the chital, the well known spotted deer, para, kakkar, and the barking deer. The goat antelopes are represented by the ghoral.
There is a lot for the bird watchers in this park. It has over 580 species of birds. Most of the water birds are migrant, and arrive in winters. Some of these are the greylag, barheaded goose, duck, grepe, snipe, sandpiper, gull and wagtail. The residents include darters, cormorants, egrets, herons, the blacknecked stork and the spurwinged lapwings.
Reptiles, which are residents of this area, are the gharial, the rare fish eating, long - nosed crocodile, and a few species of turtles and tortoises. The Indian python, viper, cobra, krait and king cobra also inhabit the Corbett National Park.
The National Park offers invaluable experiences for adventurous and serious-minded wildlife - buffs, photographers and anglers. It is advantageous to have one's own vehicle here. Walking in some areas is permitted, but only when accompanied by a guide. Elephant rides for wildlife viewing, in the mornings and evenings, can be booked in the Dhikala complex.
How To Get There
By air at Pantnagar, 110 kilometres away. The nearest town and rail link is at Ramnagar, 51 kilometres away. New Delhi is a six hour drive.
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