Uttarakhand was once the home of leopards and tigers, many of them at certain stages turned man-eaters. The man-eating leopard of Rudraprayag and some tigers in the Kumaon region killed several men, women and children and created an atmosphere of insecurity, and fear in these areas. Then one of the greatest naturalists, conservationists and hunter, Jim Corbett, came upon the scene and to his gun fell several tigers, one after another, many of them man-eaters.
Jim Corbett became an adorable hunter just because he had killed some man-eaters that were terrorising the people of the hills. Corbett’s kills include the “Man-eating Leopard of Rudraprayag”, killed at Gulabrai, two kilometres from Rudraprayag, where a memorial now stands in evidence. But whatever the truth, Corbett did bring great relief to scores of villagers in Kumaon and Garhwal by killing these man-eaters and for this reason people held him in the highest regard. In 1957, the Hailey National Park (established in 1935) was renamed the Corbett National Park in recognition to his work.
Sprawling over an area of 535 sq. km, the park is situated in the south-eastern sector of Pauri Garhwal. The picturesque Patlidun Valley, which is 400mtr above sea-level, is divided by the meandering Ram Ganga and is the main spine of the park, whilst Dhikala, where most of the Rest Houses and hutments are located, is its heart. It is a delightful valley with its surrounding hills and the tall thick sal, semal and kachnar lend varied colour and shade to it at different times. The park is rich in wildlife and if you are lucky, you may even see a tiger ferrying its cubs across a stream or feasting on a kill. The southern end of the park has now submerged in the Ramganga Dam. Animals, who during the winters used to bask in the low lying open valley, have been pushed into the interior and to some extent wild life has been stressed and disturbed by the dam. However this huge reservoir with plenty of fishing opportunities is an additional attraction in the park.
Jungle fowl, kaleej pheasant, peafowl, grey and black partridge, rock pigeon, quails, babler, bee-eater, bulbul, dove, drongo, crow, flycatcher, hornbill, kingfisher, kite, lark, parakeet, woodpecker etc.
Snakes, pythons, gharials, lizards etc.
Mahsheer and the Indian Trout are in plenty during spring and early summer. In the deep pools, lurk the huge ones, but fishing is not permitted in the National Park. There are however some forest areas outside the Park where fishing is allowed only on permits obtainable from the Divisional Forest Officer at Ramnagar.
Photography is allowed during the day and permission can be obtained and necessary payments made at the gate or at Dhikala.
Important : Flash light photography is prohibited.
Visitors are not allowed to take any firearms inside the park. Shikar is prohibited and, in addition, it is also prohibited to : –
(a) Kill, injure, capture or disturb any animal, bird or reptile, or to take or to destroy any animal whether alive or dead, or to remove animal products like horns, eggs etc.
(b) To introduce any animal, domestic or wild into the park.
(c) to chase any animal with a vehicle, or to blow horns, play transistors, or in any way deliberately disturb the animals.
Accommodation, and food is available at Dhikala and other forest rest houses around. A large number of resorts and hotels have come up near Dhangarhi, the entrance point on the main road from Ramnagar to Chaukhutia.
The park normally opens during the second or third week of November every year after the internal roads are repaired from the monsoon damage. It closes for the rainy season in the month of June. Both opening and closing times are announced by the authorities well in advance.
Special information about the Park :(the rates under shown may vary)
(a) Entrance Fees to the Corbett National Park are paid at the Dhangari post. Rates as on date are as under:-
First 2 nights and 3 days
Each additional day
Car or Jeep
(b) Elephant ride is available at Dhikala for seeing wildlife, on payment of following charges.
For 2 hr Safari
Children below 5 years of age … Free
(c) Charges for photography.
Type of Camera
Still non – professional
Movie non – professional
20,000.00 per day
20,000.00 per day
2500.00 per day
5,000 per day
(d) Visitors are expected to avoid bright colour dress such as red, yellow, white and wear Khaki, olive green, grey or other dull colours which will not scare the animals away.
(e) “Tiger show ” ie a tiger feasting on a bait organised by the forest department while visitors watch from an observation tower, was a common practice in the past. This practice has now been abandoned. Seeing a tiger is a question of luck but the chances are always good as behind every corner there may be one either playing with the cubs or relaxing and gnawing after a rich feast or even waiting for a kill.
(f) Internal transport – Jeeps can be arranged at Dhikala on advance notice.
(g) The park is open from early November until the end of May. From November to January, it is cold, February to April is pleasant and May is hot.
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