Corbett National Park Overview
India’s first ever wildlife reserve located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand, India, Corbett National Park is popular across the world for sizable population of tigers and significant varieties of birds. Established in 1936 the park was the first of its kind in India that came under the Project Tiger initiative. A perfect eco-tourism destination, Corbett is densely covered with Sal and bamboo trees and houses around 488 species of plants and exotic species of fauna. The park is situated at the foothills of Himalaya and looks stunning for the presence of Ramganga River at the backdrop. The park is divided into four zones namely Bijrani, Zhirna, Dhikala and Durgadevi.
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Corbett History & Geography
In distant past, certain parts of Corbett were under the kingdom of Tehri Garhwal. It is during his rule some areas of the park were presented to British rulers as they helped him to drive away the Gorkhas from his domain. Boksas, a tribal group of Terai used to live in the vicinity of today’s Corbett and used to grow crops. But they were thrown away from the park during British rule.
The effort to set up a national park in this region was initiated under the governance of British Officer Major Ramsay when he was in-charge of this region. In 1907 British Government decided to create a game reserve in the region of today’s Corbett. Finally in 1936 the British rulers created the first national park of India and named it as the Hailey National Park who was the then Governor of the United Provinces. After independence the park was named as Ramganga National Park. The present name Corbett National Park was introduced in 1955-56 to honour the famous hunter cum wildlife conservationist Edward Jim Corbett, who played an important role in the formation of this park.
At the beginning the park was set over an area of 323.75 km2 . Over the years the total area of the park started expanding and it gets today’s size with the inclusion of Kalagarh Forest Division (301.18 km2). Today the park is extended over an area of 1,318.54 square kilometres within which 520sq km is converted to the core area and 797.72 sq km is dedicated to buffer zone.
The Corbett National Park is located between 29°25' and 29°39'N latitude and between 78°44' and 79°07'E longitude. The elevation of this reserve ranges from 360m to 1040m. Within the area of this park there are several ridges, ravines, small streams and minor plateaus with distinct aspects and degrees of slope. The park encloses the Patli Dun Valley within its boundary which is formed by the Ramganga River. The forest in Corbett encompasses Upper Himalayan subtropical pine forests ecoregions and Gangetic Plains’ moist deciduous forests.
Flora & Fauna in Jim Corbett National Park
The vegetation of Corbett National Park is dense in the areas where Sal trees are found in good number. Around 488 species of plants are found inside the park among which Khair and Sissoo are the most common species. Plants like Chir Pine, Khajur, Date Palms, Banj Oak, Kanju, Jamun and Amla are also found in scattered number across the park. There are particular areas where bamboo forests are found blooming every 12 years or so. The forest in Corbett National Park also encloses several varieties of herbs, shrubs, Epiphytes and orchids, woody climbers and various species of non-flowering plants.
Corbett is known among the travellers and nature lovers for its tiger population. The sole intention behind creating this national park was to preserve the population of tigers. The park is the home to four different species of deer, wild boar, Indian gray mongoose, Himalayan palm civet, porcupine, common otter, and blacknaped hare. Leopards are seen in hilly regions of the park. Other varieties of cats like fishing cats and wild cats are also found here. A good number of elephants are found in Corbett along with animals like sloth bear, wild boar, spotted dear etc. Retiles like Indian Marsh crocodile or Mugger (Crocodilus palustris), King Cobra (Naja bungarus), Russel Viper (Vipera ruselli) Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus), Common Krait (Bungarus caoruleus), Cobra (Naja naja), and Python (Python molorus)are also found in Corbett. The park serves as the home to around 580 species of birds like Pelicans, Indian Shag, Great Crested Grebe, Greylag Geese, Cormorants, Black-necked Storks, Darters, Grey Heron, White-necked Storks, Egrets, White-capped Redstart, Spurwinged Lapwing, Peregrine Falcon, Black-winged Kite, Crested Serpent Eagle, Osprey, Fishing Eagle, Himalayan Longbilled Vulture, Green Pigeons, Crested Honey Buzzard, Nightjars, Owls, Parakeets etc.
Wildlife safari is the most exciting activity to enjoy inside the Corbett National Park. Along with jeep safari, canter and elephant ride are also arranged in certain zones of Corbett. Birding is an exciting activity in Corbett if one is done with the other fun parts. Ramganga River is an ideal destination for angling near Corbett. For tourists who are fond of thrilling deeds can join activities like rafting or bridge slithering on Kosi River.
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