Jungle Fun: Jim Corbett National Park
What’s a better way to go wilderness exploring than in a jeep safari? Jim Corbett is not just one of the most popular places to experience the jungle, but also the oldest in India. The efforts to establish a national park began in the early 1900s, by a group of Britishers among who Jim Corbett, well-known author and wildlife conservationist played a key role in persuading the provincial government. Currently, the national park is a part of the larger Corbett tiger reserve and has a total area of about 1320 square kilometers. With such a large area, you’re already wondering where to start and end your safari! Well, the Jim Corbett National Park has been divided into four safari zones, each with a separate entrance.
Dhikala: Entry from Dhangari
Located on one side of the wide Patli dun valley and housing a century old historical rest house, Dhikala zone is the most popular among tourists as it offers a spectacular panoramic view of the valley. You can expect to see the Royal Bengal tiger, elephant, deer, chital, vulture, teal, dove, crocodile, cobraand numerous grassland bird species and raptors.
Jhirna: Entry from Khara,Kalagarh
Jhirna is preferred by some tourists because it is 16 km from Ramnagar, and hence closer. The sudden appearance of the wild bear in front of jeeps is what makes Jhirna an adrenaline booster.
Bijrani: Entry from Amadanda
It seems like the marriage of flora and fauna culminated into this beautiful zone. Rich withswaying grasslands, several little streams and thicksal forests which were the source of domestic timber in the erstwhile period, , Bijrani gives you the true feeling of being deep inside a forest.
Durga Devi: Entry from Durga devi
Durga Devi stands out for elephant safari that makes it possible for nature lovers to go even in areas where the jeeps can’t, and in absolute silence.
Jim Corbett National Park has about 160 tigers, more than 600 species of birds and a rich variety of mammals and reptiles. A visit to any of the four safari zones requires prior permission, which is sometimes available on a first-cum-first serve basis. You get a jeep (or elephant, according to what you book) with a driver-cum-guide who takes you deep into the forest. Picture yourself standing in an open jeep, the slow forest air brushing your body, and eyes and ears wide open for the slightest movement or rustle in the foliage. Excitement builds as you spot the first few animals accompanied by the incessant twittering of birds. And when the royal beast shows up, you know your jungle quest has been fruitful. Adventure gets a whole new dimension when you discover that rock-climbing, rappelling, river-crossing and slithering, hot-air ballooning and rafting are also available in the park. Yes!
Apart from the national park, the Corbett area has a couple of other activities to do. Dipping feet in the clear waters of the pebble-strewn Kosi River or enjoying a dip in the untouched Corbett Falls will add a bunch of good memories to your Jungle fun picture book!