Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve
Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India and was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park to protect the endangered royal Bengal tiger. It is located in Nainital district and Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand and was named after Jim Corbett, a well known hunter and naturalist. The park was the first to come under the Project Tiger initiative.
The park has sub-Himalayan belt geographical and ecological characteristics. An ecotourism destination, it contains 488 different species of plants and a diverse variety of fauna. The park area comprises of hills, marshy depressions, riverine belts, grasslands and large lake. It is among the few tiger reserves in India that allows overnight stays in the lap of the wilderness. Nature watch and wildlife viewing in the park is done in an open jeep and on elephant back. Sheltering a healthy population of tigers and rare species like otters and the endemic fish eating crocodile, the national park is one of the most sought after destinations for the wildlife buffs.
Wildlife and Birdlife
Tigers are elusive here compared to some of the other parks in the country but in recent years the sightings have vastly improved. Leopards are the second largest predator in the reserve and elephants are the dominant mammals here, but even they are dwarfed by the overwhelming landscape. The lesser predators are the jungle cat, leopard cat, the rare fishing cat, golden jackal and yellow-throated marten. Both the sloth bear and the brown bear are reported here but seldom seen. Herbivores found here are spotted deer, sambar, hog deer and muntjac, while on steep slopes you’ll find the elusive goat antelope – goral. The Ramganga River is home to the endemic gharial (fish eating crocodile), muggers (marsh crocodiles), common otters as well as the legendary sportfish – Golden Mahseer.
A virtual haven for birders visiting North India, Corbett hosts over 500 species of resident and migratory birds. The rich bird life includes species like Pallas’s and lesser fish eagle, brown and tawny fish owl, collared falconet, Hodgson’s bushchat, Nepal wren babbler, slaty-headed parakeet, pin-tailed green pigeon, great slaty woodpecker, long-tailed broadbill, black-chinned babbler, white-tailed bubuthroat, crested kingfisher, great hornbill, wallcreeper, brown dipper, plumbeous and white-capped water redstarts, slaty-backed and spotted forktails, small and rufous-bellied niltava.
1288 sq. km
822 sq. km
385 to 1100 meter above sea level
Spread in Nainital and Pauri districts
42°C to 4°C
1400 to 2800 mm
Best time to Visit
All year about, but winters are extremely cold
Moist deciduous, tropical dry deciduous, subtropical conifer