Jim Corbett National Park
Jim Corbett dwells in the foothills of Kumaon, a broad flat valley, where the bubbling, rushing water of the river Ramganga meander through the hills and valleys. Encompassing a variety of flora and fauna, it is famous for its wild population of Tigers, Leopards and Elephants. Corbett national park was established in 1936, as the Hailey National Park. India's first national park and the first sanctuary to come under Project Tiger, Corbett supports a variety of vegetation making it the ideal habitat for the Tiger and its prey.
Corbett is one of the most congested parks in India with a ratio of 1 tiger to every 5 acres. Gullies, ravines and thick forest cover give tigers the right kind of habitat. And herds of deer, particularly the sambar, plenty of food. The tiger is reclusive, but can be somewhat predictable in its beat.
What warns you is the sharp tang of freshly crushed vegetation and the sound of leaves being torn. Seeing elephants in the wild is a raw, exhilarating experience. The Corbett Park is the best place in Northern India to observe them at fairly close quarters. About 300 - 350 Asiatic elephants roam around the park in herds, along the river Ramganga or foraging in the grasslands.
Bird lovers Paradise
The park, with its rich bio-geographic diversity, is home to more than 600 species of birds - about half of the total species found in the entire Indian subcontinent! You can see parakeets, owls, orioles, drongos, thrushes, babblers, bulbuls, cuckoos, doves, bee eaters, rollers, flycatchers, warblers, robins, chats, finches, forktails, hornbills, kingfishers and many many more. It is also possibly one of the best places in the world for observing birds of prey.
The protective environment of Corbett Park has kept some endangered species safe and thriving, like the hog deer which has been virtually saved from extinction. At last count, the numbers had increased substantially.
Corbett is also the only home of the rare Indian pagolin. Consider yourself supremely blessed if you spot one! The rare fish eating, long snouted gharial is a common sight on the banks of the river Ramganga. Several species on the world hit list have been seen to be breeding happily in the park, at ease in Corbett's rich, life supporting bio diversity.
Take an early dawn elephant back safari with an authorized mahout guide. Jeep rides can be arranged at the Tourist Center. Although jeeps penetrate deeper into the forest than elephants, they cannot get nearly as close to the wild animals.
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