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Jim Corbett National Park

 Updated on 30-6-2021

Jim Corbett National park is about 2 to 3 hours drive from Nanital (~ 130 Km). Jim Corbett National park was opened in 1936.  Jim Corbett national park is the oldest tiger reserve in Nainital district of Uttarakhand, India. Named after Jim Corbett, a British national, who worked for the development of the park. The park is currently spread over an area of 520 Sq Km. The park is home for more than 110 types of trees, 51 types of shrubs, 27 types of climbers and grass. 

The park is home for many animals such as tiger, leopard, nilgai, deer, elephant, wild boar, Hedgehog.  River Ramganga flows through the Park providing abundant water for the flora and fauna. The main attraction of this park is tigers, but sighting a tiger is very difficult as the park is spread over a large area and it is not easy to spot tigers in this vast area of thick forest or grasslands.

This vast park is divided into following five zones for convenience of administration based on the topography:

Five Zones in Jim Corbett

Jhirna zone in Jim Corbett

Jhirna zone: Located at the southern end, Jhirna zone is best for viewing wildlife. This is the only zone which is open throughout the year. During winter season the zone is open from 7am to 10am and evening from 2 pm to 5:30pm and in summer morning 6am till 9:30am and evening 3pm to 6:30 pm. This zone is well connected by road and one can take either Elephant or Jeep safari.

Dhikala zone: Located 50 Km deep inside the forest, Dhikala zone is good for viewing valleys and some real wildlife like Royal Bengal Tiger, Elephants, Cheetahs etc. The zone is situated at the edges of Patil Dun. For having a good view of grasslands and wildlife one can take either Jeep safari or bus safari.

The zone is open from November 15th till 15th June. This zone becomes inaccessible during monsoon.  The zone is open in winters from 7am to 10am in the morning and afternoon 2 pm to 5:30 pm.

In summer morning 6 am to 9:30 am and in the evening 3 pm to 6:30 pm. Dhikala zone is also well connected on road and one can book the safari tickets in Ramnagar office. Ram ganga river is the lifeline of this zone

Map of Jim Corbett

Bijrani zone-Like Dhikala zone the topography of Bijrani zone consists of grasslands and wild animals. Located close to Amdanda gate close to Ramnagar   chances of spotting tigers in this zone are more compared to other zones.  Bijarni has a core, buffer and tourists zone.

Tourists are allowed to visit only in the tourist zone. One can take a jeep or elephant safari and can book safari tickets from the Ramnagar office. The timings of the zone are the same as other zones. The zone is open from 15th October-15th June.  This zone also becomes inaccessible during monsoon.

Mama elephant playing with the cub in Jim CorbettImage credit Pranav R

Sonandi zone: Located near Jim Corbett national park Sonandi zone is well known for its flora and fauna. One can expect to see Asiatic Elephants, Tigers, leopards, reptiles and beautiful birds. Tourists can take elephant or jeep safari from Durga Devi gate, Vatnavasa gate, Kalagarh gate.

The zone is open from 15th October to 15th June and closed during monsoon. The timings of the zone are the same as other zones. All the gates are well connected by roads and tourists can book the safari tickets from Ramnagar office.

Durga Devi Zone: Durga Devi gate is located 28 km from Ramanagar village. This is one of the most difficult zones to trek due to its high elevation. From this gate visitors can enjoy multiple entries in elephant safari. Tourists can get permission to do fishing at certain spots. Mahseer fishes can be seen in large numbers here. Angling (a method of fishing) can also be enjoyed by visitors here. The zone is open from 1st October to 30th June and closed during monsoon.

Tigers enjoying in Jim Corbett
Deer in Jim Corbett
Relaxing Tiger
Bird watching in Jim Corbett

Best time to visit

Tigers are resting in the river

Jim Corbett is open all round the year, but from November till June it is considered as the best time to visit Jim Corbett National Park as all gates remain open during these months and the whole park is open for visitors. Monsoon is considered as off season due to damp weather and less animals can be spotted.

Most of the gates also remain close during monsoon.  The chances of sighting tigers are bright during the months of March to June as most of the trees would have shed leaves and the number of water holes would have reduced considerably due to summer.


Seasons in Jim Corbett National Park

Summer season: March to mid June is considered as summer season. The temperature can go up to 40 degree Celsius and night temperature could be around 20 degree Celsius. Light cotton clothes are preferred during the summer season.Carrying water bottles is good to avoid dehydration. It is also advisable not to throw the bottles and other plastic material inside the park but to carry it back to the hotel and dispose of it by proper means.

Monsoon season: Late June to September is the monsoon season. Rainfall is  heavy during monsoon season. During this season the humidity level would be very high and the park is also prone to soil erosion. Most of the gates are closed during monsoon season and it is considered a lean period for tourism. Due to sultry weather cotton clothes are preferred.

Winter season: November to February is considered the winter season. This period is considered the best season to visit the park. The day temperature could be around 25 degree Celsius and night temperature could dip as low as 50 degree Celsius. Light woollen clothes would be preferred during the winter season. The humidity level also comes down. 

Fauna in Jim Corbett

How to reach Jim Corbett

By Air: The nearest airport to Jim Corbett is Pantnagar which is around 50 Km from park.

By Road: Jim Corbett is well connected with roads from all major cities from north India. From Delhi the bus services are available from Anand Vihar ISBT. The park is around at a distance of 250 Kms from Delhi. One can book a cab and drive down from Delhi.

By Rail: Ramnagar railway station which is around 5km from the park is the nearest railway station. Some important trains are Raniket express, Sampark Kranti.

Safari in Jim Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett National Park is famous for some weird wild animals. To truly enjoy nature and the wild animals, tourists can go on safari. There are two types of Safari offered in Jim Corbett national park. Jeep and Canter safari. Both the safari provide open air vehicles which helps tourists to get a better view of wild animals.

Both Jeep and Canter safari can be booked for any of the five zones. Online booking of Jeep Safari is available for both morning and evening in Bhijrani, Jhirna, Dhela and Durga devi zones. The park safari timings depend on the sunrise and sunset. Usually the safari is four hours long with pick and drop from the hotel. 

Both Jeep and Canter safari can be booked for any of the five zones. Online booking of Jeep Safari is available for both morning and evening in Bhijrani, Jhirna, Dhela and Durga devi zones. The park safari timings depend on the sunrise and sunset. Usually the safari is four hours long with pick and drop from the hotel. 

In Dhikala zone if you are unable to get a night stay permit in this zone then the only available safari option is canter safari. Canter Safari accommodates around 15 persons. The best time to do Jeep Safari is from November to June end. All the safari booking is managed by the forest department as per the guidelines of the Indian Forest department.

Timings for Jeep Safari in Bijrani, Gariya, Jhirna, Dhela, Durgadevi, Sitaban 

Morning: 6 am to 9:30 am  and Evening 3 pm- 6 pm ( timings changes according to the season) 

Timings for Canter safari in Dhikala

Morning 6 am to 11:50 am and evening- 12 noon to 6 pm

Flora and Fauna in Jim Corbett

Jim Corbett National Park is blessed with bountiful flora and fauna. The reserve is located partly along the valley of lesser Himalayas in the north and Shivaliks in the south. The park has around 500 species of different types of beautiful plants all around. The different habitat in Corbett is filled with Sal forest, Khair- Sissoo forest, Mountains, Chaur, Rivers and streams.

Grasses form the major species in Corbett with around 70 different species being recorded. Some of the major grasses that are found are Khus-khus, Tiger grass, Aristida cyanantha and many more.

Some of the major trees that are found here in Sal forest include Sal trees, Sheesham, Kanju. Chir pine is the only one confer found in the ridge tops. In some parts of the corbett the vegetation is dominated by bamboo trees. There are many shrubs,herbs all around the forest.

Fauna: 

Jim Corbett National Park is blessed with rich flora and fauna all around. The park is home for around 600 migratory and residential birds like crested serpent eagle, blossom headed parakeet, red jungle fowl and many more are found in the vicinity of the park. Roughly there are around 33 species of reptiles, seven species of amphibians, seven species of fishes and around 40 species of dragonflies.

Other than Bengal tigers one can see the leopard, jungle cat, fishing cat, sambar deer, langur, Himalayan goral, Indian pangolins, langur and many more. In summers one can see a lot of Indian elephants.

Adventure activities in Jim Corbett

Other than doing different types of Safari, bird watching, fishing and angling and enjoying the seeing of flora and fauna in Jim Corbett, tourists can do many adventurous activities like river rafting, rock climbing, river crossing and many more.

Rock climbing is a tough adventure activity in Jim Corbett. It needs specialised climbing  techniques. Proper guidance and tools are available in the park to help the tourists to enjoy this activity. River Rafting on the river Kosi is truly an amazing activity for Jim Corbett.

The activity is available both for beginners and for professionals.  There are both grade 2 and grade 3 in river rafting. The best time for river rafting is from July to September. Another activity is river crossing while hanging from a rope tied from one end to the other end of the river.

Another important adventure activity is bridge slithering which involves the adventurer sliding from a bridge above river Kosi with the help of a rope.  It is a thrilling experience of jumping off from the bridge and sliding down a rope and finally diving into the River Kosi.

Rappelling is another adventure activity which is considered as one of the best activities in Jim Corbett. In rappelling you have to fall down from a rock by holding the rope. One can also do nature trek, mountain biking,fishing and angling  in Jim Corbett. There is no end to many other adventurous activities in Jim Corbett.

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