Corbett National Park is the oldest national park not only in India, but mainland Asia. It was declared a national park way back in 1936, and was then called Hailey National Park. At that time Sir Malcolm Hailey was the governor of United Provinces. Jim Corbett, the legendary hunter who turned into a wildlife conservationist, played a key role in the conservation efforts here. The reserve was later called Ramganga National Park (in 1954–55), and a year later was renamed as Corbett National Park.
Geographically located between the Hiamlayas and the terai region, it lies in the districts of Nainital and Pauri, covering an area of 521 sq km. If you take into account the nearby Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and the reserve forest areas then the whole area spreads to over 1288 sq km. The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the most famous resident of Corbett National Park. Project Tiger conservation programme was in fact launched from Corbett in 1973.
Corbett is home to the Bengal tiger and the Asiatic elephant. The leopard is the other large cat found in here. The four species of deer that are sighted in the park are – chital, para or hog deer, sambar, kakar or barking deer. Hanuman or common langur and rhesus macaque are the primates commonly found in the park. Wild boar, Asiatic jackal, different species of otters have also made home here. Crocodiles are also found aplenty in the waters of Ramganga river.
Permits: For day visits permits are obtained at the respective entry gates. However permits for night halts are issued at the CTR Reception Office at Ramnagar. Walking or trekking inside the park is not allowed.
When to visit: The Park is open for visitors from November 15 to June 15. It is closed during the monsoons.
Accommodation: There are tourist complexes located at Dhikala, Gairal and Bijrani. Visitors can also stay at Forest Rest Houses at Lohachaur, Rathuadhab, Halduparao, Mundiapani, Morghatti, Sendhikhal and Dhela.
How to reach:
Air: Delhi airport from where you can drive to Ramnagar, which is the gateway to Corbett.
Rail: There are direct trains from New Delhi to Ramnagar. There are also trains from Lucknow.
Road: Ramnagar is well connected to Delhi, Haldwani and Moradabad by state transport buses.