Corbett National Park

Corbett National Park established in 1936 and renamed in 1957 after the legendary hunter-turned-naturalist Jim Corbett, Corbett has the glory of being India's first National Park. Corbett is situated in the central foothills of the Himalayas, between the Himalayan and Sivalik ranges, which accounts for its rich bio-diversity. On account of its high density of tigers, elephants and a spectacular array of birds, Corbett is aptly described as the land of 'Roar, Trumpet and Song'. It also happens to be the northernmost extend of the Asian Elephant.

Corbett's lifeline is the Ramganga river, which meanders through dense forests before it drains into a large reservoir surrounded by grasslands that stretch for miles. This zone, known as Dhikala, lies at the very heart of the park and offers great opportunities for wildlife viewing. The ridge to the north marks the boundary of the park at Kanda, the highest point in the reserve, with panoramic views of Corbett. The quaint, century old Malani Forest Bungalow, located on the southern ridge, is closest to the core area of the jungle in the Bijrani zone.

A virtual haven for birdwatchers, Corbett and its adjoining areas host as many as 650 species of resident and migratory birds. On its steep slopes you'll find elusive goat antelopes like Goral and the Serow, while the Ramganga river is home to the endemic Gharial (fish eating crocodile), Muggers (Marsh Crocodiles) and otters. Staying in old colonial rest houses scattered across the Corbett national park, coupled with wildlife sightings from elephant back and open 4X4s, make Corbett an unforgettable experience.

Fauna:
Herbivores found in Corbett include the Hog Deer, Muntjac, Spotted Deer and Sambar. Other important mammals are Indian Pangolin, Leopard Cat, Sloth Bear and the Himalayan Black Bear. The Ramganga river is also home to various species of Turtles, the endemic Golden Mahseer and Goonch, a giant catfish that can grow to a length of over 6 ft and can run up to 250 lbs.

Corbett's rich bird life includes species like Red Billed Leiothrix, Great Hornbill, Goldcrest, Mustached Warbler, Bright-headed Cisticola, Green-backed Tit, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Slaty-backed Forktail, White-tailed Rubythroat, Ultramarine Flycatcher and the Dark-sided Thrush. An astonishing count of over 50 birds of prey include the Mountain Hawk Eagle, Collared Falconet, Pied Harrier, Merlin and Pallas' Fish Eagle to name a few. Dhikala is a good place to look out for vultures like the Long-billed, White-backed, Cinerous and the Red-headed Vulture. Lammergeiers can occasionally be found soaring above the park. The Tawny Fish Owl, Mountain Hawk Owl, Brown Fish Owl and Grass Owl are some of the 20 species of owls found here.

Flora:
Corbett offers both Himalayan and peninsular flora and fauna and the forest is dominated by tropical broad-leafed Sal, interspersed with massive savanna grassland in the river valleys.

Fact sheet:

State : Uttaranchal
Area : 1380 sq. km (Combining Core and buffer forest)
Altitude : 400 to 1210 m above mean sea level
Vegetation : Moist deciduous, Tropical dry deciduous, Subtropical Conifers
Water resources : Ramganga, Mandal, Plain, Sona Nadi, lakes and small rain fed streams
Winter : November to February
Summer : March to June
Monsoon : June to October
Rainfall : 1400 - 2800 mm
Temperature : Min 0°C - Max 42°C

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