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Viva Holidays Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd.Corbett
The Corbett National Park is a primal jungle as Rudyard Kipling put it. Despite extensive tourism, the park has managed to retain its primeval ambience, where man must walk timorously, in awe and with a strong sense of his own insignificance. more pictures.

CorbettSet up in 1936 as India's first national park and possibly the finest, the Corbett National Park was first delimited in consultation with that great hunter and conserver, Jim Corbett. The park spans across some 920.9 square km at an altitude of 600 to 1100 metres about the foothills of the western Himalayas in the districts of Nainital and Pauri Garhwal in the state of Uttaranchal (formerly part of Uttar Pradesh). In its eventful 64-year life, it has grown considerably in size and now includes the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary as a part of its 1,319 sq km of reserved forest area.

History
Prior to the years 1815-20 of the British Rule, the forests of the Jim Corbett National Park were the private property of the local rulers. Though the ownership had passed into the British hands, the government paid little or no attention to the upkeep of the park. The sole aim was to exploit the natural resources and extract as much profit as possible from the jungle. It was only in the year 1858 that Major Ramsay drew up the first comprehensive conservation plan to protect the forest.

He ensured that his orders are followed strictly and, by 1896 the condition of the forest began to improve. Ramsays plan reflected the deep thought he had given to the science of forestry. In 1861-62 farming was banned in the lower Patlidun valley. Cattle sheds were pulled down, domestic animals were driven from the forest and a regular cadre of workers was created to fight forest fire and secure the forest from illegal felling of trees. Licenses were issued for timber and count of trees was undertaken. In 1868, the Forest department assumed responsibility for the forests and in 1879 they were declared reserved forest under the forest Act. In a letter dated January 3,1907, Sir, Michael Keen for the first time referred to the possibility of turning these forests into a game sanctuary however the proposal was turned down.

It was years later in 1934 the governor, Sir Malcolm Hailey, supported the proposal for the sanctuary and wanted the enactment of a law to give it protection. To overcome the delays that legislation would entail the area was made into a reserve forest by the Chief Conservator of forest. Later in consultation with Major Jim Corbett, the boundaries of the park were demarcated and in 1936 The United Province national Park Act was enforced and this reserved forest became the first national Park of India.

And it was aptly named Hailey National Park after its founder Sir, Malcolm Hailey Initially the park measured merely 323.75 square kilometers, but to accommodate wild animals like Tigers and Elephants, it was expanded to its present area of 520 square kilometers (core area) in 1966. The year 1973 was a landmark in the field of wildlife preservation. It was in this year that wildlife preservationist and naturalists from around the world launched PROJECT TIGER the most prestigious and biggest total environmental conservation project ever undertaken. The Jim Corbett National Park has the distinction of having been chosen the venue for the inauguration of this project.

Colonel Jim Corbett
Colonel Jim Corbett was born at Nainital in 1875, the eighth child of Christopher and Mary Jane Corbett. His father was the postmaster of Nainital. He did his matriculation at Nainital’s Philanders Smith College where he was admired by his masters for his modesty and retiring nature. He did not pursue his academics any further.

He spent his summers at Gurni House in Nainital while in winters he went down to Kaladhungi in the tarai jungles. It was here he was taught how to fire a gun by his eldest brother, to. Their bungalow in Kaladhungi was inside a dense forest in which a large variety of plants and animals found refuge. The abundance of wildlife in Nainital those days can be gauged from the fact that Jim spotted tigers and leopards within a six and a half-kilometer radius of the temple of the goddess Naini. As a result of living in such exotic and beautiful surroundings he developed a spontaneous affinity with nature.

Tourist Attraction
The main feature of this ridged valley is the Ramganga River, running broadly west by south west, the catchment streams of which vivisect the land into numerous little ridges and ravines. The topography is therefore very varied-the streams forming islands of 'sheesham' trees, the ridges being thickly foliated with 'sal' trees and the pastures carrying long grasses. In this variety of habitat abounds wildlife of enchanting beauty including 50 mammals, 577 birds and at least 25 reptiles.

The river teems with mahseer, gharial, mugger and flocks of cormorants. Project Tiger was inaugurated here on April 1, 1973. The center of tourist activity in the park always continues to be Dhikala, at the heart of the core area. Here, substantial residential accommodation has been built along one end of a large grassy plateau perched on the edge of the cliff bordering the Ramganga reservoir. Apart from tigers (90 in number in 1984), leopards as well as lesser cats such as the leopard cat, jungle cat, and fishing cat are also found here.

The sloth bear, Himalayan black bear, dhole, jackal, yellow throated marten, Himalayan palm civet, Indian grey mongoose, common otter, porcupine, black naped hare are the other attractions of this area. It is possible to see elephants all over the park. Four species of deer are found here. These are the barking deer, para, kakkar, and the well known spotted deer chital. The goat antelopes are represented by the ghoral. .

Places around Corbett National Park
In the vicinity of the Corbett National Park are the wildlife sanctuaries like Rajaji National Park and Dudhwa National Park. Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh and one of the major tourist destinations in the country.

Rivers of Corbett:
For the survival of such a remarkable gamut of floral and faunal species in Jim Jim Corbett National Park , water is a crucial factor. The Ramganga river forms the most prominent hydrological resource, supplemented by tributaries, most prominent of which are the Sonanadi, Mandal and Palain rivers. The river Kosi runs proximate to the Park and is also a significant water resource for nearby areas. Wildlife is dependent on rivers, more so in the dry season, for they provide drinking waters and also forms home to several key aquatic species.

Ramganga:
Ramganga river is crucial for Corbett infact without it there would be no Corbett. It is the largest of the precious few perennial sources of water in the Park. A rain-fed river originating near Gairsain in the Lower Himalayas, the Ramganga traverses more than 100 km before entering Corbett near Marchula. Inside the Park it flows roughly 40 km till Kalagarh where it enters the plains. During this run through the Park it gathers waters from the Palain, Mandal and Sonanadi rivers.

The Ramganga is inhabited by key aquatic species like mahseer fish, the endangered gharials, mugger crocodiles, otters and turtles. Many species of birds, like kingfishers, fish-eagles, terns and storks depend on the Ramganga. During winters the Ramganga reservoir attracts many migratory bird species, especially waterbirds from Europe and Central Asia.

Sonanadi:
The Sonanadi is an important tributary of the Ramganga. Named after this river the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary adjoins Jim Corbett National Park and forms an important part of the Corbett Tiger Reserve. The Sonanadi enters the Park from the northwest direction and meets the Ramganga at the reservoir. The name Sonanadi means river of gold. At one time grains of gold, found in the alluvial deposits washed down from the higher areas, were extracted from the bed sand by sieving, washing and mercury treatment.

How to Reach
By Air:Phoolbagh, Pantnagar at a distance of 50 km is the nearest airport. Delhi at a distance of 300 km is the nearest international airport.

By Rail:Ramnagar is on the broad gauge track from where the road transport options have to be availed to reach the park.

By Road: Dhikala is 300 km from Delhi, 145 km from Lucknow and 51 km from Ramnagar. The route from Delhi spans Hapur-Murababad-Ramnagar. The turn off is some 7 km beyond Muradabad to the left, marked by a small board. The route from Lucknow spans Bareilly-Kichha-Rudrapur-Doraha-Kashipur.
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