The state of Uttarakhand is blessed by bounty of nature. There are plenty of perennial rivers, rich forest cover, mountains, lakes, meadows, pastures, and fresh air in the state. Uttarakhand was developed at the time of colonial period as Britishers used it as their summer retreat. Till date there are plenty of hill stations and colonial architecture all around the state. Asia’s first National Park was developed here only.
Corbett National Park is one of the oldest national parks not just in India but most probably in Asia as well. The park was established as ‘Hailey National Park’ at colonial period in the year 1936 to safeguard the flora and fauna of the region. Later at 1955-56 it was renamed as Corbett National Park in the memory of renowned author and wildlife conservationist Jim Corbett who played a major role in the formation of the park. It is also being honored as the place where Project Tiger in India was first launched in 1973.
The park is well spread in over 1318 sq km out of which 520 sq km is the main area where visitors can visit, remaining as buffer zone. In order to promote tourism in the region Corbett National Park has been divided into five different zones. These are the marked buffer or core area of the park where visitors can be part of wildlife safari and can enjoy the intriguing behavior of the animals with bare eyes at proximity. The Five Tourist Zones are Bijranai Safari Zone, Jhirna Safari Zone, Dhela Safari Zone, Dhikala Zone, Durgadevi Zone. Each Zone has its unique texture and surroundings which provide abundant diversity to the Corbett as whole. Ramganga is the major river inside the park; other rivers include Kosi and Sonanadi. To reach at Corbett National Park Ramnagar is the most suitable place which is well connected throughout India.
Apart from Royal Bengal Tiger Corbett is also a home to a sizeable population of the endangered Asiatic elephant and other critically endangered species including the Ghariyal. Some of the other known mammal species reside in Corbett include Asiatic Black Bear, Hog Deer, Walking Deer, Sambar, Sloth Beer, Yellow-throated marten, Otters and many more to list. Corbett also hosts a diversity of aqua fauna and birdlife with approximately 600 species including the great pied hornbill, white-Backed Vulture, Hodgson’s bushchat, orange breasted green pigeon, Pallas fish eagle, golden oriole, tawny fish owl, Indian Pitta, Scarlet Minivet and reptile like the critically endangered Ghariyal, mugger Crocodiles, the king Cobra and many more to list.
According to botanical survey of India Corbett has 600 species of plants – trees, shrubs, ferns, grass, climbers, herbs and bamboos. More than 75% of the total area of the Corbett is dominated by Sal forests.
For better tourism management and to make equal distribution of the flow of visitors the Jim Corbett National Park has been divided in to five tourism zone and each zone offers night stay inside the forest rest houses that is erected by the forest officials. Tourists are allowed to make reservation minimum for 01 Night and maximum for 03 nights only. Government recognized forest houses are Bijrani Forest Rest House, Malani (inside Bijrani Tourism Zone), Sultan, Gairal, Sarapduli, khinnanauli and Dhikla forest house (inside Dhikala Zone) and Jhirna inside the Jhirna tourism zone. Tourist can enjoy different safaris here such as Zeep Safari, Elephant Safari etc.