Introducing Corbett Tiger Reserve
This famous reserve (
The reserve Jim Corbett established inspired the India-wide Project Tiger programme which started in 1973 and saw the creation of 22 other reserves. However, sightings are down to chance as the 130 or so tigers in the reserve are neither baited nor tracked. Your best chance of spotting a tiger is late in the season (April to mid-June) when the forest cover is low and animals come out in search of water.
Notwithstanding tiger sightings, few serious wildlife enthusiasts will leave disappointed, as the 1318-sq-kmpark has a variety of wildlife and birdlife in grassland, sal forest and river habitats, and a beautiful location in the foothills of the Himalaya on the Ramganga River. Commonly seen wildlife include wild elephants (200 to 300 live in the reserve), sloth bears, langur monkeys (black face, long tail), rhesus macaques (red face and backside), peacocks, schools of otters and several types of deer including chital (spotted deer), sambars, hog deer and barking deer. You might also see leopards, mugger crocodiles, gharials, monitor lizards, wild boars and jackals. The Ramganga Reservoir attracts large numbers of migrating birds, especially from mid-December to the end of March and over 600 species have been spotted here.
Dotted around the park are machaans (observation towers) overlooking water holes which you can climb to unobtrusively watch for wildlife.
Be sure to bring binoculars (although you can hire them at park gates) and plenty of mosquito repellent and mineral water. If you’re interested in the life of Jim Corbett, his former house at Kaladhungi, 26km east of Ramnagar, is now a museum (admission Rs 10;
While the majority of the park is closed between 15 June and 15 November, the jungle around Jhirna Gate, 25km from Ramnagar in the southern part of the reserve, remains open all year, and short jeep safaris and elephant rides can be organised in Ramnagar. In 2004, the park started opening for day safaris (a maximum of 60 vehicles per day) a month early on 15 October from Amdanda Gate.