Jim Corbett National Park, located in the state of Uttarakhand, is India’s most renowned tiger sanctuary. Established in 1936 by former hunter turned conservationist, Jim Corbett, the park is now the country’s most established place to see tigers in the wild. Although, a multitude of resorts popping up in the surrounding villages have concerned environmentalists recently, there are still eco-friendly options available.
With a span of over 520 square kilometres (200 square miles), the area comprises of hills, marshy lands and hundreds of different species of birds and plants. Tigers, elephants, deer and other four-legged mammals roam this area and are easy to spot. Let’s take a walk through this treasure of a national park that one must see.
It's close to major modes of transportation
Located near the city of Ramnagar, travellers have to enter the park via the city. Easily connected by either bus or train, Ramnagar has a very reliable entry and exit to the park with daily trains and buses running to the city. From the major city of Delhi, all modes of transport are available, including private taxis - which some resorts might include in their packages.
The railway station is the best bet for getting into the city as it’s much more central and takes the least amount of time with food usually provided on the train to Ramnagar from Delhi. Check for either the Ranikhet Express, Corbett Link Express or the Kathgodam Express trains that take you directly to Ramnagar.
Ensure that the website you use isn't fraudulent
When you try and research Jim Corbett National Park, there are a number of fraudulent websites hosted by travel agencies that come up. Sifting through them is tiring. Thankfully, we’ve figured out the two most trusted websites (see external links) for accommodation and safaris in Jim Corbett. The best option is the official government and Jim Corbett website, which is also the most eco-friendly option available as all the money goes back into the park for conservation.
All the bookings for accommodation can be done online here with an all-inclusive stay, including food, driver fees, park permits, starting at 6525 INR (98 USD). For safari booking though, it has to be done at the park, on the spot - but it comes at a much cheaper rate than pre-booking it through websites. Resorts outside the park have higher fees as you must enter and exit for every safari you take.
Expect to pay upwards of 19000 INR (285 USD) for a couple for a one night, two day package excluding some options like pick-up and drop-off.
The flora and fauna are gorgeous and unique to this land
Touring through Jim Corbett is a dream in itself. Rolling, lush greenery exists all around you as you’re enveloped by the trees and plants. In order to promote healthy tourism so that the park isn’t overrun with tourists, it has been divided into five zones: Bijrani, Jhirna, Dhela, Dhikala, Durga Devi and Sitabani zones. Each zone isn’t much different from the others, but Birjani is the most popular one amongst tourists while Dhikala and Durga Devi are the most remote and the best places for birdwatching.
The Jim Corbett National Park makes you feel like you've stepped into an alternative world because of its rich vegetation. When I visited with my family about 8 years ago, we could feel the difference in the air - it felt almost too rich and clean to breathe. We started our tour into the park in the wee hours of the morning (as early as 2 am) as our guide said we would have to, if we wished to see some fauna in their natural habitat. We chanced upon a tiger and its cub, and the experience was breathtaking! Our tour guide stopped the van as sudden movements could startle the tiger, and we waited until they silently slinked away. Make sure that you wear protective clothing and carry protective gear for this trip!
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Jim Corbett should be a guaranteed choice for you
A night in Jim Corbett is a must if you’re in Delhi and want to escape the chaotic city for some serene nature. It’s easy to get to and each of the resorts and government options are more than satisfactory for tourists. With delicious vegetarian meals, eco-friendly housing, and abundant wildlife that surrounds you, spending a day or two won’t even seem like enough when you come visit the world-famous Jim Corbett National Park.
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