Corbett, located in Uttaranchal state is India’s first and oldest national park and one of its finest. It was also the site for the launching of Project Tiger, a massive conservation effort.
Established in 1936 as the Hailey National Park, India’s first, it was later renamed in honour of Jim Corbett, a legendary hunter-turned-conservationist, famed initially for his hunting of tiger and leopard and later for chronicling his adventures in bestselling books. Noted not only for its rich wildlife and birdlife, it is also renown for its scenic charm and magnificent mountain and river views. The park comprises the broad valley of Ramganga River backing onto the forest-covered slopes of the Himalayan foothills. The immensely rich flora – 110 species of trees, 51 species of shrubs, 33 species of bamboos and 27 species of climbers provides awesome cover for wildlife.
The fauna is as rich as the flora. The park has always been noted for its tigers, which are seen from time to time. Indeed, Corbett was the first designated Project Tiger Reserve in 1973. There are leopards too but they are seldom seen. In all there are over 50 species of mammal including jackal, wild boar, spotted chital, barking deer, sambar, rhesus and common langur. Elephant can also be seen in some sections of the park. Corbett is a bird-watcher’s paradise. Birdlife ranges from kingfisher to birds of prey including the Himalayan grey headed fishing eagle.
The park is open from 15 November – 15 June.
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