A park in Northern India
Jim Corbett National Park is in the
state of Uttaranchal, well North of Delhi. My train ride there
left Delhi at 11pm and we got into Ramnagar (the closest town) at about
7am. (This was pretty much my only on time train ride in
my whole trip to India). I had arranged my stay in Corbett
ahead of time so
I was quite thankful to see a gentleman with a sign with my name when I
got into the station.
From the train station we drove up the road to
our guide and then perhaps 20 minutes to the gate of the park.
There was some paperwork (I had to fill in the usual passport stuff for
the accomodations) and we were back on the road. This park is
quite large and we drove for what seemed like an hour before we got to
the central camp.
I had lunch (in the canteen instead of the
buffet style tourist restaurant - my
bad!) and after lunch we hung out in a tower overlooking the
river. Turns out (and I
didn't understand this immediatly) that you can only be outside of camp
durring two periods - morning just after sunrise and later afternoon
until just before sunset. As sunset approached we went on Safari.
of Corbett National Park is forest covered
hills. There is a large plain near Dhikala that makes an excelent
place to spot wildlife. In December this plain is covered in
grass and in most places the grass is so high that a tiger could be
three feet from you and you wouldn't know it. This tall grass is
probably quite spooky for the small game (deer and the like) but for
elephants it's an easy food supply. I didn't know it at the time,
but December is actually a bad time to see Elephants in Corbett - at
that time of the year they are more often found in the forests towards
Nepal. That said, when we first went out onto the planes, there
was a large herd of elephants grazing. It was magic.
Turns out this was the only day we saw elephants
- one safari in seven.
at Dhikala has it's own wildlife. There is
a large troup of Macaque's that live in the trees around the compound
and are always looking to steal hand outs. They are small but
they can look quite threatening when they feel threatened.
One of the attractions of Jim Corbett National Park over other parks
are their Elephant safari's. For roughly 500 rupees (about
$12CDN) you ride on the elephants for several hours looking for tigers
in the grass where the jeeps can't go. There is often a waiting
list to get on the elephants and sometimes your guide can make that
your progress through the the list faster or slow.
The ride on the Elephant is something else - they are slow but
steady - going down the steap banks to the river I thought we were
going to topple but the elephant had no problem. When the
elephants aren't on safari they are working. As far as I can tell
they are mostly gathering food for the elephants, but they were out
when we weren't allowed to be.
Corbett is known for the big wildlife, but
reserves in India, the bird life can be quite spectacular. My
guide was a birding specialist (a 12 year old could be an expert on the
mammals here - just hang out for a week) and I think my guide realized
pretty quickly that I wasn't a birder - Unless the bird filled my
rather meager 200mm, I generally wasn't too interested.
Big birds are generally the carnivors. Where this park really
shines are the grass birds (tiny birds) but I didn't have the means to
put them on a memory card.
Having had such a great tiger viewing in the Ranthambore
, I really
didn't need to see tigers in Corbett. Near the end of my time I
got lucky. As we drove one of the back roads, the guide spotted a
tiger in the underbrush beside the road. The sun hadn't yet risen
so getting a photo was difficult to say the least. The tiger got
up, crossed the road and disappeared into the thich brush. I
figured that was it. The guide tried some calling and two year
olds emerged - we had seen Mom a few moments earlier. The year
olds weren't hunting so they hung out for a while.
On the long drive out I had one last bit of luck.
This rather large Jackle met us on the
guide believe she was traveling from one grassy area to another and the
road, while not particularly safe from humans, was safe from
tigers. This animal decided it was safer to walk within a foot of
our stopped jeep rather than give us a wider birth in the jungle.
You get the
sense the tiger population here is still very much alive.
I had a great time at Corbett National Park. It's not a fast and
pushy as Ranthambore and you get the feeling it's more sustainable - a
Tags: India(24), safari(22), bird(5), road(4), sunrise(4), atmospheric perspective(3)
From: John Harvey Photo > India > Corbett NP
From: John Harvey Photo > Trips out of the Country > India > Corbett NP
I like these pics, too good :)
I am planing for a visit to jim corbett, is 2 day stay enough ? and is it open in oct ? where can I book rooms for overnight stay in park?
Monday, September 24th, 2007 at 00:51:47
Lovely photographs that gave a real sense of the area. I have a cousin who bides his time in India quite often (the other half in England); Mangalore, I believe. He seems to love the country and its people. Anyway, good job on the pictures.
Monday, January 7th, 2008 at 13:01:54
I find these photographs very nice and taken with full involvement. Congratulation. You were lucky to observe all these animals. I had also visited Jim Corbett number of times and every time I felt to come once again and I am following this urge every year.
Monday, December 7th, 2009 at 22:47:33
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