Named after Jim Corbett, a naturalist and hunter, Jim Corbett National Park is one of the oldest nature preserves in India, established in 1936. Situated in Pauri Garhwal and Nainital district of Uttarakhand, this national park has always been a thrilling ground for nature and animal lovers. Sprawling across 520.8 sq.km, this national park has risen to huge popularity all over the world.
Right from marshy depressions and riverine belts to grasslands, hills and lakes in surroundings, Jim Corbett has so much to offer to the tourists. It houses a wide variety of flora and fauna, including fifty species of mammals, twenty-five species of reptiles, five hundred species of bird and more than hundred species of trees. The park is filled with dense moist deciduous trees comprising mango, sal, haldu, rohini and peepal.
The number of visitors is increasing each year to explore the wildlife and nature. It is said that more than seventy thousand tourists visit this park every year, contributing hugely to the tourism of India. In popular culture, Jim Corbett got featured in the show Man vs Wilds, hosted by Bear Grylls in August 2019. Interestingly, PM Narendra Modi too made a special appearance, walking through the jungle trails and educating the viewers about nature conservation.
Planning to move away from the city chaos and enjoy wildlife thrill in a safari? Without a second thought, come down to Jim Corbett National Park. The innumerable flora and fauna have made this place a must-visit for domestic and foreign travellers. From sweet chirping of birds and mesmerising early sunrise to revelling in the beauty of the sunset and calm, tranquil ambience at night, the natural park is a treat to all your senses.
Jeep safari is one of the prime attractions here as it helps the visitors to spot the famous Royal Bengal Tigers walking free in the grasslands or hiding behind the bushes. Besides, elephants, leopards, crocodiles, golden jackal, spotted deer, owls, sambar deer and fish eagle are other animals that have fetched a lot of attention amongst the wildlife enthusiasts. There is also a piece of good news! Uttarakhand wildlife advisory board has approved the reintroduction of rhinoceros in the Corbett Tiger Reserve. Rhinos will be brought from West Bengal or Assam, further making this park an excellent spot for the animal lovers to catch a glimpse of young and adult rhinoceros.
Though it is clear that jungle safari is one thing in this park that should not be missed, there are several places of visits like, Corbett museum, Garija Temple, Corbett Waterfall, Dhikala, Kosi River and Kalagarh dam. Tourists can also indulge in river rafting, camping, trekking and more.
By air: Pantnagar is the closest domestic airport and is located at a distance of 80 km from the Jim Corbett National Park. From any part of India, you can book a flight to Pantnagar or Indira Gandhi airport, New Delhi and then take a cab for the park. However, for foreign travellers, Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi is the only option, and it is 285 km from the park.
By train: If you fail to book flight tickets, you can travel to Ramnagar, which is the closest railway station from the park. Located at a distance of 12 km, you can reserve a cab and head towards the destination.
By road: Delhi is the safest and closest road link and it may take around 5-6 hours to reach the Jim Corbett National Park. Tourists from any corner of the world come to Delhi and then arrange cars for the next destination.
Distance From Major Cities
Nainital – 65 kms
New Delhi – 285 kms
Dehradun – 230 kms
If you wish to stay outside the forest, you will get plenty of spacious and luxurious wildlife villas & resorts which are located on the periphery of the national park. Most of these resorts offer splendid views of lush green forests & mountains. You can choose the resort based on their ratings & your budget.
There are few resorts that offer a true wildlife experience without compromising on luxury. You can explore more than 100 resorts by clicking here.
Most visitors prefer to book lodges inside the forest to enjoy the mystery and magic of nature and wildlife but due to very limited capacity, these forest rest houses are usually pre-booked. Staying inside Corbett National Park could be a bit tricky as these forest rest houses are located several miles inside forest where private vehicles are not allowed, therefore, you need to hire a licensed gypsy vendor even if you manage to obtain a permit from the forest department. Process could be a little overwhelming if you are not very familiar with visiting Jim Corbett National Park so we highly encourage visitors to seek professional help. You can reach out to us & we will be more than happy to help you book accommodation inside the Corbett national park. Read more about forest rest houses here.
Dhikala zone: This zone is the first choice of tourists. Largest of all the safari zones, this is where you can see an abundance of animals like deer, vulture, Bengal tigers, cobra, crocodile, Asian elephants, and more. Dhangadi Gate is its entry point which takes visitors into the deeper sections of the zone and allows them to adore the beauty of the pristine wilderness. The best time to come here is between mid-November to mid-June. Private gypsies are not allowed for day visits in this zone but there are 8 canters (4 in the morning & 4 in the evening) which take up to 64 + 64 tourists every day to explore Dhikala Zone. A typical canter ride is 5 hours long.
Jhirna zone: Not far from the city of Ramnagar, the Jhirna zone has recently made its debut amongst all other zones. The best thing about this zone is it is well-connected and can be easily reached by taxis, buses, and cabs. Jhirna Gate is the entry point which attracts the visitors to have a close interaction with bears. October till the end of June is the perfect time to visit this spot.
Bijrani zone: Want to explore the flora of this great natural reserve? Take a safari of the Bijrani zone! Very near to Ramnagar, this zone has risen to prominence as it serves a perfect spot to notice animals, such as monkeys, deer, tigers, chital, and a myriad of birds. Amandanda Gate is the entry point from mid-October to June-end is considered the best time to visit.
Durga Devi zone: Enter this zone through the Durga Devi Gate, this section of the forest is known for innumerable avifauna species. Durga Devi Zone offers a heavenly bliss to the bird watchers. From spotting marron orile to grey-headed eagles, black-chinned yuhina, and crested laughing thrush, this ground offers an amazing experience. This zone must be visited between mid-November to end-June.
Apart from these aforementioned four zones, Jim Corbett has two secondary buffer zones which are equally significant for the tourists, and these are:
Dhela safari zone: Housed within the tiger reserve zone, Dhela safari is an eco-tourism section, and surprisingly, it remains open all time of the year. Just 13 km from the city of Ramnagar, it seizes the attention of the potential number of tourists who want to take pleasure in watching the unspoiled beauty of wildlife and nature of Jim Corbett National Park.
Sitabani buffer zone: Though it is a bit less famous than the other zones, Sitabani attracts a number of visitors who are looking forward to enjoying the scenic beauty, calm surroundings, and openness.
Day visits for each safari zone are available on the official website of Jim Corbett. You need to fill a form online to make the bookings. The advance booking starts prior to 3 months of the trip. However, on the other hand, if lucky, you can reserve a safari after reaching the wildlife resort.
Canter Safari: This is an exciting way to enter the deeper regions of the forests to have a glance at the natural habitat of the mighty animals. Operated by the forest officials, you will be safely taken inside the woods to encounter the big cats from a close distance. Open-roof canters have 16 seating capacity, usually meant for larger groups. The vehicles along with forest officials offer maximum security to the visitors. This 5 hours long safari operates twice and with only 8 canters available, it is recommended to book it beforehand.
During summer, the safari starts at 05:30 A.M. in the morning and ends at 12:30 P.M noon. The second batch begins at 12:20 P.M. in noon till 06:30 P.M in the evening. In winter, the safari begins around 06:00 A.M and ends by 11:00 A.M. The second batch starts from 11:00 A.M and is closed down by 04:00 P.M. Remember that only Dhikala Zone is covered by a canter safari.
Jeep Safari: Jeep Safari is considered the most popular one amongst all the options you get. Jeep can accommodate a maximum of 6 adults and 2 kids. What makes this safari more popular is that it picks you up from your resort & drops you back after your safari ride.
Operated twice a day, the number of jeeps is limited in each zone as per their capacity.
Looking forward to an enthralling adventure, then jeep safari it is!
In summers, jeep safari starts from morning 06:00 A.M and ends at 09:30 in the morning. The next batch happens between 03:00 P.M to 06:00 P.M. During winters, the timings change due to the visibility restraint. The first batch starts from 07:00 A.M to 10:00 A.M whilst the second occurs around 02:00 P.M till 05:00 P.M. It is suggested to book a jeep safari prior to a month of the trip.
During the safaris, it is stated by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to maintain a distance of 500 meters between two vehicles. Though this was an old instruction, it is violated in order to get a closer glimpse of big cats, resulting in crowding and disturbing the animal.
Pakhro gate entry is the newest gate for the safari in Corbett Tiger Reserve. It is located near Kotdwar. You can obtain the permit online and request a pick-up. The nearest railway station is Kotdwar which is 30 minutes away from the Pakhro gate. It is 2 hours away from Dehradun airport. Maximum 6 adults and 2 kids are allowed in each jeep in the Pakhro zone of Corbett National Park.
Corbett has pleasant weather, letting visitors indulge in various activities throughout the year. Between November to January is considered an ideal time to visit Corbett National Park. During the winter, maximum animals can be spotted as the four zones are open. Summers are bearable, but monsoons must be avoided.
Camping: Corbett National Park is one of the favorite places of camping enthusiasts. Surrounded by hillocks and nestled with rivers and greeneries, camping in Corbett helps you to stay close to nature, forming a strong connection with Mother Earth. Many private camps are available with promising options however camping inside the tiger reserve is not allowed due to safety reasons.
Bird watching: Do you get lost hearing the chirping of birds? Bird watching is one such activity for you. This attracts a wide number of bird lovers who would love to watch the activities of birds in a silent and calm ambiance. The green forests have an abundance of food that gets the attention of many local and migratory birds. Winter is the best time to get indulge in this activity.
Photography: Corbett National Park offers the best photography ground as its immaculate beauty surpasses various nature reserves in India. A home innumerable species of flora and fauna, Jim Corbett is a treat to the shutterbugs. Whether it is capturing the flight of a bird or a running cheetah, one can treasure endless memories in his/her cameras.
River rafting: The river Kosi is a perfect place to enjoy the thrill of gushing water whilst your boat sails through the river and dodging the boulders. Nestled amongst the teak forests and thriving wildlife, you will enjoy a lot of twists and turns, giving you an unforgettable experience. Remember that this adventure is only possible during the monsoon months, i.e., from July to September.
Mountain biking: Want to know how the surroundings of the national park look like? Take a bicycle and start exploring different spots of the woods where the safaris cannot access. Mountain biking is considered a thrilling sport and the uneven terrains of the park make this activity more intense and challenging.
Trekking: There is an abundance of natural trails in the forest area which can be easily covered by walking. Whilst trekking, you will encounter the river, waterfall, flourishing flora and more. Imagine, walking through rocky terrain embraced by dense teak jungle and rich biodiversity. You can learn more about various activities in Jim Corbett here.
Now when you know all the details of Jim Corbett National Park, book a tour and create indelible memories for life!
Jim Corbett national park is located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand, India. Nearest town near Corbett National Park is Ramnagar. It is 264 kms from the national capital, New Delhi & 220 kms from the state capital, Dehradun.
Nearest town near Jim Corbett National Park is Ramnagar which is well connected to major cities of north India.
By Rail : Ramnagar is the nearest railway station which is barely 5kms from Aamdanda (Bijrani) tourism gate of Corbett National Park. There are 2 trains (Ranikhet express & Uttarakhand sampark kranti express) run daily from Delhi – Ramnagar – Delhi. One can also reach Moradabad or Kathgodam and reach Ramnagar via road. Ramnagar is 100 kms from Moradaabd railway station & 60kms from Kathgodam.
By Road : Ramnagar is well connected to Delhi. Luxury volvo & ordinary buses are available from Anand Vihar bus station, New Delhi. Buses to Ramnagar are also available from Nainital, Haridwar & Dehradun.
By Air : Nearest airport to Ramnagar is Pantnagar however there are very limited flights available to Pantnagar. Most people prefer to reach New Delhi airport & then hire a cab to Corbett which is 270 kms from Corbett National Park.
There are two types of accommodation in and around the Corbett National Park. Private Resorts & Govt controlled Forest Rest Houses aka FRHs. Resorts can be booked directly as well as through the local tour operators. Going with the local tour operators based at Ramnagar would anyday be a much cheaper option because the resorts have a bad habit of selling a bit high to their direct clients. But booking a Forest Rest House is a tricky one. Although you can book it directly through the govt website. Very limited availability of rooms and a massive demand make it very difficult for a common man to book directly. We would highly recommend getting it done through some local & reputed tour operator such as Dhikala Tourism.
Safari in Jim Corbett National Park remains open throughout the year, at least in two tourism zones.
Following is the zone wise details :-
1) Dhikala – 15th November to 15th June
2) Durgadevi – 15th November to 15th June
3) Bijrani – 15th October to 30th June
4) Sitabani – 01st October to 30th June
5) Jhirna – Throughout the year
6) Dhela – Throughout the year
However it is advised to check weather prediction as safari in Corbett National can be cancelled without any prior notice in case of heavy rain.
You can book directly through the official website of Corbett National Park but then you have to book permit & search for a licensed jeep safari vendor separately.You need to reach Corbett Tiger Reserve office prior to your safari. It is advised to book it through a reputed local travel agency & they should be able to pick you from your resort.
No. Private vehicles are strictly prohibited inside Corbett National Park. Only registered jungle gypsies and drivers are allowed to enter the park keeping safety of the tourists in mind.
A minimum of 2 nights & 3 days package is ideal if you want to explore the jungle well. Although, some nature and wildlife lovers opt for 3 nights / 4 days for optimum experience of Jungle.
Corbett National Park remains as beautiful as it can get throughout the year.
December and January is best for enjoying the chilly weather of the jungle.
March to June, particularly May is the best time for tiger sightings. And, July to November is best if you are a nature lover and like greenery all around. Monsoon brings a new colour to the jungle.
The nearest town to Corbett Park, Ramnagar is 65kms away from Nainital through Kaladhungi road.
It is located in the foothills of himalayas in the nainital district of Uttarakhand, in northern India. Nearest town to Corbett National Park is Ramnagar which is 270 kms from Delhi & 100 kms from Moradabad.