Corbett National Park is a larger part of Corbett Tiger Reserve, which is located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand state. The Corbett is known for its tiger richness and is the first national park in India. The Corbett National Park was named after Jim Corbett who was a hunter, tracker, naturalist, and author who hunted man-eating tigers and leopards in India.
The park consists of a massive 520 sq km of hills, river belts, grasslands, and a large lake and also house 110 tree species, 50 species of mammals, 580 bird species, and 25 reptile species.
There are 5 different zones in Corbett National park all of which are similar to each other yet very unique to each other. In these zones, you get to witness elephants, or if lucky you witness a tiger during a jungle safari. Now let us dive into each of these zones in Corbett National Park:
The Bijrani zone is approximately 5 km away from Ramnagar after traveling a km from the gate the tourists enter the buffer zone. The Bijrani zone offers one of the best safari experiences in Corbett National Park as you get to witness the picturesque section which is large grass fields of Chaurs and dense Sal forest, and river streams. The chances of spotting a tiger in this zone are slim but not just tigers you get to witness different types of animals like Sambar deer, hog, chital, elephant, and black bear.
The Jhinra Zone is one of the most popular zones among the six zones in Corbett National Park, which is located on the southern corner of the park at a distance of 16km from Ramanagar. This is one of the zones that are open throughout the year offering a wonderful view of the landscape which is rich in wildlife and sighting of tigers and sloth bears. It is considered to be an excellent spot for bird watching and there are a number of streams in this zone that add to the beauty of the wildlife.
The Dhela Zone has a good population of tigers, elephants, bears, and leopards with 46 km of the jungle path. It is located at the southern buffer part of the park distanced at 13kms from Ramanagar.
This zone is also a favorite part for the tiger as it is easy to hunt since Sambhar deers are prevalent in this area. This zone consists of a watchtower where tourists can watch wildlife far away.
The Dhikala zone is the most visited and largest zone in Corbett National Park. The entry gate for this zone is Dhangari gate which is located 18km from Ramanagar. It is abundantly rich in a variety of wildlife as it contains large grasslands, Sal Forest, and various channels of the Ramganga river and this river enriches the wildlife of this zone. The main attraction of this zone is the Royal Bengal Tigers and Asiatic elephants whereas it is also a place for different animals like Leopards, Sambhar Deers, Langurs, Crocodiles, and many other animals and reptiles. Generally, safari rides for this zone are limited for people not staying in the Government Forest Houses located inside the zone.
Durga Devi Zone
The Durge Devi Zone is located in the North-Eastern part of the Corbett national park and the entry gate is the Durga Devi gate located 28km from Ramnagar. It is open only from 15th October to 15th June of every year and it remains closed throughout the monsoon season. This zone is a kingdom of heaven for bird lovers as it is the only zone that is home to exotic birds. Two rivers, Ramganga and Mandal River cross each at several places in this zone. There are prime flora species in this zone that are in abundance and some of them are Sheesham, Sisoo, Dhak, and Khair. If you come to the vegetation part it grows Chir Pine, Chir Choti, Gajar Sot, Banj Oak, Kanju, Jamun, Aamla, etc throughout the zone. This zone contains a large number of elephants compared to the other zones in the park and the river in this zone is home to the famous Mahsheer fish.