Corbett Tiger Reserve

General Information:

  • Area Core: 520.82 sq. km.
  • Buffer: 797.72 sq. km.
  • Total: 1318.54 sq. km.
  • Longitude: 7805' E to 7905' E
  • Latitude: 29025'E to 29040' N
  • Altitude: 365 m - 1100 m above MSL
  • Rainfall: 1400 mm - 2800 mm
  • Temperature: 40 - 42C

Introduction:

Corbett has aptly been described as the land of the Roar, Trumpet and Song. It represents a scene of remarkable beauty. Corbett had the proud distinction of being chosen as the venue for the inauguration of Project Tiger in India. The rich biodiversity of the Reserve is partly attributed to the variety of habitat found here. Due to the location of the Reserve in the foothills of the Central Himalayas, both Himalayan and peninsular flora and fauna is found in the Reserve. The grasslands, locally known as Chaurs, are limited. The largest grassland is the Dhikala Chaur. Some of the best grasslands including the famous Buxar Chaur and the Beri Chaur got submerged under the Ramganga reservoir in 1974. The areas made available as a result of the relocation of villages, Dhara, Jhirna and Kothirau in 1994 are being developed into grasslands through habitat management. The Ramganga reservoir which came into being in 1974, stretches over an area of around 82 sq. km. with one half each in Corbett National Park and Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary respectively. The Ramganga river is the lifeline of Corbett Tiger Reserve. Its principal tributaries are the Mandal, Palain and Sonanadi. Numerous mountainous streams locally called Sots flow into these rivers. The nullahs and ravines are thickly covered with evergreen shrubs, with pockets of evergreen glades along them, which provide undisturbed cover and water for the tiger. Part of the catchment of the Kosi river falls within the Reserve though the river is outside the Reserve. Corbett is very rich in avifauna. Zoological Survey of India has recorded over 585 species of resident and migratory birds here. Corbett falls in the newly constituted state of Uttaranchal, carved out of former Uttar Pradesh State in 2000.

Conservation History:

The Reserve area was named as 'Hailey National Park' in 1936. This was renamed in 1954-55 as 'Ramganga National Park' and again in 1955-56 as 'Corbett National Park'. Its the oldest National Park of India. It was one of the nine Tiger Reserves created at the launch of the Project Tiger in 1973. The original area of the Park was 323.75 sq. km. to which 197.07 sq. km. was added later. An area of 797.72 sq. km. was added as buffer of the Corbett Tiger Reserve in 1991. This area includes the whole of Kalagarh Forest Division (including 301.18 sq. km. area of Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary), 96.70 sq. km. of Ramnagar Forest Division and 89 sq. km. The administrative control over the entire area is that of the Field Director of the Reserve.

Tourism:

New Tourism Zone: Dhikala represents the main area open to visitors. Day visits to Dhikala were banned in 1990 and only those visitors that had confirmed overnight accommodation were permitted to enter from the National Park gate. As the total number of beds in different forest rest houses in Dhikala Zone is a mere 113, this represented one of the strictest controls on the number of visitors entering the NP. The ban was enforced as per the recommendations of the committee constituted by Government of India. In order to cope up with the increasing demand of the tourists, an alternate day visit zone was set up at Bijrani. In 1996 three more tourism zones were demarcated within the re-organised Corbett. These included the Sonanadi WLS and the Jhirna and Lohachaur zone located in the buffer.

At present, the area open to visitors in Corbett Tiger Reserve has been divided into five mutually exclusive tourism zones, each having a separate gate/gates for entrance. A visitor wishing to go from one zone to another has to come out and re-enter through the gate for the other zone. This has been done to disperse visitor pressure all around the reserve and check excessive visitor numbers in more popular areas.

Annually around 50,000 tourist visit Jim Corbett National Park. More then one tenth of these are foreigners. The visitor facilities of Jim Corbett National Park are maintained by the Tiger Reserve management and there are no private lodges inside the reserve. There are five mutually exclusive tourism zones each having separate gate for entrance.

Tourism zone Gate
Bijrani Amdanda
Dhikala Dhangari
Domunda Durgadevi
Jhirna Khara Kalagarh
Sonanadi Vatanvasa

The complex at Dhangari gate has a visitor center which is named after a hard working Forest Official and a hardcore animal lover Late SHUBRATI AHMED, where visitors are oriented towards Jim Corbett National Park's ecology and biodiversity. In a museum nearby trophies of tiger, leopard and other animals have been put on display. The complex also has a cafe and a nature shop from where souvenirs can be purchased.

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