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Location : Near Nainital, Uttarakhand
Area covered : About 521 square kilometer
Known for : Project tiger
Establishing year : 1936
Jim Corbett Park is situated in the district of Nanital in Uttarakhand. Earlier famous by the name of Hailey Park, it is India's oldest national park. Established in the year 1936 and named after the famous conservationist, Jim Corbett, the park is one of the most spectacular wilderness areas of the state.
The park is situated in the Himalayan foothills and is landscaped with picturesque surroundings. Ramganga River acts as a main source of water to the park; a dam called Kalagarh, situated near the park is known to form a big lake. The low valley of Jim Corbett Park is cut by a series of mountainous ranges running in the east-west direction. Blessed with splendid sceneries and charming backdrops, the park is one of the major attractions of the state
History behind name :
The park was originally called Hailey national Park. It was named so after Malcolm Hailey who was the Governor and had an avid interest in this preservations area. As India got independence, the park was renamed Ramganga Park. But it was again changed and called Jim Corbett Park to commemorate the services of Jim Corbett who played a major role in determining the location of the park. As most of his childhood was spent amidst nature, he was well aware of its importance to mankind. He was also a great hunter and was called time and again by the villagers of Kumaon to kill tigers and leopards. The animals were hunted only when they turned man-eaters and posed a threat to the existence to human beings.
Attractions of the park :
The place is haven for adventure seekers who get ample opportunities of exploring wildlife. In addition, one can have a treat of enjoying several adventure-sports and seek solace in the arms of lovely nature. It is the perfect getaway for those who want to spend time in seclusion.
Flora : The park is rich in several types of fauna that are adaptable to the topography of the place. There are more than 100 species of trees and 50 shrub species that are known to exist here. Forests of Sal and Acacia grow here predominantly. The overall density of trees is more in the area dominated by Sal. Other vegetation includes tress of Jamun, Khair, and Shisham. As one reaches the upper ranges of mountains, Bamboo, Chir, and bakli tress can be found.
Fauna : An animal species that is particularly famous in Jim Corbett Park and which attracts thousands of tourists form all over world is the Bengal Tiger. Other species that are present in jungle premises include Jungle Cat, Deer, Leopard, Elephant, Rhesus Monkey, Wild Dog, Otter, hare, Indian Mongoose, and varieties of Bear. As River Ramganga feeds the park, one can also hope to see aquatic animals like Crocodile and Gharials. There are over 33 reptilian species and seven fish species that have been recorded to exist here. Four species of deer i.e. hog, barking, chital, and sambhar are present in the park.
Chital are among the most adaptable species that are found here. Par or hog, Deer, Sambhar, Muntjac, and Wild pig are some of the other mammals that are found in abundance.
Avifauna : More than 550 bird species have made Jim Corbett Park their habitat. One can see species of Flycatchers, Finches, Cuckoos, Bulbuls, And Warblers nesting and laying eggs. The place is also home to plenty of migratory birds.
Project Tiger : The Park was declared a Tiger reserve area in the year 1973 and under Project Tiger, the extension of the park area from 520 to 588 sq kilometer was proposed. This project was launched with the help of WWF and aimed at reviving the number of tigers in the area. Since Independence, the number of tigers in the country has been dwindling. Project tiger aims at reviving the numbers of tigers by preserving their habitats in the selected reserves where tigers and other species of fauna can flourish with no human interference. Under this project, the old method of tethering the baits in order to entice the animals has been stopped. Strict rules have been laid down to protect the animals for any kind of human intrusion.
Ecotourism : Wildlife protection is the main aim of Jim Corbett Park. In order to promote ecotourism, a training course was initiated in the early nineties to impart basics to the tourist-guides. Months between April and June are considered best for paying a visit to this place. In order to promote tourism, a small film titled "Wild saga of Corbett" has been presented several times. The film provides all the necessary information to the tourists in planning his trip before visiting the park.
Other attractions :
Apart from site-seeing, the tourists can enjoy activities like trekking here. As the place becomes too cold in the season of winter, one must make prior arrangements before coming. For avid bird watchers, Kalagarh Dam is a perfect place. The spectacular beauty of Dhikala is an attraction for the tourists. Another attraction of Jim Corbett Park is the majestic elephant-safari that takes one through the dense jungles and grasslands. At Corbett Museum, one can have information on life and works of the conservationist, Jim Corbett.
Accommodation facilities :
In order to avail the accommodation facilities, one must take permission form the Field Director by sending him an application form.
Other information on park :
One is advised to wear comfortable clothing. Neutral colors are best to wear as they give protection against the sunlight. The place is a haven for the enthusiasts of photography. One should avoid carrying huge equipments as it is quite difficult to transport them from one place to the other.
Jim Corbett Park is a popular tourist site that has attracted the tourists since decades and it is continuing to do so.