ENTRY INTO CORBETT NATIONAL PARK
All visitors to Corbett National Park have to obtain permits from the Park Administration Centre at Ramnagar.
Clothing: Comfortable old clothes, cool and airy for the hot weather and adequately warm for the colder months, are advisable: these should be not light coloured and not too dark either, and the less colourful they are the better - some shade of Khaki or a neutral grey is best headwear to protect one from the sun or cold winds and strong, tried and proved shoes or boots are necessary, especially if one plans to do some observation on foot. This insistence on comfort and drabness is neither a sybarite nor a puritanical recommendation, but something actually very helpful in the field. To give oneself the best chances of observing any wild creature, one should be inconspicuous and relaxed and stationary- move slowly if it is necessary to move and do not gesticulate. Comfortable clothes and footwear help one in this.
If possible, anticipate the line taken by the animal you are watching and position yourself near that line, so that it moves towards you rather than you towards it. Do not approach any animal directly, or too closely. Binoculars effectively bridge distances for a close look. If an approach is necessary, it should be at a tangent and with many stops and turns aside, and care should be taken to move in slowly. Never look long or directly at your quarry; a displayed apparent interest in something else, well away from the object of your interest, often helps.
Speech is taboo when near any animal. Rapid movements and gestures are also to be avoided.
A riding elephant enables one to go right into the forest or along the watercourses, and also provides an elevation from which a good all round view for a considerable distance can be had. The fewer there are with one on elephant back, the better - for any serious observation or photography; it is best to have only the Mahout with one. The Elephant riding of the reserve is all seasoned and well-trained animals, but still they are Elephants and cannot help their gait. The riders atop the great beast get a slight to and from shake and also a side-to-side shake with each step the elephant takes. Sit easy and relaxed and one can actually enjoy a long elephant back ride, but if one clutch at supports and hold oneself rigid, the aftermath of the ride can be painful and the ride itself unpleasant - let your body sway with the movements imparted to you, passively.
Jeep Safari in Corbett
Jeeps Safari, is the most convenient way to travel within Corbett national park, and can be rented for the park trips from Ramnagar, from the KMVN Tourist Lodge and other travel agencies . One bus each day goes to Dikhala from Ramnagar, stopping at the Forest Rest houses en route. Banking and other important tourist facilities are available at Ramnagar and Lucknow.
A word to enthusiastic amateur photographers - The Corbett wildlife reserve, photographically, is a setting of distances. In the forests, quite apart from the heavy shadows, the obscuring tree trunks, foliage and bushes frustrate photography, and it is in the Chuars and along the streams that the best opportunities offer, when the subject is usually much farther away than it seems to be and when the backgrounds are expansive. This naturally calls for long lenses, and a tripod can seldom be used.
Now the handholding of cameras equipped with lenses of long focal lengths is much trickier than is generally realised. A very slight shake is usually imparted at the moment one depresses the trigger, however softly one squeezes it, and this micro shake results in a most frustrating fuzziness. To avoid this, it is essential to adopt two expedients: a support like a chest pod to steady the camera at the moment of taking the picture, and as high a shutter speed as possible to slightly enhance the rated speed of the film because of the reflectance of light into the shadow areas by the bare ground, water or low scrub, and this should be remembered.
Commutation Within The Corbett Wildlife Reserve
The closest of the various gates into the park, 1-km from central Ramnagar, is on the road to Bijrani Camp, 11-km away, a base for day trips. Dhangarhi Gate, 18-km along the highway north to Ranikhet, provides access to the northern and northwestern portion of the park along the Ramnagar river valley, and to the main camp of Dhikala.
Accommodation at Dhikala can be booked by application to the
Field Director, Project Tiger, Ramnagar (Nainital District) and there are
transport vehicles from Ramnagar to Dhikala. At Dhikala, riding Elephants
are available on hire to enable visitors to have a closer look at the
reserve and its wildlife and guides are also provided. For further details
The Field Director, Project Tiger, Ramnagar (Nainital District) should be
Note: Corbett wildlife park is closed between June 16 and November 14, when the monsoons flood the riverbeds and cut the fragile road links.
Air:The nearest airport is situated at Pantnagar, 80-km southeast.
Rail: One can catch direct trains from Delhi, which are Delhi -Moradabad and Moradabad-Ramnagar.
Road: Frequent buses to and from Nainital and Ranikhet, 112-km north, serve Ramnagar. Buses arrive every half hour or so after the eight-hour trip from Delhi; Delhi Transport Corporation run a semi deluxe service, and most of the alternatives are pretty basic.
Rail: One can catch direct trains like Lucknow-Lalkinwa by N.E. Railway and change for connecting train to Ramnagar.
Road: There are regular direct buses from Lucknow to Ramnagar.
Situated in the rich farm belt of Terai, on the southeastern fringes of the great forests, the busy market town of Ramnagar is the main Administrative Centre for Corbett National Park and Project Tiger. There's little to do around Ramnagar itself except go fishing. At Lohachaur, 15-km north along the river Kosi, good anglers are in with a chance of landing the legendary Mahseer, a redoubtable battling river carp. Permits to have a go must be sought from the Project Tiger Office in Ramnagar; most resorts also arrange all-inclusive fishing trips.
Corbett's Main Camp, Dhikala, beautifully situated, overlooking the Ramganga reservoir and the forested hills beyond, is 40-km northwest of Ramnagar. As one can only stray beyond the confines of the camp under armed guard, on elephant back or in a car or jeep, the whole place has something of the air of a military encampment. Accommodation ranges from the 24 bunk beds in the log huts and other asserted Spartan huts, to more comfortable bungalows and cabins. Food is available in a canteen either per day. The food here is fantastic. There's also a library and reading room, where film shows on wildlife are run.
On the way to Dhikala from the Dhangarhi gate, the road passes through magnificent forest - if one has one's own transport, stop at the High Bank Vantage Point, and Sarapduli forest rest houses on the road are bookable through Project Tiger. The bungalows are surrounded by deep forest, as movement on foot is restricted, one'll only see wild animals that stray close to or into the compound. The beautifully sited Kanda rest house stands on a hill above the Ramganga Reservoir and Dhikala.
¤ Ramnagar (19 km)
¤ Nainital (110 km)
¤ Ranikhet (114 km)
¤ Pantnagar (133 km)
¤ Delhi (290 km)