Spotting tiger during a visit to the Jim Corbett National Park will be a memorable affair for life
It’s difficult to pinpoint any one particular reason to visit Jim Corbett National Park again and again. The picturesque surroundings of the park, good connectivity from Delhi and easy availability of accommodation might be some of the factors. But the biggest attraction that lures nature lovers to Corbett is definitely the desire to get a glimpse of the tiger in wild. This correspondent was lucky to have a close brush with the majestic animal during his second trip to Bijrani forest in Jim Corbett National Park recently.
Located in the Ramganga river valley in Uttrakhand, Jim Corbett is India’s first national park and tiger reserve. A comfortable overnight journey via Hapur, Moradabad and Ramnagar can take you in the lap of nature at the beautiful Corbett in Dhilkuli village in Ramnagar. However, due to the poor condition of road from Moradabad to Ramnagar the journey mighty take an hour extra and more in case your journey gets stalled due to a tyre puncture as it happened with us on our way to Corbett at 2:30 am in the morning. From Ramnagar to Bijrani forest the road is in perfect shape and if your able to reach there just before sunrise, you can have a never before experience of watching sun rising over the horizon behind the Kumaon hills.
Finding a suitable accommodation at Corbett is absolutely no problem, with a large number of sprawling resorts and cottages just outside the Bijrani zone of the forest. However, the large scale construction activity and the shrinking River Ramganga might come as a bit of disappointment to nature lovers, as it is fast changing the look and feel of this once tranquil village.
Jeep safari is the most popular mode of exploring the forest area. Elephant safari can also be tried, depending on the availability, as there are only two elephants with the forest department for a safari. 30 jeeps are allowed inside at a time, which needs to be reduced as it leads to excessive crowd inside the forest and diminishes the chance of spotting wild animals, particularly the tiger. Animals that can be easily spotted in Bijrani zone include chital, sambhar, hog deer, langur and jackal, among others. Tigers are a rare sight and there are chances you might have to satisfy your wild instincts with tiger pug marks only.
However, many a times tigers have been spotted in Bijrani zone. We were lucky as we could get a full view of this spectacular wild beast near a dried up river channel close to the watch tower while coming back from the safari in the evening. The guide informed that around ten tigers have been spotted in the Bijrani zone in the recent past.
For adventure sports lovers, River Ramganga provides some good options. Bridge falling, rappling and river crossing are some of the adventure sports that can be tried out on the river bank. Though they may not send your adrenaline rushing but definitely they provide a good break from the monotonous and lethargic urban lifestyle. A visit to the river can also be a soothing experience.
A weekend visit to Jim Corbett is truly a refreshing affair. No doubts Corbett National Park receives thousands of visitors every year, who come there to reconnect with the nature. The park remains closed during the monsoon season and is open to tourists from October-June every year.