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Corbett National Park
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General Information
Corbett National Park Corbett National Park (For Seekers of Tranquility and Adventure In The Himalayas) At one of the greatest National Parks of Asia. 1300 sq. km. of forests, hills and grasslands, fed by frisky river. Its proximity to Delhi and prolific wildlife makes Corbett one of the must visit destinations for residents and guests tempted to go beyond the borders of the capital of India. A biodiversity that is rich, rare and precious.

The perfect habitat for the tiger, elephant, hog deer and adding to the atmospherics much to angler's delight is the Ramganga that flows with fattened mahaseer hidden within its water. For bird watchers, there are over 580 species to look out for. And last not finally there is the chance to view prehistoric reptiles. All of which make Corbett one of the most complete wildlife experiences, close enough to succumb to with grand thrill.

The elevation of the Park ranges between 400 mts. and 1210 mts. The multipurpose hydel dam at kalagarh lies at the southwestern fringe of Corbett. the lake inside, with its scenic charm, has added to the beauty of the park. Many species of water birds, both migrant and non-migrant, frequent its water. Crocodiles and long snouted fish-eating gharial have found new homes here and their numbers have increased.

They can often be seen sun basking on the sand banks. For anglers too, the lake is a paradise. Fish, such as the mahaseer, abound in the lake and river. The Park offers difference kinds of vegetation all along its varied topography which comprises hilly and riparian areas, temporary marshy depressions, plateaus and ravines.

History
Established initially as Hailey National Park on August 8, 1936, in honor of Sir Malcolm Hailey, then governor of the United Provinces, the name was changed to Ramganga National Park in 1952. In 1957, it was finally named as Corbett National Park in honor and memory of the late Jim Corbett, the legendary hunter, naturalist-turned-author and photographer who had helped in setting up the park and demarcating its boundaries.

Jim Corbett, the legend:
Folk of Kumaon Jim Corbett made his mark in his early life as a soldier and a hunter but subsequently, dedicated himself to the preservation of life - human and wild. Whenever a man-eater threatened a village, 'Carpet Sahib' was summoned. Moving on foot for days and weeks, often on steep winding trails, Corbett became the savior of the simple hill folk of Kumaon and Garhwal.

Jim Corbett could read the jungle signs like an open book. He could decipher a ripple in the dust of a dry stream bed. A blade of grass caught in the act of springing back from a crushed position. When stalking, he could use the wind like predators do, to either conceal or reveal his presence. He could freeze stock-still in mid stride for any amount of time, just like an animal. He could easily read the sounds of the animals and could imitate them to perfection. Even the call of a tiger! With no assistance apart from his vocal chords, he could lure the animal to a face to face meeting. Two man-eaters shot by him were cornered using this awesome ability.

Jim Corbett, the eighth child of a postmaster, gave up on academics early, proved his prowess at the gun at the age of 8. He worked as storekeeper, labour contractor, Captain in World War I, member of municipal board, and trained soldiers in jungle warfare for World War II, was awarded the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He shot with his camera and chronicled his experiences in 8 gripping books.And yet he was a modest man.

The legend lives at Kaladhungi:
On the edge of the Park is a place called Kaladhungi, where Jim Corbett lived and learnt to use the gun. Jim's house is now a museum. Surrounding this modest dwelling is a tiny village called 'Chhota Haldwani'. Part of the village land was bought by Jim Corbett out of his own savings and gifted to the villagers.
If you happen to meet the older residents, they will tell you tall tales about the man who became a legend in his lifetime.
"The freedom of the forests"
Jim Corbett was convinced that "the tiger is a gentleman" and no jungle beast was dangerous while he lived in his natural habitat. For his outstanding contribution to conservation and natural history the Government of India bestowed on him the honor of "The Freedom of the Forests". No bars, no boundaries, for a soul born free.

Bio Diversity:
A rare and splendid biodiversity:
Ramganga River The Corbett National Park is an excellent and largely inviolate specimen of the rich sal and mixed woodland that spans the outer Himalayas. Because of its rich biogeographic diversity, the Park is a natural haven for the flora and fauna of the plains, the sub mountainous regions and high altitude areas. At the lower level are winding strips of alluvial grasslands or chaurs (beloved to many species of deer) crossed by numerous water courses. The lifeline of the Park is the sparkling Ramganga river which provides safe harbor to mahaseer fish, crocodile and otter. Stately stands of sal and diverse mixed forest cover hills and valleys, fodder and foliage for large herds of elephants. Sharp spurs in the terrain make it an idyllic habitat for shy species like the tiger. The incredible variety of mammals, birds and vegetation at Corbett reveals one of the healthiest 'food chains' this side of the world. Almost all the major groups of animals known to exist in the Himalayan Terai and the Bhabar foothills region are found here. The abundance of the prey species determines the presence and survival of the predators. As the abundance of diverse vegetation supports myriad species, from avian to mammal. Corbett is a delightful education. Of nature in a superabundant, undisturbed state. An image of a vanishing world. The park teems with life.

»110 species of trees,
»51 of shrubs,
»27 climbers,
»37 grasses and bamboos.
»And 50 endemic species of mammals,
»more than 600 species of birds,
»26 of reptiles,
»7 of amphibians.

A home for vanishing species:
The protective environment of Corbett Park has kept some endangered species safe and thriving, like the hog deer which has been virtually saved from extinction. At last count, the numbers had increased substantially. Corbett is also the only home of the rare Indian pagolin. Consider yourself supremely blessed if you spot one! The rare fish eating, long snouted gharial is a common sight on the banks of the river Ramganga.

Several species on the world hit list have been seen to be breeding happily in the park, at ease in Corbett's rich, life supporting biodiversity.

Tiger :
Tiger at Corbett National Park In 1974 the world funded Tiger Project was launched at Corbett National Park in an Endeavour to save this majestic animal from extinction. With Corbett as the pilot model, eight other tiger reserves came up in India. At the last count the tiger population in Corbett and other parks had shown stability, raising hopes of naturalists and conservators worldwide.
So how good would be the chances of spotting one at Corbett?
Corbett is one of the most congested parks in India with a ratio of 1 tiger to every 5 acres. Gullies, ravines and thick forest cover give tigers the right kind of habitat. And herds of deer, particularly the sambar, plenty of food.

The tiger is reclusive, but can be somewhat predictable in its beat. You are more likely to spot a tiger close near a water body than to meet him or her accidentally on the forest path! And though your hair may stand on end, it may be worthwhile to take heed of what Jim Corbett wrote in his 'Man-eaters of Kumaon' -

A tiger's function in the scheme of things is to help maintain the balance in nature and if, on rare occasions when driven by dire necessity, he kills a human being or when his natural food has been ruthlessly exterminated by man, it is not fair that for these acts a whole species should be branded as cruel and bloodthirsty. ...There is one point on which all sportsmen will agree with me, and that is, that a tiger is a large hearted gentleman with boundless courage and that when he is exterminated - as exterminated he will be unless public opinion rallies to his support - India will be the poorer for having lost the finest of her fauna."

Project Tiger :
The most ambitious conservation project ever undertaken, Project Tiger was launched with the support of the World Wildlife Fund and the involvement of the world's most ardent conservationists.