Rudyard Kipling after explained this land as primal jungle and Jim Corbett cherished to vacation the length and breadth of the land fearlessly. That is Corbett Nationwide Park (CNP), a splendid position supporting a vast reservoir of wildlife. This park has the honour of first national park of the region. It absolutely was so declared in 1936 as Hailey Nationwide Park & later renamed in the honour of legendary hunter-turned animal lover Jim Corbett. It is situated in the foothills of western Himalayas in the districts of Nainital and Pauri Garhwal in the newly carved out state of Uttaranchal and this wildlife heaven is reserved for adventure loving and tough people. Read more now on https://virtualparkingpermits.com/
We arrived at Rampur, about 7-8 hours away from National capital Delhi, in the afternoon full of anticipations. The permit to visit and stay in CNP are issued here. We got our reservations for Dhikala rest house which is located centrally and is infact houses the forests department. Near the entry point, we took our lunch and entered the CNP through Amdanda gate. Our rest house at Dhikala was approximately 30 kms from the gate along a narrow metalled road. The landscape in the park was mesmerising and this location exuded the charm of ancient primitive era. We saw a few vehicles parked on the kucha road near the main road. I jumped with excitement of seeing something wild and saw a group of elephants comfortably munching on grass of size equal to their heights. This was my 1st encounter with the Indian giants. They seemed indifferent to our presence. This apparent callousness of elephants about homo sapiens does not augur well for these giants as this made poacher’s work very easy. By an estimate, their population is 300 in the park area.
We removed ahead and saw a signboard about Indian gharial and saw a few gharials taking sun-bath on the banks of river Ramganga. Ramganga and its streams vivisect the land into numerous ridge and ravines. This landscape is perfect habitat for the growth and survival of tiger, leopard, bear et al. We were looking for the big cat “tiger”. About 90 (as per 1984 estimate) big cats inhabit this area and are very reserved creatures. Only lucky people can have a glimpse of this magnificent creature.
Next morning, we were ready to see the virtual rawness and beauty of this mysterious land covering an area of 1319sq. kms. The area on the park is increased with the inclusion of Sonanadi wildlife sanctuary. Our guide ‘Arshad’ a bearded old age veteran of this jungle assured us about tiger sighting. It is compulsory to take a guide with you and walking is strictly prohibited in the park. We decided to go towards Khinnanauli’s and Sarpduli rest houses. We come across a herd of spotted deer, chital, which ran ahead of our jeep. I saw a lone barking deer, jackal, otters running for fish in the waters of Ramganga. Since it had been early morning and a light drizzle had just finished, there was freshness, fragrance and coolness in the air and this was the time of hectic activity. Our guide asked to stop the jeep as there was a “call”. It is a warning signal given by animals like langur sitting on trees about a roaming tiger so others can run to their safety. We waited in anticipation for half an hour but nothing happened. Interestingly, this park has a healthy population of leopards. Both tigers and leopards prowl in the night and leopard manage to survive. There are documented instances of tigers killing and eating a mature leopard. On a muddy trail, we saw fresh pugmarks of a tiger and scanned the whole area for its presence. Chance and luck plays the role in case of tiger sighting in the wild as tigers here avoid humans unlike Ranthambore where tigers show indifference towards humans.