The national park covers an area of 521 sq kms, with an area of 312.86 sq kms falling in Garhwal district, and the balance 208.14 sq kms in Nainital district. It was established on August 8th, 1936 and is the oldest national park of the Indian subcontinent. Corbett National Park plays an important role in the conservation of Indian Wildlife.
An important event in the history of Garhwal was the Gorkha invasion. In 1803 the Gorkhas mounted their invasion, and by 1804 they had become the masters of Garhwal. Before this they had already captured Kumaon, in which the present Nainital district is located. They ruled this area for the next twelve years before the British drove them out in 1815. The British now occupied Kumaon and Garhwal. In the year 1839 an English businessman Mr P.Barron while hunting in the hills of Kumaon got lost and while finding there way back chanced on the lake around which present day Naini Tal, a popular hill-station, exists. In 1862, Naini Tal became the summer seat of the North Western Provinces, and became an important centre of education for the British, who wanted to educate their children away from the discomforts of the plains. In the same year, Edward James (Jim) Corbett's father became postmaster of Naini Tal.
As Naini Tal was (and still is) extremely cold in winter with deep snow, the Corbett's would during this period move down to the plains below and stay at a place called Kaladhungi. Jim Corbett was born on July 25th, 1875 and spent most of his formative years exploring the wilderness that lay around. This led to developing a deep knowledge of the forests and its inhabitants. The result was a naturalist who could read the signs of the forest and predict the movement of wildlife. Corbett's in-depth knowledge of Indian Wildlife would stand him in good stead in later years.
Named after Jim Corbett, Corbett National Park is one of the widely visited national parks in India. Though the park was developed with the primary purpose of reserving the wide variety of flora and fauna of the Ramganga river valley, it later turned into one of the sought after tourists places in India. The prime reason for its skyrocketing popularity is the presence of a variety of flora and fauna. As a result, it is an integral part of wildlife tours in India.
Wildlife in Corbett National Park
The variety of wildlife in Corbett National Park includes tigers, crocodile, muggars, gharials, leopards, elephants, jungle cats, varieties of deer and other types of animals. There are also 580 species of birds and 50 species of mammals in the park. The marshy jungle and the wide stretches of grasslands impart a heavenly beauty to the park. Most of the park (about 70%) is covered with deciduous forests. Large variety of flora includes sal trees, haldu, rohini, papal and mango trees.
Touring the park will be a great experience for the tourists. You can tour the jungle by car or on elephant back. These safaris will take you to the various important points of the park. However, if you are looking for a more adventurous experience then traveling on elephant back is the appropriate option for you. It has a distinct charm as you will be able to experience the mystic charm of the jungle.
The best time to visit the park is during the winter as the park is at its best during this season. Moreover, it is during this season when a large variety of migratory birds visit is park.
Apart from the awesome beauty of the jungle, there are also a number of other attractions in and around the park. Tourist attractions like Dhikala, Garjia Temple and Ranikhet are some of the popular tourist spots in and around the park.