Jim Corbett National Park—named after the hunter turned conservationist Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishment—is the oldest national park in India.The park was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park. Situated in Nainital district of Uttarakhand, the park acts as a protected area for the critically endangered Bengal tiger of India, the secure survival of which is the main objective of Project Tiger, an Indian wildlife protection initiative.
The park has sub-Himalayan belt geographical and ecological characteristics.An ecotourism destination, it contains 488 different species of plants and a diverse variety of fauna.The increase in tourist activities, among other problems, continues to present a serious challenge to the park's ecological balance
Corbett always has been a haunt for tourists and wildlife lovers for a long time. Tourism activity is only allowed in selected areas of Corbett Tiger Reserve so that people get an opportunity to see its splendid landscape and the diverse wildlife. In recent years the number of people coming here has increased dramatically. Presently, every season more than 70,000 visitors come to the park from India and other countries.
The Jim Corbett National Park is a heaven for the adventure seeker and wildlife adventure lovers. Corbett National Park is India's first national park which comprises 520.8 km2. area of hills, riverine belts, marshy depressions, grass lands and large lake. The elevation ranges from 1,300 feet to 4,000 feet. Winter nights in Corbett national park are cold but the days are bright and sunny. It rains from July to September.
Dense moist deciduous forest mainly consists of sal, haldu, pipal, rohini and mango trees, and these trees cover almost 73 per cent of the park. The 10 per cent of the area consists of grasslands.It houses around 110 tree species, 50 species of mammals, 580 bird species and 25 reptile species. The endangered Bengal tiger of India resides here. The sanctuary was the first to come under Project Tiger initiative.
Some areas of the park were formerly part of the princely state of Tehri Garhwal.The forests were cleared to make the area less vulnerable to Rohilla invaders.The Raja of Tehri formally ceded a part of his princely state to the East India Company in return for their assistance in ousting the Gurkhas from his domain.The Boksas—a tribe from the Terai—settled on the land and began growing crops, but in the early 1860s they were evicted with the advent of British rule.The British forest department established control over the land and prohibited cultivation and the operation of cattle stations.The British administration considered the possibility of creating a game reserve there in 1907 and established a reserve area known as Hailey National Park covering 323.75 km2 (125.00 sq mi) in 1936.The preserve was renamed in 1954–55 as Ramganga National Park and was again renamed in 1955–56 as Corbett National Park.The new name honours the well-known author and wildlife conservationist Jim Corbett, who played a key role in creating the reserve by using his influence to persuade the provincial government to establish it.
The reserve does not allow hunting, but does permit timber cutting for domestic purposes.Soon after the establishment of the reserve, rules prohibiting killing and capturing of mammals, reptiles and birds within its boundaries were passed.The park fared well during the 1930s under an elected administration.But during the Second World War, it suffered from excessive poaching and timber cutting.Over time the area in the reserve was increased—797.72 km2 (308.00 sq mi) were added in 1991 as a buffer for the Corbett Tiger Reserve.The 1991 additions included the entire Kalagarh forest division, assimilating the 301.18 km2 (116.29 sq mi) area of Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary as a part of the Kalagarh division. It was chosen in 1974 as the location for launching Project Tiger, an ambitious and well known wildlife conservation project.The reserve is administered from its headquarters in the district of Nainital.
Corbett National Park is one of the thirteen protected areas covered by World Wildlife Fund under their Terai Arc Landscape Programme.The programme aims to protect three of the five terrestrial flagship species, the tiger, the Asian elephant and the Great One-horned Rhinoceros, by restoring corridors of forest to link 13 protected areas of Nepal and India to enable wildlife migration.
Evening and Overnight trains connects Delhi to Ramnagar Station, moreover trains are available from Varanasi via Lucknow to Ramnagar. Travelers can books jeeps/jypsis at Ramnagar Station to travel to Resorts in Corbett, inside the Corbett National Park and Dhikala Forest Lodge. Corbett National Park is connected by road services from the major cities too. One can reach here by regular bus services from Jaipur, Agra, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar & Delhi.