Project Tiger :
The coverage area of the park was 520-sq-kms in 1986, and a proposed extension of 588-sq-kms is under consideration. Project Tiger, which was set up with the help of the World Wildlife Fund, was launched at Dhikala, in the Corbett National Park on April 1, 1973. This project was aimed at saving the Indian tiger from extinction. Over 50 mammals, 580 birds and 25 reptile species have been listed in the Corbett National Park. The insect life is also astounding, noticeably specially after the monsoons. But undoubtedly, the jewel of the Corbett is the Indian tiger. It was estimated that in 1984, the tiger population was 90 in this national park.
Corbett was the former hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Rewa and at present is a famous natural hub for White Tigers. White Tigers, in human and cattle population in the beginning of the 20th century led to the disturbance of this balance, and the first man-eaters started appearing. Soon the numbers of these man-eaters increased and Kumaon became famous.
The hunter Jim Corbett became famous with his leopard shooting exploits in this region. In his book "Temple Tiger", he describes how he killed the Champawat Tiger and the Panar Leopard, which had hunted 836 human beings in the first decade of this century. However from 1930s onwards, the number of tigers fell sharply with the increase in the number of hunters who belonged to the Indian royals as well British sportsmen.The situation deteriorated rapidly and in 1971, the Indian government banned the killing of tigers. Project Tiger was started and the Jim Corbett National Park was formed - the name honoring the famous hunter of the past.
The Wild Attractions :
Indian Tiger is the main attraction of the corbett national park other animals like the Sloth Bear, Himalayan Black Bear, Dhole, Jackal, Yellow Throated Martem, Himalayan Palm Civet, Indian Grey Mongoose, Common Otter, Porcupine, Clack-taped Hare are the other attractions of this area. It is possible to see elephants all over the park too. There are four species of deer residing over here. These are the Chital, the well-known Spotted Deer, Para, Kakka, and the Barking Deer. The Goat Antelopes are represented by the Ghoral can also seen in the National Park.
Bird Watching :
Corbett National Park is a Paradise for Bird Watchers.It has over 580 species of birds. Most of the water birds are migrant, and arrive in winters. Some of these are the Greylag, Bar-headed Goose, Duck, Grepe, Snipe, Sandpiper, Gull and wagtail. The residents include Darters, Cormorants, Egrets, Herons, the black-necked Stork and the spur winged Lapwings.
Reptiles, which are residents of this area, are the Gharial, the rare Fish eating, long - nosed Crocodile, and a few species of Turtles and Tortoises. The Indian Python, Viper, Cobra, Krait and King Cobra also inhabit the Corbett National Park.
Best Time To Visit :
The Corbett tiger reserve remains open from 15th Nov to 15th Jun though the Buffer zone areas remain open throughout the year.
How To Reach There :
The best way to travel to Corbett is to take your own means of transport. Driving down from Delhi takes approximately 5 hours, Another way to get to Corbett is by taking a train from Delhi or Lucknow.