One of my best vacations of this year happened in May, when we went to the Jim Corbett National Park and spent four days there. The occasion was special as it was my husband Piyush Poorey's birthday on May 1st, and we reached the fantastic wildlife location on April 30th. Our daughter enjoyed the outing to her heart's content.
We visited places like Bijrani Zone, Jhirna Zone, Dhikala Zone etc. Corbett National Park is famous for the richness and diversity of its wildlife which includes over 50 species of mammals and over 580 species of birds. It is an important refuge for the tiger, Indian elephant, wild dog, leopard cat, Indian pangolin and hog deer. We saw Elephants, Dears, Different birds, Sambhar, Barking Deers, Monkeys, Crocodile, Jackals, Hog Deer, Leopards, Peacock etc.
We stayed one night in the dense forest camp near Dhikala Jone. It is a picturesque location at the edge of a grassy plateau perched high above the Ramganga reservoir and set into a bend in the river. Overnight stay provides the unique opportunity to share a Night in the Wildlife. There is no mobile network and no electricity. Only for two hours the generator is on, in which you have to cook your food. The sunset experience is really a feast to watch and my daughter Aashi was thrilled to no end.
Nature's best offering is the green and copper beauty of the forest of Sal; she has spread a carpet of the glowing red flowers of the flame of the forest, the delicate drapery of ferns and creepers and the waving Tiger grass producing an unforgettable scene of grandeur, while the colorful birds and their continuous chirping, add to the enchantment. Although the Sal timber is felled and extracted in certain parts, the natural beauty of the Jim Corbett National Park area has remained unspoiled, particularly beautiful when the flowering trees are in full bloom.
It was really amazing when we saw a tiger, that too when we went for elephant safari at 4 in the morning. We also visited the area where the Kaal film was shot. In fact it is after watching Shahrukh Khan's Kaal that we chose Jim Corbett as our destination for holiday.
Excursions around the reserve area of the Corbett National Park is the nature lover's ultimate reward - wild and dense, the forest treks start from right outside the reserve area of the park. The natural and man-made trails will take you as deep inside as you may dare to go.
Tumeria Dam, which is a 45 minutes drive from Ramnagar in itself, is a fun place to visit and educational for all, be it children or serious bird watchers. It is a rich attraction for migratory as well as domestic feathers.
Garjia temple and Dhangadi museum are places to watch. En-route to Dhikala situated about three Kms. from Corbett is a huge rock perching out of the Kosi river bed and on the pinnacle is a beautiful temple of Durga Devi named as Garjia, a place good for bathing, basking, and of course worships. It has an enchanting view of river Kosi from the top of the rock. This place has been named Garjia Devi after the deity. The temple is visited by thousands of devotees from different parts of the state. A large mela is held here on kartik Poornima.
Corbett museum and Fall Corbett's home at Kaladungi, around 32 Kms from Ramnagar on Nainital Road, is now a museum which houses memorabilia of the legendry hunter.
Today this unique home is a comprehensive museum housing souvenirs, relics, mementos related to Jim Corbett.
Killing, injuring, capturing or even disturbing any animal, bird or reptile, and taking or disturbing any eggs is strictly prohibited. Causing damage by fire, or otherwise including any animal, domestic or wild and removing any animal, live or dead, is also forbidden. No product from the park, animal, vegetable or mineral can be taken away or disposed off and sold. Lastly, taking of flash-light photographs and driving of motor-vehicles in the night is taboo. North Indian and Punjabi food is available in the outside outskirts and it is fantastic idea to have dhabha food.
The best season to visit the place is from March to June when the wildlife comes out of hibernation or their lairs, to welcome the visitors. The weather is very pleasant and the visibility is excellent. In May and June the days begin to warm up, but the night remains pleasant. The park is closed from June to October 31.
If you are staying on the outskirts of the reserve area of the Corbett National Park boundary, one can go for nature walks on the Garjia Dhikala Road OR on Bijrani Road. You can trek into the forest across river kosi, visit the local village to share the simple joys of the native folk. The Safari is the main stay of the Corbett experience, but there are many other attractions around the place - the Sitavani Ashram in the virgin forest area, the Kaladungi falls and many more. Nainital is just an hour and half away from Retreat and can be looked as a day trip. Ranikhet with its awesome views of the snow capped Himalayas is three hours away. No where else would one get to experience the mysterious Forest, the tranquil lakes and the majestic Himalayas in one vacation - all just a couple of hours away.
As a tip to the travelers, I would request you to wear brown or green attire so that you merge into the forest. Don't wear bright colors like red. Don't put perfumes as animal senses are strong. No smoking is allowed and alcohol is not permitted. Follow all National park rules. You must take hats as there is direct sunlight everywhere. Sunglasses are also are a must. Wear full sleeve clothes as there is variety of insects in the forest area. Wear good quality shoes. You can take some packets of maggi or snacks which can come handy.