Into the Wild – the land of Jim Corbett

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Into the wild, I golosing my way, finding my soul – One of the famous quotes kind of describes our journey to Jim Corbett National Park. We didn’t really get lost, technically but were lost admiring the beauty of the wild.

We’ve grown up reading books written by the famous  Jim Corbett, thanks to our Dad who was a huge fan and had almost all his books. We used to admire his bravery and it used to also scare us a bit. A visit to the Jim Corbett National Park has been on our bucket list since then.

This year we finally visited in March on our trip to Uttarakhand. We traveled from Mussoorie to Nainital where the Park is located. It took us more than 6 hours to reach our hotel. This was the most pathetic route by road as the roads were narrow and there were no decent places to eat/ stopover. We had to stop at a petrol pump to use their washroom which was not the cleanest. For lunch, we also found a decent place almost when we reached Nainital.

The UP government really needs to make the roads more tourist-friendly especially for women travelers. Anyway, we were relieved when we reached our hotel. We just relaxed as it was evening and since it was getting dark, the park would be closed.

Jim Corbett National Park

It is the oldest national park in India and was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park to protect the endangered Bengal tiger. It is located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand and was named after Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishment. The park was the first to come under the Project Tiger initiative.

Safari time

The next day after lunch we set out on the safari to the Bijrani zone, one of the five zones inside the National Park. It was a sunny afternoon, but there was a cool breeze blowing so it wasn’t unbearable. Though one is advised to wear hats, caps or carry a scarf/jacket. The total safari lasted for 3.5 hours. The safari is really an amazing experience. We traveled by jeeps inside the park.  Each jeep comes with a driver and a guide. One needs to book in advance as only a certain number of jeeps are allowed at one point in time. You can also visit in the morning hours.

It was a memorable experience admiring the different trees, animals, birds. The driver stopped multiple times along the safari and we all waited with bated breath for a sight of the Bengal Tiger. We saw varieties of animals especially deer like Sambhar deer, Barking deer, Spotted deer. We also saw many birds like peacock, jungle fowl etc and monkeys too.

At one time, we thought we heard the roar of the tiger but maybe it was our imagination. The guide showed us tiger pug marks, saying it was from that morning. in between, we stopped for a break inside an area that was safe. We clicked a few pics of us and the jeep. The weather suddenly changed, it became windy and started raining lightly so we continued before it could turn dark. So after an exciting and slightly tiring 3.5 hours, we didn’t really get to see the Bengal tiger. However, we were not totally disappointed as the experience was worth it. We were happy to cross a visit to this park off our bucket list. And we will definitely visit again, maybe another zone and another time slot, hoping to see the tiger.

Tips
  1. Do book a safari in advance to avoid disappointment later. Our tour operator booked the safari for us, however, you can do so by checking their official website here.
  2. Select the timings accordingly. We preferred going in the afternoon.
  3. Make sure you eat well or carry food/water as it is a long safari of 3 to 3.5 hours.
  4. Try to be as quiet as possible so as to not disturb the wildlife around and keep calm in case you spot the tiger. Don’t react or make sure your camera shutter is not too loud. No flash, please.
  5. If you’re traveling in winter, make sure you carry a jacket as the jeeps are open and you will feel the chill.
  6. if you’re traveling in summer, especially in the afternoon, wear sunscreen, a hat/ cap or scarf and goggles.
  7. It would be nice to have a pair of binoculars, however, they allow you to rent one for Rs, 100 which we felt was a waste of money as we hardly used it.
  8. Last but not the least, remember that this safari is not only about seeing tigers, there are many other animals, birds and trees, so enjoy among nature and have fun!

Jim Corbett Museum

The next day we visited Jim Corbett Museum. Corbett Museum is in a heritage bungalow of Edward James Jim Corbett, the renowned environmentalist, hunter as well as a front-runner in the tiger conservation. This magnificent museum brings to the forefront of memory the life and activities of the spectacular and distinguished personality. Corbett National Park visits gets its full value only with the museum visit.

Corbett Museum is where you will see the belongings and life history of Mr. Jim Corbett still intact.The museum showcases some memorabilia connected to Jim Corbett, which include some great valued personal belongings, letters written by him as well as his friends and well-wishers, antiques and rare photographs.

Thank you for reading. If you haven’t been to Jim Corbett National Park, then you should definitely visit soon. Cheers and Happy Travels! 🙂

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Read about our safari to Jim Corbett National Park and visit to the museum

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