Corbett National Park
India’s first and finest park spread over 520 sq. kms. along the banks of the Ramganga river, just 300 kms. northeast of Delhi in the foothills of the Himalayas is the Corbett National Park.
Established initially as Hailey National Park on August 8, 1936, in honour of Sir Malcolm Hailey, then governor of the United Provinces, the name was changed to Ramganga National Park in 1952. In 1957, it was finally named as Corbett National Park in honour and memory of the latc Jim Corbett, the legendary hunter, naturalist-turned-author and photographer who had helped in setting up the park and demarcating its boundaries.
Corbett National Park Excursion
If exploring Jim Corbett National Park is on your holiday agenda, don’t forget to make a detour to Kaladhungi. A romantic hamlet 35 kms. from the famous Corbett National Park, Kaladhungi has been an inseperable part of the endless tiger stories of Kumaon focussing around the legendary hunter Jim Corbett. The significance of Kaladhungi is clear from the fact that Jim Corbett chose this place as his residence. Today, this unique home is a comprehensive museum housing souvenirs, relics and mementos related to Jim Corbett and his famous exploits.
Rail – Nearest railhead is Ramnagar & Kathgodam
Road – Kaladhungi is 33 kms from Nainital.
Accommodation – Camp Corbett Resort and Forest Rest House.
Season: Round the year.
Bandhavgarh National Park
Set amidst the Vindhyan Mountain range in Madhya Pradesh, the Bandhavgarh National Park is home to the famous White Tigers of Rewa. One of particular mention captured in the Park in 1951, was the legendary White Tiger called Mohan, who supposedly fathered several offspring found in zoos the world over.
Within the Park, stands tall the ruins of Bandhavgarh Fort, believed to be over 2000 years old. The Fort has a large number of caves belonging to the pre-historic period with Brahmi inscriptions dating far back to the first century B.C.
Today, Bandhavgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is known for having one of the densest populations of Tigers in the country. Among the other wild attractions include Nilgai, Chital, Chinkara, Gaur, Sloth Bears and Wild Boar along with some 250 species of birds.
Attractions of the Park
Wildlife in the Park
Wandering through the Park on elephant back, the chances of seeing a tiger are quite good. Also to be seen here are Nilgai, Chausingha, Chital, Chinkara, Wild boar and sometimes a fox or jackal.
Bird Species in the Park
Peacock, Paradise fly catchers, Jungle Fowl, Golden and Black headed Orioles, Yellow Ioras, Red-vented Bulbuls, Blue Jays, Purple Sunbirds, Green Barbets and Mynahs.
Jeep safaris can be undertaken during the early morning hours till evening, accompanied by a forest department guide. Elephant safari trips are also organised for tiger tracking early in the morning.
Other Attractions In Bandhavgarh
Kalchuri Archeological Remains
Beside the wildlife, Bandhavgarh is also famous for the archaeological remains of the Kalchuri period that have been found here.
The Bandhavgarhpark area is hilly and is dominated by the majestic Bandhavgarh fort, built in 14th century. The fort and the adjacent hills have a large number of caves belonging to the pre-historic period.
Jeep & Elephant Safari
One can enjoy viewing the wildlife by two ways in Bandhavgarh – Jeep Safari and Elephant Safari. Jeep safaris are undertaken during the early morning hours till evening. A forest department guide is always their with the visitors on these jeep trips taken inside the park. Elephant safari trips are organised for tiger tracking early in the morning.
Best time to visit
Like many of India’s other wildlife preserves, national parks and sanctuaries, Bandhavgarh National Park too closes for visitors during the monsoon months, July to October. Between November and June is the best- and only-time to visit the park.
How to Get there
Air : Khajurao at 230-kms is the most convenient airport connected by various domestic airline services with Agra, Delhi, Varanasi.
Rail : The nearest railhead Umaria at 30-kms is on the Katni-Bilaspur section of South-Eastern Railway. Another convenient railhead Satna (117-kms) is on the Bombay-Howrah main line of the Central Railway.
Road : Bandhavgarh National Park is situated on the Satna-Umaria & Rewa-Umaria highway. Some of the important road distances are: Khajuraho (via Satna)230-kms, Varanasi (via Rewa) 340-kms, Katni 75-kms, Rewa 115-kms, Umaria 30-kms, Kanha 250-kms. Madhya Pradesh State Transport Bus Services are also available from Rewa, Satna, Katni and Umaria.
Bharatpur Bird sanctuary
Keoladeo Ghana National Park, more popularly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary has one of the most prolific bird life in the country. Two-thirds of the Park lies under water and the remaining one-third is covered in dry deciduous forests and extensive grasslands.
The history of the area dates back in time when Prince Bhamji of Morvi state, Gujarat, used the area as a hunting preserve. Gradually, it became popular with the ruler of Bharatpur. On one occasion held in honor of Viceroy Lord Curzon in 1902, thousands of birds were killed and their exploits engraved on stone plaques standing near the Keoladeo Temple, standing tall in the heart of the Sanctuary.
Bharatpur is the real kingdom of Avian fauna in India with not less than 377 bird species already spotted. If your luck permits it is not too tough to spot 50 to 100 species in a day. If you are coming in winter, ready for a sudden (though most unlikely) encounter with the elusive Siberian Crane wintering here. The fact remains that Bharatpur is one of the only two known wintering haunts of Siberian Crane. Birds come to this national park in waves.
Best time to visit
Keoladeo National Park is open to visitors throughout the year , but it is more rewarding to visit it between August to end of March. The best way to see the park is on foot. Other options available are to see it on cycle or a cycle rickshaw. Both are available on hire. Cycle rickshaw pullers have been trained by the forest department in bird watching and are knowledgeable. Boats are also availble for a trip of the lake area. A boat trip early in the morning or in the evening is quite a rewarding experience.
Take an early dawn elephant back safari with an authorized mahout guide. Jeep rides can be arranged at the Tourist Centre. Although jeeps penetrate deeper into the forest than elephants, they cannot get nearly as close to the wild animals.
How to Get there
Air : The nearest airport is situated at Guwahati, 217 kms away. The other airport at 97 kms is in Jorhat
Rail : The nearest railhead is located in Furkating, situated 75 km away.
Road : Kaziranga National Park is easily accessible by buses between Guwahati and the east. Along with private buses, there are also Assam State Transport buses that ply the route.