Everyone at home is a big animal enthusiast. The last trip we had had together was to the Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan. This time around, we thought of renting a car for Delhi to Jim Corbett National Park. We wanted to make the most of the trip, keep it economical and instead of wasting time in travelling, visit some place near and spend some quality family time. Delhi to Jim Corbett was a perfect fit.
Corbett, the first and oldest National Park and Tiger Reserve in India, is located in the valley of the Ramganga River near the foothill of Himalayas. It was established in the year 1936 by Jim Corbett. Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve today holds probably the second largest population of free living tigers in the world. The most famous of Jim Corbett’s residents are the Royal Bengal Tiger and the Asiatic Elephant, but with about 600 species of avifauna, Corbett is one of the richest bird regions of India.
Itinerary ( Delhi to Jim Corbett): New Delhi→ Corbett
Distance covered: New Delhi→ Hapur: 60 kms
Hapur → Moradabad: 105 kms
Moradabad→ Kashipur: 52 kms
Kashipur→ Ramnagar: 28 kms
No of days: 3
Day 1: New Delhi→ Hapur→ Moradabad→ Kashipur→ Ramnagar
We planned and planned and planned and finally decided upon a perfect weekend when everyone was free and ready to leave for Delhi to Jim Corbett . A few clicks later, we had booked ourselves a cab for Delhi to Jim Corbett road trip.
It was at 8:00 am in a Friday morning that we lef for Delhi to Jim Corbett. Roads till Hapur are nice and this stretch of 60 odd kms can be covered in less than an hour. After Hapur, we hit the highway and picked up speed. The music became louder, we rolled down our windows and had truly begun to enjoy the ride. But soon we were caught in a huge traffic jam. Traffic jams along this road are a common affair apparently. It took us 2.30 hours to reach Brijghat which lies on the way to Moradabad. This route, without traffic, would only take you around 1.45 hrs.
From Brijghat till Moradabad which is a further distance of 68 kms, the highway is amazing and the drive is very enjoyable. It took us about an hour to cover it. It was by 1:15 pm that we reached Moradabad. We were quite hungry by then. There are a couple of restaurants along the stretch. We stopped at one of them, satisfied our stomachs and then continued from Moradabad towards Kashipur.
This stretch is the worst and we considered ourselves lucky that we did not have to drive on that road ourselves. The roads are not maintained at all and the whole 52 km stretch is a nightmare. It took us 1.45 hours to cover it.
As soon we reached Kashipur, the road conditions changed drastically, though. That’s because we had left Uttar Pradesh and entered the state of Uttarakhand. We proceeded towards Ramnagar which is 28 kms away. This road is fantastic and the driver could have easily hit a large speed value but we asked him to go slow. We were very near to our destination and wanted to savour the beauty that the foothills of the great Himalayas have to offer. The mountains that run along the Nainital district provide a perfect backdrop. The whole scenery outside of our cab windows was beautiful. We wanted to capture all of it inside our minds.
We reached Ramnagar in an hour. We had a friend who knew locals around Ramnagar book a hotel and safari rides for us already. We stayed at Wild Crest. Upon checking in, we found that the rooms we cheap, decent and quite comfortable. The travel had deeply tired and soon after getting fresh, we took a nap. Waking up just in time for dinner, we were back to our rooms in 15 mins and dozed off all over again.
Day 2: Safari ride in Corbett
Jeeps Safari, is the most convenient way to travel within Corbett national park, and can be rented for the park trips from Ramnagar, from the KMVN Tourist Lodge and other travel agencies. Our friend had already booked one for us. We called our safari guy after breakfast and he came to our hotel to pick us up. He had already got permits with him and we went straight to the Bijrani gate.
In an effort to provide the safe zone to wildlife with tourism activities, the park has been divided into four divisions. This division of Corbett Tiger Reserve into four zones makes stay more managed and safe for wildlife and tourists too.
The zones: Dhikala Safari Zone
Our guide drove us around and it was nearly an hour before we spotted a tiger. It was behind bushes so we couldn’t catch a proper glimpse but we knew that not everyone gets to even spot one so considered ourselves quite lucky. All the while, our guide was sharing interesting facts about the National Park and its animals with us. Dhikala is the best zone followed by Jhirna and Bijrani. All in all, the safari ride was very informative and fun.
The safari ride was 3 hrs long after which we headed back to our resort. At 2:00 pm again, after lunch our safari guide picked us up and we headed towards the Sitabani reserve forest.
Sitabani is a birdwatchers paradise and there is an ashram tucked away in the jungle. We spotted a couple of birds and animal and enjoyed the ride a lot. We then returned back to our rooms by 4:00 pm.
We spent the evening lazing around in our room and then later going for a walk along the Kumaun foothills. The evening was beautiful and the lush green mountains were a treat to witness. We came back in time for dinner. After a delicious and simple meal, we spent a few hours talking endlessly about the trip, life, our relationships and everything else under this sky. The gentle mountain air slowly cradled us to sleep.
Day 3: Back to Delhi
We woke up knowing that we’d have to leave for home in a few hours. Even though that wasn’t such a pleasant thought, Corbett had been such an amazing host and we were all smiles.
We had breakfast under the sun, boarded our cab around 11:00 am and made our way back to Delhi.
1. All jungle safaris need permits and designated jeeps can only enter. At a time, only 30 jeeps are allowed. Make prior arrangements.
2. Take jungle coloured clothes along with you.
3. After Kashipur, avoid Thakurdwara and rather take the Tunda route for Moradabad.
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