Posted 10 March 2023 in To the wild

Calling all nature lovers: A guide to visiting Jim Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett National Park is an ecotourism destination in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. It was set up during British rule in 1936 and is the first national park in the country. The forested wildlife sanctuary was named after a hunter and naturalist, Jim Corbett. Famous for its Bengal tigers, Jim Corbett National Park is rich in flora and fauna. The park is home to over 450 species of plants and animals. There are five major zones in there, Dhikala, Bijrani, Jhirna, Durga Devi, and Dhela. Dhikala zone is the most visited and has animals like tigers, wild elephants, and leopards. Jim Corbett National Park is a major tourist attraction in the state of Uttarakhand. 

The different zones of Jim Corbett National Park

Dhikala Zone

Dhikala zone is the main and largest zone of the Jim Corbett National Park. Nestled at the border of the Patil Dun valley, it is the most coveted zone of the national park as it is popular for sighting the royal Bengal tigers. It is best for a night stay or day safari as it has hundreds of different species of flora and fauna. Tourists and wildlife lovers stay at night to see tigers, hog deer, spotted deer, barking deer, wild elephants, and wild pigs. It is quite popular among bird lovers as it is home to a large number of birds. The zone offers its tourists a captivating view of nature. It overlooks the Kanda Ridge that provides a majestic backdrop. 

Bijrani Zone

Bijrani zone is also a popular zone with spectacular views of nature. Tourists can have a glimpse of the royal Bengal tiger here too. Bijrani zone is popular for day safari tourists. The landscape of the zone attracts tourists as it has thick Sal forest, large grasslands, and several water streams. 

Jhirna Zone

It was included in the tiger reserve zone in 1994. Nestled on the southern edge of the Jim Corbett National Park, it is a popular zone among flora and fauna lovers. It is open for day tourists all year to spot wild bears, tigers, and wild elephants. 

Dhela Zone

It is the most recent addition for tourism in the Jim Corbett National Park. TSimilar to the Jhirna zone, Dhela zone also remains open for tourists all months of the year. The landscape of the zone includes several water streams, large grasslands, and a dense forest with trees like Haldu, Sal, Kusum, and Rohini. Animals like the Royal Bengal tiger, wild elephants, several species of deer, and leopards.

Durga Devi Zone

Nature lovers prefer the Durga Devi zone because of its hilly topography and spectacular natural surroundings. Located on the north-east border of the Jim Corbett National Park, the zone is popular for being home to a large number of species of flora and fauna. There are water streams flowing from Rivers Mandal and Ramganga into the forest, adding beauty to this zone. One can find Mahsheer fish in the water streams. 

Leopards, wild elephants, tigers, and otters are the major attractions. The zone is also an excellent place for bird watching as it is home to several species of birds. The different types of birds found here are Maroon Orile, Gray Headed Fishing Eagle, Black Chinned Yuhina, Slaty Blue Flycatcher, Long Tailed Broadbill, and Bar Tailed Tree Creeper, among others. 

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Activities to do in Jim Corbett National Park

Jeep safari

Jeep safari is one of the best ways to explore Jim Corbett National Park. Tourists undertake jeep safaris to spot exotic flora and fauna in the national park. You can book the safari for any of the five zones of the wildlife sanctuary. The jeep will take you to the dense forest; photographers and wildlife lovers love the jeep safari as it allows them to be close to nature. 


It is one of the most rewarding and peaceful activities to do in Jim Corbett National Park. Stay in the lap of nature with birds chirping and animals roaming around. The national park has multiple tourist attractions, but camping is one of the best things to do while visiting it for a peaceful experience. 

Corbett waterfall

The Corbett waterfall is located near the national park, at a distance of 22 km from Ramnagar. A short trek of 2 km from the road will take you to this waterfall. However, it is not safe to go into the water because of the reptiles and crocodiles. You can witness the beauty of the water streams from a distance. Nestled in the lap of the serene surroundings, this waterfall makes for a beautiful photograph. The Corbett waterfall is surrounded by nature with birds chirping all the time. 

Bird watching

The Jim Corbett National Park is one of the best places in the country for bird watching. The wildlife reserve is home to over 600 species of birds, some of which are migratory birds. You are sure to have a great time photographing them or just listening to them chirping. 

Some of the birds you can spot here are robin, dove, hornbill, finch, kingfisher, and babbler. The ideal season to do bird watching in Jim Corbett National Park is in winters during November and December as birds from Siberia migrate to this park in these months. 


If you love fishing and want to do it in North India, then head to Jim Corbett National Park. Yes, you read that right. There is an opportunity to go fishing in the Ramganga River that flows across the wildlife reserve. Fishing can be done near Bandharan Bhasha, Balyali, Rikawasi, and Matwash. The best time to go fishing is from October to April. 

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Travel tips

  • Guides are mandatory for a jeep safari in the Jim Corbett National Park.
  • Do not expect the animals to just show up in the middle of the forest anytime. They are free to roam anywhere anytime. 
  • If you are staying at night in the national park, then do not go anywhere in the forest in the middle of the night.
  • During the rainy season, Jhirna Zone is the only zone that is open to tourists.
  • Carry first aid and insect repellent with you. 

How to reach

  • By Air: Pantnagar Airport in the Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand is the nearest domestic airport to Jim Corbett National Park. It is located 80 km from the national wildlife reserve and is a one-and-a-half-hour drive from the airport. Pantnagar Airport is connected to several major cities of the country via regular flights from and to the city. IndiGo offers several direct and connecting flights between major cities of the country.
  • By Rail: Ramnagar Railway Station is the nearest railway station to the Jim Corbett National Park. Located at a distance of 12 km from the wildlife reserve, the railway station is connected to major cities and states of the country. Kathgodam is another railway station that is connected to the Jim Corbett National Park. However, it takes around four hours to reach Ramnagar from Kathgodam. 
  • By Road: With regular government and private buses, Jim CorbettNational Park is well-connected to the neighbouring states. It is one of the cheapest modes of transportation. 

Best time to visit

The most appropriate time to visit Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand is between December and March. Visitors and tourists mainly favour the winter months for a stay or vacation, and avoid the rainy season from June to September. 


The climate of the Jim Corbett National Park is moderate. The national wildlife reserve closes during the monsoon season from mid-June to mid-November. The summer season is too hot for day safari in the national park as the temperatures touch 40°C during the day. During the winter months, the temperatures go down to 5°C. 


While visiting the Jim Corbett National Park, indulge in treks, safari, fishing, and other activities offered. If not the activities, then just sitting in the lap of nature will give you peace. The serenity of the surroundings will help you relax. 

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