Hi travellers and wildlife-lovers! Welcome to my article on Corbett National Park. I’m Swaroop Singha Roy – a freelance photographer based in Kolkata. My area of work specialises in nature and wildlife photography. I conduct safaris and photo tours across various national parks in India.
Family tours to new places every year was almost like a tradition during my childhood. I can’t recall a single year as a kid when I didn’t go travelling with my family. This is probably what instilled that love of travel in me.
I was introduced to photography during my first visit to Corbett National Park almost 13 years ago and eventually this newfound hobby turned into a serious passion as I kept climbing the learning curve! To me, photography is not just a language of light but a medium of expressing emotions as well.
Visiting Corbett National Park for the First Time in 2008
Experiencing the forest and seeing wildlife with my own eyes was something that was on my bucket list since childhood. I finally got to tick this activity off my list after visiting Corbett National Park in 2008.
It was a well planned family trip and I was flabbergasted with the beauty and majesty of the place. From the herds of giant elephants to the bone chilling atmosphere of being in a tigers presence – every moment that I experienced during this trip made me fall in love with nature and wildlife.
This trip also introduced me to the world of photography. Eight years after this trip, I revisited the park with a much better vision towards nature and photography. I have been visiting Corbett National Park every year since.
Stays at Dhikala Forest Rest House
All of my stays at the national park have been at the Dhikala Forest Rest House which is located about 35km’s inside the park. Trust me when I say that this is by far the best forest rest house I have stayed in to date!
The rest house is surrounded by grasslands, sal woods and a panoramic view of the Ramganga River backdropped by the Kumaon ranges. All of these aspects make it one of the most picturesque locations in India.
Most of my visits have been during summer and last for three nights at this place. I took morning and evening safaris on all four days and every safari provided a lot of photo opportunities. Anyone visiting this park for the first time will surely have one of the most memorable experiences of their life.
My Favourite Place in Corbett National Park – Ramganga River
Situated in Uttarakhand (northern India), Corbett National Park lies at the foothills of the Himalayas. It’s the oldest park in India and is a tiger reserve with the largest population of tigers in the country. The forest offers endless exploring opportunities – making it paradise for nature lovers.
I love the park in its entirety. However, the Ramganga River has always been a favourite spot. I love seeing and taking photos of elephants. The river is perfect for elephant photography – especially during the early hours of the morning when families of elephants arrive at the river to bathe. I have also seen tigers crossing the banks. That was unforgettable too!
It was early in the morning and I was perched on a bank near the Ramganga River waiting in my safari jeep. At that moment I was watching elephants graze near the river. This was when a tiger emerged from the forest and walked across the river. The elephants were behind her on the other bank. Seeing these two precious animals at the same time was epic!
Corbett National Park is home to a variety of wildlife species, not just elephants and tigers. You can see many different bird species, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. I also love seeing spotted deer, barking deer, sambar, golden jackal, otters, langurs, macaques and gharial (crocodile).
Need to Know Before you Go
When it comes to accommodation in Corbett National Park, I will always vouch for Dhikala Forest Rest House because I have had many fantastic experiences here. This is the best place to experience the wilderness to the fullest extent. There are other options such as private resorts outside the forest if you want to opt for luxurious accommodation.
Availability for rooms at the Dhikala Forest Rest House are limited because of the huge demand. So make sure you book in advance or use a safari planner or tour company to help you secure the booking.
Keep in mind that the park is open from mid-November to mid-June every year and is divided into six different zones. Choose your zone and time and plan your trip at least three months prior to visiting. Remember that the animals are wild and live in their natural habitat. This means that wildlife spotting can be uncertain due to the unpredictability of animals.
But when you do see them – especially elephants and tigers – you will be blown away! Just make sure you have your camera ready to take photos. Lastly, don’t do anything to disturb the animals or their habitat. Follow all of the guidelines laid down by the forest department. I hope you enjoy your experience at one of India’s most incredible national parks: Corbett!