The jungle kingdom has always remained a zone of curiosity for humans and despite trespassing and encroachment by human beings and wide-scale exploration and research, woods still carry mysteries beyond comprehending. If we ever mention exploring wildlife and Nature, one of the prominent names that pass through the mind in a flash is Jim Corbett. Edward James Corbett, as his full name was, is remembered as passionate wildlife lover who advocated protection of Nature, a magician of words which reflects through his writings, a great hunter who killed several man eater tigers and leopards and someone who knew the language of even rustling of leaves in jungles let alone wild animals.
His contribution towards conservation of environment and his instrumental role in developing respect for wildlife kingdom besides curiosity amongst masses made him a luminary to be remembered and he turned immortal when the oldest National Park in India was renamed as Corbett National Park.
The National Park is spread across covering an area of 1318.54 square kilometres and has splendid option of jungle safari which is a lifetime experience in true sense. The tourist zones where jeep jungle safari is permitted are Jhirna, Dhikala, Bijrani, Durgadevi, Sitabani and newly formed Dhela respectively.
The tourists may sight mammals, birds and reptiles in these protected zones. The National Park is synonymous to Royal Bengal Tigers but besides that, one may get fortunate to sight leopards, tuskers, barking deer’s, alligators and many more. Further, the National Park is a bird paradise ideal for bird watchers and ornithologists. This is not all. The Park has huge and rare species of flora which may arouse interest of those who have an inclination towards learning more about it.
Well, the imprints of Jim Corbett remain prominent even when you step out of the tourist zone(s) of the National Park. You may cover a mere distance of twenty five kilometres or maybe slightly less, and you reach Chhoti Haldwani, which was a village established by this Nature protector and philanthropist spread across 221 acres which he distributed equally to tenants while leaving for Kenya after India attain ex-independence. The model and modern village still has the wall Jim Corbett constructed to ward off wild animals especially wild boars, a gun given by Jim Corbett to villagers to protect crops from wild animals, his lovely house where he stayed with his sister Mary before leaving for Kenya which has now been converted into a museum and managed by the Forest Department. Each corner has an influence of Jim Corbett and his works. Moti Shop which has now been converted into Moti Souvenir Shop has several items for sale ranging from spices, pickles, jams produced and packaged by locals of the village and other Kumaoni regions, apparels with prints of mammals and birds and most importantly complete collection of books written by Gora Baba including Jungle Lore, The Temple Tiger, My India, Leopard of Rudraprayag and others and if you want to read all his works, the compendium which is divided into two volumes is Omnibus, a compulsive and must read from page one till end.
Further, you may also plan to visit certain places like Mohaan and Pawalgarh as two sites besides others where this great and fearless hunter with a difference killed man eating tigers.