This post solely covers my trip to Jim Corbett National Park which is located 250 kms from New Delhi. It does not contain anything other than the subject. No, not even my rant or my abusing you. Nothing more, nothing less.
Deer in the forest
So you live in and around Delhi but do not know how to approach the Park. You have heard that getting a booking is difficult and is little complicated to get reservation inside the park. You do not even know which is the off season or on season. You just packed your bag with a jeans and few t-shirts to try your luck for an accommodation at the park.
Right then, you landed at the right place to get more than a first hand information without approaching the agent.
Dhikala main entrance
Dummies guide to Jim Corbett National Park
1. Catch Ranikhet Express from Delhi to Ramnagar. By Delhi station, I mean Old Delhi station not the New Delhi one. As on date, the train departs from Delhi (DLI) at 22:35 and reaches Ramnagar (RMR) at 5 am the next day.
2. The train has the number 5013. Reservation to Ramnagar should be easily available.
3. After reaching Ramnagar, take a tempo (shared auto) which are available just outside the station. They will drop you at the booking office of Jim Corbett National Park.
4. The booking office opens at 6:30 am and issue day safari tickets to other parks inside the Jim Corbett Park namely Dhikala, Bhijrani, Jhirna etc. The safari tickets are very limited which are 30, 20 in number for different parks.
5. Tickets are strictly issued only to visitors but not to agents who stand in the line.
6. If you are given a form to fill your details, that means your safari to one of the parks for that day is fixed. You have to talk to the gypsy guy who is going to take you for the ride inside the park and have to write the vehicle number on the form.
7. Gypsy’s are available right in front of the office itself.
8. You have to pay nominal charges at the counter ranging in the range of Rs.150 to 200 to get an entry inside the parks.
9. You then take your gypsy with a driver and head straight to the park to which you have the permission.
10. You have to pay Rs.900 to the gypsy driver who takes you inside the park for the Safari. The price may vary depending on the park that you are going to visit.
11. It will take two hours for you to complete the safari and the driver will drop you back at the booking office or where desired in Ramnagar.
12. It is mandatory to hire a guide at the Park. He charges Rs. 250 for no reason after explaining a few things on the history of the park.
13. It is advised to take food stuff like fruits, cool drinks, water bottles with you while going for the safari.
14. If you do not want to book a gyspy, there are also Canter rides. Canter is like a mini bus which should cost you cheaper. It is Rs.600 per person for the ride.
15. That is how you are done with your day safari more or less.
Beautiful Ramganga river
Booking an accommodation at Jim Corbett National Park
You planned to stay for a day at the Park? Then you have to book accommodation at the office.
1. The ticket counter to book accommodation at the Park is adjacent to the ticket counter that issues the safari tickets. Accommodation counter opens at 8:30 am as on date.
2. It is not that easy to get accommodation to stay in the park. Dhikala is the main place where you preferably want to stay. It is the important gate as compared to other entry gates.
3. If you cannot get a room or dormitory or hut at Dhikala, you can try for a place to live at a different place like Gairal, Kande etc.
4. Gairal is the place where we stayed in and it is 20 kms far from Dhikala.
5. Reason to prefer an accommodation in Dhikala is you get a chance to go for a safari early in the morning so you get a chance to see more animals.
6. Accommodations will also be available for a day stay in other entry gates like Bhijrani, Jhirna etc, but if you take an accommodation there, then you can only visit that particular park.
7. You cannot go for a safari in Dhikala if you take accommodation in other gates.
8. The facilities at the resting place are neat and they also serve you good food. So you do not have to worry about that.
9. As long as you get a stay in Dhikala, the gypsy driver will stay with you all day. You can go for a safari ride in the evening which starts at 3:30 pm and an early morning ride which starts at 6:30 am.
10. Gypsy driver charge you Rs. 2500 for both the safari’s. He should drop you back to Ramnagar or at your desired location the next day.
11. Whether you are one person or four persons, the gypsy charge should be the same.
12. If you are living in Gairal hut, the driver should charge you Rs.3000 for your stay because Gairal is not inside Dhikala. It is 20 kms away from Dhikala and it takes a 1 hour ride from there to Dhikala to go for a safari inside Dhikala.
How will be the food and accommodation?
Accommodation in Gairal is very neat. They also serve you food at their canteen at reasonable prices. Even though there is no fan you do not find it necessary to use. Lights will be available in the night for few hours. You have a emergency back up light though.
Gairal hut should cost you Rs. 950 for one day. All the accommodation places are surrounded by electrical fencing so there is no possibility of any animal sneaking in to your location. You should check out your room by 11 am the next morning no matter whatever time you have checked in.
My room in Gairal hut
I have tried to cover as much of known information as possible. Pictures were taken from a camera mobile and you have to bear with the quality. I hope this is helpful and would present you a clear picture of the trip before your travel. If this is not enough, do drop in a comment and I will share whatever I know.
In any case, if your plan has failed and you could not get an accommodation, you can always head to Nainital which is 64 kms from Ramnagar. It would take 3 hours to reach there. You can approach the Corbett office the next day with better preparation.
Credit – This awesome article with pictures can be found HERE: