Jim Corbett Park - India
|Our children have been to Jim Corbett Park. They stayed overnight to
have first experience of a Nature Park. There were many who hearg the chirping of the
birds for the first time as, the busy city life doesn't permit these. They were provided
with a booklet which gave the history and geography of the park which we reproduce
now for your benefit.
Jim Corbett, the legendary hunter of man-eating tigers, was the greatest hero of the simple hill folk of kumaon region. He went about his task of helping the hill folk with their day to day problems in a time when metalled roads and modern transport were non-existent. During these years Corbett attained incredible knowledge of the jungle and the knack of being a part of it. He could read the jungle signs with ease and could even imitate the sounds made by various animals. As time passed, he gave up the Gun and took to the Camera.
Perhaps, this is the first instance of an ardent hunter turning a conservationist. He said: "A country's fauna is a sacred trust and I appeal to you not to betray this trust... If we do not bestir ourselves now it will be to our discredit that the fauna of our province was exterminated in our generation, and under our very own eyes, while we looked on and never raised a finger to prevent it."
In 1936 the Government named the park 'The Hailey National Park', after the then Governor of the United Provinces, Sir Malcolm Hailey. After Independence it was renamed 'Ramganga National Park' and after the death of Jim Corbett it was again, renamed 'Corbett National Park'.Geography
Besides being India's first National Park 'Corbett' is known for the scenic beauty of its magnificent sub-mountain and riverine landscapes. It lies in the Patlidan valley of the kumaon range or mountains. The vegetation is the mixed deciduous, dominated by stately old sal forests. The undergrowth is heavy and comprises largely of lantana weeks, which, though it provides excellent cover for animals,is fast reaching alarming proportions.
The park is teeming with rich wildlife.Most common being Spotted Deer, Sambhar, Hog Deer, barking Deer, Wild Bear, Goral, Elephants, Langur, Fox, Jackal and the elusive Tiger, Leopard and Sloth Bear. The Ramganga houses a large variety of fish, Mahseer being the most popular among anglers. Crocodiles and Gharials can also be seen in plenty. In addition to all this 'Corbett' boasts of an innumerable variety of birds: Pelicans, Herons, Storks, Falcons, Eagles, Kaleej pheasants along with many others, Vultures, Osprey and other eagles, Jacanas, Plovers, Owls, Barbets, Hornbills, Larks ans Orioles.
The Corbett Tiger Reserve extends over 521 km, of which 312.86 km lies in the Pauri Garhwal district and 208.14 km in Nanital district. The covered area is 329.98 km, the rest being buffer zone.
Some common plants found here are: Banyan, Mango, Bael, Gular, Pakar, silk cotton, Dhoby nut, neem and Sal.
Written by Pamila. (December 1998)
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