An emerald gem in the Northern state of Uttarakhand, Corbett Tiger Reserve is a safe haven for the Tigers. It is the oldest and the first Tiger Reserve in India. Spread over an area of 1288.31 Sq.kms, it is home to abundant flora and fauna. Royal Bengal Tiger, the apex predator rules the region. The elusive Leopard and the effervescent Asiatic Elephants roam happily within the warm wilderness.
With over 550 species of birds, Corbett Reserve is marked as the Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International. Jim Corbett National Park covers the core 520 sq.km area. The remaining forest area together with Sonanandi Wildlife Sanctuary forms the Corbett Tiger Reserve.
The variety of eco-systems including thick forests, grasslands, swamps, valleys, and the flowing Ramganga River makes the area rich in bio-diversity. The entire natural setting of the Reserve attracts wildlife and photography enthusiasts to spend time on its laps.
For the benefit of the wildlife tourists, the vast Tiger Reserve is divided into six zones.
Out of the 6 zones, Dhikala is the largest and your wildlife photography destination in our photo tour.
Dhikala is the most popular zone in the entire forest area. The phrase ‘land of roar and trumpet’ associated with Corbett National Park proves itself to be true in Dhikala zone. Many wildlife enthusiasts have been bestowed with the sighting of the Royal Bengal Tiger and the gigantic Asiatic Elephants here.
Located on the fringe of Patli Dun Valley, the zone is surrounded by spectacular landscapes. A panoramic view reveals vast grasslands, tall salwood trees, shrubs and riverine eco-system adjoining the Ramganga River.
Each eco-system shelters a wide variety of wildlife. The grasslands or the chaurs invoke deep interest in wild enthusiasts. In fact, this is the largest remaining grasslands in Asia. Here is where Tigers can be spotted camouflaged with the grass blades. The solitary predators stop by the Ramganga reservoir to drink water or looking for some prey.
On the Dhikala grasslands, one can find herds of Elephants spending quality time. Or sometimes a few lonely tuskers can be spotted. If one follows the Elephants, they might as well watch them play in the fresh waters of the reservoir.
Apart from the royal predator and royal herbivore, there can be Spotted Deer, Jackals and the rare Barking Deer or the Fishing Cat in the glades. The birds such as Pippets, Larks, Lapwings, Lesser Coucal, and Pied Bushchats can be seen.
The Wooded Forests
Several species of trees line up the wooded forests. Mango, Salwood, Rohini, Haldu are some of the well-known species. Bamboo vegetation is dominant too. The aromatic curry leaf trees and amla trees can be found interspersed between the tall trees. Many creatures thrive within the dense thickets.
Tigers roam here as well and can be spotted resting under the canopy of a tree. The ethereal Leopards can be sighted perching high up on a tree. The Langurs can be seen jumping from tree to tree. The Deer and Chital feed on the fruits thrown by these monkeys on the ground. Wild boars and their piglets could be spotted in between the trees.
A variety of birds find comfort in the wooded forests. The birds that can be sighted on the trees may include Woodpeckers, Crested Serpent Eagle, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Lesser Fish Eagle, Pallas Fish Eagle, Shikra, Collared Falconet to name a few.
The Riverine Eco-system
Ramganga River touted as the lifeline of the forests quenches the thirst of wild animals visiting its banks. Smooth-coated Otters are the permanent residents of this river indicating excellent health conditions of the waters. There are Crocodiles and the sharp mouthed Gharials which reside in the freshwaters of the river.
The waterbody attracts several birds near its vicinity. Peeping through the lens of the binoculars one can spot different birds around. Plumbeous Redstart, white-capped redstart, Golden duck, Grebe, Crested Kingfishers are some of the birds visible.
Your Stay in Dhikala
Dhikala is located in the core area of Jim Corbett National Park. It is about 35 km from the entry point called Dhangari gate.
There are 5 different forest rest houses (FRH) inside the zone. First is Sultan FRH, followed by Gairal, Sarpduli, Khinnanavli and the final Dhikala FRH. Your stay during the tour will be in Dhikala FRH. It is a century-old forest rest house amidst the picturesque surroundings.
Note: Dhikala zone is open only from 15th November till 15th June only.
Provided by the Forest department in Dhikala FRH
The rooms are neat and clean
The toilets are hygienic.
Two options are available-
- Canteen – Quick and clean food available. We use this in-between safari
Restaurant – Lunch and Dinner are buffet system with a fixed menu.
Note: If you have any food preferences, let us know in advance. We will try to make the necessary arrangements. The food joints run by forest departments have limited choices for customizations.
The safari vehicles are open jeeps with knowledgeable drivers.
They accompany us during all 3 nights
They shall be available with us for wildlife game viewing.
The safari timings are generally 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening.
We hope the information covered gives you a fair picture of Corbett Tiger Reserve and your stay at Dhikala Forest Rest House. Feel free to ping us for more information.
We shall share a photo tour handbook with detailed information when you signup for a tour or book our tailored vacation to Corbett.