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Home –» Kumaon National Park –» Elephant Safari India

Elephant Safari India

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The best way to explore the park is through the "Elephant Safari". Undisturbed by the mechanical roar of a car or jeep, open to the skies, accompanied only by the rhythmic scuff-scuff-scuff of elephant's feet and the creaks of the wooden howdah. The occasional booming of wild elephants to each other in close proximity can make you hang on tight to the wooden pole of the howdah. The ride can be a mix of moments of pure terror interspersed with long period of Uttar peace.
The Corbett Hideaway Elephant Safari, an exclusive elephant safari in the periphery areas of Corbett Tiger Reserve takes you through mysterious thick forests, deep valleys and rugged trails that offer a lingering thrill to the adventure seeker. This is enhanced by the cultural enigma of the land.

We take you on this thrilling sojourn in the same way the royalty of yore did, centuries ago. From the first ray of the rising sun to the evening's deepest glow; the landscape unravels the untaught harmony of the primitive wild. The grandeur of the "British Raj" is relived in an old forest rest house (FRH) built in the late nineteenth century. The aura created compliments the aura of the past century when lanterns and fireplaces were used instead of electricity and where hot bucket baths were the only way to supplement your comforts.

Whilst you are in Corbett, the mountain air will make you hungry and to satiate this "jungle" appetite, our specialty chefs will dish out just that ensemble. The emphasis is on freshness of produce, so whether it is that Indian dish or that Continental fare you have asked for, to our chefs its all in the day's passion.

We encourage our guests to travel well prepared, this ensures that we are able to organise their logistics with ease. To ensure this all transport and back end logistics is done on 4WD jeeps that are best suited for the rugged terrain of Corbett.

The abundant Airborne Species, the mysterious wild and the picturesque valley come together to offer a romantic hitherto unseen, unheard or untold. To enhance this unique experience an English-speaking naturalist accompanies you through out your trip.

DAY 01 : The Corbett Hideaway
Arrival and check in at The Corbett Hideaway. After a welcome drink and an orientation, our caring and indulgent personnel will escort you to your cottage. After a sumptuous buffet lunch, the time in the afternoon is to be utilized for a jungle trek. The evenings are used as an orientation to the geographical area you are in through a cultural folk show and a talk/slide show on the Corbett Tiger Reserve.

DAY 02 : Dhikala Forest Rest House
Breakfast is served at 6:00 a.m. Experience the magic of the game view drive inside the National Park on the trail of a tiger. Drive along the Ramganga River looking for the fish eating gharial and marsh crocodiles. One can also observe 5 species of Kingfishers, Pallas & Himalayan Grey headed fishing eagles, Osprey, Crested serpent eagle and of course different species of mammals.
Arrive in Dhikala, the natural setting is awesome and the location is picturesque. Lunch/rest/relax and enjoy the panoramic view of the grassland area and its abundant wildlife. The elephant ride from Dhikala provides another opportunity for viewing the wildlife in close proximity. The overnight stay is at the Dhikala FRH.
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DAY 03 : Rathuadab Forest Guest House
Wake up with the song of birds. The morning air in the jungle is crisp and fresh. After a steaming cup of tea before breakfast, start your day early, as it could be more rewarding with better sightings. One may spot the chital deer returning to the thick forests after having spent the night feeding in the open "chaurs". One might even chance upon a tiger, (if one's lucky) returning after a night's hunt. Your elephant will follow the game paths through the jungle before entering the Mandal Valley. This is one of the most picturesque valleys in the Himalayas, where the Mandal River flows through thick forest up to Maidavan where it reaches an old forest "chowky" (guard post). You stop there for lunch and a short rest.

The afternoon safari takes you up a wooded hillside, which is ideal for bird watching. You descend into the same valley, which has high mountains and thick forests. The lower reaches are dotted with farmhouses surrounded by lush terraced rice fields. You follow the Mandal River to Rathuadhab where your camp has been set up for the night.

DAY 04 : Halduparao
This is the most exciting day as you visit Sonanadi Sanctuary (River of Gold). A heaven for wildlife, this sanctuary has recently been included in the Corbett Tiger Reserve because of the abundance of game. On the morning Safari, your elephant follows the old bridle path used by British officers who traveled on horses, (their ladies followed in palanquins carried by camp followers) through the Palain river valley to Mondiapani. This old forest rest house is used as a stop to stretch ones legs and a quick lunch.

After lunch your safari continues through one of the most beautiful parts of your trip. In the bamboo forests here, one can expect to come across wild elephants. This sanctuary has the largest concentration of elephants. Herds of elephants gather here to satisfy their enormous appetite by feeding on the tender green bamboo. The Palain River is perennial and provides essential water for elephants. Your camp here is on the banks of the river. There is a "Machan" (watch tower) from where you can safely view the game coming to drink and bathe in the river. The stay overnight is at the FRH.

DAY 05 : The Corbett Hideaway
(You sleep late today!). And after a leisurely breakfast, bid good-bye to your elephant and the mahout. Your jeep will take you back through another part of the Corbett Tiger Reserve to The Corbett Hideaway. On your way back, stop for lunch at one of the forest bungalows enroute. You will arrive at your destination before dusk, just in time to enjoy dinner and watch a Kumaoni cultural show. The stay overnight is at the resort.

DAY 06 : Leave for Delhi after breakfast.
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Trip Inclusions
The accommodations inside Rathuadab/Halduparao forest rest houses (FRH) are basic on Twin/Triple sharing basis with non-flushing, Indian style toilets. Our support team comprises of 6 persons including Naturalist, Driver, Attendant & Chef apart from the mahout (elephant rider) who is there to assist you for the duration of your wilderness delight. The resort will provide for all back end logistics including boarding & lodging, meals, linen & bath room accessories. We do serve Continental cuisines on the trip. Please do enquire for any special meal preferences. We would only be too happy to entertain such requests. Conditions Apply.

Fishing Safari Corbett

Sustainable angling, as opposed to intensive fishing, benefits conservation of prized fishes like mahseer. Angling is allowed in certain areas in the buffer region of Corbett after taking permits from the Forest Department.

One of the fascinating narration's of Jim Corbett in his book "Man Eaters of Kumaon" is about his fishing holidays for Mahseer (barbus tour), in a river that flowed through a beautiful wooded valley. When Corbett was fishing, the air was filled with the fragrance of flora and songs of a multitude of birds. Corbett opined that angling in such an atmosphere is a sport fit for kings. After catching a 50 lb. mahseer, he concluded that the sublime surroundings in which he had caught the fish will not be forgotten, and will draw him back to this valley, which to date still unspoiled by the hand of man. His descriptions fit well with the Ramganga valley.

The Mahseer is a fresh water scaly fish, which can attain a huge size, and shows more sport for its size than a Salmon and therefore is considered the best sport fish in the world. Mahseer quite avidly takes to bait such as spoon, plug, fly and live fish, are omnivorous in feeding habits - eating snails, crabs and weeds like algae, etc. Etymology of Mahseer suggests the word could mean a fish with "lion's gameness" and "fish par excellence".

Experts have identified about six species in India, but no detailed information on the present status and distribution of these species is available. Though fisherman consider consider the Golden or Himalayan Mahseer (tor putitora) as the main species available on the Ramganga / Kosi rivers, besides the Silver and Black Mahseer. Goonch (bagaraus bagarius), a fresh water scavenger is also another species that thrives in these rivers.

The challenge and thrill of an encounter with the Mahseer attracts anglers from all over the world. It offers a holiday with a fish, which not only rules the Indian waters like the tiger does the jungle, but also fights the way, no one can.

Best Time
October /November & April - June is the best season to venture out for fishing in the Himalayan region. However, there is ample scope for angling that can be enjoyed even throughout the year in India.
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The Process
The time to angle the big Mahseer is when they return after breeding to chase the shoals of minnows. Angling the Mahseer is a virtual battle of strength, tact and speed. On overcast days the fish tend not to bite in the regular places, therefore try out new places. Use 'hing' in your bait made of paste. Let the bait lie in a deep pool next to a big rapid and remember, patience is the virtue of the angler when fishing with ground bait. With fly you can land upto 50 pounds fly fish in the calmer areas around the rapids.

Remember there is more oxygen in rapids and the big ones are in and around these. Don't try and stop the first run, hold the line tight let the fish complete its first run. Remember the fish can see you, therefore make sure you avoid its eye. Do not disturb the water where you intend to fish, as the fish can hear any disturbances on the surface. Patiently sit it out and try for other fish.

In a snag the line remains constantly in one place but if a big fish is on the line then the line will keep moving on water and will not stay in one place. If the line is snagged don't pull or you will snap your line but if the fish is on the line and is not snagged then try to wear it out, before it tires you into making a mistake. Keep fighting and reeling in, never let the fish rest. Learn the importance of pumping your rod and keep your reel properly oiled. Also try and discard a shredded line.

Amateur Experience - Should you be staying at The Corbett Hideaway or The Corbett River View Retreat for a brief period of 02 nights or 03 nights & love to indulge in sport fishing besides your Game View Drives, Our Naturalist recommend 02 or 03 sessions, depending on your continued interest of sport fishing in rivers of Kosi & Ramganga covering Jamun & Domunda beat.

For die-hard anglers, a long haul itinerary is suggested covering all the major rivers & seasonal streams. Having written that we would invite the interest from individual anglers to suggest an itinerary & thus details on all other aspects. It requires our Naturalist to do prior survey of the rivers that you would be angling at & update you with latest weather conditions. Just to give you an idea, we are producing one of the itinerary that we followed for our guest recently.

Day 01 : The Corbett Hideaway/ The Corbett River View Retreat

Day 02 : The Corbett Hideaway

Day 03 : Bhikya Sain, fish home pools afternoon & evening. O/N The Camp

Day 04 : Fish Upper Bhikya Sein and Jainal beats. O/N The Camp

Day 05 : Drive to The Camp 5 Elements, Rest. O/N The Camp 5 Elements

Day 06 : Fish Badghat - Jamun beat. O/N The Camp 5 Elements

Day 07 : Fish Jamun - Domunda beat in Park buffer zone. O/N The Camp 5 Elements

Day 08 : Fish Domunda beat morning session, drive back for The Corbett Hideaway/ The Corbett River View Retreat


The largest of the precious few perennial sources of water in the Park. A rain-fed river originating near Gairsain in the Lesser Himalayas, the Ramganga traverses more than 100 km before entering Corbett near Marchula. Inside the Park it flows roughly from east to west for 40 km till Kalagarh where it enters the plains. During this run through the Park it gathers waters from the Palain, Mandal and Sonanadi rivers.
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A dam on the Ramganga at Kalagarh (built in the mid-1970s) forms a reservoir of about 80 sq. km. area, the backwaters of which reach till Dhikala.

The Ramganga is inhabited by key aquatic species like Mahseer fish, the endangered gharials, mugger crocodiles, otters and turtles. Many species of birds, like kingfishers, fish-eagles, terns and storks depend on the Ramganga. During winters the Ramganga reservoir attracts many migratory bird species, especially waterbirds from Europe and Central Asia.

The road from Dhangarhi to Dhikala runs along the Ramganga for most of its length.

The Kosi is a perennial river like the Ramganga and its catchment lies partially in Corbett NP. From Mohan through Dhikuli till Ramnagar, the Kosi forms the eastern boundary of Corbett National Park. Even though the Kosi does not enter the Park boundary, wild animals from Corbett use it for drinking especially during pinch periods.

Its bed is strewn with boulders and its flow is erratic and often changes course. Kosi is notorious for its unpredictable and damaging torrents during monsoon.

Like Ramganga, the Kosi too is inhabited by mahseer and attracts migratory birds. At places Kosi has steep cliffs flanking its banks. At such spots one can see goral, the goat-like creatures, grazing on precipitous slopes.

The Sonanadi is an important tributary of the Ramganga. Named after this river the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary adjoins Corbett National Park and forms an important part of the Corbett Tiger Reserve. The Sonanadi enters the Park from the northwest direction and meets the Ramganga at the reservoir.

The name 'Sonanadi' means 'river of gold'. At one time grains of gold, found in the alluvial deposits washed down from the higher areas, were extracted from the bed sand by sieving, washing and mercury treatment.

Mandal and Palain
The Mandal rises in the eastern heights in Talla Salan in Chamoli district. Forming a part of the northeastern boundary, Mandal flows for 32 km and joins the Ramganga at Domunda a little distance above Gairal. During the dry season, the Mandal contains very little water but during the monsoons it turns into a furious torrent. It forms a vital breeding ground for the endangered mahseer.

The Palain is the third important tributary of the Ramganga and enters the Park from a northern direction. It meets the Ramganga about 3 km north of the submerged Boxar settlement at the Ramganga reservoir.
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