Offbeat experiences near Corbett

By- Aparna Bish

This is a hike of approximately 8 kilometres through stunningly beautiful reserve forests of Corbett. Best done from Tanhau, the hike is mainly downhill along animal tracks. As you descend through the forest, you will use the tracks frequented by Jim Corbett’s infamous Mohan man-eater tiger in whose erstwhile territory you will roam. Best started early morning; the trail offers great birding and wildlife opportunities and even glimpses of big cats occasionally. However, even on days that the wildlife action is low, the experience of walking through these pristine jungles of Corbett is unforgettable. While jeep safaris inside the national park do provide a higher chance of spotting a tiger, it is quite a different experience to explore on foot virtually the same jungles and with big cat presence all around.

Snow View Point Jim Corbett

A drive of about 35 kilometres from Ramnagar leads us to the little village of Kath KiNao. It is a beautiful drive with the buffer forests of Corbett on both sides of the road all the way. After crossing the village of Mohan, the terrain starts becoming hilly and you keep climbing till you reach Kath Ki Nao at an altitude of around 4,000 feet. Once you reach the village, a short uphill walk of about ten minutes takes you to the Kath Ki Nao forest chowky at the top of the hill. The views from here are probably the best in the entire Corbett area – on one side you see the Kosi river winding its way through the valley below, with the forested hills of Corbett all around. On the other side, you see the equally beautiful Ramganga valley below and, if it’s a clear day, the mighty snow-capped Nanda Devi range in the distance. At the chowky, there is a watchtower manned by Corbett Tiger Reserve personnel with a wireless radio, as well as an abandoned building. However, this is no ordinary building – Jim Corbett stayed here while tracking the man-eater of Mohan. The spot where he killed the tiger lies about a kilometre away and Jim Corbett faithfuls come here just to retrace the steps of the legendary gentleman.

Heritage Walk at Kaladhungi

Best known for his classic book ‘The Man-eaters of Kumaon’, Jim Corbett has also had a huge impact on conservation efforts, especially with the villagers living near the forests around his village Kaladhungi, also known as Chhoti Haldwani. This Heritage trail, managed by the village folk, provides further insight and experiences of the immense work done by the ‘Gora Sadhu’ as Corbett came to be known later. The walk takes you through to the model village established by Corbett himself, covering the Corbett Wall, and the Jim Corbett Museum with his muzzle-loading gun. Spend some time with the village folk here as you walk a distance of about 3.5 kilometres. The trail should take you approximately 2 hours through lands yet “unspoiled by the hands of man”