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Old 10th April 2015, 11:08   #1
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Default Kolkata to Corbett National Park (Ramnagar) - Route, Stopovers etc.

Hi,

I am planning on a road trip from Kolkata to Corbett National Park from 25th December, 2015 to 3rd January, 2016 (10 days, Kolkata-Kolkata).

At present my rough itinerary is :

Day1 - Kolkata-Lucknow.
Day2 - Lucknow.
Day3 - Lucknow to Ramnagar.
Day3, 4, 5 - Stay in Corbett.
Day 6 - Ramnagar to Varanasi.
Day 7 - Varanasi.
Day 8 - Varanasi-Kolkata.
Day 9 and Day 10 - Buffer days, to be adjusted with suggestions provided by the members.

1) Regarding Kolkata - Lucknow, I have a clue from PapaBravo's update:


http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...e-enquiry.html (Kolkata - Lucknow Route Enquiry)

But would a little modification here to take the route given below be better? Suggestions please.

Route Kolkata-Lucknow


2) Lucknow-Ramnagar


Which route to take?

Route 1
?

Route 2 ?

3) Corbett

Where to stay. Dhikala? Where to park my car? I have heard I can take my car to Sitabani.
I would like to have ideas poured in here please.

BHPians - Please advise.
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Old 11th April 2015, 14:46   #2
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Default re: Kolkata to Corbett National Park (Ramnagar) - Route, Stopovers etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post

1) Regarding Kolkata - Lucknow, I have a clue from PapaBravo's update:


http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...e-enquiry.html (Kolkata - Lucknow Route Enquiry)

But would a little modification here to take the route given below be better? Suggestions please.

Route Kolkata-Lucknow
I would personally plan to go all the way to Kanpur on NH2 and then turn towards Lucknow. Without any idea of how NH231 is till Rae Bareilly, I'd happily skip that route - even though Rae Bareilly to LKO is reportedly very good. Current road conditions and repair progress in UP in general is quite miserable (the current government seems to have put road maintenance on a low priority - only NHAI roads are being taken care of), the roads have been messed up since the March rains (and will be much worse after the monsoons), and it'll be peak fog season when you plan to travel, making low-traffic roads even worse as far as visibility goes.
Quote:
2) Lucknow-Ramnagar
Which route to take?

Take this: https://goo.gl/maps/OnfNY. Sitapur to Bareilly is miserable, but the interior roads you choose in your links are worse.

Rudrapur to Kashipur is decent undivided road.
Quote:
3) Corbett
Where to stay. Dhikala? Where to park my car? I have heard I can take my car to Sitabani.
For Dhikala you'll have to leave your car outside the forest and take a Gypsy to transport you inside. It's been a while since I last went to Corbett (3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace), and I understand they don't let you take in any private vehicle at all nowadays, 4wd or not. Their official government website is the one to go to for the finer details: http://corbettonline.uk.gov.in/.
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Old 15th April 2015, 01:49   #3
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Default Re: Kolkata to Corbett National Park (Ramnagar) - Route, Stopovers etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
For Dhikala you'll have to leave your car outside the forest and take a Gypsy to transport you inside. It's been a while since I last went to Corbett (3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace), and I understand they don't let you take in any private vehicle at all nowadays, 4wd or not. Their official government website is the one to go to for the finer details: http://corbettonline.uk.gov.in/.
Let me thank you in the first place for the excellent guide on the route to be taken.
As you have said that private cars are not allowed inside Corbett, where should I park my car taking into consideration the safety of the car involved?
I was thinking of booking KMVN Ramnagar TRH for 4 days, whereby 2 days & 1 night I will stay in Dhikala or other FRHs(starting from the 2nd day after reaching Ramnagar). Though I will have to spend money for one night extra at KMVN, but the parking will be secured and I can travel inside the forest light-weight as well, keeping the bulk of the luggage at the KMVN TRH for the one night stay inside the forest.

Am I sounding absurd? Are there any other better options? Please suggest.
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Old 16th April 2015, 08:41   #4
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Default Re: Kolkata to Corbett National Park (Ramnagar) - Route, Stopovers etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
...where should I park my car taking into consideration the safety of the car involved?
I was thinking of booking KMVN Ramnagar TRH for 4 days, whereby 2 days & 1 night I will stay in Dhikala or other FRHs(starting from the 2nd day after reaching Ramnagar).
Am I sounding absurd? Are there any other better options? Please suggest.
You can choose either KMVN Ramnagar or one of the many private hotels and resorts that are there along the route from Ramnagar to Corbett entry gate (Dhangarhi).

However, given that

- the local Gypsys charge very heavily to transport passengers into and out of the FRHs, now that privately owned vehicles are banned from entering the forst area (the daily safari charges are payable additionally);

- the FRHs inside the forest do not have electricity and make do with low wattage solar powered lights at night (no TV, geyser, AC etc.);

- one is restricted to the grounds of the FRHs after sundown for reasons of safety (electrified fence surrounding the properties), and it does feel a little claustrophobic; and

- the meals at the FRHs are very expensive but not great;

I would prefer to stay outside the forest area and venture in for safaris during the daytime there, as is the practice with almost all other National Parks in India.
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Old 16th April 2015, 11:03   #5
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Default Re: Kolkata to Corbett National Park (Ramnagar) - Route, Stopovers etc.

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Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
You may want to avoid driving through the construction at Kanpur, in your quest for Kanpur-Lucknow highway off NH-2. Refer this route.

Quote:
3) Corbett

Where to stay. Dhikala? Where to park my car?
BHPians - Please advise.
First off why Dhikala?

These are some of the tourist zones in Corbett. Some of the zones are mapped here, and explained below. Image source: http://indiareputation.com/jjr/experience/#tourist
Kolkata to Corbett National Park (Ramnagar) - Route, Stopovers etc.-corbett.jpg

Jhirna:
A densely wooded and grassland habitat interspersed with streams, it makes for excellent bird viewing with a majority of the species such as the Great Hornbill and the Paradise Flycatcher, found in abundance here. Jhirna is home to an exclusive population of sloth bear, along with wild elephant herds and a growing tiger population. A large grove of Flame of the Forest adds to the drama in Jhirna.

Bijrani:
This is the traditional tiger and elephant sighting zone, its popularity being next only to Dhikala.The forests in this zone range from those of pure Sal on the upper reaches, to deciduous mixed forests in the valley, along with three major grasslands. It sustains a variety of herbivores, and has a wide network of jungle roads, making Bijrani an excellent tiger sighting territory. With a wide spectrum of water sources adding to the diverse topography, the deep interaction between all types of fauna and avi-fauna is here to be experienced.

Dhikala:
This is the largest and most varied zone in Corbett, offering the best opportunities for overnight staysin century-old forest rest houses. Dhikala contains a diverse range of habitats from the moist deciduous forests to the vast open grasslands, which is widely considered to be prime habitat for the tiger and elephant.. With many unique habitats, including the Ramganga river and reservoir, this zone is a haven for a wide range of species in Corbett. Dhikala’s higher reaches suit theGhoral, a goat antelope, while the Gharial and Maggars, as well as the great Mahaseer, inhabit the rivers below. The hog deer, the fourth deer species found in Corbett, is also exclusive to Dhikala. In December and in fact throughout the year , this zone will be host to a lot of wild animals - who mostly live in cities , and drive up to the forest.

Phato:
This zone provides buffer forest to southern Corbett, comprising mostly of plantation forests. The region is south of the retreat and home to some of the area’s largest Sambhar deer populations. Being the tiger’s favourite, where the Sambhar goes,so follows the tiger!

Marchula:
Marchula is a small hamlet located on the banks of the Ramganga River, famous for angling and wonderful bird watching experiences in Corbett. The predominantly hilly terrain is sliced by the river and hosts unique aquatic life such as crocodile, tortoise and the tiger of the rivers - the Golden Mahaseer. The antelope Ghoral, also known as the mountain goat, can be seen here.

Domunda:
This is the north-eastern zone of Corbett with an undulating landscape and densely wooded forests. This is the leopard's prime habitat while lush hilly terrain offers tremendous birding opportunities. The Ramganga River flows through this zone before entering the Dhikala forest range, and provides life to the myriad flora and fauna of this region.

Tumheria:
Tumheria is said to be Asia’s largest mud-dam with an almost 4 km long embankment of the reservoir. It is located in the southern buffer forest area of Corbett. The local Vangujjar settlements offer a unique glimpse into their traditional lifestyle, and this water body attracts a tremendous amount of birdlife and is a haven for winter migratory birds.

Sitabani:
The Sitabani reserve forests have been aptly christened ‘Corbett Landscape’ due to its close proximity to the model village set up by Jim Corbett - Choti Haldwani, and the area where he spent ample time roaming the forests. With the Kosi River providing nourishment to this area’s wildlife, the simple settlements and the Sitabani temple offer a unique rural and jungle experience in Corbett.

Where to stay:
You have endless stay possibilities.

You can stay in forest resthouses (TRH) within the zones, for which you need to connect with the authorities (see this link).
As you say you can stay at Ramnagar - but that's too far from the zones of any importance... and besides the TRH at Ramnagar is not that great anyway.

You can stay at village homestays , and experience what's it like to live as one of the locals. The Kumaoni food at these places is home cooked & amazing. Stay here can turn out to be very cheap. Just do some research. Look into indiamike.

Or for that one of a kind experience, stay just outside the zones, in one of the premier resorts (and as far away from Dhikala as possible). The upside is that you get to go on guided nature walks , and/or photography walks either early in the morning or just before sunset- plenty of animals are sighted at this time. Besides such resorts come replete with all possible modern amenities such as mini-bar, swimming pool, different cuisines, spa etc. In short everything that your heart desires. The resorts will offer jeep safaries directly - and you don't need to bother.

Or, you can choose to stay at a hotel or motel, where you get exactly what you pay for. Go through your favorite hotel booking portal for details and choices.

Parking is free, and attended by hotel/resort staff. Jeeps or Canter trucks will directly pick the guest up and drop him off back at the hotel at the end of the safari.

Last edited by GTO : 17th April 2015 at 15:02. Reason: Please provide image link/s if it is taken from elsewhere.
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Old 16th April 2015, 11:08   #6
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Default Re: Kolkata to Corbett National Park (Ramnagar) - Route, Stopovers etc.

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
You can choose either KMVN Ramnagar...

I would prefer to stay outside the forest area and venture in for safaris during the daytime there, as is the practice with almost all other National Parks in India.
Thanks, SST! Your inputs are much appreciated. I am now inclined to your idea of staying outside the forest area.

Having said that, do you have any idea on a good (not extravagant) resort outside the forest apart from the KMVN? (Actually a question to all BHPians) We don't want any swimming pools etc. during our stay. Good and clean hotel rooms, with nice service and food will suffice.
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Old 16th April 2015, 11:40   #7
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Default Re: Kolkata to Corbett National Park (Ramnagar) - Route, Stopovers etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joybhowmik View Post
You may want to avoid driving through the construction at Kanpur, in your quest for Kanpur-Lucknow highway off NH-2. Refer this route.

First off why Dhikala?

These are some of the tourist zones in Corbett. Some of the zones are mapped here, and explained below. Image source: http://indiareputation.com/jjr/experience/#tourist
Attachment 1361268

Jhirna...
Very informative indeed, thanks joybhowmik!. Will go through it in details and get back to you for any question.

The main focus of my wife and myself will be the safaris and walks (as you have mentioned). The bars, swimming pools is out of our priorities for this tour.
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Old 23rd April 2015, 14:57   #8
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Default Re: Kolkata to Corbett National Park (Ramnagar) - Route, Stopovers etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
Hi,


Day1 - Kolkata-Lucknow.

1) Regarding Kolkata - Lucknow, I have a clue from PapaBravo's update:


http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...e-enquiry.html (Kolkata - Lucknow Route Enquiry)

But would a little modification here to take the route given below be better? Suggestions please.

Route Kolkata-Lucknow
Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
I would personally plan to go all the way to Kanpur on NH2 and then turn towards Lucknow. Without any idea of how NH231 is till Rae Bareilly, I'd happily skip that route - even though Rae Bareilly to LKO is reportedly very good. Current road conditions and repair progress in UP in general is quite miserable (the current government seems to have put road maintenance on a low priority - only NHAI roads are being taken care of), the roads have been messed up since the March rains (and will be much worse after the monsoons), and it'll be peak fog season when you plan to travel, making low-traffic roads even worse as far as visibility goes..

Hi gearhead_mait, as suggested by SST sir, try staying on NH2 for the maximum time. If you take the Allahabad route, road from Allahabad to Raebarelly is not the best, Raebarelly to Lucknow is Fantastic. Although, the ALD-RBL road is not so good, it still is a good drivable road. It did not slow my down drastically.

Kanpur is one option. But as suggested by joybhowmik, try to byepass Kanpur from the northern side. The construction area is in a mess. Also, I do not know the condition of Ramadevi circle right no, but it was quite bad 5 years ago.

Reasons I took the Allahabad-Raebarelly-Lucknow route.

1. I am quite familiar to that route & have done it many times.
2. Kanpur route would have added 80-100 kms additional to the already 1000km+ trip.
3. I avoid the whole city as my residence is on the Raebarelly road.

Time taken from Allahabad to Lucknow : 4.5 hrs. (At Night)
Time taken from Lucknow to Allahabad : 4 hrs. (In the morning)

Hope this helps

Regards
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Old 24th April 2015, 10:59   #9
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Default Re: Kolkata to Corbett National Park (Ramnagar) - Route, Stopovers etc.

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Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
Hi gearhead_mait, as suggested by SST sir, try staying on NH2 for the maximum time. If you take the Allahabad route, road from Allahabad to Raebarelly is not the best, Raebarelly to Lucknow is Fantastic. Although, the ALD-RBL road is not so good, it still is a good drivable road. It did not slow my down drastically.

Kanpur is one option. But as suggested by joybhowmik, try to byepass Kanpur from the northern side. The construction area is in a mess. Also, I do not know the condition of Ramadevi circle right no, but it was quite bad 5 years ago.

Reasons I took the Allahabad-Raebarelly-Lucknow route.

1. I am quite familiar to that route & have done it many times.
2. Kanpur route would have added 80-100 kms additional to the already 1000km+ trip.
3. I avoid the whole city as my residence is on the Raebarelly road.

Time taken from Allahabad to Lucknow : 4.5 hrs. (At Night)
Time taken from Lucknow to Allahabad : 4 hrs. (In the morning)

Hope this helps

Regards
Thanks PapaBravo! I have gone through your updates regarding the route. Though not finalized yet, but I think Kanpur would be my first stop for the night. I will have a chat with Samba as well (long pending item) as he has done the Corbett trip last year (though not by car, but his inputs regarding Corbett along with the inputs from SST and JB would be very useful).
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Old 6th November 2016, 22:56   #10
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Default Re: Kolkata to Corbett National Park (Ramnagar) - Route, Stopovers etc.

Hi gearhead_mait,

Did you end up doing this trip? I am planning for the same this Christmas.
BHPians, can you please advise on the road conditions currently after this year's rains?
I am planning to go to Varanasi from Kolkata on Day 1 and from Varanasi to Dhikuli on Day 2.

Regards,
DB
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