Vintage Haven

Vintage Haven, Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand - Personalised Vacation
Categorised in: India Wildlife Popular

A gharial basks in the shallows as a Pallas' fish eagle dripping with majesty dries its big wings on a branch above. On the stony riverbed, a black stork forages for aquatic tidbits and a jackal, overseen by a collared falconet topping the bald canopy of a dead tree, marauds at a trot. And as you drive slowly through an idyllic path flanked by giant sal trees, a tiger with big paws, thick fur and amber eyes appears from the bush, enters your heart and walks away with it.

It is then you realise that this is not just a vacation; this is a grand voyage into India's cornucopian wildlife Eden that goes in the garb of Corbett Tiger Reserve.

Since Corbett was born as India's first National Park, it has remained one of the country's finest wild refuges harbouring a sensational variety of free life in the most breathtaking of settings. Any exaggeration in describing Corbett is quite impossible, for its enchantment defeats verbal articulation.

Located nicely between the Himalayas and the terai that stretch to Nepal, the Ramganga and her tributaries crisscross the park spawning some dramatic landscapes that dazzle with celestial beauty. With rich disparity in habitat, ranging from plain to precipitous and dense forests to emancipating meadows, it supports a rich variety of precious natural treasures and adorns India's crown as a gleaming jewel.

The pathways and ravines down which Jim Corbett once tracked tigers show traits of the Himalayan mountain system. The northern part represents the Lesser Himalayan belt, with an average altitude of 1800m comprising oak, pine and rhododendron, while most of the park occurs in the Shivaliks, where sal abounds.

But perhaps the most emblematic of Corbett's habitats are the chaur - vast tracts of magnificent grassland that are the result of ancient forest clearings made for agriculture, and are now a haven to many species that are specialized to living and feeding in the grasses. Nearly synonymous with the fabled Dhikala range of Corbett, chaur are favourite haunts of the majestic elephants and other smaller herbivores, which attract tigers too.

Life flourishes in every inch of Corbett. If you like surprises, there are plenty in store.

What you will see and experience:

In birding terms, Corbett resembles a very large, open treasure-chest filled with an assortment of Himalayan endemics. No fewer than 585 species of birds, 50 species of mammals and 33 species of reptiles inhabit the park, taking species diversity to dizzying levels.

A crested kingfisher sits on a smooth rock awaiting its breakfast to be fished out, as an ibisbill practises some riverside meditation. In the undergrowth a jungle cat flushes a babbler from the ground, causing a barking deer to cough out its stentorian call in alarm.

A blue whistling thrush vindicates its name, a green magpie adorns the trees and a spectacular khaleej pheasant is never too far away. And while close to the ground, a red jungle fowl sets new standards of vividness, a lesser fish eagle perched on a high branch opens up fresh perspectives on grace and majesty.

As day turns to dusk, a mottled wood owl sitting quietly by the track bores a piercing look into your soul as you pass by. In the meadows throbbing with theatrical feel, a shy hog deer melts quietly into the grass and from the edge of a ravine, a black francolin calls it a day.

Amid all this avian frenzy, mammals don't play truant. From the diminutive yellow-throated marten to the gently gigantic Asian elephant, they in fact quite zealously vie for your attention. The coveted appearance of the enigmatic Corbett tiger, traditionally skittish but commoner in the public gaze in recent times, can earn a permanent seat in your memory.

When you should visit:

In the early spring month of February, if splendid misty scenes straight from Utopia are your thing, you couldn't be in a better place than the Corbett National Park.


At Toehold, we are passionate about travel and photography just as you are, which lets us understand your needs and travails perfectly. And we use our insight and experience to plan your vacation to perfection, so all you have to do is enjoy yourself and make memories for a lifetime.

Here are just some reasons you should leave your next holiday to us: expand to read more »

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How different are your Personalised Vacations from other holidays?

    Unlike travel agents who plan your tour from a remote destination to places they sometimes haven't experienced themselves, our Personalised Vacations offer a comprehensive toehold to experience a place through the knowledge and of experts who know the places first-hand. Besides, your holiday will be meticulously planned by making use of the best local contacts we have at every destination.
  • For whom is this Tour suitable?

    Anybody with an interest in wildlife and all the myriad marvels of nature, and is over the age of 18 (unless accompanied by a parent or adult guardian) can go on Toehold Personalised Vacations.
  • Can I take my children to Corbett National Park?

    You may certainly take your young child, but we don't recommend taking infants and very small children on safari. Please talk to us for more information.
  • Will you book my flight tickets if needed?

    Certainly! We take care of the flight ticket bookings too.
  • What is the scope of services you offer as a part of a Personalised Vacation package?

    Absolutely everything! From booking the travel tickets and arranging for a comfortable stay to suggested itineraries and planning places of interest, Toehold takes care of all the details of your tour.
  • I'm interested in photography. What equipment do you suggest on this Tour?

    For elephants and other mammals, a telephoto zoom lens in the range of 70 to 200mm/300mm or 100 to 400mm works very well. If opting for a fixed ('prime') lens, the 300mm focal length on a cropped sensor body with a 1.4x extender ('teleconverter') is the best compromise, although lenses of longer focal length can be used to good effect as well, especially on 'full-frame' bodies. For birds, a lens with a focal length of at least 400mm is essential. A wide-angle or normal zoom to capture landscapes or creative perspectives of wildlife is recommended. And since the light conditions in Indian jungles can often be challenging, an image-stabilized lens and a camera body that performs well at high sensitivities are boons.
  • I do not have requisite equipment. What do I do?

    If you do not have appropriate equipment, there is no need to fret. Toehold offers an exhaustive array of cameras and lenses for hire, so you can always hire what you need. Click here to see what we offer. What's better, you can enjoy a 10% discount on all equipment hired on our Photo Tours!
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Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand


  • Location:
    Uttarakhand, India
  • Best time to visit:
    December to May
  • Recommended min. duration:
    2 nights/3 days
  • Salient attractions:
    Tigers and other wildlife
  • Popular activities:
    Vehicle safari
    Walking safaris in buffer zone
  • Important wildlife:
    Asian elephant
    Royal Bengal Tiger
    Crested kingfisher
    Barking deer
    Blue whistling thrush
    Green magpie
    Khaleej pheasant
    Red jungle fowl
    Mottled wood owl
    Hog deer
    Black francolin


Did you know? Photography enthusiasts joining this Tour and every other Toehold Personalised Vacation are eligible for a nett discount of 10% on all equipment rentals. Talk to us to avail of this offer!