Corbett and Mukteshwar – The gems of Kumaon

The next morning, we were ready by 5 am and after getting our permits and documents checked at the park entrance, we were on our way to Dhikala. Make sure to bring your ID proofs that you had used at the time of booking accommodation. The journey takes you through many of the villages which are now uninhabited. On your way to Dhikala, you will see beautiful landscapes, river water flowing over white pebbles, multiple water crossings, crocodiles spending their time sun bathing, the rich flora and fauna of the forest. Our first exposure to the unspoiled beauty of the Corbett jungle made for a perfect start for the whole trip. The natural beauty of the region will put any hill station in India to shame.

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Lake beside Dhikala guest house

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'Gharial' crocodiles
‘Gharial’ crocodiles

We finally reached our guest house by afternoon. The rooms are clean and tidy with bare minimal facilities. It does get a bit cold in December but you will be given sufficient blankets to keep yourself warm. The guest house is right beside a large lake with mountains in the backdrop. The food options are of 2 kinds – There is one restaurant which serves buffet meals. The other is the canteen which provides you with lighter food options like Maggi.

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Our routine while we were inside the forest was like this – we would get up very early in the morning and board our gypsy for morning safari by 5.30 am, after spending the whole morning in search of Tigers, we would return by 12 pm, have our lunch, get back on the gypsy for afternoon safari from 1 pm till it gets dark (5.30 pm) and finally return to our guest house to take some much needed rest. After dinner, we would go to sleep early so that we could follow the same routine the following day. As you can see, this involves a lot of travel inside the forest, though, its not like every day that you get to be inside such a beautiful place.

The hero of the forest undoubtedly is the grasslands which gives you a feeling of being in an African safari. The herds of elephants enjoying their feed while playing with their young ones, the view of these elephants in the grasslands with mountains covered in mist in the backdrop make for a spectacular visual.

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