Ranthambore or Corbett?

#31 Jan 6th, 2006, 23:46
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#31

Corbett or Ranthambore?

We are flying to Delhi on 16th January for a 2 week holiday, planning to visit Agra, Jaipur and one of the wildlife sanctuaries.

Could anyone suggest which of the above would be the best to visit? Ideally we'll be there for 2 days, but need to get there by train and taxi as we don't drive, and we're also on quite a tight budget.

We really fancy the idea of an elephant ride into the jungle, but am finding it difficult to find details of how best to book Corbett or where to stay.
(the train info is all sorted, thanks to Steven Ber et al, it looks easiest to travel from Delhi and then back to Delhi before going on to Agra)

Ranthambore is quite easy to get to from Jaipur by train, but I've heard that the likelihood of seeing tigers isn't as high?

Obviously we don't expect to see a tiger, but to maximise our chances within a short time frame would be nice, so any advice would be appreciated!

Thanks for looking!
Last edited by Dilliwala; Nov 5th, 2008 at 01:14.. Reason: merged thread
#32 Jan 7th, 2006, 00:39
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#32
Ranthambore is not the place you want to be if you want an elephant ride inside the park, there are only jeeps or canters (medium sized buses) that can go inside the park and that is also restricted to a certain number during a particular session. In Corbett there are elephant rides but the places to stay are also pretty expensive. A friend of mine from the UK did this trip in December 2005 and really enjoyed the trip there with her young daughter and is sure to come back someday too. I would personally recommend Banhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh for the elephant ride as well as Jeep rides inside the most populated tiger reserve in India. The chances of seeing a tiger here are the most compared to any other park in India. I have been there and seen a lot of them there on just a one day trip. There is very cheap and budget accomodation also available just outside the park as well so it is good for the budget travellers too. There is a fort in Bandhavgarh just like in Ranthambore as well. You also have some lovely places to visit nearby like Khajuraho and Orchha which are really worth seeing if you are in India. Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Aadil.
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#33 Jan 7th, 2006, 01:37
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#33
When Nick Nicoles had to do a National Geographic Tiger shoot documentary (Tiger's Eye) and had only a month to do it - he chose Bandhavgarh hands down - and if anybody saw the documentary it was pretty darn good!

Ranthambhor is more on your route though and if you really must take an elephant ride you can do it at Amber Fort
near Jaipur.

When I was at Ranthambhor, a lady who had done many top African Parks, and was in the process of doing the same in India said that it ranked #1 as far as natural beauty was concerned. No elephants though but easy to get to and cheap handy accomodations ...and if still you can't decide just flip a coin as they all have something outstanding to offer!
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
T. S. Eliot

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#34 Jan 9th, 2006, 03:34
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#34
It really does depend what you mean by best. I have visited both Ranthambore and Corbett. They are both fantastic places, but completely different.

Ranthambore is in Rajasthan. It's mainly dry deciduous forest and scrub, set on dry rocky hills. You stay outside the park and drive in. Ouside is heavily overgrazed by domestic stock and there are lots of incursions into the park to gather forewood and graze animals.

However, there are also small lakes that, particularly in the dry season attract large numbers of sambar and chital deer, wild boar. The lakes have lots of crocodiles too. If you're lucky you could see tiger (although I didn't, and there have been big poaching problems here recently), leopard (yes), jackal (yes), sloth bear (no) and even wild dog (oh yes). Fantastic, atmospheric place and you can go up to the fort too.

Corbett is in the Sivalik hills (more or less the first foothills of the Himalaya). It adjoins the dammed Ramganga river and there's large expanses of grassland with some moist sal forest too. You can stay outside or, better, inside the park at Dikhala (right by the lake), from where you can go on elephant back - proper tracking, not just going to see a tiger that's already been found. Apart from tigers (quite hard to see in the long grass, but we eventually caught a glimpse) there are also good numbers of wild elephants, big herds of hog deer, chital, sambar and muntjac. You might see gharial and mugger in the river. It also has great birds - around 500 species, including hornbills.

So - they are both fantastic, but different. Do go NOT expecting to see a tiger, then if you do it will be a bonus. Getting to either park is not difficult. Do book ahead, especially for Corbett - try faxing the reception centre in Ramnagar. Hope this helps a bit - have a great time.
#35 Jan 9th, 2006, 04:30
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#35

faxing corbett

Mikewill:
Thanks for that informative comparison! I have tried to fax the Corbett Tiger reserve without success. What number have you used? I am leaving at the beginning of Feb and plan to be at Corbett at the end of March. i really want to get this organized before I leave. thanks for any suggestions.
#36 Jan 9th, 2006, 05:30
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#36
rcreeker

try any or all of these:
Field Director, Corbett Tiger Reserve, P.O. Ramnagar
District Nanital Uttaranchal
05947-251376 (Office+Residence) (Tel + Fax)
(05947-251489- Reception)
Dy. Dir-251489 DD-251332(Residence)
(District Forest Officer - Kalagarh 01343-245288)
Fax: 251376
dvskhati@yahoo.com
pandey_wii@indiatimes.com

This is from the Project Tiger Website Service Directory:
http://projecttiger.nic.in/serviceDir.htm

When I went I wrote ahead, but when I got to Ramnagar my letter was on the desk unanswered or dealt with!

Good luck.
#37 Jan 9th, 2006, 11:05
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#37
Mikewill: Great info about the parks and I am sure it is always better to see some wildlife from the elephant especially when you are not expecting to see it for it makes it all the more special. We did the elephant joy ride in th evening after the actual tiger spotting in the morning for seeing a lot of the other things in the park like the trees, birds, etc. as I had a person interested in biology with me and she wanted to know all the various plants and trees and their flowers and fruits / berries. So it was a nice one hour of elephant ride through the thick forest going over streams and thick greenery. No tigers were seen on this part of the trip (though we did see some deer and lots of birds) but still worth it!!! About not expecting to see the tiger, it is true, you will not be so disappointed if you don't see one but I am sure it would have surely seen you!!!

Cheers,
Aadil.
#38 Jan 10th, 2006, 03:38
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#38
Thank you very much everyone for your replies!

I'm now very tempted by Banhavgarh, thanks to Aadil's great descriptions , but I'm a bit concerned about timing. We've only got 2 weeks in total, and Banhavgarh is quite far from the 'golden triangle'.

I've found trains from Agra to Umalia (35km from Banhavgarh):
Out: train 8478: leaves Agra Cantt 16.15, arrives Umalia 6.15am
Ret: train 8477: leaves Umalia 20.45, arrives Agra 10.10

We won't have time to visit Khajuraho (sp?) or anywhere, but could probably manage the overnight journey to Umalia, possibly arrive in time for a morning trip in the park (?), overnight in Tala, morning trip to the park and then train overnight back to Agra.

Does this seem feasible, or should I just stick with Corbett?

Could anyone recommend where to stay if going to Banhavgarh?

Thanks again!
#39 Jan 10th, 2006, 04:07
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#39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yvette Thank you very much everyone for your replies!

I'm now very tempted by Banhavgarh, thanks to Aadil's great descriptions , but I'm a bit concerned about timing. We've only got 2 weeks in total, and Banhavgarh is quite far from the 'golden triangle'.

I've found trains from Agra to Umalia (35km from Banhavgarh):
Out: train 8478: leaves Agra Cantt 16.15, arrives Umalia 6.15am
Ret: train 8477: leaves Umalia 20.45, arrives Agra 10.10

We won't have time to visit Khajuraho (sp?) or anywhere, but could probably manage the overnight journey to Umalia, possibly arrive in time for a morning trip in the park (?), overnight in Tala, morning trip to the park and then train overnight back to Agra.

Does this seem feasible, or should I just stick with Corbett?

Could anyone recommend where to stay if going to Banhavgarh?

Thanks again!
Hi Yvette,

You will reach Umaria in the morning and the morning session is over by the time you will reach Tala and Bandhavgarh!!! You can go to the Bandhavgarh Fort instead when you reach there and go for the afternoon session or take the elephant joy ride in the evening for an hour before closing time. Then go for the morning session (starts at 0530 or 0600 hours) next day and then go to Umaria for the evening train by bus. There is a nice place called Kum Kum which has individual cottages in Tala and the price is not too high. There are other high end places like Churhat Kothi as well. So choose your pick from what you want once you go there. There will be a lot of touts asking for the trips and hotels so take a look at all the options before selecting what you want. The Lonely Planet has a list of all the places there with details so you could call them up to find out as well. The gypsy (jeep) that will take you inside the park will cost you Rs600 per session but cheaper if you do the whole day trip for about Rs1000. Do bargain to get the best possible deals everywhere. The bus ride should not cost you much to get to Tala from Umaria, but you will find someone telling you that the bus is not operating when you want to go back so don't believe them as they only want to make you use their car to go there and rip you off. Foreigners are charged more for everything in Bandhavgarh including the entry fee as well as elephant rides. And the difference is mind boggling as it is six times more than what the Indian pays for the same. Still camera photography is free but you have to pay for video shooting. Do enjoy your stay there and hope you see some tigers there!!!

Sad that you cannot go to Khajuraho and Orchha but if I were you then I would keep atleast one day each to see both these places as they are so nearby in Madhya Pradesh that it would be sad if you did not visit these beautiful sites!!! I do hope you can make it there too. It will be an experience worth remembering and definitely better than the golden triangle!!!

Cheers,
Aadil.
#40 Jan 15th, 2006, 21:59
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#40
Thanks again Aadil!

I've decided to squeeze in an extra day in the Park, so are planning to follow your suggestions with a trip to the Fort, trip into the park, overnight then the full day in the park starting with elephant trip early morning, then final elephant trip on the following morning before back to Agra and Delhi.

I'm planning to phone a hotel or two from Jaipur, when I arrive, to hopefully get a booking somewhere midrange, not too expensive but hopefully with hot water! Will definitely look into the Kum Kum cottages, thanks!

It's particularly helpful of you to give me an idea of taxi/jeep prices, because it's always a fine line between being ripped off or holding out for a price that is unreasonable too... I find bargaining quite stressful!

We fly out tomorrow, so thanks again for your help!
#41 Jan 16th, 2006, 00:31
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#41
well, I know it was the luck of the draw, but I saw 3 tigers in one November day in Corbett! Photos on my url below . . .

Bandhavgarh's morning tours left us sickened- the tiger is literally herded towards a mad rush of jeeps full of frantic tourists. We stayed 3 days, but never went with the herd in the mornings after that.

Rathambore, I saw almost 20 years ago, when one could climb around on foot atop the fort. since I was there till after dusk, I suppose i was lucky I did not get eaten! But no tiger. However, the circue was in town, so I am one of only a handful who went to rathambore and saw a dozen lions
#42 Jan 16th, 2006, 13:50
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#42
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Originally Posted by bijapuri well, I know it was the luck of the draw, but I saw 3 tigers in one November day in Corbett! Photos on my url below . . .

Bandhavgarh's morning tours left us sickened- the tiger is literally herded towards a mad rush of jeeps full of frantic tourists. We stayed 3 days, but never went with the herd in the mornings after that.

Rathambore, I saw almost 20 years ago, when one could climb around on foot atop the fort. since I was there till after dusk, I suppose i was lucky I did not get eaten! But no tiger. However, the circue was in town, so I am one of only a handful who went to rathambore and saw a dozen lions
In some instances it could be that they do that but I doubt if it is the norm. We did not have anybody herding the tigers and just got to see them from the elephant top for five minutes while the tigress and her four cubs played around in the tall grass unseen from the jeeps but visible very clearly from the elephant top!!! And they did not seem to mind our presence as they must be used to it by now I guess but then that is the price one pays for going into the jungle in such large numbers and encroaching on their land in the forest. I did see one tiger from the jeep too but it was a bit far off to get a close up view.

About Corbett National Park a friend of mine from the UK was here in December and they got to see a few tigers from there on one of their four trips into the park so you could say it is a 25% chance of seeing it from there usually as they also compared notes with others who were there and they seemed to share the same statistics for sighting a tiger in the wild in the Corbett NP.

BTW, great pictures of the tigers. Thanks for sharing on IM.

Cheers,
Aadil.
#43 Jan 30th, 2006, 22:36
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#43
We finally have our reservation at the Dhikala Forest Lodge in Corbett thatnks to another IMer! For those of you trying to do the same here is the contact:
PRO, KMVN
103, Indra Prakash Building,
21, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi-110001
Ph : (011) 23712246, 51519366
Fax : (011) 23319835
E-mail: kmvnnewdelhi@yahoo.com

For 5200R per person you get Dehli-Corbett-Delhi transport, 2 nights at the Lodge, 6 veg. meals, elephant ride, jeep ride, entrance fee. We are excited! Leaving in 6 days. Thanks IM for all the help!
#44 Jan 30th, 2006, 23:08
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#44
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcreeker We finally have our reservation at the Dhikala Forest Lodge in Corbett thatnks to another IMer! For those of you trying to do the same here is the contact:
PRO, KMVN
103, Indra Prakash Building,
21, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi-110001
Ph : (011) 23712246, 51519366
Fax : (011) 23319835
E-mail: kmvnnewdelhi@yahoo.com

For 5200R per person you get Dehli-Corbett-Delhi transport, 2 nights at the Lodge, 6 veg. meals, elephant ride, jeep ride, entrance fee. We are excited! Leaving in 6 days. Thanks IM for all the help!
Is that a bus to Corbett or by car and is it per person in a room or even if it is only one person in the room? Also, how many jeep / elephant rides in the amount specified for the two days? And which lodge in Corbett is the accomodation in and from which place is the entrance to the park?

Thanks in advance for all the questions answered. And hope you see a lot of tigers and other wildlife too!!! Take care and enjoy India.

Cheers,
Aadil.
#45 Jan 30th, 2006, 23:16
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#45
It is accomodation at Dhikala Forest Lodge, transport is by car. We are a family of 3 in one room...don't know about one person. We get one elephant and one jeep ride each.
Don't know about the rest of your questions.
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