Northeast of Corbett, Almora District, Uttaranchal
7 nights / 8 days (6 days trekking)
600 m - 1250 m
November till February
Walk in Jim Corbett's footsteps along the century old district board road stopping at key sites where Jim stalked a maneating tiger, hikes through Corbett's adjoining areas - something not allowed inside the park, stay at a riverside wildrness lodge, chance encounter with hill-tribes like the Gujjars and Chunars
Between 1906 and 1941, Jim Corbett hunted nearly ten man-eating tigers that were responsible for the deaths of over 1,500 people. This forest trek, which tests man's wit against the instinct of a wild beast, takes you on the old district road that Jim Corbett once took in hunt of the legendary Maneater of Mohan. Immortalized in his bestseller 'Maneaters of Kumaon', this tiger killed many humans in the Kosi Valley for several years until Corbett finally hunted it down in the summer of 1930. The whole experience transformed him from a hunter to a conservator and his efforts to protect this habitat led to the formation of India's first National Park.
The trail winds past old forests dominated by sal and ficus, evident by giant birds like Great Hornbill, Great Slaty Woodpeckers, several species of large owls and a wide array of other birds. Wild elephants and big cats also visit the area regularly. We continue along the same trail up a high ridge of oak and scrub to get spectacular views of the icy Nanda Devi range. The night is usually filled with alarm calls of deer sensing the presence of tigers and leopards. In winter months you come across bhotiya tribes (Herdsmen of the Himalayas), with their flocks of sheep guarded by the hardy Tibetan Mastiffs.
It's a rare opportunity to walk through the peripheral forest of Corbett, where exploring on foot is not allowed inside the reserve. The hike also offers an insight into the lives of the communities who live surrounded by forests. A part of Corbett's rich legacy is stored in Naini-tal's Guerney House, the place where he was born (Refer Corbett to Nainital Trek).
Day 1 : Delhi - Corbett Tiger Reserve
Morning depart by surface for Corbett (260 kms / 6 hrs drive) and check in at the resort. In the evening, you can walk into the surrounding forest to observe the flora and fauna of the area accompanied by a naturalist. You get back to camp by sundown for campfire and barbecue. Dinner and overnight at the lodge
Day 2 : Mohan - Pania Dokhan (8km)
The hike passes through plantations of teak till it gets you on the old district board road. Since the trail is abandoned, the undergrowth is thick and it takes a while to see the visible remains of the 100-year-old track. You walk through old forests dominated by sal and ficus to a boulder-strewn stream dominated by clumps of bamboo, which makes for a perfect stopover. After lunch, you continue along the Kathkinaul ridge on an undulating trail. You camp for the night at an abandoned Bhotiya campsite, an open clearing by a broad streambed known as Pania Dokhan.
Day 3 : Pania Dokhan - Baurad Nullah (8 km)
After an early morning breakfast, you continue on the old district board road towards Baurad, a pretty village set amidst a thick Sal forest. A brief foray from the trail to a vantage point overlooking the stream is quite rewarding. From several points you can see wildlife and the Kosi river snaking down the wooded valley. You cross Baurad village to the picture-perfect stream of Baurad nullah, popularly known as Forktail Stream to birdwatchers. Apart from forktails, you can spot owls, flycatchers, minivets, tisias, the brown dipper and many other species. This is where we pitch tents for the night.
Day 4 : Baurad Nullah - Kathkinaul (9 km)
You start early today and head uphill from the village to gain over 1000m in altitude. After a strenuous climb you reach the sparsely populated Malla Baud for a short breather in the spacious courtyard of a village house adorned by beautiful carved doors. The walk to Kathkinaul offers views of the Kosi Valley and its foothill forests stretching southwards for as far as the eye can see. Towards the north lies the Ramganga Valley with terraced fields and mountains dominated by the icy Nanda Devi range. The forest bungalow at Kathkinaul where Corbett had camped while stalking a maneater is in ruins today. Camp overnight nearby.
Day 5 : Kathkinaul - Bhakrakot (5 km)
The downhill hike from Kathkinaul to Bhakrakot is short and steep. Here you can enjoy the rustic hospitality of home-stays developed by the villagers. If you are really serious about the Corbett legacy, you can drive to Kaladhungi to spend the night. This is where Corbett's father worked as a Post Master and the place where Jim grew up and later spent many holidays. It's uncanny that it was at Kaladhungi that he shot his first leopard at the age of 13 and his last tiger at the ripe old age of 70 shortly after World War 2. You can still visit the canal where he shot it, which acts as a boundary between the Corbett estate and the jungle.
Day 6 : Bhakrakot - Chimta Khal - Vanghat (4 km)
1 hour 30 minutes
Jim Corbett, known more as the slayer of maneaters, was also a keen angler and mentions the Ramganga Valley, your next destination, in his story 'The Fish of my Dreams'. From Bhakrakot you drive to Chimta Khal, from where you take the forest trail to Vanghat. The walk passes through pristine sal forests and is extremely rewarding for birdwatchers. Vanghat, the site of Mahseer Conservation Society's eco-tourism project, offers stay in stone and wood cottages overlooking the Ramgamga. Cliffs on the other side can reveal the nimble-footed ghoral while the river is full of Mahseer, a sportfish that measures as much as 5½ ft.
Day 7 : Vanghat - Chaknakl chaur (4 km) - Ramnagar
After breakfast, you start from Vanghat River Lodge on the left bank of the Ramganga and follow its meandering course westwards towards Chaknakl Chaur. This was where Corbett shot the Maneater of Mohan in 1930, bringing this legendary trek to its logical end. If you are lucky, you might encounter the Chunars, a hill tribe who carve pots out of wood and the Gujjars, the most prominent nomadic tribe in these forests. You finally hike back 5km on a dim trail to Chimtakhal ridge through dense forests and head towards Ramnagar for your onward journey or the overnight train to Delhi.
Day 8 : Delhi - Onward destination
Arrive early morning at the railway station and check in at the hotel. Day spent at leisure or sightseeing of the city. In time transfer to the international airport to board the flight for onward destination.
Trekking Tours in India:
Trekking in Binsar
, Maneater of Mohan Trail
Corbett to Nainital Trek
, Nanda Devi Trek
Roopkund Kuari Pass Trek
, Sandakphu and Goechala Trek
Snow Leopard Trek India
, Tawang Trek Arunachal
Valley of Flowers Trek