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Himalayan Foothills

A visit to Corbett Tiger Reserve and the Historic Lake cities of Nainital and Sat Tal
06 nights & 07 days
Best season: Mid-November to Mid-June
Tour Code: HF01

ITINERARY
Day 01: Delhi to Corbett
Day 02: Corbett
Day 03: Corbett to Pangot
Day 04: Pangot
Day 05: Pangot to Sat Tal
Day 06: Sat Tal
Day 07: Sat Tal to Delhi

Highlights

Opportunity of magical Tiger sightings and spotting other fauna
Beautiful hill drives and train rides
Glimpse of the Himalayan diversity, lifestyle and unique architecture of the Kumaon
Day hike to Naina Peak (2311m)
Indulge in trekking, birding, boating, Mahseer fishing, rappelling and rock climbing
Stay at quaint lodges and deluxe tented camps with en suite facility
Shop for exquisite wooden artifacts and candles

Description
This tour takes you through the scenic foothills of Himalayas with a fabulous experience of the wildlife, birds and the beautiful flora of the region. The trek included in the tour also shows you a glimpse of the lifestyle and unique architecture of the Kumaon.
The tour begins with an interesting drive from Delhi to Corbett National Park. Crossing fields of yellow mustard and sugarcane, small villages, bustling towns of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, you get a glimpse of the diversity India has to offer. Be it natural vistas, architecture, dressing or culture, it is a quick view of the everyday life of India's common man sitting in the comfort of your car. Chat with your knowledgeable driver and find out interesting insights into your observations. Before you know it, you'll already be at foothills of Himalayas for entry to the Corbett National Park.
Established in 1936, Jim Corbett National Park is the first wildlife reserve of India and also the first reserve to come under Project Tiger in 1973. It was named in the honor of Jim Corbett, legendary hunter-turned- conservationist, best known for hunting man-eating tigers and leopards in the Kumaon and lower Garhwal in the 1920s.
Away from the urban concrete jungles, within easy driving distance of Delhi (6 hrs), Corbett is a popular retreat for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. It provides a great opportunity for viewing wildlife, especially the tiger in its natural habitat. The main wildlife animals found in the Corbett National Park include the Tiger, Elephant, Chital, Sambar, Nilgai, Gharial, King Cobra, Muntjac, Wild Boar, Hedgehog, Common Musk Shrew, Flying Fox, Indian Pangolin and nearly 600 species of birds.
Upon reaching Corbett, accompanied by an expert guide, the Jeep safari takes us through the stately dense Sal jungle of Corbett along the Ramganga River. We cross the river at Gethia Rao Bridge for the Kanda Range, where Jim Corbett shot the famous Kanda man-eater. We arrive at the main tourist complex, Dhikala where lunch awaits. You can visit one of the best wildlife libraries here. You can choose to enjoy an elephant ride (subject to availability and on direct payment) or an afternoon safari to sight the elusive tiger and other animals. In the evening one can watch a wildlife film show or just enjoy relaxing in the wilderness around.
The accommodation in Dhikala is basic but comfortable, with en suite toilets and showers. The tour includes full board at Dhikala, where only vegetarian food is available and alcohol is not permitted.With early morning mist drifting over the river, it can be an exciting experience looking for tigers, wild elephants and other mammals and birds. Many of the birds we are likely to see are characteristic of the Himalayan region, with a good selection of Palaearctic rarities to set pulses racing. In the evening, we take you to comfortable cottages at Tiger Camp for dinner and overnight stay. The picturesque drive feels like a safari in itself.
The following day we take on a 3-hour scenic drive to Pangot, which is now a well-known birding paradise. A journey that takes you on one of the spectacular mountain roads as we climb up into the Kumaon hills with the stunning snow capped Himalayan range looming in front of you.
The next two nights will be spent at quaint and comfortable en-suite cottages at the Jungle Lore Birding Lodge.
You can enjoy the afternoon birding or a trek with our guide near the lodge. You can hope to see Blue Whistling Thrush, Red-Billed Blue Magpie, Blue-Capped Redstart, Streaked Laughing Thrush, Grey-Backed Shrike, Yellow-Breasted Green Finch etc.
The following morning will bring an exciting half-day trek to Cheena Peak (also known as Naina Peak) with a picnic lunch. Starting at the Pangot Village, we take you to a local house to see a magnificent view of Corbett National Park area and villages (where Jim Corbett killed 10ft long tiger called 'Bachelor of Pawalgarh'). Admiring unique local architecture on the way, we stop at 'Dhamdhamiya' for excellent views and Akhorwadi', home to a lot of walnut trees for spotting various woodpecker species and other birds.Along the trek we also find a lot of diverse landscapes, flora and fauna. There are deep ravines and small spring water streams created in the monsoon seasons like the one at Ghorgatti. Salimdhar (named after Salim, a type of grass) is especially spectacular when the fog covers the whole area making you feel like you are walking in the clouds.
We reach Naina Peak at a height of 2311 meters for a panoramic view of the Himalayas and a close up of the peaks through a powerful telescope. On the downward journey, we get superb views of the lake city 'Nainital' and we stop to have our packed lunch.
We then head back to Pangot via Kilbury forest. Full of oak and rhododendron trees, it's a great area to spot many birds like Koklas, Kalij Pheasants, Common Kestrel, Grey Winged Blackbird, Black Red Start, Bar-Tailed Tree Creeper. Leopards, Himalayan Black Bear, Civet Cat, Porcupine, Deer and Wild Boar etc might also be sighted on the way.
Trekking through the forests, you can see lovely sights of traditionally dressed villagers collecting fodder for their cattle and firewood for their homes. We arrive back at Pangot in time for tea and warmth. A bonfire is the perfect end to the evening around which the experiences of the trek can be shared.
The next day we drive in the morning to Sat Tal (2½ hours away) via the popular lake town of Nainital. There is time at leisure to shop for wooden artifacts and candles in Bhutia market as you enjoy the unique British architecture at Nainital.
Lovely tents with en suite facility at Sat Tal Birding Camp will be your base for the next two nights. You can enjoy birding, boating and fishing at the serene Sat Tal Lake. Thrill seekers can also indulge in rappelling and rock climbing here. Our guide will take you to Kainchi temple and Ghorakhal temple, also known as the temple of bells. You can opt for a short trek to explore the beautiful forested area surrounding the camp.
If you are comfortable with a full day Himalayan drive, we would recommend a day trip to ancient Jageshwar temples built around the 8th-12th century. Counted among the 12 Jyotirlings in the country, Jageshwar lies in a beautiful narrow valley hedged by monarch-sized, ancient deodars. Exquisite ancient temple ruins, beautiful Himalayan vistas, gurgling stream nearby, serene Jageshwar offers a spiritual retreat.The last day gives you the morning at leisure for bird watching or relaxing before we drive back to Delhi / Rishikesh (optional) where the tour ends.

ITINERARY

Day 01: Delhi-Corbett National Park
Meals: Lunch or brunch in Tiger Camp & dinner in Dhikala
Drive on own from Delhi, arriving at Tiger Camp by noon for lunch. Drive onward to Dhangarhi gate for entry to Dhikala tourism zone in a 4WD. Corbett provides a great opportunity for viewing wildlife, especially the tiger in its natural habitat. We start with a visit to the Interpretation Centre. Accompanied by an expert guide, the Jeep safari through the stately dense Sal jungle of Corbett begins along the Ramganga River Cross the river at Gethia Rao Bridge for the Kanda Range, where Jim Corbett shot the famous Kanda man-eater. Arrive at the main tourist complex, Dhikala. Lunch and relax a bit in the serene, lingering quietness of the park and capture the panoramic expanse on your camera. You can enjoy the afternoon safari on a track along the periphery of the core area. An exciting drive through the unforgettable, sylvan beauty of the range offers wildlife viewing in plenty and a chance sighting of the elusive tiger. Return to the tourist complex. Overnight stay. Note: Please note that the accommodation in Dhikala is basic but has en suite toilet and shower.

Day 02: Corbett National Park
Meals: Veg. breakfast, Veg. lunch in Dhikala & Veg. Dinner in Dhikala
If you have not done an elephant ride the previous afternoon, you will be taken on an elephant in the morning (optional and subject to availability) through the open chaurs (grasslands) and dense forests by an unconventional route. Return for breakfast & lunch. Again drive by jeep to the scenic lake area - wait a while for a chance to sight the marsh crocodile basking in the sun. Visit the Jhirnajhali area for viewing the famous gavial - fish eating crocodile. Overnight stay in Dhikala.

Day 03: Corbett National Park
Meals: Veg. breakfast in Dhikala, lunch in Tiger Camp & Dinner in Pangot
Morning safari in the Sal forest for tiger tracking. Return for breakfast. Drive back to Tiger Camp. The drive is a safari in itself. Arrive at Tiger Camp for lunch. Drive to Pangot (3 hours), a journey that takes you on one of the spectacular mountain roads as we climb up into the Kumaon Hills. The Himalayan range looms in front of you with its glorious snow capped peaks. One can stop along the way to look for birds that may include Blue Whistling Thrush, Red-Billed Blue Magpie, Blue-Capped Redstart, Streaked Laughing Thrush, Grey-Backed Shrike, Yellow-Breasted Green Finch etc. Overnight stay at Jungle Lore Birding Lodge.

Day 04: Pangot
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Trek to Cheena Peak - a very enjoyable half day trek with picnic lunch (http://www.pangot.com/day-treks.htm). Afternoon is free to visit the local village and the remote lifestyle of the hillfolk. Overnight stay at Jungle Lore Birding Lodge.

Day 05: Pangot to Sat Tal
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Drive in the morning to Sat Tal (2 hours) visiting the delightful lake city of Nainital. Time free to shop in Bhutia market, enjoy the British architecture. Arrive in Sat Tal for lunch. Afternoon boat ride in Sat Tal lake. Overnight stay at Sat Tal Birding Camp.

Day 06: Sat Tal
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Today our guide will take you to Kainchi temple and Ghorakhal temple which is also known as the temple of bells. Opt for a short trek in the surrounding area. Or opt for a day excursion Jageshwar temples. Overnight stay at Sat Tal Birding Camp.

Day 07 Sat Tal to Delhi
Meals: Breakfast or brunch
Morning at leisure to bird watch. Drive back to Delhi or Rishikesh at noon. Arrive Delhi / Rishikesh in the evening (7-hour drive). Tour ends.

Note:
1. Dhikala closes opens on November 16 every year and closes on June 15. The tours outside these dates will be modified and the safaris will be arranged in the other parts of Corbett National Park.
2. This itinerary may be reversed if the booking in Dhikala is not available over the weekend. This will not impact the quality of the tour and experience thereof.

Services included:
-Accommodation on twin sharing basis
-Meals as per the itinerary
-Jungle visits in Corbett National Park in 4WDs with park guides
-Treks and visits in Pangot, Nainital & Sat Tal with guides
-All surface transfers by a private air-conditioned vehicle

Services not included:
-Optional tours/excursions, personal & incidental expenses.
-Tips, laundry, phone calls, alcohol, camera fee etc.
-International and domestic air fare, visa, insurance.

Please ask for Terms and Conditions

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