Dhikala Chor and its Gentle Giants

After my maiden trip to Corbett last summer, only regret I had was, why I have not been to this park earlier, what I was waiting for these many years.  Stories of middleman and issue of under table cuts to get booking at FRH accommodation in Dhikala zone, deterrent me from planning a trip to Corbett.   Thanks to my friend Anand Sachdeva, he help me explore one of first National Park, not only in India but Asia.


Kabini & Kaziranga are great place but after this trip, I have left with no doubt that there is no better place to observe & photograph Asiatic Elephant in India then Dhikala Chor ( grassland). As during summer months (April-June) large herd of elephant congregate around backwater of Ramganga reservoir and in Chor area of Dhikala. With lovely grassland, beautiful sunset sky and picturesque lower Himalaya’s mountain as background will provided even better photo opportunity then your imagination.  


Though Corbett’s five zones – Bijrani, Dhikala, Domunda, Jhirna and Sonanadi. Forty-nine kilometres northwest of Ramnagar and deep inside the reserve, Dhikala is the designated core area, where the highest concentrations of the animals you probably hope to see are found.  But those have prior accommodation permit for overnight stay in any of four Forest rest houses (Dhikala, Sarapduli, Gairal or Sultan) are only allowed to enter Dhikala Zone through Dhangadi Gate.  You are allowed to book for maximum 3 nights under one booking to stay in one of these guest house.

Bijrani zone is also good, if you are staying outside park on private resorts or hotels. I have not been to bijrani zone, so couldn't talk much about it, but might like to explore it during next trip.

Official website to book online FRH and safari booking for Corbett national park is: http://corbettonline.uk.gov.in. You have to book 45 days well inadvance, once you have accommodation permit, you don't have to book Gypsy separately like in other parks. 

You have over night train from old Delhi, which arrive at Ramnagar early morning around 5- 5.30 am.  There are quite number of hotels of various budget in Ramnagar, we stayed one night at Corbett motel ( www.corbettmotels.com). for safari Gypse Contact: Nasir Bhai ;09917180845 or 09720874988

Hope you enjoy photo-journey of "Dhikala Chor and its Gentle giants" and do drop you comments.


As you enter into Dhikala zone through Dhangadi Gate, you drive for 40-50 km through Pristine Saal forest, that runs alongside the Ramganga river makes this as one of the most beautiful drives.


As day begins group of Elephant will emerge out from forest to feed on grass on Chor. Group can be as small as 3-4 to as large as 20-25 elephants. Good time to observe not only interaction among group members but also among different group.


I introduce you, Hero of this journey. He is dark , tall and angry Tusker- He was Musth.  He arrived on Chor on second day, Tusker we thought are huge on first day, now looks dwarf on his arrival. He was restless, chasing away every other male out of Chor or checking out each and every possible female for possible mate by moving from group to group. Arrival of Tusker will disturb group, babies will look for cover under their mother, you can hear loud grunting calls. I never took more photographs of an individual then him, over 500.


Taking dust bath, to cool himself. you can see thick secretion between eye and ear from temporal gland.  


 Courtship with possible mate, they moved into forest, we chose not to follow them.

charge care

Female charging at us, though we were on track and she was quite bit inside feeding,but she might be reacting to her past experience with humans.

When it come to protection of there young one, all parents are equal to task. 


Elephant likes water, that’s reason hundreds of them arrive in Dhikala Chor each summer. Every morning and evening, they will take break from feeding and will make trip to water body. After sipping in liters of water , most of them would take dip and mud bathe 


As all young kids like to do, these young checking out each other strength and preparing for future, third one acting as referee.


 Family feeding on grass of Dhikala chor

With almost 1/3 of total bird species of India reported from Corbett NP, you will be sure to get many rarities. 

parrotbill kalij

 Long-tailed Broadbill,  captivating colors 

 Khalij Pheasant, displaying for female.

 owl  owl1

 A resident Tawny Eagle Owl near Dhikala FRH

Very rare sighting of Spot-bellied eagle owl, it was Juvenile ,so we left him alone and didn't hanged on more for better photo  


With over 500plus tiger reported from Corbett NP, you will surely bump onto one of them, despite your best effort to ignore alarm calls or conversation of tiger sighting over lunch/dinner  


I close this photo-journey by Golden bathe picture of this journey's Hero......



+1 #3 Kiran Kashyap 2015-01-13 09:08
Amazing wilderness..too good pictures.
+1 #2 Badri 2015-01-10 17:52
Superb images! We're planning a Corbett trip in April and so this post was extra-interesti ng. I also liked the fact that you focused primarily on the elephants with the tiger mentioned as an afterthought. Great post!!
+1 #1 V HARISHA 2015-01-09 16:12
Beautifull... Images Yashpal......, Tempting ............... ........:)

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