Sitabani Forest Zone In Corbett
If mythology is to be believed, during her exile, Sita spent some time in the forests of Kumaon. The area known as Sitabani buffer zone is a famous tourist spot of Corbett national park. The zone true to its name has a temple dedicated to Goddess Sita, another temple dedicated to sage Valmiki and one dedicated to Lord Shiva. Tourists who visit this landscape zone make it a point to visit these temples. There is a tremendous crowd making a beeline on the auspicious day of Ramnavami.
Situated at a distance of 25km from Ramnagar, the landscape area of Sitabani Forest Zone is maintained by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and does not fall under the jurisdiction of Corbett tiger reserve. The restrictions prevalent in the other zones of the national park do not apply here. Unlike other zones, where visitors are not allowed to get down from the safari vehicles, visitors can take a trek in the wild in the Sitabani forest zone. This offers a unique, once in a lifetime experience for wildlife enthusiasts to experience nature closely.
Wildlife at Sitabani Forest Zone
Nestled in the foothills of Himalayas in Uttarakhand, Sitabani forest zone is famous for its varied wildlife. The dense Sal forests of the buffer zone are home to a huge variety of bird species including kingfisher, emerald dove, red wattle lapwing, Oriental-pied, white bush chat, vulture etc. It is considered a heaven for avid birdwatchers. Disturbances during peak tourist season often cause some of the wildlife to move from Corbett tiger reserve to the buffer zone. Due to this, there is quite a chance for tourists to spot wild animals like spotted deer, elephant, leopard, sambhar, wild boar as well as jungle cat and royal Bengal tiger.
The Popularity of Sitabani Forest Zone
The landscape zone is extremely popular amongst tourists. Despite the number of zones of the Corbett reserve, it is not possible for tourists to get a chance to take a safari to see the wildlife. Prior booking is essential for staying within the zone as well as safari inside the forest. Since the Sitabani forest zone is not a part of the Corbett tiger reserve, these rules do not apply to it. This zone is open for tourists all-round the year. There is no restriction regarding the number of vehicles entering the zone too. Permits regarding day safari don't need to be booked in advance too. The Sitabani forest department is in charge of issuing permits for safari.
For all the tourists who are unable to procure permits for stay or safari in the Jim Corbett national park and don't want to miss the chance of seeing the wildlife of one of the most popular tiger reserves, Sitabani forest zone is the answer. Tourists can watch a number of wild animals, migratory birds, different reptile species as well as mahaseer and other fishes. The trek inside the forest is another reason for drawing a large number of crowd year after year. There is no accommodation available inside the Sitabani forest zone, but visitors staying outside can avail an entry permit for safari from the entry gate. Online booking for safari can also be done, however, it is not mandatory.