Dhikala is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Corbett National Park. It is situated at the perimeter of the broad Patli Dun valley through which the Ramganga surge in several channels. Visiting Dhikala proves to be a perfect jungle expedition. Tourists who have been there swear by its impeccable beauty and calmness. The nearby forest safari routes are abundant of grassland, water body and thick forest, thus it turns out as the best place in Corbett for animal sightings. Dhikala provides tremendous uninterrupted picturesque view of the valley, with the Kanda ridge in the Backdrop. The view from the watchtower near Dhikala is very grasping and appealing. Dhikala Chaur, is one of the widest grasslands of the park and Phulai Chaur are visible form the tourist complex. Natural sightings of wild elephants, Chital, Hog Deer and many grassland birds and raptors are possible while taking a drive through the various trails over the Chaurs.
Staying at Dhikala is an experience every wildlife enthusiast looks forward to. Dhangari gate is entrance for Dhikala zone. Dhangari gate is located 18 kms away from Ramnagar while Dhikala Tourist Complex is located 31 Kms inside the Dhangari Gate. Dhikala is open for tourists from 15th November to 15th June. But remains inaccessible during Monsoon season. Dhikala tourist complex overlooks Ramganga Reservoir and is a perfect place to observe Crocodiles and Gharials basking in the banks of Ramganga.
The prime attraction among the vividly rich wildlife in Dhikala zone is the Royal Bengal Tiger and the Asiatic elephants. To the delight of the tourists, this zone is fairly populated with these big animals and thus most often tourists have been bestowed with the graceful sighting of the Royal Bengal tigers and herds of Asiatic elephants. Dhikala zone named after the large Dhikal grassland which is the largest grassland in the Corbett Reserve landscape. Apart from the tigers and elephants, the zone is home to a large number of varied wild fauna which consists of leopards, spotted deer, sambhar deer, hog deer, langurs, wild boars, crocodiles and many other animals and reptiles.
Canter Safari in Corbett is the best option for those who reside outside the Dhikala Zone and wish to sight the wildlife of the area. Canter is a 16 seater open air bus that drives from Ramnagar to Dhikala and then back to Ramnagar. For canter safari also one needs to make prior booking using the official website.
Chaurs (Grass Lands)
Dhikala is famous for the vast grassland that is packed with Elephants, Spotted Deers, Wild pigs, Hog Deersetc. Often visitors can spot a wild Tiger crossing the grassland or chasing a deer.
Watch tower situated at Dhikala is perfectly located and enables you to get an excellent view of wildlife which are come for grazing into the nearby chaurs, It also gives you an excellent view of entire ramganga riverbed as well as a large section of Dhikala chaur.
This watch tower is located at a 10 mins walk from Dhikala forest rest louse. There is a man made waterhole around fifty yards to the south of the watchtower which makes it the perfect place to spot Deers, elephants, wild pigs and occasionally a Tiger.
Crocodile Point at Gairal
Crocodile pool is located on the short cut from Gairal to the other rest houses west of it. It is also a balcony-like natural structure, which looks down upon a pool almost permanently inhabited by crocodiles.
This jungle track extends from the base of the Dhikala watchtower till the Khinanauli rest house. This area probably has the maximum sighting of tigers in the area.This is due to its ideal location between the hills on one side and the riverbed on the other. Most of the animals cross over in this area while moving down for water. Elephants are also frequent visitors to this track and it is important to be able to reverse your vehicle as easily as you drive it forward, if you plan to drive down this way just before sunset in the summer months. A couple of Serpant Eagles also had their nest high up in a tree beside this track. If patience is one of your virtues, it can almost be guaranteed that this track will not send you back disappointed.
One can spot several types of Deers when in the zone this includes Spotted Deer and others like Para (Axis pornicus), The Sambar (Cervus unicolor), Kakkar (Muntiacus muntjak) which is also called the barking deer due to the hoarse sound it makes resembling the bark of a Dog. The chances of spotting a sloth bear are very high in this section of forest. They are attracted by both termites and the sweet nectar of Mahua flowers. The bears have been recorded in intoxicated state when the Mahua ferments in their digestive system.
Dhikala Range Entry Timing
Corbett Tiger Reserveremains closed during the monsoons. All ecotourism zones of Corbett Tiger Reserve are closed to visitors for night halts from 15th June to 14th November. The Bijrani Zone remains closed for day visits from 30th June to 14th October. The Dhikala, Lohachaur and Sonanadi Tourism Zones are closed for day visits also from 16th June to 14th November. From 1st to 15th June, these ecotourism zones remains on standby mode and advance reservations are not done as during this time these zones can be shut down by Director, Corbett Tiger Reserve at short notice on considerations of visitor safety due to bad weather conditions.