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A walk in Corbett country

Notes from a five-day field trip in 2016 in the Kumaon hills of Uttarakhand that involved trekking through places immortalised by Jim Corbett and led to the welcome discovery that tigers were once again a part of the landscape.

 

Snow-capped mountains  seen from the ridgetop above Kotkendri, Uttarakhand.
Snow-capped mountains seen from the ridgetop above Kotkendri, Uttarakhand.Photo: A.J.T. Johnsingh
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The Bhoom forest rest house.
The Bhoom forest rest house.Photo: A.J.T. Johnsingh
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The Sharada river,  on November 20, 2016.
The Sharada river, on November 20, 2016.Photo: A.J.T. Johnsingh
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The beautiful Ladhiya,  a tributary of the Sharada, on November 24.
The beautiful Ladhiya, a tributary of the Sharada, on November 24.Photo: A.J.T. Johnsingh
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Kaladhungi forest rest house,  now almost abandoned. Jim Corbett and Sir William Ibbotsons stayed here in April 1937.
Kaladhungi forest rest house, now almost abandoned. Jim Corbett and Sir William Ibbotsons stayed here in April 1937.Photo: A.J.T. Johnsingh
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The author’s travel companions  in November 2016: (Left to right) Amitabh Dhillon from the Indian Police Service, Bivash Pandav from the Wildlife Institute of India and Ravikiran Goverkar from the Indian Forest Service.
The author’s travel companions in November 2016: (Left to right) Amitabh Dhillon from the Indian Police Service, Bivash Pandav from the Wildlife Institute of India and Ravikiran Goverkar from the Indian Forest Service.Photo: A.J.T. Johnsingh
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(right) a rustic butterfly (Cupha erymanthis) in Selagargh, Chuka man-eater area, on November 21.
(right) a rustic butterfly (Cupha erymanthis) in Selagargh, Chuka man-eater area, on November 21.Photo: A.J.T. Johnsingh
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A rustic butterfly (Cupha erymanthis) in Selagargh, Chuka man-eater area, on November 21.
A rustic butterfly (Cupha erymanthis) in Selagargh, Chuka man-eater area, on November 21.Photo: A.J.T. Johnsingh
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A panoramic view of  Chuka village. (Above).
A panoramic view of Chuka village. (Above).Photo: A.J.T. Johnsingh
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Gowri Singh, 83 years old and the liveliest person we met in the village of Chuka.
Gowri Singh, 83 years old and the liveliest person we met in the village of Chuka. Photo: A.J.T. Johnsingh
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Gowri Singh, 83 years old and the liveliest person the travellers met in Chuka.
Gowri Singh, 83 years old and the liveliest person the travellers met in Chuka.Photo: A.J.T. Johnsingh
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(Right)  The Ladhiya-Sharada confluence, on November 22. In his narrative on the Thak man-eater, Jim Corbett writes about the confluence being full of big mahseer, but on this field trip, the travellers did not see any fish here.
(Right) The Ladhiya-Sharada confluence, on November 22. In his narrative on the Thak man-eater, Jim Corbett writes about the confluence being full of big mahseer, but on this field trip, the travellers did not see any fish here.Photo: A.J.T. Johnsingh
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Golden mahseer  in the Kosi river protected by Infinity Resorts and the Forest Department, on November 18. There is potential for a mahseer conservation programme in Uttarakhand as the State has a 500-km stretch of riverine mahseer habitat.
Golden mahseer in the Kosi river protected by Infinity Resorts and the Forest Department, on November 18. There is potential for a mahseer conservation programme in Uttarakhand as the State has a 500-km stretch of riverine mahseer habitat.Photo: A.J.T. Johnsingh
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Residents of Chuka village  and the team from the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)camp in Chuka, on November 24.
Residents of Chuka village and the team from the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)camp in Chuka, on November 24.Photo: A.J.T. Johnsingh
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A tiger pugmark,  just short of Chalti. The reappearance of the tiger in the area can be attributed to the SSB camps along the Nepal border.
A tiger pugmark, just short of Chalti. The reappearance of the tiger in the area can be attributed to the SSB camps along the Nepal border.Photo: A.J.T. Johnsingh
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