Edward James Corbett was a third generation Irishman, who was born on 25th July 1875, the eighth child of his parents, and lived in India till 1947. He shared a precious bond with his elder sister Maggie. In 1947 he shifted to Kenya where he spent rest of his life trying to conserve wild life. He left all his belongings to poor local villagers of kalladungi who still conserve and follow his foots steeps of conservation of wild life and nature. Jim Corbett took up Photography after he came in contact with his friend Frederik Walter Champion and took up gun only to kill and rescue villagers who were terrorized by man eater’s tigers or leopards.
He was knowledgeable, brave and a crack shot. Tall and remained unmarried, he dressed in bush clothing-shorts, knee-high socks and heavy shoes, with an assortment of hats. In his middle age he changed from being a hunter to a conservationist, though he continued to shoot man-eaters. He played a pivotal role in setting up of the first national park of the Asian-Sub Continent, now called the Corbett National Park. Kunkhet Valley Resort is one of best resorts in Jim Corbett National Park. It is located in Garjia in the region of Uttarakhand, 32.2 km from Nainital. The Resort features a playground and sun terrace.
He was decorated with the Kaiser-I-hind, the O.B.E. (Order of the British Empire) and the C.I.E. (Companion of the Indian Empire). He also had the right to enter the forest called “Freedom of the Forests’. In 1937 he took to photography and filmed wildlife extensively. He was also an author and wrote 8 books which have never gone out of print since his first book in 1943. Three biographies have been written on him.
Over the years in his young age, he became a good wild life expert and also wonderful naturalist. He was blessed with natural fleet footed, excellent observation and having great stamina. Very soon he developed a sense of knowing movement of wildlife forest and could read the signs of forest and he put all the senses while moving ahead in the forests. He was fond of wild life in India. His sense of saving life of animals of forests and constant effort led to establishment of first National park of Indian Called Hailey National Park In year 1936. Which later changed to Ramganga national park and was renamed Jim Corbett National Park in year 1955-56. He devoted his life to conservation of wild life and importance of tiger for the ecosystem of forest and his efforts were so extensive that in year 1968 one the last five remaining Sub species of tiger the Indochinese tiger was named after him and is now called Panthera Tigris Corbetti.
He breathed his last at his home in Kenya on 19th April 1955. And left behind a legacy be proud of for all the naturist and Conservationist of world. You can come and visit his karmbhoomi and place he dedicated his life to at Corbett National Park and feel a part of great heritage.