Edward James Corbett (Jim Corbett) – Wildlife Hunter-Turned Conservationist

We have heard lots of stories about Sir Jim Corbett. But only few people know about this one.

Jim Corbett, as a destination, offers everything to everyone. Be it, leisure, adventure, big game – tiger safari, corporate outings, fun trips, training programs, events, conferences, or green weddings.

We are selling Jim Corbett Packages to a lot of our guests. The reason for selling maximum Corbett packages is the confidence that we have earned over the years.

We know the locals, the terrain, and, most importantly, the JUNGLE.

To claim this, we would want to take you through a story which we are sure you have not heard or not being told by anyone. Corbett has an unheard story, too.

About Jim Corbett

Image from – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Corbett#/media/File:Jim_Corbett.jpg

Have you ever heard that Sir Jim Corbett has written in Jungle Lore that he did hear the scream of the chudail (banshee) thrice in his lifetime and only once caught a glimpse of it?

Corbett, India’s most famous wildlife hunter-turned-conservationist, said the sound could “curdle one’s blood and arrest one’s heartbeat.”

Sir, Jim Corbett had spent his entire life in Kumaon and thousands of nights alone in the Jungle among man-eating tigers, leopards, and other beautiful creatures of God.

had countless knowledge and understanding of the jungle laws; however, he could identify every bird call in the region.

He could even tell if a tiger is nearby or closing in by sensing the anguish in the chirp of the birds.

One evening, while Sir Jim Corbett was having dinner with his sister Maggie, he heard a call of the chudail and stepped out to the veranda of his house in Kaladhungi. The mystery’s call was coming from a Haldu tree.

Having his binoculars on his neck, he discovered that it was a bird no smaller than a golden eagle. It was too dark to aim and was out of shooting range; Sir Jim Corbett claimed that he had never seen such owl or a bird before.

The next time he heard “the yell of a human in deadly suffering” was on a machan waiting for the Thak man-eater. This time the sharp shout came only once, which he described as a long ‘Arr-Ar-Ar,’ from a village he knew was uninhabited.

Sir Jim Corbett wrote, Chudail is one of the most feared evil spirits found in lower regions of the Himalayas. It becomes visible in the form of a woman.

A woman having feet overturned the wrong way, having cast her eye on a human while fascinating her victim.

When you come together and witness such danger, the only way out or defense her attack is to shield the eyes with the hands, or cloth that is handy or if indoors, to pull a blanket over the head.

Such fears of the unknown and the darkness still common in the hills and the jungles. Anyone who has traveled the hills and forests must have heard about such incidents or know someone who has either had a hairy encounter or been victimized by the chudail.

The locals consider it as much part of life as death.

There was another scary episode that took place with Sir Jim Corbett when he was on a hunt for the Champawat man-eater. He reached the rest house near the village, following the instructions of the tehsildar who claimed that the tigress has returned to kill the villagers.

After spending a day in a wild goose chase, Sir Jim Corbett returned to the rest house wherein the tehsildar was waiting for him. The evening was spent discussing the further move.

However, at night the tehsildar started insisting on returning to his home through the area infested with leopards and tigers and the infamous man-eater on the prowl.

Sir Jim Corbett was stunned by the tehsildar’s weird commitment to go back home and take such a dangerous route.

Sir Jim Corbett wrote about that night in Man-eaters of Kumaon: “I have a tale of that bungalow but I will not tell here, for this is a book of jungle stories, and tales ‘beyond the laws of nature’ do not consort well with such stories.”

However, according to him, when he woke up the next morning and went out of the rest house, he was shivering in fear and cold.

His biographer, Martin Booth, describes it as an unnatural experience: “Quite what happened was something about which Jim was forever reticent.

That he had a night-long brush with the supernatural is without a doubt for”

While we know about most of these stories of hunting, jungle living, however much remains unclear and untold as to why he chose not to investigate, or whether he was asked to avoid doing.

Perhaps, it has to do with a warning that a local poacher gave to Jim, “When in the jungles, never speak of a tiger by its name, for if you do, the tiger is sure to appear.”

After listing the local poacher, Jim realized that the villagers never talk about the chudail. Neither would he.

Image credit – Jim Corbett with the freshly killed Tiger of Powalgarh. (Wikimedia Commons)

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