PENCH NATIONAL PARK

It is located to the south of Satpura hills. It is named after the river Pench which streams through this area. This is the 19th project tiger reserve in India and was affirmed in 1992. It has tropical moist deciduous forest. The prey concentration is highest along the banks of the river Pench. The Pench national park has a count of 8 tigers (as in 1998) and 7 panthers (as in 1998) this national park is rich with chitals i.e. axis or more commonly spotted deer. The name of Pench National Park was changed to "Indira Priyadarshini Pench National Park" in November 2002 Similarly the name of Pench Sanctuary has been changed to "Mowgli Pench Sanctuary".


Basically this is the land that encouraged Rudyard Kipling to write that all-time favourite, "The Jungle Book" - walk through Pench and one can visualize Mowgli swinging through the trees and almost hear the roar of Sher Khan. Located on the border of Madhya Pradesh and adjoining Maharashtra, the Pench National Park is well-known for the profusion of flora and fauna found within the park as the varied species of wildlife. Named after the river that flows nearby, Pench was affirmed a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1983 and in 1992, Pench was included under the umbrella of "Project Tiger" as the 19th Project Tiger Reserve.


FLORA FAUNA

The Pench Tiger Reserve located in the southern reaches of the Satpura hill ranges constituted in 1992 has a total area of 757.90 sq km out of which 292.86 sq km is the core area of the reserve, 118.30 sq km of Pench wildlife sanctuary & 346.7 sq km of area is the buffer zone. The forest cover belongs to the southern tropical moist teak & dry teak forests & the southern dry mixed deciduous forest. The ground is covered with a maze of grasses, plants bushes & saplings. Bamboo is restricted to some valleys, dazzling white kulu (sterculia urens) trees scattered around singly in the forest stand out conspicuously among the various hues of green.

The animal species like Chital, sambhar, nilgai, wildboar & jackal are commonly seen. Leopard, sloth bear, wild dog, porcupine, jungle cat, fox,striped hyena, guar, chowsingha & barking deer are also found. The population of tigers as recorded in 2010 census is estimated at 65 in number. Pench boasts of more than 250 species of birds including several migratory ones. Some of them are peafowl, jungle fowl, crow, pheasant, redvented bulbul, magpie robin, lesser whistling teal, pintail, shovellar, egrets & heron.


Wildlife Viewing

Visitors can use their own or hired 4 wheel petrol vehicle. The park has elephants that are used to track the tigers. Timing 0600-1100 and 1500-1800 hrs.


Places of Interest

Sitaghat

The spot is undoubtedly the prettiest location in Pench national park that takes you to the awesome bank of the river with rocks & artistic looking trees. It is must to visit the location either in the morning or in the evening has it has charm with sunrise & sunset. It’s a good spot for bird lovers as well.


Alikatta

It is located in the center of the pench National park with mesmerizing grass land around & where one can spot any of the animals. However among few places that left in the country this is one of them, where every evening one can see the amazing spectacle of grazing flocks consisting of thousands of spotted deer. Where there are deer, there will be predators. So keep an eye open here. It is also the site from where the elephant rides initiate.


Chhindimatta Road

It’s a boundary line between Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. During & after monsoon one can easily watch beautiful water birds & also an excellent area for spotting buzzards, eagles & hawks as well. This section is full of ups and downs over rocky hills although rest of the park is quite flat.


Bodhanala range

The spot worth for those who love watching birds also called as a paradise for birds lover. A large number of migratory birds can also be seen here. The spot with sloping hills, bamboo forests and a huge pond has a unique charm of its own & make this site significant as well.


Raiyakassa

A watchtower has been built by the Park authorities at Raiyakassa that provides great views of the Pench River. & it is clear from the watchtower that authority also provides night stay here to watch animals like bison & tigers as well many times.


Doob Road

The trail running is an excellent area for spotting all species of animals. After the monsoon most of the migratory submerged species once again recede. Although rest of the year, it is quite frequent to come across huge flocks of deer and bison, while driving along this trail. Habitually Leopards have also been seen in this area.


Kalapahad

The Kalapahad Hill which is at an elevation of 650 meters. Here the track splits in two- one leading to Alikatta and other to Chhindimatta. It is a hilly terrain with impenetrable forest cover. Langurs, leopards and wild boars are common here. The Great Hornbill is a bird found in this area.


Getting there

110 km from Nagpur, 200 km from Jabalpur.


Best time to Visit

November to June.