What is Pench?
Pench is one of the most popular tiger reserves and national parks in the central India region. It occupies parts of Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh. Although it was declared a wildlife sanctuary way back in 1965 its status was raised to a national park in 1975. Finally, in 1992, it was declared a tiger reserve.
It derives its name from the Pench River that flows in the park in a north to south direction, which divides the entire park area into two almost equal parts, as east and west sides. The Pench National Park is the recipient of the prestigious ‘Best Management Award”, from the government.
The forest finds reference in ancient texts, such as Ain-i-Akbari and is also mentioned significantly in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. There are around 10 small villages in the national part, 1 inside (Fulzari) and the rest on its boundaries.
Where is Pench?
The Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve is spread over Chhindwara and Seoni districts of Madhya Pradesh, in central India. It is also renowned in popular culture as home of Mowgli, the loin-clothed kid hero of The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling. A part of the core area of the national park is renamed after this famous fictional character, and called the Mowgli Pench Sanctury.
Pench National Park covers an immense area of around 758 sq km, out of which almost 300 sq km is comprised of the core jungle area. The remaining 464 sq km makes the buffer zone around the core area.
The core area and the buffer zone of Pench National Park is dotted with small hills and thick teak-wood forest, especially in the southern region, where the Satpura Range ends. The entire area is located at an elevation between 425 m to 620 m, above mean sea level.
This geographical aspect maintains a temperature varying between a chilling 4˚ C in winter to a sweaty 42˚ C in the hot summer months. The area witnesses an average annual rainfall of about 1,300 mm.
What is interesting about Pench?
Pench National Park is amongst the leading tiger reserves in India and has contributed significantly in the conservation of the Royal Bengal Tigers. The once nearly-extinct species of the majestic feline has been successfully revived, thanks to the nation-wide ‘Project Tiger’ initiative by the government.
Flora in Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve
Teak is one of the most commonly-found plant-life in the Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve. Apart from this, the other trees and plants found here include:
- White kulu (Ghost Tree)
Apart from these major trees, you can find numerous other grasses, herbs and shrubs scattered over the plains.
Fauna in Pench National Park and Tiger Reserver
When it comes to the wildlife, Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve offers an immense variety. The Royal Bengal Tiger is the main attraction, for wildlife enthusiasts, here. According to the latest census, the tiger sanctuary was home to over 40 Bengal Tigers.
There are several tigers who are actually celebrities amongst wildlife enthusiasts and photographers, namely Collarwali Tigress, amongst others.
Apart from the tigers, there are approximately 39 other species of mammals, including:
- Indian Leopard
- Wild Boar
- Sloth Bear
- Wild Dog
- Indian Wolf
- Jungle Cat
- Striped Hyena
- Chausingha (Four-Horned Antelope)
- Barking Deer
Avian Life in Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve
The avian population is also remarkable in this region, with an impressive 210 species of birds making their habitat here, including:
- Jungle Fowl
- Crimson-Breasted Barbet
- Crow Pheasant
- Racquet-Tailed Drongo
- Red-Vented Bulbul
- Magpie Robin
- Indian Roller
- Pintail Shoveller
- Lesser Whistling Teal
- Water Fowl
- Blue Kingfisher
Best time to visit Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve
If you wish to witness the verdant forest in its true glory, the best time to visit is between the months of November and May. The winter and summer season are ideal for wildlife spotting as the animals come often come out in the open.
Safari activities and timing
To experience Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve at its best you can take the daily safari tours organized by the park authorities. Visitors can enter the park between 6 in the morning to 10:30 and then again between 3 in the afternoon to 6 in the evening.
Ensure that you call for booking as the immense number of aspirants for safari is considerable and is on a first-come-first-serve basis.
How to reach Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve?
By Flight – The closest airport you can arrive to, from the Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve is the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur (Maharashtra). It is at a distance of around 140 km from the park gates and takes under 3 hours to reach from here.
By Train – The nearest railway station from the Pench Tiger Reserve and National Park is the Nagpur Junction Railway Station. It is at a distance of around 130 km and you can reach Pench by road in around 3 hours from the Nagpur Railway Station.
By Road – Seoni Bus Stand is the closest conveyance point near the Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve, when you are travelling by road. The park gate is only a short distance from here and you can choose to take a bus, or a private taxi, to reach the park.
To ensure that you are able to enjoy your visit to the Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve, you will have to keep in mind certain safety precautions. These are designed to make your stay safe and comfortable so it is essential you follow these regulations.
Wearing full clothing, preferable with multiple layers, is ideal for the safari and staying in the resort as these help to protect against the elements and insects. Ensure to wear clothing whose colors are not too vibrant and contrasting, but should be able to blend with the surrounding colors.
Keeping calm and being consciously quiet within the jungle is a major advice as it helps to prevent disturbing the wildlife around.
Apart from this, there are certain things you need to avoid as well, such as not feeding the animals and not littering. Keeping a safe distance, when observing wildlife, is another smart decision.
Last, but definitely not the least, switch off your mobile, or at least put it on silent mode to enjoy the natural beauty around you as much as possible.
Book a Trip
To enjoy the vibrant natural wonders and amazing wildlife of Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve in comfort, you need to simply contact Waghoba Nagari now.