Pench National Park

Walk through Pench and one can imagine Mowgli swinging through the trees and almost hear the roar of Sher Khan. Situated on the border of Madhya Pradesh and adjoining Maharashtra, the Pench National Park is as well-known for the abundance of flora and fauna found within the park as the varied species of wildlife. Named after the river that flows nearby, Pench was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1983 and in 1992, Pench was included under the umbrella of "Project Tiger" as the 19th Project Tiger Reserve.

Spread over 758 sq.kms of tropical moist deciduous forest, Pench is one of the most accessible tiger reserves in the country, and just 90 kilometers north of Nagpur. The Reserve is located in the southern part of the Satpura hill range in the Seoni and Chhindwara districts in Madhya Pradesh. The terrain is undulating, with most of the area covered by small hills and mounds.

The forest area of Pench National Park is redolent with tropical dry deciduous teak and interspersed with bamboo trees and other species of shrubs. The 'Kullu tree' (a species of gum tree) in Pench is a highlight, and visitors are often mesmerized by its almost white bark and spread out branches that are a startling contrast to the lush greenery around. In addition there are many rare varieties of herbs and grasses in this region -many of them of medicinal use. Fauna-wise, a number of endangered species have made it their habitat including the Indian wild dog, the wild pig, nilgai, chital, muntjac, gaur, the four-horned antelope and of course tigers. The tiger population in pench is one of the hightest - 55, in number. The park is also rich in bird life with over 200 species like barbets, bulbuls, minivets, orioles, wagtails, munias, mynas, waterfowls, and blue kingfishers. The Pench River and water streams that weave through the area, along with nallahs and ravines provide the perfect habitat for the water birds of this region. This is also the hunting ground for crocodiles and turtles.

Access

The nearest railhead is Seoni which is only 30 kms away from Pench National Park. Nagpur is only 92 kms and a two-hour drive from Pench. Nagpur is very well connected and one can reach Nagpur either by air or train from Delhi, Mumbai and other places in India. Pench is 190 kms from Jabalpur station.

Best time to visit

If you want to catch sight of tigers and other wildlife, plan your visit to the park during the summer months, as this is the time the animals come out in search of waterholes. Winters months maybe may more comfortable, but it is very difficult to view much wildlife during this season. The Pench National Park is open to visitors from early November to end June each year and closed during the rainy season (July- October).

Accommodation

The Pench Jungle Camp is a good place to stay and provides canvas tents and A/c rooms. The Jungle Camp also offers facilities like billiards room, badminton courts, wildlife research centre and a multi cuisine restaurant. The other accommodation facility is Bagh Van Lodge located just five minutes away from the entrance of the Pench National Park. It has cottage-type accommodation and also has a main dining and lounge area.

For more information contact:

Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. 4th Floor, Gangorti Complex, T.T. Nagar, Bhopal - 462 003. Tel.: (0755) 277 8383, 277 4343, Fax: (0755) 277 4289, 277 2384