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Pench National Park in MP in India

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As a content writer Uday loves to write about destinations in India. He often freelances as naturalist/birder at the Tiger Reserves.

Pench Tiger Reserve

Pench National Park in MP comprises of 758 sq. km of forests. The core is of 299 sq.km while the buffer zone is 464 sq.km in area. It is situated in Seoni and Chindwara Districts of MP in India.

The park is also a tiger reserve, it is under the aegis of Project Tiger Program. As conservation unit it aims to protect tigers living in its forests. The Program aims to increase tiger population in the country and conserve their habitats.

There are forty five tigers in the National Park, and efforts are being made to increase their population. In recent times the park has witnessed more big cat activity, and breeding suggesting a move towards success.

The forests are divided between two states Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. The two reserves so created are a contiguous patch of forest intersected by the Pench River and Totlah Doh Dam.

This is the only reserve in Central India where river rafting and hot air balloon safari is possible. The destination is also a birders paradise with many avian wonders all around. Topography of Pench comprises hills and valleys with sparse grasslands.

Fact File:

Park Co-Ordinates: 21.6716° N, 79.3033° E

Maximum Altitude is 620 MSL while lowest is 424 MSL.

Temperature minimum 4 °C in Winter & Maximum 42 °C in summers. Average rainfall is 1300 mm.

Pench Tiger

Tiger at Pench National Park

Tiger at Pench National Park

Pench - Kipling Country

The Central Indian preserve exhibits amazing biodiversity, and was once contiguous with Kanha National Park. The prime animal is the tiger, besides the preserve is home to leopard, Indian wolf, hyena, sloth bear, wild dog, Nilgai, barking deer, sambar, four horned deer and spotted deer. The latter is the main prey base of the Bengal tigers.

This is where Mowgli the Wolf Child was discovered by Lt. Moor and was immortalized by Rudyard Kipling in "Jungle Book". The book highlights the escapades of the wolf child, and his friends Tabaki, Baloo the Bear, Baghira, Kaa and Sher Khan. These pristine forests are a sheer joy for the visitors on safari and the best place in the wild to see the tigers.

Pench Conservation Unit

As a conservation unit the reserve offers protection to wildlife, birds and the forests. Tree felling is completely stopped inside the park. The park management comprises:

  • Field Directory
  • Divisional Forest Officer
  • Park Superintendent
  • Rangers
  • Deputy Rangers
  • Forest Guards

    The Field Director has over all responsibility of park. He is also the Chief Conservator of Forests. He is stationed at Park HQ which is at the nearest town Seoni. The rest of the staff is stationed at the park itself, and is responsible for physical protection of the reserve and regulation of tourism.

    Park elephants and guides also help in patrolling the reserve to prevent poaching. There are a large number of elephant camps and fire prevention huts scattered all along the reserve which act as a look out posts. Most of the staff and camps are equipped with wire less communication systems and patrol vehicles.
Tiger by Kamaljeet Singh

Tiger Day Rally at Pench

Save The Tiger Conservation Rally at Pench

Save The Tiger Conservation Rally at Pench

Overview Pench

Pench is renowned for its safaris. The main gate of the Park is at Turia about ten km from Khawasa on Jabalpur Nagpur Highway. Another entrance gate is at Karmajhiri. The preserve is about 200 km from Jabalpur and 80 km from Nagpur both are connected by air with New Delhi. The reserve is about six hours drive from Kanha.

Tiger Safari

Pench has received much publicity after BBC filmed its tigers. Some other films have also been made on big cats of this reserve. Wildlife safari on jeep is the best recourse to move around the park which opens in the morning and evening. The morning round begins at predawn and ends before lunch time.

Early morning is the best time to sight tigers and leopards though the latter is a rare sight. Herds of Gaur or Bison can also be seen in grasslands. Other animals that can be seen around the grassy meadows and wetlands are deer, Nilgai, sloth bear and wild dog. Spotted deer, wild boar and Hanuman Langur are a common sight besides peacock and many other common birds. Pench-River is the lifeline of this ecosystem and bisects the park into two. It has been dammed for water storage and supply which is unfortunate.

For bird watching, morning time is best as this preserve is an excellent birding destination in MP. There are more than two hundred fifty avian species in the park during winters. Migratory species come from far and wide. Totlah Doh reservoir is a habitat for wetland birds while dense canopy is home to forest species.

The best time for safari is in winters but holiday season should be avoided. Summers are excellent for animal watching but it is very hot. This season is preferred by wildlife photographers who take benefit of good light conditions and proximity of animals. The stressful conditions forces wild mammals to congregate in and around water holes which increases sightings.

Only Jeep Safari is allowed in the park and trekking is not allowed. This is for the safety of tourists and to avoid a direct confrontation with animals of the park. The evening round on every Wednesday are not available inside the core.

Short ride on elephant back is available as tiger show. This is a good way of seeing big cats from close if you have not seen them on the jungle road. At the moment the show is banned but joy rides on elephant back are available.

Since the preserve gets crowded during the peak season it is better to book the park entry in advance. Most of the luxury hotels in Pench book the safari in the park. Else online booking facility at MP Online Portal is best for advance booking for jungle rides. There are many resorts in Pench ranging from 3 star hotel to luxury and budget accommodations.

The park offers a good chance of sighting rare Indian wolf. But it is seen more often outside the park. Hence keep a look out for the animal before you enter the dense canopy of the National Park. You can visit Kanha as well from this reserve since it is about five hours drive.

Pench River

The park gets its name from this river and it is the lifeline of Pench ecosystem. It plays a crucial supportive role during summers whence most of the water bodies in the park dry down. Pench river flows in north to south direction and intersects the park.

The flow spirals down after the winter months but water remains in small pools all along. The river is dammed by a dam called Totlah Doh. Tigers frequent the sandy beds of waterways and are a good place to look for them.

The banks of the water body and the dam are good spots to look for wintering ducks and shore birds. Migratory species arrive in winters hence augment the numbers.

Wildlife Images

Bison

Bison

Langurs

Langurs

Sambar Doe

Sambar Doe

Barking Deer & Peacock

Barking Deer & Peacock

Mating Tigers

Mating Tigers

Kipling Country

Pench Wolf

Indian wolf at Pench National Park in India

Indian wolf at Pench National Park in India

Tigers in Pench

Pench River

Pench River

Pench River

Totlah Doh Dam

Totlah Doh Dam

Totlah Doh Dam

Wildlife Images

Spotted Deer Herd

Spotted Deer Herd

Gray Francolins

Gray Francolins

Sambar Deer

Sambar Deer

Pench River

Pench River

Pench River

Wildlife of Pench

Wildlife of Pench

National Park

Pench National Park

Pench National Park

Big Cat Photo

Big Cat at Pench

Big Cat at Pench

Birding at Pench

Pench is a birding heaven yet to be discovered. The preserve boasts of couple of hundred of bird species inhabiting its dense forests and the Totlah Doh Dam.

The major attractions are:

  • Osprey
  • White Eyed Buzzard
  • Booted Eagle
  • White Backed Vulture
  • Egyptian Vulture
  • Honey Buzzard
  • Changeable Eagle
  • Crested Hawk Eagle
  • Red Kite
  • Red Jungle Fowl
  • Brahminy Duck
  • Comb Duck
  • Lesser Whistling Teal
  • Cotton Pigmy Goose
  • Great Egret
  • Median Egret
  • Cattle Egret
  • Little Egret
  • Grey Heron
  • Purple Heron
  • Great Cormorant
  • Median Cormorant
  • Little Cormorant
  • Eurasian Thick knee
  • Common Iora
  • Collared Scop's Owl
  • Tawny Fish Owl
  • Brown Fish Owl
  • Indian Pitta
  • Peacock
  • Red Jungle Fowl
  • Painted Spurfowl
  • Golden Oriole
  • Black Hooded Oriole
  • Yellow Crowned Wood Pecker
  • White Backed Woodpecker
  • Black Rumped Flameback
  • Velvet Fronted Nuthatch
  • Chestnut Belied Nuthatch
  • Puff Throated Babbler
  • Greater Racket Tailed Drongo
  • Black Drongo
  • Ashy Drongo
  • White Bellied Drongo
  • White Rumped Shama
  • Tailor Bird
  • Ashy Prinia
  • Plain Prinia
  • Zitting Cisticola
  • Brown Rock Chat
  • Chestnut Shouldered Petronia
  • Common Wood Shrike
  • Grey Francolin
  • Painted Francolin
  • Tickell's Flowerpecker
  • Plum Headed Parakeet
  • Greater Coucal
  • Common Stonechat
  • Pied Stone Chat
  • Hume's Warbler
  • Greenish Warbler
  • White Browed Bulbul
  • Red Vented Bulbul
  • Long Tailed Shrike
  • Bay Backed Shrike
  • Gray Shrike
  • Red Avadavat
  • Indian Silver Bill
  • Crested Bunting
  • Rufous Treepie

A professional guide for birding at Pench Tiger Reserve can be hired for a charge. But many of the park guides are very good birders, good enough for an amateur work.

Birds of Pench

Large Cuckoo Shrike

Large Cuckoo Shrike

Malabar Pied Horn Bill

Malabar Pied Horn Bill

Mottled Wood Owl

Mottled Wood Owl

Painted Snipe

Painted Snipe

Bird Photos

Indian Silver Bill

Indian Silver Bill

Large Billed Corw

Large Billed Corw

Rose Ringed Parakeet

Rose Ringed Parakeet

Eurasian Thickknee

Eurasian Thickknee

Open Jeep Safari

Open Jeep Safari

Open Jeep Safari

Location

Pench National Park is situated in Madhya Pradesh while another reserve with same name in the connected forests is situated in Maharashtra. The main Turia Gate is situated ten kilometers from Khawasa in MP. Turia gate can be reached from Nagpur which is eighty kilometers from the park. Nagpur is well connected by rail and air.

Jabalpur is about 200 km from Pench and is connected to New Delhi and Mumbai by air. It is very well connected by rail to major towns.

Kanha National Park is at distance of 175 km, and can be reached in about five hours.

Priyadarshini

Pench National Park is also named a Priyadarshini Tiger Reserve after erstwhile Prime Minster of India Smt. Indira Gandhi. She was always at the forefront of conservation and was dedicated towards preservation of heritage wealth of the country.

Pench National Park Map

Rate Pench

© 2011 Uday Patel

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