Pench National Park

Pench National Park is in Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh. It derives its name from the Pench River that flows through the park from north to south dividing the park into almost equal western and eastern halves, the well-forested areas of Seoni and Chhindwara districts respectively. It was declared a sanctuary in 1977 but raised to the status of national park in 1983. In 1992, it was established as a tiger reserve. This park is accessible from Pauni on National Highway 7 and has two famous entry gates, Turiya and Karmajhiri. While the least popular gate is the Jamtara gate that allows only two vehicles. Park is open for tourists from 1st of October to 30th of June. There are Safari round in the morning and in the evening. Park remains closed for tourists on Wednesday afternoon. There are around 94 private gypsies registered at Turia gate, 4 private gypsy registered at Karmajhiri gate. Registered Park Guides are available at Turia, Karmajhiri & Jamtara Gates. The Park functions between 6 am to 10:30 am in the morning and 3 pm to 6 pm in the evening.

Pench National Park comprises 758 sq km, out of which 299 sq km form a core area. The remaining 464 sq km form the buffer zone. The protected area is covered with small hills and mixed forest comprising mostly of Teak in the southern reaches of the Satpura Ranges. The temperature varies from 4 °C in December to 42 °C in May.

Prominent Places of the Park:

Turia Gate – entry point 2.2
Alikatta – the central hub and meeting point of the Park.
Piyorthadi – rocky area famous for leopard sightings.
Junewani Talao – a small picturesque pond.
Jamun Nala Area – mostly Grassland.
Chindimatta – junction of roads from Chindwara-Seoni-Maharashtra.
Sitaghat /Raiyakassa – for a breathtaking view of the banks of river Pench and birding.
Kalapahad – highest point in the park. Wireless tower installed. Closed for tourists.
Bodha Nala – Lake and very pretty area
Baghin Nala – most famous for Tiger sightings in the past few seasons
Bijamatta – a pond with rocky terrain and hills nearby.
Karmajhari – Entry gate on another side of Seoni Range.

Fauna: The Bengal tiger is the main cat species of the park present in good numbers. As per latest Tiger Census, there are approximately 40 tigers in the park, 39 species of mammals, 13 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians. Commonly seen wildlife is chital, sambar, nilgai, wild pig, and jackal. Also Indian leopard, sloth bear, Indian wolf, wild dog, porcupine, monkey, jungle cat, fox, striped hyena, gaur, four-horned antelope and barking deer live in the park. The park is rich in bird life too. According to an estimate of the wildlife authorities, the park harbours more than 210 species including several migratory ones. Some of them are peafowl, jungle fowl, crow pheasant, crimson-breasted barbet, red-vented bulbul, racket-tailed drongo, Indian roller, magpie robin, lesser whistling teal, pintail, shoveller, egret and herons, minivet, oriole, wagtail, munia, myna, waterfowl and kingfisher.

Flora: The forest cover in the park area includes teak mixed with other species like saja, bijaya sal, lendia, haldu, dhaora, salai, aonla, amaltas. The ground is covered with a maze of grasses, plants, bushes and saplings. Bamboo is also found at places. Scattered white Kulu trees, also referred to as ‘ghost tree’, stand out conspicuously among the various hues of green. Another important tree for both wildlife and tribal people of this region is Mahua. The flowers of this tree are eaten by mammals and birds, and also harvested by the tribal people as food and to brew beer.

*(All the above information are from Wikipedia, http://www.penchnationalpark.com/ and http://www.penchtiger.co.in/)

Transport:

Airport: The nearest airport is Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport at Nagpur about 90 km from the National Park.

Rail: Nagpur is the nearest railway station from Pench National park, Nagpur Junction is well connected to all the city of India. Jabalpur railway station is around 200 km from the park.

Road: Nagpur is only 88 km from Pench via Seoni (NH 7) Nagpur is well connected all the Major City of India.

Local: State Transport Buses run from Nagpur to Madhya Pradesh. The main entrance gate at Turia is 12km from Khawasa. Khawasa lies on the Nagpur – Jabalpur NH-7 just on the border of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Khawasa is 80kms from Nagpur and 190 km from Jabalpur end. Gypsy Safaris in the wilderness of the thick jungle provides one with a finicky feeling. Besides this, one can opt for a pleasant walk through the deep woods. A Camp in the midst of thick woods.

Tourist Interest: To live in the vicinity of forest and feel the excitement of seeing the wildlife in their natural habitat.

Tour Planner: This tour planner is made on the basis of the location of the destinations. One can make changes as per their interest, convenience and accessibility and duration of the trip. The other place of interest near is the Tadoba Wildlife Sanctuary.

Day 1: Reach the Pench National Park either from Nagpur or Jabalpur. Take a walk in the surrounding woods in the late afternoon or can also go for the afternoon safari that starts at 3 pm.

Day 2: Early morning go for a nature walk and bird watching trip. Can also opt for the morning Safari.

Day 3: After lunch return from Pench.

Hotels: Online booking is always preferable for discounts in tariff. Hotels in Pench are MPTDC Kipling’s Court, Pench Jungle Camp, Tathastu, Riverwood Forest Retreat, Mahua Vann, Tuli Tiger Corridor, Mowgli’s Den and more.

Read my experience in Pench National Park.

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