One of the newer reserves under the “Project Tiger”, Pench has received instant international recognition with the wildlife enthusiasts as it boasts of a growing Tiger population amidst reports of declining Tiger population elsewhere in India and the world. In the summer of 2008, the Pench Tiger Reserve announced sightings of two Tigresses with seven healthy cubs! According to the Forest Minister, “Conditions congenial for wildlife have developed at the Pench National Park at a much faster pace than any other national park. That is the reason why wild animals and birds are multiplying in the natural way. While both carnivores and herbivores can be spotted anytime and anywhere in the park, the birth of seven Tiger cubs has infused new life.”
For fans of Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Book”, Pench is a must visit as it was in this forest that the stories of “Mowgli” and “Bagheera” were forever immortalized!
Pench National Park is located on the southern boundary of Madhya Pradesh, bordering Maharashtra, in the districts of Seoni and Chhindwara and spread over an area of 752 sq kms. The Park named after the river Pench, which meanders through the entire stretch of the national park and provides stunningly large water bodies as good watering holes for the diverse wild life. Hills,
teak forests and jungle valleys all of which form a beautiful landscape dominate the Park. Kala Pahar hill as the highest feature in the park reaches 650mts above sea level.
Wildlife & Birds
Pench is home to a variety of wild life and more famously for the Royal Bengal Tiger. However, Leopard sightings in this park stated to be amongst the best in India. Other predators in the park are Dhole (Indian Wild Dog), Wolf, Hyena, Jackal, and the Jungle Cat. The vast expanse of pastures and meadows along the river is a good breeding ground where you can catch herds of Cheetal, Sambar, Wild Boar and Gaur.
The park is a delight for bird lovers and is home to more than 300 species of birds including Orioles, Wagtails, White eyed buzzard, Horn bills, Kingfisher, Barbets, Orioles, Minivets, the crested serpent eagle, crested hawk eagle and a host of Raptors.
Flora & Fauna
The forested area is a blend of dry deciduous forest and tropical moist deciduous forest, rich with beautiful shrubs, trees and climbers. You can sit back and let your eyes wander through the beautiful landscape. The crunch of gravel breaks the silence of the enchanted forest as you cruise past some amazing specimens: giants with twisting tentacles and arched branches, sculptural and ghost-white ficus racmosa with bleached roots clasping black boulders and lofty Teak trees with dusty leaves. Teak, Mahua, Tendu, Arjun, Bija, Amaltas and Palas all find their home here. The common grasses are Kans, Nal, and Chhir.