PENCH NATIONAL PARK
Curled up in the arms of the lofty Satpura ranges in the Seoni district, Pench National Park has its topography varying between ridges, undulating flat hills, dense forest, twisted streams and open meadows. The Pench river which flows through the heart of the national park and many other small water ponds are the source of water to the wild inmates of this park. Rudyard Kipling, the famous author who wrote Jungle Book was motivated to write his book by the enthralling lush green and rich wildlife of the Pench National Park.
The park with a core area of 758 sq kms, was declared as a sanctuary in the year 1977 and this beauteous abode of the animal world attained the grade of a Tiger Reserve in the year 1992. The forest has a cover of rich vegetation ranging from dry deciduous to wet/moist vegetation while some part of the forest is also covered by stretch of shrubs and tract of grass. Naturists have discovered over 1200 plant varieties here.
The national park consists of huge number of Chital, Sambar, Wild Dog, Nilgai and The Gaur wandering in the jungles. Tiger, the prime hunter can be witnessed in good numbers. Leopard, Wild Pig, Wolf, Sloth Bear, Chousingha, Chinkara, Barking Deer, Jackal, Fox, Palm Civet, Small Indian Civet, Jungle Cat, Hyena, Porcupine are the other important inhabitants of this forest. The national park is symmetrically prosperous in bird life as well. The national park is known to have about 285 bird species. The important ones are Malabar Pied Hornbill, Indian Pitta, Osprey, Grey-headed Fishing Eagle, White-eyed Buzzard. The park is also an abode for the migratory birds which come in huge numbers and breed during the winter. Waterfowl including Brahmini Duck, Pochards, Barheaded Geese, Coots are some of the foreign birds. The 4 species of vulture such as the white-rumped, longbilled, white scavenger and king vulture, which are facing the threat of extinction can be spotted here as well. Apart from wildlife, the National Park with good collection of fishes and insects is a major study hub for the ichthyologists and entomologists.
This is a must visit spot for the people interested in wildlife and forestry. Carrying of cameras and binoculars make the visit more interesting.
SPECTACULAR PLACES IN AND AROUND NATIONAL PARK
Sitaghat : Sitaghat is one of the loveliest spots in the national park. The place looks stunning with small pieces of rocks beautifully placed in the waters of the Pench River. It is an out of the world experience to witness the pretty white flowers covering the small shrubs in the spring months. It is also a good place for bird and animal watching. Sunset can be best enjoyed here.
Alikatta : This place consists of amazing spread of grassland where the deer come in large groups to munch on the green grass.
Chhindimatta Road : This is a famous rugged rocky path with highs and lows which lead to the Pench reservoir. Buzzards, eagles , hawks and leopards can be spotted here.
Bodhanala range : This is a charming place where one can witness the topography varying from sloppy hills to bamboo cover where also a large pond can be spotted. One can spot the predator birds here carefully looking out for its prey. Ducks and cormorant and the lucky ones can even spot a tiger as well.
Raiyakassa : This is a watch tower built by the forest department to have a fantabulous view of the forest.
HOW TO REACH
By Air : Nagpur which is 92 kms from Pench can be opted by those who are willing to travel by air.
By Bus : Bus facilities are available to Jabalpur (195km), Nagpur (92km), Chhindwara ( 120 km), Seoni (60km).
By Rail : Jabalpur about 195 kms is the major railhead..