Pench National Park - The Mowgli Land
Pench National Park is situated in the Seona district of Madhya Pradesh, India. It derives its name from Pench River that meanders through the park from North to South dividing it into equal halves. Though the river dries up in April, a number of water pools known as 'dohs' are found, which serve as water holes for animals. It was declared as a national park in 1983 and later in 1992 it came under the Tiger reserve area. In 2011, it won the best management award. This is the only national park famous for water rafting. The park has two main entry gates: Turiya and Karmajhiri. The area of the park is 293 km with well-stocked teak mixed trees in the southern Satpura hills.
The area of this reserve has a glorious history. A description of its richness and natural wealth can be witnessed in Ain-I-Akbari. Pench Tiger Reserve is the original setting of Rudyard Kipling's work The Jungle book.
An extravagance of trees, shrubs, grasses, climbers, weeds, herbs, saplings the park is abundant in tropical dry deciduous forest mixed with bamboos, which are sparsely located in restricted valleys. Teak and its associates mahua, moyan, mokha, bija, garari, ghont, kahir and palas are also found.
Tiger is the main species in the park found in good number. Commonly seen wildlife is Chital, Sambhar, Nilgai and Wild Boar. Other animals to be spotted are leopard, sloth bear, wild dog, porcupine, jungle cat, wolf and hyena. Apart from being home to a number of endangered species, it includes 39 species of mammals, 13 species of reptiles and 3 species of amphibians.
Here bird life is equally bountiful. The bird population counts to be over 210 species, which include both migratory and resident birds like Malabar pied hornbills, barbets, bulbul, mynas, waterfowls, wagtails, munias, 4 endangered vulture species and green pigeon, which is the state bird.
The spot is perhaps the prettiest location in the park. It brings us to the banks of River Pench; an excellent spot for wildlife viewing.
It is the hub around which centre of the park is planned. It is a wide expanse of grassland where it is possible to come across any of the animals.
Jeep Safari and Elephant Safari are the best ways to explore this deep dense expanse reserve.
When to Visit
Best time to visit is between February and April and the park is open to visitors from early November to mid June. It is closed during July to September.
How to Reach
Nagpur is the nearest airport, 70 km away and well-connected to major cities.
Nearest bus junction is at Seoni, which is 30 km away and is connected to all major towns and cities.
Nearest railhead is Seoni, at a distance of 30km and regular trains run between Seoni and Jabalpur and Nagpur.