Pench National Park
Pench National Park derived its name from the river ‘Pench’. It lies in Seoni and
Chindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling comes to life in
these forests. All characters in the book like ‘Sher Khan’ a vengeful Tiger, ‘Bagheera’, ‘Baloo’,
the funny honey eating bear and pack of wolfs too, family of the main protagonist ‘Mowgli’ can be found in the jungle. The character of Mowgli was inspired by the real incident of a boy found by William Henry Sleeman in the year 1831, who was reported to be raised by a pack of wolf in the village of satavadi close to the hills in Seoni.
Other than the famous “ Jungle Book”, the description of its natural beauty can be read in the ancients text of Ioni Akbari and some books on wildlife and natural history published in last two-three centuries like “Seonee, or camp life in Satpura range” by R.A. Sterndale, “Highlands of Central India” by James Forsyth and “ Wild animals of Central India” by A.A . Dunbar Brander. It has also been awarded as “ Best maintain tourist-friendly national park” in the year 2006-07.
Pench became a National Park in the year 1983 and part of Project Tiger in 1992. It has a total area of 1179 sq. km out of which total core zone of the forest is 411 sq. km and surrounding buffer zone is 768 sq. km. The core zones are Touria, Karmajhiri, Jamtara and buffer zones are Khawsa, Telia and Rukhad.
The park can be divided into three categories, southern tropical dry deciduous teak forest, southern tropical wet forest and mixed forest. Other than major teak trees one can find a mix of Saja, Mahua and Indian Ghost trees too. The vegetation is of undulating scrublands as well as bamboo patches around hilly areas.
It is also rich in Fauna. Known to have 39 species of mammal, the most dominant predator is Tiger and there are around 40+ of them in these prey-rich woodlands. There are some other predators like Dhols (Indian Wild Dog), Leopard, Hyena, Wolf, Jackal and the occasional Jungle Cat.
Sharp alarm calls of Spotted Deers, Sambhar, Barking Deer, Chou Singha or four-horned Antilope, Nilgai, and Langurs can be heard as the predator walk through tall grasslands, hunting in all his natural glory.
Amongst more than 285 species of birds, some common resident birds of Pench National Park are Black Drongo, Spotted Dove, Laughing Dove, White-throated Kingfisher, Red- Wattled Lapwing, near the Totladoh Dam on river Pench. It’s also a birder’s paradise with species such as common Kingfisher, Indian Pitta, Indian roller, Orial, Racket-tailed drongo, and Crimson-Breasted Barbet. Other birds of prey that can be spotted are Eagles, Buzzards, and Shikra.
The park mainly has three entry and exit gates in the state of Madhya Pradesh namely Touria, Karmajhiri, and Jamtara through which 65, 12 and 8 jeeps respectively pass to explore wildlife in the National Park. There is another entry gate named Khursapada in the state of Maharashtra which lets you explore another part of the forest. This park is also known for night safaris in the Khawasa buffer area in which there are chances to see Mottled- Wood owl.