kanha-national-park

Pench National Park

Introduction
Pench National Park Pench National Park is a popular Tiger Reserve spread on southern border of Madhya Pradesh state with some area in Maharashtra state. It is close to Nagpur city of Maharashtra state. Its name Pench is derived from Pench river that flows through this national park. Pench Tiger Reserve is also popularly known as Mowgli’s land as British Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling’s classic “”The Jungle Book”, released n year 1894, is based on real life story of a boy, with similar characteristics, captured from jungle, far before Jungle Book was written. This tiger reserve comprises Indira Priyadarshini Pench National Park & Mowgli Pench Sanctuary with buffer zone area. It is located on southern slopes of Satpura ranges in which other national parks like Kanha & Satpura National Park is also situated. If we go by Indian history, we can find the reference of this forest in popular books like Ain-i-Akbari, Highlands of Central India, Seonee-Camp life in Satpura Hills etc.

In year 1977, it was first declared as Pench sanctuary and later in year 1983, it sanctuary was declared as Pench National Park and later in 1992 it was included in Project Tiger and named Pench Tiger Reserve. Total park area is 757.907 sq. kms. Like other tiger reserves, it is also divided into core & buffer zones. Pench Core Zone is of 292.860 sq.kms. where as buffer zone is of 465.047 sq. kms. About 54 sq.kms. area of park is submerged into Pench river water due to hydroelectric Totladoh dam on it. Due to its closeness to Nagpur city which is counted among big cities of India, wildlife lovers frequently visit this national park. It is known for having highest density of herbivores animals in India. Sighting of Wild Dogs, Sambhar, Indian Gaur (Bison), spotted deer etc. is very common. Park has got appreciation for its user friendly management practices and remain away from negative publicity.

How to reach
How to reach Pench National Park Being located close to Nagpur city, and spread on National Highway No.7, Pench National Park is easily accessible by flight, train or road. There are 03 entrance gates for jungle safari: Touria, Karmajhiri & Jhamtara. Among them Touria gate is most popular one where accommodation facility of all category is available for visitors. Accessibility details as per various means of transport are as given below:
By Flight: Nagpur (100kms/02:30hrs) & Jabalpur (200kms/04:30hrs) airports are best suitable for reaching Pench Tiger Reserve. In between them, Nagpur International Airport is large one with direct flight connectivity with important cities like Sharjah, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Raipur, Indore etc. Jabalpur airport has flight connectivity with Delhi & Mumbai only.
By Train: Again Nagpur & Jabalpur are most suitable place to reach by train for visiting Pench park. Nagpur railway station is nearest one at a distance of 100kms. Nagpur railway station (Railway code: NGP) has direct train connectivity with Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Agra, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Pune. Lucknow, Bhopal etc. Similarly Jabalpur railway station (190kms) has direct train connectivity with cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Agra, Jaipur, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Varanasi etc.
By Road: Pench forest area is spread over National Highway No.7 that connects Varanasi to Kanyamumari. Visitors can easily visit this park by road from other nearby cities & tourist destinations like Nagpur, Chindwara, Jabalpur, Raipur, Kanha National Park, Tadoba National Park, Satpura National Park etc.

Pench Jungle Safari
Just like other national park of Madhya Pradesh, Central India, two rounds of safari are offered to visitors. All safaris are done on open petrol jeeps that enters into park through 03 entrance gates: Touria, Karmajhiri & Jhamtara. Among them Touria gate is preferred by visitors due to many reasons like availability of number of resorts & lodges under every budget category, higher number of entry tickets etc. Other 02 entrance gates are rarely used as accommodation facility is poor and also few tickets are offered to visitors who are entering into park from those gates.
Pench Park Safari Timming:
Safari Details
Entry Time
Exit Time
Morning Safari
06:00 Hours
10:20 Hours
Evening Safari
14:30 Hours
17:30 Hours

During jungle safari, one may have a chance to do elephant ride during Tiger Show Program or may take exclusive elephant safari. To avoid congestion inside the park, route-system is implemented here also which means safari vehicle is not allowed to go to any other area of park which does not lies in his allotted route.
Pench Safari Booking  Jungle Safari booking system for the park is similar as for Kanha & Bandhavgarh National Park. On can do Pench Safari Booking through resort, travel agent or directly at the entrance gate counter. Here one should understand the composition of a jungle safari cost. There are 03 components of a Jungles safari: Entrance ticket, Guide fee & Vehicle charge. Forest department do advance booking of entrance ticket only. Guide fee is paid at the time of entrance and visitor has to arrange safari vehicle by his own. Another way to book complete safari through travel agent or resort in which they will arrange all 3 things for the visitor. Here charge is as per vehicle and not as per person. Maximum 06 visitors are allowed in a single vehicle. It means chare will remain same for 01 or 06 visitors. Except New Year time, Christmas, Diwali festival time, there is no problem of entrance tickets. Last 15 days of December month remain crowded in Pench. It is always recommended to do the accommodation & safari booking in advance of about 20-30 days.

Mammal attractions in Pench
Pench sanctuary is known for highest density of herbivores animals like Indian Bison (Gaur), Spotted Deer, Blue Bull, Sambar, Languars etc. Sighting of Gaur & Wild dogs is good in this forest. Prominent mammal attractions of Pench Tiger Reserve are: Tiger, Indian Bison, Leopard, Wild Dogs, Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Sambar, Blue Bull, Langurs, Spotted Deer, Indian Fox, Indian Wolf, Common Mongoose, Indian Palm Civet, Common Giant Flying Squirrel, Striped Hyena, Indian Porcupine etc.

Birds in Pench Forest
Birds sighting in this forest is considered good. Even on the way to Pench one can easily find birds like: Spotted Dove, Rose-ringed Parakeets, Indian Roller, Little Green Bee-eaters, Black Kites, Black Drongos, Jungle Babblers, Common Indian Crow, Red-vented Bulbuls, Baya weaver etc. During safari hours we can witness good number of hardly seen birds like: Chestnut-shouldered Petronias, White-throated Kingfishers, Crested Serpend Eagle, Crested Hawk Eagle, Treepies, Racket tailed drongos, White bellied drongos, Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lards, Shikra, Grey Hornbills, Malabar Pied Hornbills, Coppersmith Barbets, Yellow-wattled Lapwings, Ruddy Shelduck, Tufted Duck, Common Teal, Common Pochard, Fufous Woodpecker etc.   

Pench Climate & Weather
Park remains open for visitors from mid October to June month. During this time one can experience cool, cold, spring, hot climate. Month-wise  climatic conditions is as follows:

Description
Oct
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
June
July
Aug
Sept
Min. Temp. Approx
25
20
07
03
15
20
30
35
37
34
28
25
Max. Temp. Approx
35
28
15
12
28
35
40
45
47
42
38
35
Climate
Cool
Cold
Spring
Hot
Rainy

Best time to visit
Pench National Park remains open for visitors from October to June month. Nov-Dec-Jan is the time of winters season and Mar-Apr-May-June is the summer time. Park usually remains closed during monsoon season (Jul-Aug-Sept). Foreigner visitors usually prefer to visit in winters due to holidays in their country and also due to preferred climate in Climate India. But wildlife photographer’s like to visit in beginning of summers i.e. in months of February – March – April as it is considered good for tiger sighting & other animals in & around water sources.
Best time to visit Pench national park depends upon the intention with which visitor is coming here. If a visitor is interested in Bird watching then we recommends months of Nov-Dec-Jan as good time as during this time migratory birds arrives here. Similarly in the month of March & April, park remain glowing like fire due to presence of flowering in Flame of Forest tree and availability of Mahua (fruit from Indian Butter Tree). This time also we can find various birds species on tree. 

Worst time to visit
Visiting a wildlife park can never be the worst. It is a different world of animals that we have seen in pictures & movies only. Away from hustle & bustle of urban life-style, in midst of nature and beautiful birds and colorful wild animals is a lifetime soulful experience. Things that could be declared as worst are quality of accommodation, climate & jungle safari arrangements.  In peak season, one may face the problem of safari entry tickets, accommodation availability problem etc, that could lead to declare tour as “Not so good”. Such problem may arise during December month weekends when a local visitor gathers in parks to celebrate the New year and enjoy the safari. 

During this time resorts tariff increased by 30-50% and similar is the case of safari charges. One should also avoid to visit park in the date of Holi festival (held in month of March) as often park remain closed on festival date for full-day or half-day. During this festival time, villagers often force the vehicle to stop and demand the donation on mandatory basis or may behave shabbily after consuming alcoholic drinks. Similarly months of May & June severe heat waves may pose problem especially in afternoon safaris.

Accommodation
For accommodation in Pench National Park, rooms are available in all entrance gates but again close to Touria entrance gate, one can have much more options for different budget category visitors. In Karmajhiri & Jhamtara entrance gate on forest department offers limited room facility for budget category visitors. But due to their location in forest area, away from distrubance visitors often opt those options. On the other hand private professionals resorts & lodges of all budget category (Luxury, Standard & Budget) are available at Touria gate only. Entry ticket quota of Touria gate is also much more in comparision to other two gates.

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