“We must not always talk in the marketplace of what happens to us in the forest.”
– Nathaniel Hawthorne

The word is based on the river Pench which divides the very famous national park of the same name into two, similar eastern and western halves. Turiya and Karmajhiri are two entrances to this tiger reserve. The park itself is situated in the Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh.

Interestingly, Abul Fazl’s historic ‘Ain-i-Akbari’ or ‘The Constitution of Akbar’ also takes into account the area where the modern-day park of Pench is, and the closest airport from where the park can be accessed is Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, Nagpur.

Pench national park

Flora Pench national park

The lush green vegetation of the forest is a varied mix of teak, axle wood, Malabar kino and sundry interesting varieties of plants. The floor underneath is covered with various kinds of grass, bushes, and saplings. The famous ‘Mahua’ tree is also found in the forest, and locals use the seeds and fruit for several purposes, including food and the popular brew bearing the same name.

You can spot Bamboo trees as well as ‘Ghost trees’ – the white Kulu tree, with the pastel-colored bark. These trees are important for tribal people as they consume gums and seeds produced by it.

Fauna

Nilgai, sambars, wild pigs and jackals can be easily seen. The Indian leopard, the sloth bear, Indian wolves can be spotted. Porcupines, monkeys, foxes, wild dogs, striped hyenas, four-horned antelopes, and barking deer also live in the national park. But, of course, the most famous inhabitant is the Royal Bengal tiger, one of the most charismatic breeds. Tiger-sightings are fortunately very frequent here, and it’s easy enough to see your first tiger in the Pench National Park.

With the addition of six new cubs, the chances of a tiger sighting have improved. And do not to forget the sleek leopards and foxes.

It is believed that Pench might have been the setting for Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book‘.I advise you to keep an eye on your surroundings very carefully during your trip to this amazing place.  You might just spot Sher Khan or Baloo and come back to tell the tale!

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Sharad Vats

Born and brought up in New Delhi, it was Sharad’s childhood passion to play cricket for India. While on a holiday in 1990, he saw his first tiger. Little did he know that this one sighting would immerse him into a realm where forests and tigers were all that mattered. Sharad’s experiences as a wildlife photographer have inspired him to observe the tiger’s behavior for over 30 years and motivated him on his own journey as an entrepreneur. He started Nature Safari India Pvt Ltd, with a focus on “Conservation through Tourism.” to align himself to the mission of saving the regal species and repopulating them in India’s forests. In 2006, he set up one of India’s premier jungle lodges in Kanha National Park. Sharad believes that there are many lessons to be learned from a tiger that can be applied successfully to leadership—both in business and in life. Here's a new book by Sharad Vats on management and leadership skills to learn from a Tiger. Buy now on Amazon

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