Pench national park is located in two states, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Part of the Highlands of Central India. One of the few areas in central India which has a teak forest. It shares a healthy corridor with Kanha National Park. There is a lot of movement of animals in this corridor including the Tigers. There have been occasions when some Tigers have migrated from Kanha to Pench and backwards. Tiger population is very healthy in Pench, and has infact increased in last 4-5 years. But what is really good about Pench is the healthy population of Dholes, the Indian Wild Dog. In one range of Pench Indian Grey Wolves are also sighted which are very rare. Population of Indian Gaur is very healthy here. Pench river flows through the forest, and a huge Totladoh dam is also a part of this national park. Pench has very good birding as well. Close to 300 species of birds have made Pench their home.
Initially only Turia gate was pen for tourism. Now, Karmajhiri, Jamtarra, Rukhad have also been opened. Besides, one can also enter from the Maharashtra gates of the Pench. Just a two hour drive from Nagpur, and only 5 hours from Satpura, 4 hours from Kanha, and 4 hours from Tadoba, makes it a very integral part in any wildlife itinerary.
Area: 1179 sq. km- 411 sq. km is core and 768 sq. km is buffer forest.
Coordinates: Latitude: 21.7630° N, Longitude:79.3391° E
Weekly Off: Wednesday Afternoon Safari (Maharashtra: Khursapar Gate is open on Wednesday, but closed on Tuesday)
Yearly Off: Holi, Diwali
Functional Days: From 01st Oct to 30th June
Forest Type: South Indian Moist Deciduous (Maharastha)
Southern Tropical Moist Deciduous (Madhya Pradesh)
Key Species of Pench National Park
Indian Grey Wolf
Greater Racket Tailed Drongo
White Naped Woodpecker
Indian Paradise Flycatcher
Lesser Yellow Nape
Mottled Wood Owl
Orange Headed Thrush
Indian Rock Python
Bengal Monitor Lizard
Common Cat Snake
Common Wolf Snake
Common Rat Snake
Safari Zones of Pench National Park
Every park is divided into 3 kinds of zones: Core, Buffer and Reserved. Core zone is the protected area of the jungle. It acts as a referral point on the natural state of the ecosystems represented by the biosphere reserves. Wildlife and natural resources are strictly protected by the forest department. Buffer zone is where animals and a percentage of human life co-exist peacefully. Lastly, reserved forest acts as a virtual boundary for the forest. That being said, animals don’t know what a “zone” is. They roam around freely in the entire forest for it is their home.
Pench has 3 core zones, Touria, Karmajhiri and Jhamtara (zones in Madhya Pradesh). The other two zones fall in the state of Maharashtra, namely: Khursapar and Sillari. Touria is the most preferred safari zone due to proximity of various resorts and higher number of entry tickets, the other zones are equally amusing. The zones in Madhya Pradesh are closed for afternoon safari on Wednesday whereas the zones in Maharashtra are closed for safaris on Tuesday.
Reaching Pench National Park
Reaching Pench by Train is simple too. Trains to Nagpur Railway Station – 100 km and Jabalpur Railway Station – 190 km from the park, run from major cities in the country, like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata etc. One can drive to Pench National Park post this point.
Pench is a jungle, naturally not having an air strip. However, it is well connected to cities in Madhya Pradesh, that do. Nagpur – 100 kms and Jabalpur – 200 kms from the park, are well connected by air with major cities in the country, i.e. New Delhi and Mumbai.
Pench is connected to major towns in Madhya Pradesh, that can be travelled to by air or by train. Nagpur: At a mere distance of 100 kms, Nagour is just a 02 hour drive from the Park. Jabalpur: At a mere distance of 200 kms, Jabalpur is just a 04-04.5 hour drive from the Park.
Weather and Clothing
❯ DO NOT carry shiny/bright colored clothing. Instead, carry earthy colors like shades of dull green or olive green, beige, and grey. Black is also avoidable as it attracts mosquitos.
❯ Carry comfortable, breathable clothes (cotton) in summer.
❯ Carry layers (4-5) of thin woolen clothes rather than one heavy jacket for winter. Layers are a lot more helpful through the varying temperatures during the day.
❯ Carry a wind cheater/rain coat just in case there is a light shower.
❯ Carry a Cap/Hat during summer.
❯ Avoid wearing strong perfume while on safari. Animals have a strong sense of smell and it may distract them.
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