Pench National Park
Pench National Park is in Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh in India. It derives its name from the Pench River that flows through the park from north to south dividing the park into almost equal western and eastern halves, It was declared a sanctuary in 1977 but raised to the status of national park in 1983. In 1992, it was established as a tiger reserve. The park is famous for rafting. In 2011, the park won the “Best Management Award“.
The forest cover in the park area includes teak mixed with other species like saja, bijiayasal, lendia, haldu, dhaora, salai, aonla, and amaltas. The ground is covered with maze of grasses, plants, bushes and saplings. Bamboo is also found at places. Scattered white kulu trees, also referred to as ‘ghost tree’, stand out conspicuously among the various hues of green. Another important tree for both wildlife and tribal people of this region is mahua. The flowers of this tree are eaten by mammals and birds, and also harvested by the tribal people as food and to brew beer.
The Royal Bengal tiger is the main cat species of the park present in good numbers, but since last one year due to 6 new born cubs their sightings have increased and being sighted almost everyday. As per latest Tiger Census, there are approximately 40 tigers in the park, 39 species of mammals, 13 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians. Commonly seen wildlife is chital, sambar, nilgai, wild pig, and jackal. Also Indian leopard, sloth bear, Indian wolf, wild dog, porcupine, monkey, jungle cat, fox, striped hyena, gaur, four-horned antelope and barking deer live in the park.
The park is rich in bird life too. According to an estimate of the wildlife authorities, the park harbours more than 210 species including several migratory ones. Some of them are peafowl, junglefowl, crow pheasant, crimson-breasted barbet, red-vented bulbul, racket-tailed drongo, Indian roller, magpie robin, lesser whistling teal, pintail, shoveller, egret and herons, minivet, oriole, wagtail, munia, myna, waterfowl and blue kingfisher.
Visiting times and nearest station
The best time to visit the park is between November and May. The park is open to visitors between 6 am and 10:30 am and between 3 pm and 6 pm. The park remains closed during July, August and September. The park can be accessed by road and railway. The nearest airport, railway station is Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, Nagpur and closest city is Seoni, bus can be taken to the park. Turiya is the nearest highway stop near Pench. Open jeep safaris are allowed from each of the gates twice in a day, with a fixed quota for each gate, for each schedule. Elephant safaris used to be conducted at a time, but have been discontinued these days.
Wildlife Safari in Pench National Park
Wildlife safari timing in Pench national park is just like most parks in the country. Timings for entry into, and exit from, the park vary according to the season. In winters, due to the shorter duration of daylight hours, the morning entry time is later and evening exit time is earlier.
Morning Safari: 0730 hrs
Evening Safari: 1500 hrs
Morning Safari: 1030 hrs
Evening Safari: 1730 hrs
Morning Safari: 0630 hrs
Evening Safari: 1600 hrs
Morning Safari: 0930 hrs
Evening Safari: 1830 hrs.