Pench National Park It is in Seoni and Chhindwara
Pench National Park 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”. This park is accessible from Pauni on National Highway 7 and has two famous entry gates, Turiya and Karmajhiri. The area of the present Pench Tiger Reserve has been described in Ain-i-Akbari, and is the setting of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. There are 10 villages in the national park, one inside the park and nine on the periphery.
Pench National Park comprises 758 km2, out of which 299 km2 form a core, the Pench National Park core area and Mowgli Pench Sanctuary.
The remaining 464 km2 form the buffer zone. The protected area is covered with small hills and well-stocked teak mixed forest in the southern reaches of the Satpura Ranges. Elevation ranges from 425 to 620 m. The temperature varies from 4 °C (39 °F) in December to 42 °C (108 °F) in May. Average rainfall is 1,300 mm (51 in).
The forest cover in the park area include steak mixed with other species like saja, bijiayasal, lendia,
The ground is covered with maze of gasses, plants, bushes and saplings.
Bamboo is also found at places. Scatteredwhite 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 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 apprx 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, andjackal. 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,
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 one time, but have been discontinued these days.
The undulating topography supports a mosaic of vegetation ranging from moist, sheltered valleys to open, dry deciduous forest. Over 1200 species of plants have been recorded from the area including several rare and endangered plants as well as plants of ethno-botanical importance. The area has always been rich in wildlife. It is dominated by fairly open canopy, mixed forests with considerable shrub cover and open grassy patches. The high habitat heterogeneity favours high population of Chital and Sambar. Pench tiger reserve has highest density of herbivores in India.
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