Pench National Park
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|Pench National Park
पेंच नेशनल पार्क
Pench National Park is situated in Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh in India. It derives its name from the Pench River that flows through the National park from north to south dividing the park into almost equal western and eastern halves- the well forested areas of Seoni and Chhindwara districts respectively. It was declared a sanctuary in 1977 but raised to the status of National park in 1983. Later it was established as Tiger Reserve area in 1992. Park is famous for water rafting, only national park. In year 2011 park won the Best Management Award. This Park is accessible from Pauni on National Highway 7. This point is close to Nagpur, Maharashtra and is the most convenient to enter from Nagpur. Park have two famous gates as tourists entry, Turiya and Karmajhiri.
The area of the present tiger reserve has a glorious history. A description of its natural wealth and richness occurs in Ain-i-Akbari. Pench Tiger Reserve and its neighbourhood is the original setting of Rudyard Kipling's most famous work, The Jungle Book. Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book and its character Mowgli is based on Pench National Park. This park is also famously called as Mowgli Land.
Pench National Park is located at 21° 40′ 17.76″ North, 79° 18′ 11.88″ East. The terrain of Pench is covered with small hills and well-stocked teak mixed forest in the southern reaches of Satpura Ranges. Altitude varies from 425 to 620 metres above msl. The temperature varies from 4 °C in December to 42 °C in May. Average rainfall is 1300 mm.
Pench National Park, comprises 758 km2, out of which 299 km2 form a core are (Pench National Park core area and Mowgli Pench Sanctuary). The remaining 464 km2 form the buffer area.
The forest cover in the park area includes Teak mixed with other magnificent species like saja, bijiayasal, lendia, haldu, dhaora, salai, aonla, 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.
Tiger is the main cat species of the park present in good numbers but sighted infrequently. Commonly seen wildlife is chital, sambhar, nilgai, wild boar, and jackal. Other wild animals found are leopard, sloth bear, wild dog, porcupine, monkey, jungle cat, fox, striped hyena, gaur, chowsingha and barking deer. There are more than 170 species of birds including several migratory ones. Some of them are peafowl, junglefowl, crow pheasant, crimson-breasted barbet, red-vented bulbul, racket-tailed drongo, Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis), magpie robin, lesser whistling teal, pintail, shoveler, egret and herons. The Pench national park has a count of 8 tigers (as in 1998) and 7 panthers (as in 1998).This national park is rich with chitals i.e. axis axis or more commonly spotted deer.
There are 10 villages in the national park - 1 inside the park (Fulzari) and 9 on the periphery.
As per 2011 Tiger Census ; There are 25 tigers under this umbrella of the Park. 39 species of mammals, 13 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians. Apart from mammals and other land-based wildlife, the park is also rich in bird life. According to an estimation of the wildlife authorities, the bird population in the park counts to be over 210 species like barbets, bulbul, minivets orioles, wagtails, munias, mynas, waterfowls and blue kingfishers.
Visiting Times & Nearest Station
The best time to visit the park is between February and April. The Park is open to visitors between 6 am to 10:30 am and 3 pm to 6 pm. The park remains closed during the months of July, August and September. It can be accessed by road as well as railway. The nearest Airport, railway station is Nagpur and closest city is Seoni, bus can be taken to the Park. 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.
In Popular Culture
The Pench national park provided the location used by the BBC for the innovative wildlife series Tiger: Spy in the Jungle, a three part documentary narrated by Sir David Attenborough which used concealed cameras, placed by elephants, in order to capture intimate tiger behavior. The programme aired for the first time in April 2008.
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- Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book is thought to have been set in Pench National Park.
- BBC's three part special Tiger: Spy in the Jungle was filmed in Pench National Park, and was based on the maturing of four Tigers in Pench.
- Pench National Park official Website