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Pench National Park

Pench National Park
पेंच नेशनल पार्क
Map showing the location of Pench National Park
Map showing the location of Pench National Park
Location Madhya Pradesh, India
Nearest city Seoni
Coordinates
Established 1983

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, 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. 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.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Features 2
  • Vegetation 3
  • Wildlife 4
  • Visiting times and nearest station 5
  • In popular culture 6
  • See also 7

History

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 (Fulzari) and nine on the periphery.

Features

Pench National Park comprises 758 km2 (293 sq mi), out of which 299 km2 (115 sq mi) form a core, the Pench National Park core area and Mowgli Pench Sanctuary. The remaining 464 km2 (179 sq mi) 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 (1,394 to 2,034 ft). 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).

Vegetation

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.

Wildlife

The Bengal tiger is the main cat species of the park present in good numbers but sighted infrequently. As per 2011 Tiger Census, there are 25 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, 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 one time, but have been discontinued these days.

In popular culture

Pench forest reserve, is the setting for Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.

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.

See also

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